During the drive home, not a word was spoken. Both of them knew that something very special had happened between them. But neither had the courage to talk about it. And now a new element had been added to the mix. The letters from a mysterious law firm in England filled them both with apprehension and a certain amount of fear. Both of them wanted to know the contents of the letters, but they more concerned with a much more recent matter, one that could have much greater import.
As Brad and Milly exited the elevator and walked down the hall towards their respective apartments the tension was as thick as a London fog. Finally, Brad couldn’t stand the deafening silence any longer.
“Milly would you mind if I say something?.”
“Go for it” she replied.
“We both know what happened. And I suspect there are some things we should talk about. But right now, this very second, most of my attention is on this letter. I don’t know why but I suspect my letter will concern the two of us. Do you want to read it with me?”
The look of tension and fear was obvious with one look at Milly.
“I want to know, but that letter is also scaring the hell out me, and making me not want to know. Am I making any sense?”
“Tell you what. I’ll leave my door unlocked. If you want to read it just knock and let yourself in.”
“Sounds more than fair to me. I’ll come over after I freshen up a bit. A day with the Dragon Lady is enough to tucker anybody out. She drives like a maniac too. See you in a bit.”
Milly turned to unlock her door while Brad did the same. As Brad entered he heard the crunch of envelopes beneath his feet. He knelt down to collect them. It was the usual collection of bills. The Visa, Water, Gas, and Cable bills all clamored for his attention, but it was the letter from England that most interested him. He walked towards his roll-top desk and opened the drawer that contained a long silver letter opener that had been his fathers. He opened the letter then sat in the Laz-E-Boy recliner to read it. The letter came from the law firm of Whitaker & Chester Barristers and Solicitors. They were located in someplace called Bosworth Market. When he sat down to read it he discovered it had been mailed thirty-five years previously. He got up out the Laz-E-Boy recliner, put the letter on his desk, left his apartment, and knocked on Milly’s door.
The door was unlocked. After he knocked he asked if he could borrow the atlas he had seen earlier in the day. “Can I borrow that great big atlas of yours?”. After a short period of silence, Milly responded. “Have at it. I’ll be over in a tick.”
Milly changed from her work clothes to more comfortable sweats. She still looked like the fashion model she resembled much earlier in the day, but she was much more at ease and her sweatshirt and pants reflected this. She had taken most of her makeup off, but she was still very attractive. When she was ready she went across the hall and knocked on Brad’s door. When she knocked Brad was standing at his desk looking at the geographical atlas.
“Come on in. You should see this. I think our trip is going to be much fuller than you, I or the Dragon Lady expect. Before you read the letter read the date this thing was sent.”
Milly looked at the date. Her eyes bulged.“That can’t be right. It’s gotta be a typo!”
Brad leaned forward, put both arms on the desk, and turned his head to look at Milly.
“From what I can tell it’s not a typo. There’s been no attempt to correct it, and according to a computer search this law firm, Whitaker & Chester ceased to exist shortly before we were born. Apparently, the firm went up in flames in an Irish Republican Army bombing.”
Milly started hugging Brad’s arm. “I don’t like this. Something’s not right. I’m scared.”
Brad went behind Milly and hugged her. “There’s more. Read the letter.”
You don’t know me. My name is Gilbert Whitaker. My father, Gilbert Whitaker Sr., recently passed away. An old friend of his, one Dr. Brad Foster, asked him to send this letter in 1980. As I am the sole executor of his estate I’m only getting to this matter now. I apologize profusely for my tardiness but my father passed away intestate.
Dr. Foster, or uncle Brad as I knew him, met my father in the Royal Air Force during World War II. Uncle Brad was a gunner on a Lancaster Bomber, which was sometimes simply called a Lanc. Shortly after the war ended he married the love of his life a nurse by the name of Milly. He wanted my father to communicate this information to you and send you a photo. The photo is of uncle Brad and Milly shortly after his discharge from the RAF. As it is only a few days after the war he is still in uniform.
Milly and uncle Brad never had any children. There is some other photos uncle Brad wanted you to have. Unfortunately, they are under lock and key and only you can release them. When I asked him about these photos he said only you would know what they mean.
They’ll be here waiting for you when you and Milly arrive.
Milly went white as a sheet. As she put the letter back on the desk her hands were visibly shaking. “I think I better sit down. I feel a little woozy after reading that.” Brad went to the kitchen to get a glass of water for Milly. As he was running the water Milly asked a question.
“What does intestate mean, Brad?”
“It’s a legal term used when a person dies without leaving a will.”
Milly sat in the chair and looked like she was thinking.
“What do you think he meant “only you can release them”.”
Brad leaned against the kitchen counter, scowled at the floor, and tried to answer Milly’s question. “Damned if I know. I haven’t a clue what Gil Whitaker is talking about. Right now I am more concerned about how he knew we were coming to England.”
“Stay absolutely still Milly. Let your eyes adjust to the sudden darkness.”
“Where are you?” she asked.
“I’m still in the kitchen. I’m looking out the window and from what I can tell we have a city-wide blackout on our hands.”
“Just peachy. Do you have any flashlights around?”
“I’ve already got them. Where exactly are you?”
“I’m playing it safe. I’m in your recliner. Would this be a bad time to admit I’m still afraid of the dark?”
“No, but I’m glad you told me. I was thinking of bribing the super to let me into your apartment and taking out all the light bulbs.”
Just then Brad heard the squeak of the leather. That told him Milly might be on the move.
“Has anybody ever told you that you have a mischievous streak in you,” she said.
“Frequently. That particular trait really didn’t come to the fore until med school. I would like to think I’ve grown out of it. But sometimes I can’t help getting ideas. I guess I get this trait from my father.”
The floorboards creaked. Out of curiosity, Brad flicked on one of the flashlights. He aimed the light at the recliner. It was empty. He shone the light in the kitchen. Then he aimed it at other areas of the apartment. Milly was nowhere to be seen. All of a sudden he felt his pants being pulled down.
He aimed the light below his waist and saw Milly minus the sweat top she had been wearing. “Oh, you’re feeling playful.”
“Yup. I don’t why but the sudden darkness makes me horny. Making love in the dark adds a certain element of mystery and excitement. And I can see it does the same to you.”
All of a sudden Milly stood up. She took Brad’s hands and placed them on her waist. She pushed his hands down till her sweatpants fell on the floor. Brad knelt on the floor and started kissing her tummy. Both his hands fondled and cupped her breasts gently.
“That is driving me wild.”
Brad put his arms on her back and lowered her to the floor. When he licked the inside of her legs she moaned.
“Milly you taste yummy”
Milly pulled his head up till she could look into his eyes. “Don’t talk. Do.”
After doing it in every room at least once they finished in the bedroom. Milly had her head on Brad’s chest. Brad lay in bed more tired out now than he had ever been before. He hands soothed Milly’s back. Her eyes were open and she was obviously doing some pretty serious thinking.
As Milly played with Brad’s chest hair she asked him a question.
“Brad, can I ask you something. But I don’t want you to interrupt me. The last time we made love you said that it meant more than simply having sex. Were you telling me the truth? This is really important to me and I really want to know.”
“Is it OK to answer yet?”
“Just a minute. I want to look in your eyes when you talk.”
Milly got out of bed and sat between Brad’s legs. She put her feet by his shoulders, leaned forward, and looked deep into Brads eyes.
“The first time we made love was really special for me. Your kiss in the restaurant was so passionate that it really surprised me. And when your tongue touched mine the feeling was almost electric. And when we got to your apartment you got me so incredibly horny I couldn’t wait to be inside you. You’re so damn gorgeous. I’m really glad you moved in because you make living here mean so much more. Before it was simply a place to live. But now you give it meaning. You make me want to get up just to look into your beautiful eyes. After we made love when we were lying in bed and before you said “it was just sex” I began to think things I have never thought before.”
Her eyes started to tear up when she heard the raw emotion pour out of Brad.
“And what might those thoughts be?” she asked wiping the tiny tears away.
“I started thinking that I’m so lucky and that I must be addicted to you. I love seeing you every day. I love helping you, I love being with you, I love being able to please you. Touching your skin and looking into your eyes is extra special because you’re just so gorgeous. Even if we didn’t make love I’d still want you in my life. I even toyed with the idea of asking you to move in with me. But then you did something that really was special. You asked me to help you at the hospital.”
Milly sat straight up. Surprised at what she heard she wanted to hear more.
“You really thought about asking me to move in with you?”
“Yup. But I chickened out. You had just moved into your own apartment and you really didn’t know me. It wasn’t a very realistic idea.”
Milly’s arms were slack then she started gently massaging Brads penis.
“You’re right. That wouldn’t have been very realistic then. But that was then. But you can still ask me. We know each other a lot better now. But if I was to sleep over in your apartment I have to have some of my things in your apartment. And the same goes for you if you were to crash in my place.”
“What exactly are you trying to say, Milly.”
“We have two weeks to go before we go to England. I would like to suggest that we each bring some things over to the other’s apartment. And when we come back from England we can start looking for an apartment for the two of us, providing we haven’t killed each other and we’re still talking to each other. With work and trip research I don’t think we have the time to look for another apartment. As things are right now we barely have time to make love.”
“Sounds like a well thought out plan of attack,” said Brad who was erect again.
All of a sudden Milly got off the bed, pulled the sheets off, straddled Brad and guided his penis till it was all the way inside her. “I much prefer the word pounce.”
“Are you going to ride me again? I’m going to be empty” Brad said enthusiastically.
“Oh, I intend to ride you till we’re both unconscious with smiles on our faces” waving her hands over her head and smiling from ear to ear. “I want to know how many tigers are in your tank.”
After breakfast, Milly started her campaign to fully domesticate Brad. But she also intended to indulge in some hobbies that her current lifestyle rarely allowed for. To relax she liked to bake. Cookies were her specialty. And oatmeal cookies were her favorite. When she was in the kitchen Brad was reading the paper as was his custom. Somewhere between world events and the sports section he looked up to see a look of intense concentration on her face. He got up from the chair he was in and walked into the kitchen. Milly was facing the kitchen counter. When Brad entered all he could see was her back and her gorgeous behind. When Brad was right behind her he started kissing her neck.
When he kissed her she jumped a little bit.
“Oh, I forgot you were here,” she said.
“Oh, thanks. Don’t mind me. I’m only the guy who made mad passionate love to you most of last night. From now I’ll have a brass band go wherever I go so you’ll always know where I am.” It was then he looked at the kitchen counter.
“And what do we have here? Looks like my beloved is making cookies.”
Brad started gently tugging at Milly’s blouse. He soon had his hands around her waist. “That feels nice,” she said. Milly put some cookie dough on her finger then put her hand on her shoulder. Brad took her entire finger into his mouth, licked the cookie dough off, then proceeded to suck her finger.
“I’m trying to make some oatmeal cookies for the two of us. It’s been a long time since I’ve made cookies so I really have to concentrate on the recipe. You had your taste of the dough now shoo. Scat. Get out of my kitchen. I have to find the chocolate chips the recipe calls for.”
Brad undid her jeans and his hands started going lower and lower until they were massaging the crotch of her panties.
Milly suddenly puts her arms on the counter to support herself and put her head back. “Oh my god. That’s playing dirty. You can’t be horny. We made love most of the night. You’ve got to be tired. Please say you’re tired because I know I really am.”
Out the corner of her eye, she saw Brad reaching for the mixing bowl and the cookie dough. To let Brad know she meant business she tapped his hand gently with a small wooden spoon. Brad started yelping like a dog that had been hit with a rolled up newspaper. “You behave yourself or I’ll pounce and make you cum so much you’ll be walking funny for the next two weeks!” Brad held his hand like it was severely wounded. “Well if you’re going to get nasty I’m going to go for a walk.” Brads threat suddenly disappeared when he turned on the computer. He tapped a few keys. “Let’s see if we can dig up a little dirt on the Shine family. OK, Mister Computer where does the Shine family come from. Milly looked up to see if anything was on the screen.
“Wow, do you have an interesting history!”
Milly wiped her hands on an apron then walked into the living room. Brad clicked the mouse and tapped a few keys.
“Well according to this the Shine family is Irish. The Shine family, which is O Sionnaigh in Gaelic, apparently means “fox?”.
She walked up behind Brad and put her hand on his shoulder.
“What else does it say about me,” she asked
“Well, the Shine family originated in County Mayo. Instead of me paraphrasing what the computer says why don’t I simply read what it says.”
“What’s the name of this site. I’d like to tell my mom and dad.”
“The site is called House of Names dot com. Here’s what else it says. Let’s start with your name.
“During the Middle Ages, a standardized literary language known by the general population of Ireland was a thing of fiction. When a person’s name was recorded by one of the few literate scribes, it was up to that particular scribe to decide how to spell an individual’s name. So a person could have several spelling variations of his name recorded during a single lifetime. Research into the name Shine revealed many variations, including Shiner, Shinner, Shunny, Shunagh, Shunnagh, Shinnick, Shinnock, Shinick and many more.”
“Does it have any more?” she asked
“In the 18th and 19th centuries, thousands of Irish families fled an Ireland that was forcibly held through by England through its imperialistic policies. A large portion of these families crossed the Atlantic to the shores of North America. The fate of these families depended on when they immigrated and the political allegiances they showed after they arrived. Settlers that arrived before the American War of Independence may have moved north to Canada at the war’s conclusion as United Empire Loyalists. Such Loyalists were granted land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula. Those that fought for the revolution occasionally gained the land that the fleeing Loyalist vacated. After this period, free land and an agrarian lifestyle were not so easy to come by in the East. So when seemingly innumerable Irish immigrants arrived during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s, free land for all was out of the question. These settlers were instead put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. Whenever they came, Irish settlers made an inestimable contribution to the building of the New World. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Irish name Shine or a variant listed above.”
“And that, o foxy one, is that. I’m sorry there isn’t more but that info is specific to your family.”
“Type in the name Foster. Let’s see what happens. Maybe it means “The Aroused One”. Brad turned and looked at her. “You’d love that, wouldn’t you. You’d laugh your fanny off”. Milly couldn’t help but snicker. “Well, it might explain why you’re so frisky all the time.” When Brad was reluctant to type Milly spurred him on. “Go ahead. The keyboard won’t bite you.”
Slowly Brad typed in his last name. The amount of information that came back dwarfed Milly’s by leaps and bounds.
“Apparently the name Foster has two possible origins. One derives originally from “forester”, an ancient office and occupation associated with royalty and families of high degree, and goes back to the first great tribal clan systems and kingdoms in Scotland and England. The other origin lies with a Norman noble who was granted lands in Scotland and Northumbria by William the Conqueror, and who “anglicised” his French family name into “Forester”.
The name Foster can be spelled a number of different ways. The variations are Forrester, Forester, and Forster.”
Brad was a little unsure if he should mention the next part, but after he contemplated the question for a few seconds he threw caution to the wind and went on.
“The Latin version of the name is Forestarius.” Milly broke up when she heard this. “I’m sorry, but I’m trying to imagine you in a toga and it’s not a pretty sight. Your reputation would definitely precede you if you get my meaning.”
Brad rolled his eyes and crossed his arms. “We’re learning about our families here. How would you feel if Shine had meant horny?”
“Point well taken. I wouldn’t care for it one bit. Now, what else is there?”
Milly stopped commenting and was surprised at how interested Brad was in his family history. But inwardly she was still laughing. Milly massaged Brad’s shoulders while he sat at the computer. After about fifteen seconds of silence, Brad continued. “The first mention of the name Foster was when Sir Richard Forrester, then known by his Latinised name of Forestarius, went over to England with his father, Badouin(or Baldwin) V, Forester of Flanders (called “The Debonaire”), accompanying his brother-in-law, William of Normandy to participate in the Battle of Hastings. Thus it appears that the key figure in this long history is this man named Richard “The Frislander-De-Flanders” “Forestarius” Forester, son of Baldwin V, Count and Forester of Flanders and Adele Capet, Princess of France. Richard’s sister, Matilda Maud, was the wife of William, Duke of Normandy who apparently had a legitimate claim to the English throne.”
“According to this, there is a Foster coat of arms and a family tartan. Think we should take a look?”
“What have we got to lose. Go for it, Brad”
“Well, here you go. One Foster coat of arms”
“And this one’s the tartan”
Milly studied the tartan and after a few seconds said “I like it. I think it would make a great kilt. I’d love to see you in a kilt.”
“Not a chance. There is no way you’re ever going to see me in a skirt.”
“But Brad that “skirt” as you call it is called a kilt. And it’s part of who you are. It’s part of your family’s history. Plus I think you’d look kind of cute in one.”
“There isn’t a snowballs chance you’ll ever see me in one. So stop trying to butter me up. I said no and that’s it. End of subject.” Milly was surprised. She had never known Brad to terminate a conversation so abruptly or strongly. It also did something to her. It challenged her to get him in a kilt sometime in the next two months.