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.
Please read all of this note.
Take off all your clothes and place them on the chair beside the door.
Follow the rose petal path to the bathroom door and knock three times.
Then and only then enter.
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.