Chapter 23 –Summons From A Far

pregnant woman on plane

To Take Or Not To Take

Milly fretted over what to take to Scotland, what to throw out, or give to charity. Almost everything she touched held some kind of memory. Some of the furniture would make the trip but others would not. Items such as knives, forks and other items that could be found in a kitchen were destined to go. Slowly, they waded through the debris of their lives and asked: “do we really need this.”

Brad initially wanted to take his entire CD and DVD collection. Milly prowled through the titles. Some she could understand Brad wanting. However, there was one particular title she took issue with. The twelve disc set entitled “Busty Babes in Prison” did not make the cut.

“You’ve got to be kidding. You seriously think this should go to Scotland with us?. You’re about to be a father. Do you really want our children to see this trash?”

“But it’s a collector’s item. And it’s got great music” was Brads only defense.

“I know perfectly well what it’s got and it’s not going to the cottage. I don’t want our children to learn their father watched this garbage while practicing to be a dirty old man. Just holding the case makes me want to wash my hands.” She said nothing about some the stains on the case. She simply didn’t want to know.

Other titles had more redeeming qualities.

“Don’t you think you’re a little old for cartoons. Winnie The Pooh and The Blustery Day. I know you like DVDs but the Walt Disney version of The Sword In The Stone too?”

Brad was packing a box. When Milly started criticizing Winnie The Pooh it was just too much. “I’ll have you know those two titles are classics not likely to be re-released for years. Plus our kids might get a real kick out them. Before you condemn them why don’t you watch them? You might enjoy them.”

After dinner, Milly and Brad watched both the titles. She could actually see the worth of Winnie The Pooh. She conceded her condemnation of Winnie The Pooh had been a little rash. Plus they might come across children’s books with Winnie The Pooh. And having the DVD might encourage them to want to read.

That night, as she lay on her side and Brad snored, she noticed something about Sprog. Something was different. Nothing to be alarmed about. The following day she was due for another doctors appointment. She decided to mention this feeling then.

*****

…One Last Time

“I’ve made a record of your pregnancy under my care for British Airways. I included my cell number, fax number, as well as my office number. Here’s my home number as well but only give it to them if there is some sort of problem at the airport. I sent Dr. Ransom a complete copy of your file so there shouldn’t be any problems there. I want one more scan if that’s all right with you.” Milly changed while Brad waited in the waiting room. The doctor was unhappy with the image on her ultrasound monitor. “I’ve really got to get this thing checked. It’s starting to get some sort of interference. No need to worry. There’s nothing wrong with you at all. Sprog is doing just fine too.” As Milly’s doctor switched off the monitor something appeared for a split second. As Milly got dressed behind the partition she and her doctor had a short conversation. “I’m going to fax Dr. Ransom and ask her to scan you in a weeks time. I want her to confirm these results. As a mother of three boys, I’m going to give you some advice from one mother to a soon-to-be mother. You’re almost at the six-month point in your pregnancy. Let Brad have the window seat and you take the seat by the aisle. The trip is going to be long and planes are dry. I don’t want you getting dehydrated. So get a bottle of water after you go through security. You’re going to be making lots of trips to the ladies room. I know you’ve flown before but you weren’t pregnant then so have the air sickness bag well within your reach. Things may be different this time. You might like flying but Sprog might not.” She handed Milly a small package. “It’s a present for Sprog. It’s a teddy bear. I didn’t wrap it because security guards love to tear wrapping off.” She handed Milly an envelope. Here’s everything you’ll need at the airport. Now scoot. You’ve got a plane to catch.”

*****

My Seat Has Shrunk”

There were no problems boarding and the medical certificate was accepted. Milly and Brad were shown to their seats in first class. Milly watched Brad slip into his seat with almost annoying ease. “That really burns me up. You just slip right into your seat and I’m as big as a horse! Did you know I’ve got pillows between my hips and my seat? That’s how much of tight squeeze this is.” On this flight, they landed in Glasgow which was much closer to Strathpeffer. When they landed Milly immediately phoned MacTaggert Castle. Jessica answered. “You and Brad must be tired. You’ve had a long flight. It seems like you just left here but when you get here you’ll notice a few…changes. Jamie is driving down to pick you up. I’ll call his mobile and have him pick you up just outside international flights.” As Milly and Brad waited for Jamie Brad put the bags on a baggage trolley. After waiting a short half hour Jamie and the Esprit arrived. With the bags in the trunk, Brad helped Milly into the car. When all three were in the Esprit Milly couldn’t wait to find out all that had happened in their absence. “All right, what’s new? Tell us everything.” Jamie was highly selective in what he said. “Och lass, I canna tell you everything but I can tell you there have been big changes since you left. It seems you gave this town a proper shake. My father and the townsfolk are the best of buddies now. Foster Cottage is coming along nicely. I took a photo for you.” Jamie hand them the print-out.

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Milly took a look and oohed and awed at it. It had a gorgeous clawfoot tub, two fireplaces, and Jamie told her about a small veranda that was at the back. “You can thank Jess for the clawfoot. She told my father how you adored the tub at the castle and he ordered one especially for you. He seems quite taken with you.” Brad got a look at the photo too. As Milly sat back and admired the photo there was a reflection coming from something and it was making her close one eye. It happened every time Jamie made a left-hand turn. On his ring finger was a solid gold wedding band. “Jamie Friggin’ MacTaggert! You’re married!” exclaimed Milly. Jamie was in the mood for a little good-natured ribbing and was not taken aback by Milly’s outburst. “Aye lass. That usually happens after a man and woman get engaged. They tend to get married” Brad snickered in the back seat. Jamie continued to give as good as he got. “Jess and I thought about inviting you both but when we heard you were with child we decided we did not want to stress out the mother-to-be.” There was a cough from the back seat. “Sorry, Brad. You’ve been so quiet I totally forgot you were in the car. I guess you’re enjoying the last bit of peace and quiet you can get. It won’t be long now.” Jamie wisely decided to drop the subject and started talking about the cottage again. Before long they entered the outskirts of Strathpeffer. Milly asked if they could stop in the town to say hello to Kendra, Brad’s distant relative.

The Lotus stopped outside the shop. As Brad and Milly got out of the car Kendra came out of the shop to greet them. “Last time we talked ya dinna say anything about starting your own tribe,” said Kendra. “I’d guess you’re about six months along. Am I right?” she added. Milly said she had just started her sixth month. “I’ll be glad when this is over. Six down three to go.” Kendra got Milly a seat. “And you, dear relative, don’t get a seat. Looks like you’ve already done your thing so you get to stand.” Kendra then hugged Milly and Brad. “I’ll do baby sittin’ as long as the wee bairn doesn’t call me Auntie.” Milly then explained they don’t know the gender and they call the unborn baby Sprog. “You should name the wee bairn a strong Scottish name like Angus. The fact that it’s my father’s name is sheer coincidence.” They talked for about ten minutes more. “I think we better get going. My father’ said Jamie. He’s probably anxious to see his newest employees.” As Milly was getting into the car she turned pale and fainted. Brad told Jamie to drive to the hospital.

When they arrived Brad carried Milly in. He explained that she was a new patient of Dr. Dinah Ransom. Dr. Ransom was sent for. Ten minutes later she arrived just as a resident was preparing to an emergency C section. She stopped him before Milly was wheeled into surgery. She took over and did an ultrasound at the request of Milly’s previous doctor. A fetal heartbeat monitor was attached to ultrasound to give a hard copy of the heartbeat. As the scan proceeded Dr. Ransom started to curse. “Damn and blast. I was afraid of this. I think we have mirror twins. Get Dr. Foster in here right now!” she barked. An orderly directed Brad to a small conference room. The two conferred in a small room. “I’m sorry, I don’t have time to sugar coat this. Your wife is carrying mirror twins. Mirror twin are very rare. One sperm fertilizes one egg. Then for some reason, the egg splits. One twin looks perfectly normal at this stage in the pregnancy while the other is essentially starved of nutrients and blood. Your wife’s previous doctor asked me to check for this. One baby will be fine in size and weight. The other will most likely need some time in an incubator. If we did an emergency C section today one baby might survive. One will almost surely die. My advice is to leave them both inside Milly and let mother nature to do her stuff.”

Brad was totally unprepared for any of this. He had to sit down and think.

“How come the twin wasn’t detected until now,” he asked totally bewildered. Dr. Ransom offered up a theory. “A lot of mirror twins are completely missed because their heartbeats are in absolutely perfect synch. Her previous doctor heard one heartbeat and saw one healthy fetus. The other was so tiny and so perfectly placed inside the mother that it literally was hidden from view. Remember, what you saw on an ultrasound was a two-dimensional profile view. The smaller one was probably directly behind the healthier one. Almost all mirror twins are preemies. One is going to need help right after birth. In Canada, one mirror twin weighed in at five pounds eight ounces. Its twin was only three pounds six ounces. That little guy needed six weeks in an incubator just to bring him up to a weight where he could be released. In terms of length, his length at birth was from the inside of your elbow to the base of your thumb. This is one case where size really does matter.”

“Milly means the world to me and so does Sprog,” said Brad.

“Excuse me. Who is Sprog?” asked Dr. Ransom.

“The name Sprog was Milly’s idea. We didn’t want to know the gender of the baby so she decided we should have a name that isn’t associated with either sex. She didn’t want to say “the baby” or “it” for nine months. Hence the name Sprog.”

“Dr. Foster, may I call you Brad.”

“Go right ahead”.

“Let the kids stay put for one more week. I want to do another scan. If…Sprig-“

“You mean Sprog”.

“If those two don’t start getting along we’ll consider doing a C section. You and Milly may have the unenviable choice of deciding who gets to live and who dies. But right now I think the best place for those two is with the mother.” Milly was given some water and some oxygen. As her previous doctor had warned she did not drink enough water and had become dehydrated. When she became conscious Brad filled her in as to what had been happening.

“Now I know why I feel so wiped out. I’m carrying a friggin’ tribe just like Kendra said.” Then Brad filled her in on they have may have to consider. “Jesus. What a choice to have to make. You said Dr. Ransom made a mistake with Sprog’s name. What did she call him hon?”

“She called him Sprig by mistake” answered Brad.

“OK. Since we know there are two babies their names will be Sprig and Sprog. Sprig will the little one. Sprog will be that great big lumbering brute. As for that choice, the one we might have to make, to be honest, I’d rather not have to make it at all. Are you alright with an instant family hon?”

“I want you and both of them if you’re looking for an honest answer kitten.”

Milly had tears in her eyes and she kissed Brad as passionately as she could. “I knew I married you for some reason. Thank you.”

When Dr. Ransom entered the room Milly saw her for the very first time. Her face was familiar yet Milly had never seen her before. Her mind raced to make a connection.

“And how are you feeling young lady?” asked Dr. Ransom. She sat on the edge of the bed.

“Like an exhausted mother of unborn twins usually feels” replied Milly.

“Did you two have a chance to talk?” she looked at Brad.

Again Milly spoke.

“I don’t know if you gamble Dr. Ransom but we’re goin’ for broke. We won’t make a choice of one baby over the other. We want both.”

Brad squeezed his wife’s hand. “The whole kit and caboodle” added Brad.

Milly squeezed his husband’s hand. “We know there’s a risk but we want to try and win.”

“I was hoping you two would make this choice. But I’m warning you right now you’re going to have to make some pretty radical changes starting right now. I want both of you in my office starting next week. The big baby may make a break for it at any time. I want you to be prepared for that. He almost looks full term so things could happen any time now. So that means both of them could be in incubators. We’re both going to be meeting once each week. So remember my name. It’s D-e-e-n-a, not Dinah. I want to see you both once each week prior to birth. I’ll set up the appointment schedule. Right now you need some rest.”

Dr. Ransom lowered her voice noticeably and spoke softly.

“On a completely different note from what I understand I think I should thank you both for turning Fergus into a real human being. I’m not sure how you did it but this entire hospital is glad you did. So on behalf of every employee at Highland Central thank you very, very much. My secretary will phone Brad with your next appointment. Gotta fly.”

That was it. The word “fly” made finally made Milly recall why Dr. Ransom looked so familiar. As Dr. Ransom exited the room Milly yelled “Freeze”.

“Excuse me. I am not used to being barked at”.

Milly apologized but explained she had a question.

“Do you have a sister named Susan and is she a mother yet?”.

Dr. Ransom looked very puzzled. She put her hands in pockets of her white lab coat and sat on the edge of Milly’s bed.

“Yes, I have a sister named Susan. And she had her daughter a few months ago. How in heavens name do you know her?”

Brad explained that Susan was at their wedding and was the pilot who originally brought them to Scotland. He also volunteered that she admitted being the person who gave their old boss the nickname of Dragon Lady.

“You mean there really is a Dragon Lady? I thought Susan was pulling my leg when she told me that.”

Milly explained that Dr. Druk Macbeth, her and Brads old boss was the fearsome Dragon Lady. She also added the only thing fearsome about her was her driving. “Dr. Macbeth has somewhat of a lead foot if you know what I mean.”

Dr. Ransom started laughing. “I’ll be talking to Susan tonight. I’ll say you two say hello. By the way, she named her daughter Milly.”

Milly suddenly grabbed Brad’s hand and started getting all misty-eyed. Dr. Ransom looked at her watch. “Now I really must fly. I try to call before Susan has to feed Milly. First, she feeds Milly then puts her down for a nap. Don’t tell Susan I said this but if I’m late in calling, and I wake up Milly she’s a right horror to get back to sleep.”

Brad started pointing at Milly. “Just like this one. If she’s not fed and watered on time she gets really cranky. When we were talking about names Rasputina was mentioned.”

Dr. Ransom stood up. “Alright, you two. Scoot, scram, get out. I’ll see you next week.” She almost flew out of the room. Brad took Milly to the exit in a wheelchair.

Jamie was almost beside himself. “What’s goin’ on? We were supposed to at the castle an hour ago”. After Milly got in, adjusted herself and put her belt on she told Jamie. “It seems there’s a wee stowaway.” She put her hand on his. “In other words dear friend I just found out I’m carrying twins. One’s very large and the other is very small. Dr. Ransom wants me to rest for the remainder of the pregnancy.” Jamie looked dumbfounded and concerned. “Well, how did that happen?”. He realized he just asked a very dumb question. Brad spoke up. “One sperm fertilized one egg. A few days after conception it split. We don’t know why it split but that’s how you get mirror twins.” Jamie went white as a ghost and as silent as a tomb. When they got to the castle Jessica came out. She too was pregnant. Milly hugged Jessica and Brad shook Jamie’s hand. Jessica was just starting to show. “Welcome to the club,” said Milly.

Milly was a pretty foul mood. In a nutshell, she could do very little but wait while Sprig and Sprog grew inside her. She was allowed out for walks, but aside from that, there was very little she was allowed to do. While Mason, the butler, went about he duties in the castle he couldn’t help but notice Milly’s expression. What should have a happy time in her life was exactly the opposite. Mason and Brad had arranged to communicate on a daily basis. Mason was not very comfortable with cell phones but every day at 4 PM Mason would text Brad with what he called “The Milly Report”. He got Brad’s cell phone number and would text one of two emoji symbols. Soon after they arrived in Scotland Mason regularly texted Brad this “:)” But soon the mood changed. Mason texted “:(” more often than not. Milly openly complained to Brad and came very close to saying he was totally responsible for her dilemma. Brad emailed Dinah and explained that Milly was going crazy with little to actually do. The answer was almost always the same. “Take her for a short walk in the town and buy a magazine.” Milly soon collected a small but substantial pile of magazines all geared to home decorating. When the shipping container arrived at the cottage Dr. Ransom said Milly could not decorate her own house which didn’t go over particularly well. To try and remedy matters Brad went into town and bought a small tripod for his phone. When he screwed it into the side of his phone he was able to transmit live images of the container to Milly’s phone. Tyler and Brad did the heavy lifting while Milly directed from the comfort of an easy chair in MacTaggert castle. Milly got to enjoy the “remote decorating” but would have preferred actually decorating her home with her own hands. Milly gave herself the title of “forewoman”. Tilly tried to make an uncomfortable situation bearable by being there for her daughter.

“A little to the right…more…more..got it! Freeze”. Tyler was beginning to wonder if his daughter had been a tyrannical Hollywood director in a former life. One day Tyler and Brad were trying to place the sofa in what would be the family/living room. Brads phone had an unusually sensitive microphone and Milly could hear every grunt, groan, curse and moan coming from Tyler or Brad. When Brad or Tyler got tired they would start calling Milly “Master”. One day while directing the placement of a picture her water broke.

“WHOOPS…AGH…OH CRAP!”. Then Tilly translated. “C’mon back boys…it’s time. Her water just broke.”

Brad was in the delivery room but was of little use. He was primarily the target of curses hurled at him by Milly.

“TOUCH ME AGAIN AND I’LL MAKE YOU THE OLDEST LIVING MEMBER OF THE VIENNA BOYS CHOIR!”

Dr. Ransom urged her to push.

“YOU PUSH DAMN YOU!”

Sprog was the first to make her entrance. “Got him…I mean her”. Milly sat back, soaked in sweat. “OK people. We’ve one more to come…on your toes,” said Dr. Ransom. Milly, who was in labor for fifteen hours, was exhausted. “Look doc, I’m too tired to push. Can’t you just reach in and get him?” Dr. Ransom knew Milly was tired so she tried a little maternal psychology. “Imagine the tax man is here to take away your daughter.” Milly sat up and made the fiercest face. Sprig just eased out. “OK. This one is an incubator kid. What’s his name, Milly?”

“I like Angus”.

Angus wailed at the sudden temperature change. He didn’t think much of his new accommodations and let his displeasure known.

“Oh for Christ’s sake’s…who’s bawling their brains out?”

Dr. Ransom put Angus on top of Milly. Milly started kissing and cuddling him. “Where did you come from little one?”. “And here’s your daughter”. Milly looked at her red hair and called her Jessica. Brad waddled out of the delivery room, covered in sympathetic sweat, and took off his mask. Tilly and Tyler asked about Milly. “Milly is gorgeous. She’s a mother to twins, Angus and Jessica.” Tyler got up from the couch he and Tilly had been sitting in. He approached Brad and put his hand on Brad’s shoulder. “This is the start of whole new chapter in all our lives son. Thank you.”

When Milly was moved to a private room she made herself more presentable. Tyler and Tilly visited. Baby Jessica was with her and all bundled up. Tilly cooed, oohed and awed at her new granddaughter. Angus was down the hall in an incubator complaining most vocally about the way his incubator was decorated. Jamie and Jessica entered Milly’s room. As Jessica entered Tilly said she should say hello to her namesake. Jessica took a look at her young namesake and started crying. Soon Dr. Ransom entered the room and ordered everybody out. “All right everybody out. Milly’s been through a lot and needs to rest. The show’s over. You have an entire lifetime to get acquainted. Everybody Out.” Just then baby Jessica started to cry. “Maybe the show is just starting”.

foot-blanket-mother-father-and-baby-feet-under-blanket-tree-pairs-of-legs-stock-photo-sunbeam-electric-blanket-foot-warmer 

The End

I’ve done two separate series over the last year and I’m kind of bushed. So I’m going to rest, recharge my batteries and return  in the new year. Stay safe. Tom 

Chapter 22–Summons From A Far

four months along


The Verdict

The doctor opened the folder and reviewed the tests. She put her glasses on and re-read the test results. She flipped the pages back and forth comparing one test result with another. She wanted to be absolutely sure of the results before she said a word. The suspense was slowly killing Milly. It was now the new year. With a couple of false positives in her past, Milly was now trying for the third time to get pregnant.

The doctor took off her glasses and tossed them on her desk.

“Sorry for taking so long. I just wanted to fully understand the test results. I know how much this means to you. It all looks correct so I’m going to go out on a limb and say you, my dear, are about to be a mother.”

Milly broke into tears.

The doctor was puzzled by Milly’s reaction.

“This is what you wanted…isn’t it?” she asked.

Milly took her time answering.

“It sure is. You have no idea how much I want this baby.”

The doctor stood up and walked around to the front of her desk. She sat on the edge and faced Milly. “Now for the sixty-four million dollar question. How does Brad feel?”

Milly dabbed her eyes and blew her nose. The doctor pushed a box of Kleenex towards her. Milly grabbed some more tissues.

“Brad is going to be over the moon when I tell him. Then when the enormity of the situation hits him he’s going to become very protective of me. Especially with two false pregnancies behind me, he’s going to be impossible. Right now he thinks this is a normal check-up. He thinks I have a bug of some kind.”

The doctor went over to her filing cabinet and pulled out some papers.

“Alright young lady. Here is what I want you to do. From now I want you on a daily regiment of vitamins. You’re going to taking so many pills for the next few months you’ll be glad when you can see the finish line. Veggies. Lots of veggies. That goes for Brad too. He’s going to need to be in tip-top shape. He’s going to have a lot on his plate. At some point, which is always different with every new mother, you’re going to find you can’t do everything you want. That’s normal. Try not to get upset when it does happen. I can set you up with a doctor in Scotland too. That doctor will deliver your baby. But I want you to watch out for any spots. Any at all. If this pregnancy is false as well we’ll have to investigate what’s going on. And I’m talking about Brad too.”

Milly asked about having sex.

“Right now go for it. As often as possible. Don’t go overboard but try for at least once per day. Frequent sex can tone up those vaginal muscles of yours. Some women discover when they’re pregnant they have zero interest in sex while others become positively rabid and can’t enough. That’s why I want Brad on vitamins. I want him to fulfill your needs at a moments notice.”

“He’s already doing that really well” volunteered Milly.

“No offense but I’ve heard that before. That’s why I want both of you back here in two weeks. I want both of you to write down every question about having a baby you two can think of. No question is dumb so don’t be afraid to write down questions you think you already know the answer to. You may have only one half of the answer. I’ve been delivering babies for almost twenty years and it’s been my experience there are always a few questions you don’t know the answer to. So write them down and for heaven’s sake remember there are no dumb questions. Have you any idea how you’re going to tell him?”

“I got a jewelers box with a piece of the fabric of a cloth diaper in it. He’ll get eventually” said Milly.

“One last thing. You’re on maternal probation for the next two weeks. If your period doesn’t re-appear you’ll be officially pregnant. So I don’t want you telling anyone other than Brad. In two weeks time, I’m going to give you another exam. And if you pass, and I think you will, you can shout “I’m Pregnant” from the rooftops.”

The doctor handed Milly a list of vitamins to take, books to read, furniture to get, and list of items every new mother should have. Milly noticed that the breast pump was scratched out. Milly asked the doctor why.

“I wouldn’t get the breast pump till you move to Scotland. The electrical current is different there. If you get one here you’ll have to get an electrical adapter. I know it’s a small thing but I’m trying to save you money for the move.”

When the appointment was over she went home.

The Big Reveal

Brad was in the kitchen preparing one of the few meals he can prepare on his own. That night it was macaroni and cheese. When he was draining the water Milly came in through the front door. Brad looked up to watch her.

“I could watch you for a thousand years. And I can tell you right now I’ll never get tired of watching you come through the door kitten. You look fantastic.

As Milly hug up her coat she pulled the small jeweler’s box from her coat pocket.

“I am so glad you started dinner. Today is one those days I just didn’t want to prepare dinner. I’m just bushed. It was one of those days. Nothing went wrong. It was just boring. Nothing really spectacular stood out. Did I tell you I have a new nurse?”

“What’s her name?” asked Brad.

“His name is Vlad Kaminski. His name is a real mouthful for a kid. He’ll be great around Halloween. He has an accent that the kids associate with Dracula. He was so eager to get started he introduced himself to every kid in the wing.”

Milly walked into the kitchen and put the small box in front of Brad.

“What’s this kitten?” asked Brad. He washed and dried his hands before he picked it up.

“It’s called a box”. Brad looked at the ceiling and muttered something. “A nurse brought it in and asked everybody what they thought it was. Nobody could figure it out. What do you think it is Schweitzer?”

Brad stared at the box. “If I take the top off is anything going to jump out at me?”

“You should know I wouldn’t do anything like that. I might be really tempted to do something sneaky but I know you don’t like surprises like that” said Milly wearing a mischievous smile.

Not quite convinced Brad walked towards a clothes cupboard and after a while returned wearing a very overstuffed parka, ear muffs and a goalie mask from when he played hockey. He looked like he was about to diffuse a bomb. He moved gently and slowly took the lid off the box with plastic salad tongs. He moved his head away from the box. He was ready for just about anything. He extended his arms, closed the eye closest to the box and turned his head away from the box.

“You should see yourself. A grown man and you’re behaving like it’s a bomb. I assure you it won’t bite” said Milly.

When Brad took the lid off the box nothing happened. Still, with a certain degree of trepidation, he looked into the box. No itching powder, no springs or strings. He looked into the box. “Just a small piece of white fabric. Since it’s the wrong color I know it’s not the felt for a pool table. Yet I feel I should know what it is. This is a brain teaser, isn’t it? It almost feels like a diaper-“

Brad looked at Milly and there were tears in her eyes. “Are you kidding?”

“I believe there’s a phrase that says the third times a charm. It seems one of the Foster Brigade is a marine. He swam and did what he was supposed to do. You going to be a father. But we can’t tell mom or dad yet”

Brad hugged Milly, picked her up, and twirled her. “Why do we have to wait before we can tell Tilly and Tyler?”. Milly asked him to take the parka, ear muffs, and goalie mask off. As Brad was putting those particular items back in the clothes cupboard Milly answered his question.

“Since I have two false pregnancies behind me my doctor asked me to wait two more weeks. If my period still hasn’t appeared it be official. Then we can tell them. In two weeks you and I have an appointment with my doctor. She wants us to write down every question we can think of when it comes to having a baby. But I need to tell you something. When some women get pregnant they lose all interest in sex. Some go sex crazy. So my doctor wants you on vitamins. And she wants us to pounce as often as possible.”

Brad was puzzled and started scratching his head.

“Sorry kitten. I don’t follow. If you really are pregnant why does she want us to behave like sex-crazed teenagers?”.

“She’s of the belief that just in case my hormones aren’t quite sure what to do she hopes yours will be able to convince them I’m pregnant. So do you want to do any convincing tonight?”.

“Absolutely.”

Let The Word Go Forth

Milly rang the doorbell at her mom and dads house. As they waited for somebody to answer the door Brad turned to Milly and confided quietly that he was scared.

“I’ve never really thought of being a father before. It’s a daunting job being responsible for another life. I don’t have a clue about being a parent. But at the same time, I can hardly wait. Am I making any sense kitten?”

Milly thought a short while, brought her hands up to her mouth, warmed her hands with her breath then turned to her husband. “I’m going to come clean. I’m positively terrified. I haven’t the faintest idea what it is to be a mother. I just know I want to be one. I’ve read about what to expect but putting theory into practice are two very different things.” Tilly, Milly’s mother, answered the door.

When she answered the door she put her head behind the door and started berating her husband. “Tyler Shine. The kids are here for dinner. Why didn’t you answer the door? It’s freezing out there.” Tilly ushered the two inside apologizing for her husband. When she closed the inside door there was a very distinctive click. Tilly put the chain lock back on the door. From an area near the door was the sound of a toilet flushing. As Tyler appeared he did his belt up. Milly kissed her father. Brad shook his hand. “When mother nature calls there’s not much you can do but obey.” Brad chuckled. “I know exactly what you mean sir. Those twelve-hour stints in the operating room are murder.” Tilly took the jackets and lay them on the bed in the master bedroom. A scowl covered Tyler’s face. “Hey. I thought we agreed you would stop calling me sir.” Brad apologized. “Sorry, Tyler. A minor slip of the lip.”

Tyler asked Brad what he’d like to drink. However, when he asked Milly she declined any kind of beverage. Tyler was surprised and suspicious. “What’s this? You’re saying no to mineral water? Somebody mark this day on the calendar. It could be a momentous occasion.” Milly asked her parents to have a seat in the living room. Milly and Brad stood in the door frame. Milly held her husband’s hand. She could feel the nervous sweat on his palms. “You don’t know how right you are. This is a very special occasion. Sometime this fall you’re going to have a grandchild. Brad and I are pregnant!”

Tilly rushed over and kissed her daughter.

Tyler shook the hand of his son-in-law. Then he turned to his daughter and kissed her. “Well, your mother wants to know if we should get some of your things out of storage, or if it’s going to be a boy?” he asked.

Milly thought about what to say. “We don’t know and we don’t want to know. We want to be surprised. But your grandchild will be born in Scotland. Our contacts were sold to Highland Central. As of July 1, we’ll be working for Fergus. He bought our contracts from Druk. He’s having a cottage retro-fit for a waiting room, and an examining room. So when you come over for a visit in the summer to help with the move you’ll be able to see the baby right after I deliver. The cottage, Foster Cottage, will be an urban off-shoot of the hospital. We’ll fix cuts and scrapes on the first floor and live on the second.”

Tyler got out of the chair he was in and went downstairs. When he returned he was carrying a champagne bottle. He walked over to Brad and Milly who were sitting on a rose-colored love seat and started talking to them both. “When Milly was born my father gave me two bottles of champagne. One was consumed when Milly was born. The second bottle was for when she announced she was going to be a mother. I think this qualifies as that occasion.” Tyler poured the contents into four champagne flutes. As he distributed the glasses Milly still declined. “I know this is a special occasion but I don’t want to jinx things. But I will have some mineral water.”

A few minutes later Tilly announced the roast was ready. Brad volunteered to carry the roast in. “I’ll do the honors, Tilly. Milly’s doctor wants me in tip-top shape for the next nine months.” When he entered the dining room Tyler started asking questions. “Tell me, Brad. Has there been any morning sickness?” Tilly asked the first of many that evening. “Any special cravings yet or is it too soon for that?” Brad looked at Milly who the questions were really fielded to. “No morning sickness so far. My doctor says some women just don’t get morning sickness at all. As for cravings, I’ll let Brad tell you about that. I’ve got to go to the pregnant ladies room.” As Milly walked away there was a small smirk on her face. As she walked away she heard Brad start talking. “So far the cravings have been pretty tame. Rocky Road Ice Cream-“

“Oh, that doesn’t sound bad at all. When I was pregnant I had some very strange cravings. I won’t tell you what they were. It was an experience best forgotten.”

“As I was saying Milly has had cravings for Rocky Road Ice Cream and shrimp.”

Tyler covered his mouth and ran for the bathroom in the basement. Tilly apologized for him. “Tyler was very squeamish when I was expecting. Poor thing was almost in worse shape than I was. But how are you doing? How are you feeling?”

“Milly’s doctor has me on all sorts of vitamins. As Milly nears her due date she’ll be doing less. So I have to pick up the slack.” Tilly dabbed her mouth with her serviette. “And so it should be. It used to be the father does his thing then sits back for nine months while the wife goes through hell. It’s high time men carried a lot more of the load.”

Brad looked to see if Tyler had returned. He hadn’t so Brad continued talking about Milly’s unusual cravings.

“There’s a deli down the street from the apartment. After Milly ordered Rocky Road and shrimp a few times they sort of figured things out. They have changed the menu slightly and added a “Milly Special”. They’re open twenty-four hours so they are really convenient. If it’s three in the morning she phones in the order and I pick it up.”

Tilly was transfixed and didn’t notice her husband coming slowly up the stairs. “One time they didn’t did have shrimp and Milly said “surprise me””. When I picked up the order the deli folks told me they put in squid. When I saw her chowing down on squid it sort of made me feel like Tyler.”

As soon as Tyler heard this he knocked on the floorboards and pointed downwards. Tilly started giggling at her husband’s dilemma. “I wonder if I should check on him. I’m going to say something and I don’t want Milly to know. Her father was a complete basket-case when I had my cravings. Tyler and I had to eat in separate rooms. He just wasn’t prepared to be a father.”

Milly returned. “Forget everything I said about not having morning sickness. Sprog just said hello.”

Tilly was mystified. “Who or what is Sprog or is that of those new 21st century things I keep hearing about on the news?”.

Brad dealt with this question. “Since Milly and I don’t want to know the sex of the baby we gave the baby a sexless name. We didn’t want to say “baby” all the time, and we really did not want to call the baby “it”.”

Tilly was concerned. “Are you sure it was morning sickness? It’s seven-thirty in the evening.” Milly sat down and looked a little pale. “Since I became pregnant we’re now living in the Sprog time zone. He seems to think it’s morning.”

Tilly just about jumped out her chair when she heard the word “He”.

“You just said the word he. Does that mean you think it’s a boy?”.

“Sorry. It’s just a figure of speech. I don’t know. Brad doesn’t know, and my doctor doesn’t know the sex of the baby. It’s still too early to tell.”

“Surely you have a preference. I’ve got to get knitting. I’ve got to know the color.”

*****

One month later Milly was undergoing another ultrasound.

“I’m going to put the gel on your tummy. If you want to see “Sprog” just raise your head a bit. The monitor is near your feet.”

As Milly’s doctor passed the ultrasound camera over her tummy she could hear the heartbeat of her unborn child. Brad watched the monitor and started crying when he heard the heartbeat.

Milly’s doctor was surprised to see Brad crying.

“Well, this a switch. Usually, it’s the mother who goes all to pieces during one of these scans. The father is stoic as can be and grins like a fool. It’s re-refreshing to see this role reversal.”

Brad a quick reply.

“Milly isn’t the only one whose hormones are doing gymnastics. I’m human too.”

Milly’s doctor put on her glasses and studied the monitor. “Well, everything’s accounted for. Ten fingers and ten toes. Heartbeat is great. I think you’re good to go. The doctor in Strathpeffer is Dr. Dinah Ransom.”

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.”

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.”

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 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.

Chapter 14 – Summons From A Far

Not long after breakfast the following morning Brad and Milly walked arm in arm around the MacTaggert estate. They were enjoying the fresh air. Soon after the walk began Tilly joined them. She hooked one arm in Milly’s and the other in Brad’s. She was grinning from ear to ear. After only a few seconds she started talking.

“A son. At long last, I’m going to have a son.”

Milly could not believe her ears. She unhooked her arm and put her hands on her hips and let her mother have it with both barrels.

“Hey!” she said in indignation. “Well, I’m sorry I was so much of a disappointment!” Milly was hurt and started sniffling.

Tilly quickly realized she could have phrased her last sentence far better. She unhooked from Brad, dropped back a few paces, hooked her arm back in her daughters and caught up to Brad. When all three were connected again she elaborated.

“That’s not what I meant at all. Before we were married your father and I talked a lot about children. Neither of us wanted just one. Being only children ourselves we knew that was a pretty lonely existence. We wanted a boy and a girl. But after you were born I was advised not to have any more children. Without going into detail let’s just say there was something wrong with me. So we didn’t try. That’s what I meant when I said: “at long last, I’m going to have a son”. You’ve got to stop taking things so literally.”

Milly looked at her mother and pointed at Brad.

“So you were talking about Brad?”

“Exactly! Have you two talked about children?”

Milly looked at Brad and Brad pointed back at Milly. “Sounds like your mom has a question.”

“Brad and I have talked about children. Just like you and daddy we both want two children. We both feel this way because we’re both only children and being the only kid in the house was lonely. When Brad and I were discussing the matter we both agreed that not having someone else near your own age to talk to was lonely.”

“All right. What about a date? Have you set a date? Do you have a place in mind for the wedding? Have either you thought about where you want to honeymoon?”

“I haven’t given any of those questions much thought. Things sort of happened pretty quickly. But I suspect Milly has a few dozen thoughts about those questions Mrs. Shine.” said Brad.

“I want you to call me Tilly from this moment on. I don’t want to hear you call me Mrs. Shine anymore.”

“Tilly it is. You have no idea how much weight you just took off my shoulders. I’ve been trying to figure out what I should call you all morning.” Brad pointed to Milly. “She’s your mom so I suggest you field this question as well Kitten.”

But before Milly had a chance to utter one syllable Tilly interrupted.

“That’s one thing I wanted to ask you, Brad. I couldn’t help but notice that you called Milly “Kitten” several times last night. Does it have any special significance?”

Brad had to think fast. Milly didn’t want her mom to know the true reason for the name. Brad was fast discovering Milly’s mom could be quite a handful at times.

“When we were landing Milly was holding my hand so tightly her fingernails or “claws” dug into my hand. Plus her hair is so soft. A trait I suspect she gets from her mother. So I call her “Kitten”. It’s sort of pet name pardon the pun. When I say something and begin or end it with the word “Kitten” she knows either I’m talking to her or the sentence was meant just for her.”

She quickly turned her head and looked at Milly. “And what do you call Brad?” she asked.

“I’ve decided to call him “Hon”. This way he knows what I’m saying is meant just for him. I tried “Honey” a few times but too many people call their significant others “Honey”. But let’s get back to your question about the wedding, and the honeymoon. Just after we arrived at Bosworth Hall I thought it would be a simply gorgeous place for the wedding. But since we arrived here at Dr. MacTaggerts estate I’m thinking this might a good place too.”

“When I heard you stopped in Bosworth Market I couldn’t possibly figure out why. Why did you go there?”

This time Milly motioned for Brad to deal with this question. “Take it away, Hon.”

After going “Ah” a few times Brad came up with an answer that wasn’t far from the truth.

“We stopped there so I could attend to Foster family business. Most of it was legal jargon that makes my eyes glaze over. But I was asked to attend to it.”

“Reminds me of the very first time I read a legal contract. It almost put me to sleep. Doctors talk with Latin terms, and lawyers say thee, thou, wherefore, and whatnot far too much. It makes me wonder why people can’t talk in plain English. It’s simply bewildering.” offered up Tilly.

Brad tried to explain why doctors use Latin but stopped after he saw Milly shaking her head and putting a finger to her lips. She quietly confided “Don’t bother trying to explain. You’ll only get a headache. She’s convinced all doctors are hiding a deep dark secret. If she ever asks you to explain a prescription to her make up some sort of excuse not to. She once asked my father to explain it to her and they got in a fight that lasted for hours.”

Tilly steered the conversation back to the subject of children. “Ever since I found out you two were engaged I’ve been dreaming of grandchildren Tyler and I could spoil.” She lessened the grip she had on their waists and grabbed a handful grabbed a handful of their buttocks. The surprise made Brad and Milly stop dead in their tracks, go white with shock, their eyes widen and their eyebrows rocket straight up. Before Tilly walked away she had one last parting shot for Brad and Milly. “Come you two snap it up. I’m not getting any younger. And don’t forget your vitamins tonight Brad!” When Milly came out of shock she saw Brad staring at her. “Does your mother normally do that?”

“She most certainly does not!”

“I think you better ask if her if she’s feeling alright.”

Milly ran to catch up to her mother.

“Mother, I demand you stop this very instant. Are you on any kind of medication because if you’re not I’m not a friggin’ baby factory and Brad’s not a gelding out to stud. I think you owe both of us an apology. Your conduct was worse than ours!”

After a short conversation in which Tilly left in tears, Milly returned to Brad’s side. “She says she’s on an experimental HRT therapy, started to cry and tore off in tears. I think it’s fair to say being goosed by one’s own mother is an adverse effect. I’ll ask daddy if he knows who her doctor is. This reaction needs to be reported.”

******

Most of the day Brad and Milly was spent exploring the vast MacTaggert estate and talking about children, possible places for the wedding as well as possible locations to go honeymoon. Some of the talks were very serious but most of them were lighthearted. After all, they on vacation and in love. They walked hand in hand over many hills. During one of Brad’s rare tree climbing attempts he asked Milly a question.

“It’s about an hour and a half before dinner. Want to join me for a swim?” Brad asked Milly.

“Sure thing. And have I got a surprise for you.”

Brad turned his head slightly and closed one eye.

“Why do I have an uneasy feeling about this “surprise?” asked Brad.

“Oh trust me on this. When you find out what this surprise is you won’t be uneasy at all.”

“OK. Now you’ve got me really wondering. Before we left I found your bikini and I urged you to take it out because I thought there wouldn’t be a pool. And I’ve only seen one bikini shop and that was in Bosworth Market and you were sick and didn’t go there. So the only thing I can think of is you got some sort of bikini that can also be used as lingerie. Am I close?”

“Not telling. You just have to wait.”

Brad and Milly walked back to the estate. Milly was happy and grinning from ear to ear. Every time Brad offer up a guess Milly was silent and it was tearing him up inside. And this made Milly all the happier.

******

When Brad and Milly returned to the house they swiftly returned to their bedroom. Brad stripped down and put on the suit supplied to him by Jamie. Milly looked for a small package that was in her suitcase. When she found it she made an announcement that caught Brad by surprise.

“I’m going into the bathroom to change. I don’t want you to see it till we’re alone in the pool.”

“Oh for Pete’s sake. You know what you’re doing don’t you?”. He started pacing trying to figure out this mystery. He eventually sat down in a chair and looked like he was pouting.

Milly had closed the bathroom door only partially. She wanted to hear Brad protest. And as she changed he did a lot of protesting. All of a sudden she heard a knock at the door. After Brad put on his robe he answered the door. It was Tilly.

“I just wanted to apologize-”

Brad put up his hand and interrupted her.

“Milly told me all about what happened and as far as I’m concerned the matter is history. Old news. Closed. You simply had a bad reaction to some experimental medication. You have absolutely nothing to apologize for. But I would suggest you contact your doctor today to let her know about it.”

Tilly threw herself in Brad’s arms and kissed him on the cheek. Milly came out of bathroom clad in a fluffy robe supplied by Jessica.

“Where are you two off to?” she asked

Before Milly could say anything Brad answered Tilly. “Milly and I are off to try out the pool Jamie told us about. Why don’t you get your suit and join us?”

Brad’s suggestion threw Milly into a panic. But she did a good job of hiding it.

“I’m afraid not. I still don’t feel quite myself. Plus I didn’t bring my suit.”

When Tilly stopped talking she hugged Brad again then Milly. When she hugged her daughter she whispered quietly “Hang on to him. He’s a keeper.” When Brad closed the door Milly hugged him from behind. “I’m pretty sure mom likes you. A lot! Thank you for saying what you did.”

Milly and Brad marched out of their room.

“You’re going to be in front of me. You are not getting even the tiniest of peeks.” As they walked down the wood-paneled hall they passed Jessica. “And where are you two going?” Brad flinched and threw up his arms. “Beats me. I thought we were going to the pool but Milly seems hell-bent on inflicting a little premarital torture.” Milly turned around undid her robe and flashed Jessica. This caught her by surprise and she uttered a quiet “oh my” and laughed. “I think you’ll live Brad.”

When they got to the pool they were still walking in single file with Brad at the front and Milly close behind. As Brad opened the door to the Pool room they both discovered it was enormous and it had a roof that enabled it to be used year round. The room was also empty. The walls were solid so nobody had to be concerned about anybody looking in at them. Brad and Milly were the only ones in the Pool room. Milly slipped a “Do Not Disturb” on the door handle, a sign she had “appropriated” from Bosworth Hall. As Brad stepped onto the cool ceramic floor Milly issued some final instructions.

“OK. We’re here. Now I want you to wade into the pool till the water is about waist height. At that point, you are to stop and turn around. Then you are to close your eyes. Absolutely no peeking. Only when I’m satisfied you’ve done all that will take off my robe and get into the pool with you. Have you got all that?”

“Yes, Mademoiselle. You sure you don’t want to walk on my hands too?”

“This is no joking matter. This is really important to me so no clowning around, OK hon?”

When Brad heard those last two words, “OK hon?”, he realized this was no ordinary dip in the pool. But he couldn’t resist just a little clowning around. He took off his robe and tossed it on a bench. He then dipped his foot just below the surface.

“Holy friggin’ Frostbite!” he said.

“Oh please say it’s not cold,” asked Milly now concerned a bit.

“It’s not, just wet.”

Milly squinted at him and stuck her tongue out at him to show her displeasure. “Keep walking laughing boy.”

While Brad was trying to obey orders Milly heard a sudden change in his breathing. He suddenly inhaled very deeply. “Holy sleet!”

Concerned that Brad might be having a heart attack she asked if anything was wrong. “I’m fine. But the “Twins” just noticed a very sudden temperature change.”

Milly couldn’t help but laugh. But she knew the same thing was going to happen to her. When she took off her robe and tossed it on the bench it made a muffled thump. Brad noticed this and turned his head slightly. “Ah, Company is coming.”

He heard Milly step into the water. Brad started singing “Here she comes, getting in the pool.” “What’s that from hon?” “I forget. It’s from something MTV aired a lot in the nineties. I’m going down. The air is kind of chilly.”

“OK. But keep your head above water. I want you to see me when I tell you to open your eyes. But please keep them shut for now.”

“OK. Will do. Do you know every time you take a step your body creates a tiny wave I can feel on my nose and I can smell your perfume.”

Milly moved slowly towards Brad. She stopped moving when her bikini top was one inch away from the tip of his nose. A tiny wave crashed on Brad’s face.

“OK. Open your eyes hon. Just remember there’s a real echo in here”

When Brad opened his eyes he saw Milly was wearing a sheer, almost see through bikini.

“Have I told you-you’re the most gorgeous woman in the world today? Because if I haven’t I’m blind.”

Milly smiled and started to laugh.

“Let’s see. Today you’ve called me gorgeous, edible and tasty. So far today you’re three for three. Not bad, but I wouldn’t mind hearing more.” Brad pretended to think. “Let’s see. You’ve also the most fantastic breasts in the world. If you didn’t have that top on I’d want to suck those nipples.”

Milly pulled her top down and lifted out a breast and put the nipple in front of Brad’s mouth. “Here you go Hon, suck,” she said softly. As Brad sucked she felt her nipple become slowly become erect and she threw her head back in delight. She looked down at Brad and caressed his face. She put her hands at the back of his head and kept his mouth near her nipple. She didn’t realize until she had done it but she was trying to nurse Brad.

“You know something, Brad? I just realized I was trying to nurse you. Did you mind me doing that?” Brad looked at her with surprise. “I didn’t realize it either. Maybe it was the maternal instinct in you. You know you’re hungry and maybe the part of you that wants to be a mother reasoned I must be hungry too. And you took out your breast out of pure instinct. Do I mind? You’ve got to be kidding. Your breasts are just perfect. I love what you did for me. There’s something intoxicating about your breasts. I don’t think I could ever get enough of them or ever get bored of seeing them or sucking them.”

“Why do you like sucking my breasts,” she asked.

“I suppose it’s a memory left over from when we’re babies. A breast is warm, comforting, soft, and can mean nourishment. You have it too I think.”

“I must. I love sucking yours when we’re making love or in the shower. You’re wonderfully tasty. Not too salty either. Like Goldilocks said you’re “just right””.

The two had drifted into deep water and Milly tucked her breast inside her top.

While Brad watched Milly put things in order he tried to figure out how to phrase a question.

“Is the rest of this bikini just as pleasing?” asked Brad.

“I’m not going to tell you. You’ll have to find out yourself.” she smiled.

Brad went completely underwater and swam between Milly’s legs. He ran his hand up the inside of her leg. When his hands was at that spot where the buttocks met “her” Brad discovered just how sheer the bikini truly was. Milly shivered and held on to the side of the pool while Brad’s hands explored her body. Brad pushed his hand down the front of Milly’s bikini bottom.

I knew he was going to go there first.” she thought.

But when Brad pulled her bottoms down just far enough to kiss her behind the thought was somewhat different.

I didn’t expect that but I sort of like it.”

Milly started to quiver when Brad’s hands started venturing beneath the bikini bottoms. He had just started teasing “her” with his fingers but had to come up for air. Milly made sure her back was to the only door in the room. She then asked Brad to tread water in front of her using only his legs.

“Finish the job with your finger Hon,” she asked.

She pushed his hand down the front of her bikini bottom. She could feel Brad search for “her” and when he found “her” he started stroking and caressing “her”. Milly started to feel a tingly feeling up and down her back. Brad watched her face as her eyes rolled into the back of her head. Milly pulled Brads head towards her and they began passionately kissing. “Oh, Jesus…I’m coming!” she said softly. She pressed her face into the surface of the water and moaned while Brad pushed deeper inside her. Milly felt a feeling rise from deep within her. She pulled Brad’s finger out and took her bottoms off. She pressed Brad’s hand against her clit. And just like the time three weeks earlier in Brad’s apartment she rubbed his hand ferociously against it. She felt a gigantic release and almost passed out. But she felt tired and refreshed at the same time. Milly started gripping the side of the pool very strongly.

Brad asked her why she got this particular bikini.

“You should have seen yourself in that lingerie store. You got all sweaty and you looked like you were about to pass out. I got this bikini to help you with your lingerie-phobia. You may want to get me something really racy or naughty but be too shy to actually do it. I want you to feel comfortable in a lingerie store.”

Brad tread water while he wiped water from his face and eyes. “Speaking of doing it, was that the only reason you got this bikini?”

Milly went beet red as she had just been caught red-handed with her hand in the cookie jar. “Well, there was another. But you didn’t do it. I was hoping you were going to take the bottoms off and make love to me.”

“Kitten, I certainly thought about it. Especially after you pushed my hands all over you. But I couldn’t go where I wanted to go. Plus I didn’t have a condom. You and I both float. If “he” had gone inside “her” there would be no guarantee “he” could have come out in time before he came. And I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t want the question “I wonder if I’m pregnant” on your mind for a few months. “Doing it” in a pool or the sea may sound romantic as hell but sea water, as well as pool water, washes away our natural lubricants. Was “she” a bit sore after we did it in the shower?”

Milly was teary-eyed because she knew Brad was right. She didn’t want to wonder for a few months. And she reluctantly nodded her head.

“We can try it again in the shower, I’m certainly game for that, but I think we should talk about it more before we make a plan. Try to make things more enjoyable for both of us.”

They both got out of the pool and sat on the edge of it

Brad didn’t know it but he was wearing a Speedo swimsuit. As he was talking she moved her fingers around the outline of “Him”. She ran her fingernails over “him” and got “him” more and more excited. Brad didn’t have to ask what she was doing plus he couldn’t have asked if he tried. She had seen to that. Milly reached down and started to undo the knot securing his swimsuit.

Brad lay on the tile floor of the pool room it with his suit around his thighs. Milly returned from the ladies room. Milly stopped, put her hands on her hips and looked down at Brad.

“You certainly were a horny little devil today. And a good one at that.”

Brad realized she really wanted to make love and that he wanted it to happen as well. “We can try again after dinner. But I need time to recover too. But I really want to talk to you privately after dinner. I have an idea about the wedding.” When he stopped talking he looked up at the clock.

“Holy Fuzzbucket. It’s fifteen minutes till dinnertime.”


Ok folks, here’s the situation. I want to become a better writer so I can give you better stories. But that’s not going to happen if you don’t tell me what you do like, or what you don’t like. Its really simple. You leave a **comment** by clicking on the words in red letters “Leave a comment” at the beginning of every post. The post may reload, but if you scroll to the bottom of the post a text box will appear. Write your comment in there. When you’re finished click or tap the words “post comment”. That it. It’s that easy. I’m not interested in collecting email addresses, nor am I going to pepper you with a lot of email.

Right now I have 39 followers. And with each chapter I write I get about five people who say they liked the chapter. That’s fine. But I need to know what you did like, what you didn’t like, something that help me become a much better writer, and give you a much better read. Alright. I’ve said what I needed to say. I’ll get off my soapbox.  -Tom


Chapter 13 – Summons From A Far

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As Brad and Milly drove toward the town of Strathpeffer they kept a sharp eye on the road. Driving through the mountains for the first time gave Milly her first real case of white-knuckle driving. You could be on the road and the skies would be blue. All you had to do was turn a corner and the environment could change instantly. Clouds had the nasty habit of appearing from nowhere.

Brad tried to help with the navigating as the GPS system was still acting up. It didn’t help when a motorist who knew the roads passed Milly at 100 KPH or 60 MPH. Brad decided to be quiet and let Milly concentrate. About half an hour later and a few nerves later they passed the boundary stone that marked the beginning to the town. But it wasn’t long before the discovered the true meaning of traffic jam, just as Jamie and Jessica had forecast. More sheep than Milly had seen in her entire life suddenly appeared in the cloud/mist. Most were spray painted with a blue number. The car went from 100 KPH to a slow crawl to a dead stop.

Loch na Cuilce and Loch Coruisk with Black Cuillin in the background, Isle of Skye, Scotland

“I don’t believe this. There are thousands of sheep everywhere! Everywhere you look you see sheep. So that what those two meant! They’re so cute but there are so many.” she said wide-eyed her brain finding what she was seeing incomprehensible.

Brad rifled through some papers. “If you all talking about all those four-legged dinners running around you’re in for a bit of a surprise Kitten. According to those info packs the dragon lady gave us there are just over 5.5 million people in all of Scotland. And 6.6 million sheep. There are apparently over fourteen thousand farms that deal exclusively with sheep so I think we can count on seeing a great many more. And since we’re here for two months it might be a good idea that we both get used to the aroma”.

“Well I don’t know about you but I glad someone -I mean something has been busier than we have. Jeepers!”

Welcome to Strathpeffer

As they drove into town Brad asked for directions to Dr. MacTaggert’s house. The response was far from what they expected. A woman leaned down and gave Milly some instructions on driving to the house.

“The MacTaggert house you say? So that’s what the old boy is calling it now. Just stay on this road. The MacTaggert Estate is at the end of the road and at the very top.” The woman stood up and simply walked off.

“They didn’t sound too friendly as soon as I mentioned Dr. MacTaggert. I don’t think Dr. Fergus MacTaggert has particularly endeared himself to the local population.” Brad said quietly to Milly.

They drove slowly along the road. Some people gestured at them in a cryptic manner, while some made gestures that were understood easily understood in any language. “What in heavens name have we done to be treated this way!. We haven’t been here an hour” asked Milly.

Brad was far from pleased. “If I had known about this kind of reception I think I would have turned down the offer to come here.”

Milly suddenly looked at Brad. “Does that include what I think it does?”.

Brad collected his thoughts before he responded.

“When I proposed to you it was the best day of my life. I love you more than you will ever know. I feel we’ve known each other for a very long time yet I know it has been a whirlwind romance. I want you to become part of my life so we can have a life together. Besides Dr. Brad Foster only puts on a kilt for one very special woman, one very sexy Kitten.” Brad didn’t know it but Milly had been holding her breath.

“Phew…am I glad you said, Kitten. For a second there I thought you were talking…” Milly’s voice trailed off when she caught sight of their destination.

“Holy Highland Fuzzbucket! We’re staying in a friggin’ castle!”

Brad rolled down the car door window and looked at the MacTaggert estate. The house had ivy crawling up the exterior and a large tower with four spires. Milly had purchased a small digital camera and took a photo of the estate for her parents. While Milly snapped away in total awe of the MacTaggert estate she saw Jessica come running from the house.

“I see you, Dr. Milly Shine! Present fingers!” yelled Jessica. She ran down the road “I want to see that ring.”

As Jessica ran towards the car Milly started to cringe. Dreading it she turned to Brad. She touched his hand.

“Oh, crud. She must have seen me,” said Milly not looking forward to what was about to happen. She turned to Brad and held his hand.

“I guess this is confession time hon. During my entire life, I’ve never really understood why women go all to pieces when they see another woman’s engagement for the first time. Sure I’m happy for them but I have never understood the need to all to go berserk.”

As Jessica neared the shrieking started and Milly got out of the car. She steadied her hand while Jessica oohed and awed. Then Milly noticed a ring on Jessica’s ring finger. Milly grabbed hold of it and after examining it intensely she told her it was gorgeous. She hugged Jessica.

“Brad and I wish you and Jamie all the happiness. When did he ask you?”

“Yesterday. May I have permission to give your man a great big kiss?”

Milly was about to give her permission when curiosity struck. She just had to know what Brad had to do with the proposal.

“Now you have me stumped. What does Brad have to do with Jamie asking you to marry you?”

Jessica took a breath then started with the explanation.

“When Jamie was helping Dr. Foster get dressed Jamie let it slip he was thinking of asking me, but he added that his father wanted to marry within the clan. Jamie made it clear that he wanted to ask me but was afraid to do so because of his father. Then your man reminded Jamie that he if he loved me and if he asked me to be his wife then he’s going to married to me and not his father. That’s when Jamie realized his father would simply have to accept the marriage or risk losing a son, a daughter-in-law, and any wee bairns that happen along.”

Milly turned to Brad and looked into his eyes. “Did you really say that?”

Brad to brush off the significance. “It was just guy talk. Nothing special.” Milly stood still, looked at Brad then said: “Sometimes you know just what to say.” Then Milly hugged Brad. But she soon turned her attention back to Jessica.

Milly then shook Jessica. “Well, what did Fergus say?”

Jessica was silent for a while. “He hasn’t said anything. He said he’ll give us his answer at dinner tonight. He’s been sitting in his study like quiet as a sphinx. But let’s get your bags out.” Just then Jamie appeared in the doorway with a steel reinforced cart with a small note attached “Milly’s Trolley”.

Milly put her hands in her pockets and walked over to him. “Something tells me you’re never going to forgive me are you?” she said rocking on her feet.

“Och lass, how could I hold a grudge agin you? Permission to kiss the bride-to-be?” Jamie looked at Brad who closed his eyes and nodded quickly. Jessica surprised Brad with a kiss. Her particular brand of lipstick left lipstick on his cheeks. Milly quickly took some Kleenex from her pocket and rubbed it off. She turned around, faced Jessica and said: “This one’s taken and he’s all mine.”

After Jamie showed them to their room he informed Brad and Milly about tonight. “Tonight is a full-dress dinner. Brad is to wear a kilt. Milly, you’re being asked to wear best evening frock you’ve got. My father is going to give us his answer tonight. Jess and I are terrified he’s going to be stubborn as a mule. After you’ve unpacked Jess and I want to give you a tour of the estate.”

Twenty minutes later as Milly and Brad walked down the hall they were joined by Jessica who was already wearing her kilt. She couldn’t help but give Brad a little grief. “And where is your kilt, Dr. Foster? I hope you don’t need a refresher course on how to get dressed?” Milly stifled a laugh and sniffed a bit. “And you young lady. Why are you not dressed for dinner? Jamie and I need your support tonight more than ever.” Brad couldn’t help but chuckle at the dressing down Milly was getting. “And you young man. You would be wise to stop chortling and puffing like a steam engine.” Brad saluted. “Yes, Miss McCloud.” Milly gave Brad a light tap in the ribs with her elbow. When Jessica was a few paces in front of them Milly whispered  painfully quietly to Brad. “I think she means business. Maybe it might be wise to get dressed now. I know dinner isn’t for another two hours but this isn’t your ordinary Sunday dinner. At least two lives will be profoundly changed by what happens tonight. We don’t know what Fergus is going to say.” Milly and Brad took a rain check on the tour and retreated to their room to change.

Brad put his “highland monkey suit” over a wooden chair to get the creases out. Milly changed into a copy of the evening gown she wore Brad proposed. By the time she was fully dressed Brad started moaning.

“Nuts. Now she’ll have my guts for garters. It’s still got too many creases.” Milly rolled her eyes. “You men. What would you do without us? Put the kilt in the bathroom. Make sure it’s hanging straight down. Then turn on the hot water in the tub and in the shower. In fifteen minutes it should be as right as rain. A little steam will smooth things out.”

As the steam smoothed out the creases Brad got dressed exactly as Jamie showed him. Then he made a fatal mistake. Milly was standing closest to the wounded sporran when Brad asked her to pass the sporran to him. She noticed that it weighed a great deal more than it should.

“Why does this thing weigh so much?”

Brad eyed the ceiling and took a deep breath.

“That’s because it contains your very first wedding gift.”

Milly opened it in a flash. She looked in and saw a small smooth stone.

“Are you saying someone gave me a rock?” she asked.

Then Brad explained the rock was for. Milly started snickering which quickly grew into hysterics.

“You mean somebody gave you a rock to control your rocks?”. Brad then said he was instructed to give it to Milly on their honeymoon. He also said it came from Jamie and Jessica and that she shouldn’t breathe a word of its existence to anyone until they’re married.

When they were properly attired they waited in the library. Fergus appeared and greeted Brad and Milly. His accent was thick and difficult to follow at times. He was a bit stocky but there was very little fat on his bones. Jessica remarked that Fergus looked very much like “wee Jamie.” A butler named Mason carried in various bottles of spirits as well as a generous supply of scotch. He put the liquor on a side table. He then distributed Champagne flutes to everyone. After that, he filled the glasses with French Champagne. Mason executed his duties, took two steps back and stood a few inches in front of the library wall.

Fergus tapped the side of his Champagne flute and everyone slowly stopped talking. When he started talking Jamie and Jessica held hands hoping he would deal with the matter that concerned them.

“I’m more than aware that you’d all like to me to say something particular about the beautiful Jessica McCloud and my son Jamie. But I’m goin’ to ask you to be a little more patient. I’d like to welcome our guests from across the Atlantic. I’d like you to welcome Dr. Brad Foster and his bride-to-be Dr. Milly Shine.”

There was an applause, but it sounded louder than it should have.

“When I suggested this temporary trade with the administrator of our sister hospital I had no idea we were about to be graced with such beauty. So with no more beatin’ around the bush may I also present Dr. Druk Macbeth. Which brings me to the conclusion of this speech-”

There was a great deal of clapping and some whistling. Fergus continued talking.

“When I learned Dr. Foster and Dr. Shine had become engaged something twigged in my memory. A long time ago, a very long time ago, when paper was still used I went to med school with a very wise man. He always knew just what to say and how to say it. In fact, he came second in my class at med school. I came third. For some time now I’ve suspected him of some…certain shenanigans shall we say with regards to who really came second and really came third. Milly, when I found it was you who were comin’ I checked my med school yearbook. And sure enough, the man who bested me at med school was your father!”

Milly looked shell-shocked. She had no idea her father went to med school with her soon to be albeit temporary boss.

Fergus picked up where he left off.

“I wanted to know more about you so I contacted your mother and father. And they graciously accepted my invitation to this little get-together. So it gives me immense pleasure to introduce my lifelong friend Dr. Tyler Shine and his lovely wife Tilly.”

Dr. Shine and his wife and his stepped out of the shadows and were handed Champagne flutes by Mason. Brad studied Tyler. And Tyler glowered at him. Tyler motioned he wanted to talk with Brad. When the applause started to die down Fergus resumed talking.

“Alright, before anybody starts hoping that I’ll run out of air it has come to my attention that I must say something about the beautiful Jessica and my wee Jamie. Yes, it’s true I wanted wee Jamie, no let me correct that, my son Jamie to marry within the clan MacTaggert. But my son is no longer “wee Jamie”. He’s a grown man, and more than able to make his own decisions. So with the help of Tyler and Tilly, I discussed the situation. No has ever said that I’m stubborn, at least not to my face. But I can be extremely narrow-minded at times. With Tilly’s able assistance I remembered when I proposed to Jamie’s mother. I was as nervous as can be, and very concerned about how my own father would react. He too wanted his sons to marry within the clan. But I was stubborn. I wanted a woman from outside the clan. With the help of Tyler and Tilly I learned, I could keep Jessica and Jamie nearby by accepting the engagement, or I could be a stubborn old fool and not accept the engagement.”

Fergus directed his gaze at Jessica and Jamie. “This next part I say to Jamie and Jessica. Jamie, please forgive your father. I canna lose you too. So, if you feel even a tenth of what I felt for your mother you have my permission and my blessing. And to the beautiful Jessica. Knowing what you what you feel for my son it would be a crime if you two didn’t get married. But…I do have one request”

Milly was dabbing her eyes with Kleenex while Brad searched his sporran for a handkerchief to replace the Kleenex. “I knew it. A condition” cursed Milly.

“If you are blessed with a son please do not name him Fergus after me. I hate that name and could only feel pity for the wee bairn. But if you like the name I’m sure there’s a McCloud named Fergus. Now, let’s go to dinner. I’m starving.”

Jessica rushed into the arms of her soon to be father-in-law. “Fergus. You mean so much to both of us. We won’t name anyone Fergus. And thank you for your blessing.” Jamie shook hands with his father. Their eyes communicated what they could not say verbally.

Tyler and Tilly next spoke with Fergus. “Fergus, you grizzled old codpiece. You gave Tilly and me far too much credit. We did very little. All we did was move the debris of the past out of the way and show you your options. You were the one who made the final decision.”

Milly finally got to meet with her mom and dad. She kissed her mother, hugged her father, and introduced Brad. Her mother approved of the choice immediately. Tyler took his time assessing Brad. “I understand you’re the fellow who’s made my little girl so very happy. What’s your specialty? I think you and I should chew the fat. Get to know one another. After all, from my little girl says we’re going to be related.”

******

After dinner, Tyler and Brad adjourned to the driveway to “chew the fat”. Brad was visibly nervous as sweat was on his brow. Both of them walked down the length of the gravel driveway without saying a word. As Tyler walked the sound of the gravel crunching and grinding beneath his feet grew louder and louder.

“Why do you want to marry my daughter?” said Tyler as he stuffed tobacco into his pipe.

“Milly completes me. I love her more than you will ever know. I care about her and I want to see her grow into the marvelous diagnostician I know she can and will be. When I first noticed Milly she was gorgeous. I thought that a woman that good looking must surely have a boyfriend. And that I didn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell with her. We consulted on a few cases, but that was the extent of our medical collaboration. But when she moved into my apartment building I was able to see the woman under the doctor persona. I helped her move into her apartment, and she took an instant liking to my recliner.”

“She was always partial to recliners. I had one in my study when she was a little girl. Whenever it was bedtime my wife or I would almost always find her in my recliner curled up fast asleep. Why do you have one?”

“10-12 hour sessions in the operating room have taken their toll on a disc in my spine. It’s slowly disintegrating.”

“Have you told her what to expect?”

“I’ve tried to Dr. Shine-”

Tyler put his hand up. “We’re going to be related. Try calling me Tyler. I promise I don’t bite or breath fire despite what Milly may have told you.”

“That’s one thing I was hoping we could talk about. Milly has never mentioned your name or your wife’s until I asked her. Up to that point in our relationship you two were always called “mom and dad”. Is there something I should know about?”

“Milly was always fiercely independent. From the time she was a teenager, she was itching to live by herself. As with all teenagers, we butted heads over many an issue. And when I say “by herself” I mean exactly that. No parental strings whatsoever. I can only guess that she found living with only a telephone for company pretty lonely and she sought out companionship. I’m glad she found it. And from what I can tell from our short talk I’m glad she found that companionship in you. But as her father, I’ve got to ask if she knows?”

Brad was puzzled. “What are you talking about Dr….Tyler?

“Have you told her you’re dying?”

Brad stopped dead in his tracks and stared at Tyler. “Why in heavens name would you say that? After my last physical, I was pronounced ship-shape in Bristol fashion. I plan to be around for at least another fifty years!”

Tyler started growling to himself. He reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a single sheet of paper. He also pulled out a pair of reading glasses.

“I have before me a private investigators report. It says your name is Bradley Jefferson Foster. How am I doing so far?”

Brad laughed so hard he had to undo his vest and bend over to catch his breath.

“Not even close. I was born Brad Foster. Not Bradley, and certainly not Jefferson. I don’t have a clue who this poor bugger is but I assure you it is not me. Just what is this private investigators report all about?”

“This so-called report was my wife’s idea. When Milly phones Tilly usually answers. When the talks started to get all lovey-dovey my wife wanted to know more about you. The traditional method is bringing the beau to meet the girls’ parents. When Milly didn’t do that my wife decided to turn into James Bond. Hence this useless pile of crap. I was against the whole thing but you know how mothers can be.”

Brad scratched his nose and shuffled his feet. “No, I don’t. I lost both my parents and an unborn sibling to a drunk driver when I was ten.” Brad continued and told him his life story. Tyler apologized profusely because he was partly responsible. He reluctantly signed the checks. Brad suggested they go in as it was getting somewhat chilly. “I think a Scotch would warm us up.”

“I’m really starting to like you. Any man who drinks Scotch usually has excellent taste.”

Brad asked for and got the report. He wanted to frame the investigators report. “We may need something to laugh about in a few years.”

Chapter 12 – Summons From A Far


“You want to know WHAT!” bellowed Brad. He was more than surprised at the question. Of all the questions Milly had asked nothing, absolutely nothing had prepared him for this particular question.

“You don’t have to bellow like you’re some sort of wounded animal. Teenage boys do it a lot and I was just wondering if the man I’m engaged to still…you know what I’m talking about…help me out here hon”

“Sorry about the volume. You really caught me by surprise. It’s a good thing I’m not driving or I probably would have driven up a tree. I just want to make sure I heard you correctly?”

Milly looked really nervous. Her eyes darted between the road, the dashboard, and the steering wheel. All of a sudden she started talking very quietly.

“Jeez Brad, it’s really a simple question. Did you masturbate when you were a teen, and do you still…do it.”

“We’re the only ones in this car unless we have a trunk full of gnomes I don’t know anything about. So I don’t understand why you’re talking so quietly.”

“Sorry, hon. I didn’t mean to ambush you. It’s just I want to know everything about you. And when I say everything I mean everything with a capital “E”.”

Brad turned to Milly and looked right at the side of her head. “The answer to your question is yes and yes.”

Milly pulled the car off the road and came to full stop.

“You have no idea what asking that question took out of me. I was afraid you’d go into a rage or something. Something I’ve never seen you do. Like, turn into the Incredible Hulk or something. I just want to know why you do it and what it feels like.”

Suddenly a great silence descended. A silence so heavy it was crushing. Milly reached out and gently turned Brads head. She looked right into his eyes. “I’m not judging you. I love you. I just want to know as much as I can about the man I want to spend the rest of my life with.”

Brad sighed heavily and looked at Milly.

“Remember you told me you had x-rated dreams and “she” got very moist?. Well “he” gets so hard sometimes its really uncomfortable and I simply have to do something about it. If a man has an erection for a long time that’s ticket to the hospital for sure. But getting an erection with some sort of aid like Viagra can lead to an erection that lasts for a few hours can lead to cardiac trouble.”

Milly looked shocked. It was obvious this was more than she ever expected. Milly looked at Brad’s crotch.

“I had no idea getting “him” aroused was so dangerous. I won’t do it again. I promise.” Brad kissed her forehead.

“I’m not in need of any help just yet. Please don’t ever stop kitten. You’re doing it just right. It feels very different when you do it.”

Brad continued where he left off.

“Now this parts a little funny. Most of the time when I have to do something about him I fantasize about you wearing a bikini-”

“But you’ve never seen me in a bikini.”

“That’s why its called a fantasy. You and I are on the beach of this tropical island. You can see “his” outline beneath my bathing suit. You come up to me, we start kissing, you put one hand around my neck and shove your other hand way down the front of my bathing suit. All you say is “I want him” and you fondle “the twins”. You do your best to get my suit off. You try to undo the knot holding them up. You try pulling them down but they go down just far enough that “he” peeks out the top. You take off your bikini and jump into my arms hoping “he’s” out far enough to go into “her”. When you discover “he’s” out only far enough to tease “her”, you jump out of my arms and go into the sea, get a sea shell and use the sharp edge to cut off my suit. You cut into it then rip it off. You hop up, wrap your legs around me, and slide down till “he’s” all the way inside you. I’m holding onto your bum and you reach down and fondle “the twins” till he comes inside you. I’d much rather be in your bathing suit and fondling “her” but in this fantasy, you’re the boss.”

Milly started banging her head against the steering wheel. She rested her head against the steering wheel and slowly turned her head to face Brad. Her expression was a combination of frustration and anxiety.

“You know what you’ve done hon?”

“I could hazard a guess. Does it have anything to do with being a little bit moist?”

“A little bit moist!? This kitten has a friggin’ tsunami raging between her legs. What can we do?”

“We can always try making out in a car. Our parents probably did it,” said Brad

Milly look around the car. “I’m not sure we could get anything meaningful done in here. It’s so small. Besides I want my man to do something to me in a bedroom. It’s more romantic that way. Doing it in a car somehow cheapens the experience. I don’t my man to think I’m cheap or easy.”

“You don’t ever have to worry about me thinking that. Well, I can only think of one other solution. We drive till we find an inn, check in, then go mildly crazy. Until then neither of us talks. I’ll turn on the radio and you drive like hell.”

“But I’ll need your raincoat before I can get out. Things are a little more than damp south of the border if you know what I mean and I’m pretty sure you do. And from now on I’ll only ask questions when we’re checked in some place. No more sex talk in the car!”

******

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Very early the following morning and multiple orgasms later the two lay in bed smiling yet fast asleep. Milly lay on top of Brad when suddenly there was a terrific banging against the wall coupled with the sounds of a woman moaning.

“Good Lord! What’s going on?” asked Milly who shook Brad and asked him to listen.

As Milly listened to the moans, something made her start to giggle. Not wearing any clothing she darted to the bathroom to get a glass. She placed the open end against the wall and her ear against the other end. She listened for just a few seconds. She raised her hand to her mouth when she realized just what it might be. By this time Brad had done the same.

“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” asked Milly.

“Yup. Probably a couple of college kids who just got their grades. If they’re like us they’re letting some sexual tension out…among other things”

“They sound like crazed animals. Do we sound like that hon?”

Before Brad answered he looked at the clock. It 4:45 in the morning.

“The very first time we made love we probably gave our neighbors wonderful excuses for their insomnia. The guy is grunting so much its like he really wants to prove something. What do you think about the woman?”

“I know I shouldn’t say this, but I think the woman is just making just a little too much noise. I know this being catty but I have the feeling she worked her way through school on her back.” Milly looked at Brad and noticed “he” was erect. “Does hearing this turn you on?”

Brad thought before he answered.

“Hearing someone else going at it hot and heavy doesn’t really do anything for me. But hearing it makes me want to do something sexual to you. Does that surprise you kitten?”

“Not really. Aural stimuli were mentioned as one of the things that can get “him” aroused. But what is it you want to do to me?”

Brad put the glass down and got back in bed.

“It doesn’t really matter. I’m all out of condoms.”

“Can you get my purse please hon?”

Brad got out of bed and got Milly her purse. When he handed Milly her purse she reached in and pulled out a small packet of condoms. A packet specifically designed for a woman’s purse. She opened the small packet and with two fingers handed Brad the condom.

“OK, now ‘fess up. What on that mind of yours or should I say “his”” she asked.

“Remember when you were in my apartment and “he” climaxed. And things got a bit too moist and we think “she” may have squirted?”

“Do I! I’ve been hoping you would remember. I want to feel that wondrous feeling again. When do you want to try it?”

“Why not right now? We’re not going to get any sleep with that sexual marathon going on next door. So let’s let them knock boots while we get our jollies. The last one in the shower is a rotten egg.”

Milly charged out bed so fast she was able to push Brad into a chair. As Milly stood in the shower Brad stood in the doorway and held the condom packet in his fingers.

“These aren’t my usual brand kitten”.

“I know. They were all out your brand but the woman behind the counter told me these are lubricated so well it’ll warm up fast. Plus it’ll glow in the dark.”

Brad couldn’t help making a comment

“If “he” goes where I want to “him” to go it’ll be dark.”

Brad got in the shower and stood behind Milly. She turned around, faced Brad and got him even more aroused with her hands. She enjoyed putting the condom on “him”. As the water splashed against their bodies her nipples soon became erect and Brad soon started sucking on them.

Milly put Brad’s face gently between her open hands.

“Why do you like sucking them, babe?”

Brad noticed she didn’t call him hon. This concerned him so much he had to ask her why she had called him babe. The answer was pretty simple.

“Until you give me a baby you’re my baby. A giant economy size baby.” Milly gripped “him”. “And before you ask “he’s” just the perfect size for “her”.

Brad let one arm drop and started stroking “her”. Milly pulled his hand down a little further. Brad now fondled her clit. Milly started breathing faster and faster as her excitement grew. Brad now gave her instructions. “Bend over and spread your legs a bit. Hold on to the shower wall.” When Milly bent over Brad started fondling her vagina. He heard sounds he only heard one other time. When looked down he saw her toes curl. Milly said “Put “him” in hon”. Milly could feel “him” go in and out of her. Things were definitely warming up down there. Brad reach around her waist. He put his hand on her tummy just let her know he was there. Milly now had her hands on the glass shower wall. Brad pushed himself inside of Milly. The excitement suddenly started to build. Milly moved his hand from her tummy to her clit. “Do her now” she asked. The feeling was almost more than she could handle. With Brad inside her and stimulating her clit at the same time things just became too much. She felt the hair on her neck go up. And her scalp went all tingly. All of a sudden she said “oh’” three times and a simply gigantic moan followed. Her legs went all rubbery, Brad slipped out, caught her and she made the unearthly sound she had done only one time before. After a few minutes, Milly recovered.

“Holy Fuzzbucket! That felt so good. But it was so intense too. I could feel you behind me, inside me, and touching my clit. You were all over me and it felt friggin’ wonderful. That goes in our repertoire for sure! It felt a dozen orgasms at the same time.”

“That’s when you really came. And you squirted kitten. Not a lot. But lady you most certainly came.”

In the shower

Milly noticed that Brad hadn’t come when he was inside her.

“Perfect time to experiment. Remember when you came inside my mouth?”

“What I remember is that it was a wonderful experience for me, but that it wasn’t so wonderful an experience for my kitten. But you did say something about wanting to try again but you never elaborated on that.”

Milly moved behind Brad. “I want to try something right now. First, take a pee in the shower. I want to make sure your bladder is empty.”

Brad let her rip in the shower. “That’s it?”

“Now I clean “him” very gently with the loofah. I going to pull back some skin so he may be extra sensitive.”

Milly moved in front of Brad and sat on the shower floor. She held “him” with her left hand and gently cleaned “him” with grapefruit soap. The water from the shower washed away any remaining urine from “him”. Milly held “him” under the water and washed away any residual urine with the loofah. She lathered up both her hands. She gently massaged the grapefruit soap on “him”, the “twins”, and his skin. Brad mentioned that what she was doing felt wonderful. Brad slowly started to get erect again. Milly started talking to “him”.

“Good. Be a good boy. Keep going up. This is where the fun begins.” she said.

Milly slowly massaged “him”. As “he” became more erect and Milly put her hand around “him”, she moved the skin up and down slowly. The water from the shower head stimulated “him” and he came even more erect. “Now imagine you’re inside me and you’re not wearing a condom. Think about that and put that image in your mind. “He’s” going in and out very quickly. Do you think he’s going to come?. Milly kissed “his” head.

“Oh god is he!” Brad quivered. “Put your mouth on “him” Brad exclaimed.

Milly put her mouth around him. Within seconds she could feel Brad having a massive orgasm inside her mouth. And this time it was far more enjoyable this time for Milly. So enjoyable she threw both her hands in the air to indicate success. Milly let the sperm drip out the corners of her mouth. After she stood up she put her head under the shower head to dilute the sperm in her mouth. She dropped her head and let it drip out of her mouth to the floor of the shower.

“You have no idea how much I wanted “him” inside. I wanted to feel “her” soaked with your sperm hon. I wanted it so very badly.”

Then Brad said something totally unexpected.

“I want to marry you so badly and to be the father of your children. I wanted “him” be inside “her” so badly. I almost wish you had put your finger inside your mouth then put it in “her”.”

“I thought about it hon. But that’s not the way I want to start our family. I want to feel you on top of me. I want to feel “him”, minus the condom, between my legs and all the way inside me. I want to “him” come in me and feel your sperm searching for an egg.” Brad grabbed her and kissed her so passionately that she felt a shiver and her toes curled. He suddenly dropped to his knees and started kissing her tummy while grasping her thighs. She lifted Brad’s head and looked right into his eyes. “I want you to father our children.” Milly then gently pressed the side of Brad’s head into her tummy.

******

Milly driving

After checking out the following morning Milly and Brad drove through the little town the inn was on the outskirts of. It had all sorts of stores that catered to almost every need. It had stores that sold newspapers from all over the world, Shetland sweaters, family histories, and for the tourist who needs to know how to get a nearby restaurant – maps. Acres of them. Maps of every kind, size, texture etc. But of all the stores Milly was addicted to one type. A lingerie store.

As soon as she spotted it she pulled the car over and parked. Brad saw where she was headed.

“How come I get the feeling this is going to be a very expensive pit stop?” he asked not really expecting an answer.

“Oh stop moaning. This stop is going to be fun as well as educational.” She hooked her arm in Brad’s and almost had to pull him through the doorway.

Brad noticed the name of the store and couldn’t resist making a comment about it. Something he would soon come to regret.

“Nice name. A perfect name for a store in the middle of merry old England – Les Chemise.”

Milly heard the comment and gave him a sideways glance. She walked towards him, gripped his arm, and balled him out as quietly as she could.

“You better start behaving or I’m going to take you back to the car and lock you in.”

It was then Milly noticed Brad was starting to sweat.

“Are you feeling all right hon?”

Brad took a handkerchief out of his pocket and mopped his brow. “Sorry about that kitten but I think I’m having flashbacks about that bikini shop in Bosworth Market and a certain man-hating Amazon. You have taken me so far out of my comfort zone I think I’ m dizzy. I’m in a land of bras, panties, sheer, and see-through garments. Some of the things I think I’d like to see you in, but some of this stuff is downright sleazy. Just what is the point of having crotchless panties?” he said quietly.

Just then the woman who owned the store appeared with a glass of water for Brad.

“Drink up. From the way you’re sweating, I’m going to guess this is your first time in a store of this kind. I’ve been in this business fifteen years and I’ve heard all sorts of excuses from men, but I’ve never seen a man go all to pieces. Lingerie is just a fancy French word for underwear. Men have all sorts of styles and fabrics. So do women. So when it comes shopping for that special woman in your life the safest thing to do is to ask her her bra size and her panty size. If the lingerie is a surprise gift sneak a peek in her underwear drawer and take a look at the tags just in the waistband. And for heaven sake write them down! Women don’t stay the same shape and neither do men.”

Brad had this overwhelming urge to say “Thanks, coach.” Milly slipped a small piece of paper into Brad’s hand. It was her bra size and panty size.

“Quietly tell me what you’d think I’d wear and I’ll tell you if you’re right or wrong.”

Brad meekly pointed to a glossy two-piece purple nightgown. Not too revealing but not something that leaves little or nothing to the imagination. Milly was impressed.

“Not bad Schweitzer. I kind of like it.” Brad whispered she might need it for Strathpeffer.

Then he pointed out two other outfits. Milly was not impressed. She looked at Brad and whispered quietly.

“You’ve got be kidding. You were doing so well! I wouldn’t be caught dead in either of those. But I’ll get the nightgown for Strathpeffer. I suspect I’ll…we’ll need it.”