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 7 – Summons From A Far

1974-LOTUS-EUROPA-SPECIAL-J.P.S. Milly's car of choice

After a good night sleep, the two felt refreshed and ready to tackle the day. Gone were the trials of the previous day. The plan was to get up, get dressed, have breakfast, check out, and drive to Bosworth Market where they hoped to unravel the mysteries of their past. Of the five things they had to do, four had been accomplished. All that remained was driving to Bosworth Market. When they were in the process of checking out they were handed a message that had arrived late the previous night.

“Dear Brad and Milly,

Downstairs is your car. It’s in the spot marked D-17. Brad, since your car awaits you in Strathpeffer, and since your hand has yet to fully heal it might be a good idea if Milly drove and you navigated. The car is a 1974 Lotus Europa Special. It’s got GPS installed and maps are in the glove box. We fully expect to see you in a kilt by the time you get up here.

Compliment the driver frequently and don’t forget to tip her.

Only when you’re in Scotland will you truly find out what a traffic jam is.

-J & J”

Milly and Brad walked down to the garage after checking out. As they walked into the garage they searched for the car. Milly saw the sign for section “D”.

“I think it’s over here” she called out and turned left.

“I’ll check over here kitten and the loser buys lunch” and Brad turned right.

“Sounds OK with me.” Milly nodded in agreement.

The concrete cavern had an eerie echo to it. It also had a rather unsettling smell to it as well. It was car exhaust. Very little “fresh air” made its way into the garage. Milly slowly walked over to where Brad was.

“Any sign of the wee beastie?” she asked.

“Did you say “wee beastie?” he asked.

“Thought I’d test drive my Scottish. I practiced some phrases for two weeks, and if there’s anything I learned from Spanish classes in high school its if you don’t use it you lose it.”

“FOUND IT!” bellowed Brad.

“You don’t have to yell. I’m right beside you.” Milly put her hand in Brads.

“Sorry about that kitten. I just want to get out of here and put the entire Swallow fiasco behind us.”

“I know what you mean. I’m looking forward to that Hampton Hotel & Spa. I can’t wait for some deadly serious pampering to start. Something that’s so good it’s borderline sinful. You should try it hon. Get those neck muscle knots out in no time.”

“I think I’ll pass. I’m not the steam bath kind of person. Plus I don’t really understand why you would want somebody to put hot rocks on your back. I’ll put the bags in the boot.”

Brad took the keys out of his jacket, unlocked the door and opened it for Milly. He held the door open for her. As she got in he looked at her without her noticing.

“Do you have any idea how fantastic you look?”

Milly looked up at Brad, got out of the car, stood right in front of him and kissed him on the lips. More than a little puzzled she put her hands on her hips.

“Where did that come from?” She looked at Brad wondering if his compliment was part of something else. “Is it because of that note from Jamie and Jessica? I just want to know why I’m thanking you.”

“It’s not because anybody told me to. I just wanted to say it. I think you look fantastic this morning and I wanted to tell you. No ulterior motive. Just a compliment from me to you.”

“Well, thank you. A girl likes to hear things like that once in a while. Just the same I’m keeping my eye on you.” She started wagging her finger at Brad. “Now you behave and get in. The sooner we get to Bosworth Market the sooner the pampering can start.”

She moved the seat forward and raised the seat. “Now, that’s a lot better. Whoever drove this last time must really be tall. I think I’ll give this GPS thingy a try. I better update it though.”

As Milly was about to touch the update button Brad touched her hand.

“You might want to wait till we get out of the garage kitten. You’ll get a better update that way. Plus it won’t take as long.”

Milly nosed the Lotus to the entrance of the garage. She updated the GPS and was quickly turning her head left and right. She typed in her destination and the GPS told her to turn right. In seconds the car was pointed at a wall. She looked at Brad and Brad looked at her. They both said the same word at the same time. “Maps”.

They eventually located the M1 motorway. After driving for almost half an hour Milly was astonished to discover she was more at ease with a right-hand drive system than she was a left-hand drive system.

“I was brought up in a world where the drive system was on the left. Yet here I am in a city that’s totally foreign to me driving with a right-hand drive system. It’s bizarre but I feel much more comfortable driving here than I do driving at home. You should try it hon, this is wild.”

She activated the GPS and updated it again. Apparently, that did the trick. It was operating perfectly. Milly quickly looked at Brad then returned to watching the road. She quickly looked at him again.

“Brad, will you please answer a question for me?. Why do you call me “Kitten”? I love it, but I’m just curious why you chose that particular word.”

Brad used his good hand to run his fingers through his hair.

“Wow. I guess this what you call “out of the blue” questions.”

After that Brad took a deep breath and continued.

“After we made love the first time you were lying next to me. Your head was on my chest and you were playing with my chest hair. Your skin was so soft and warm. One of your fingernails got caught in the hair and I thought “this lady has claws!”. But most of all I wanted a name only I would call you. And I wanted a name that fit. When I was holding you, touching your skin, it all just felt so right. You almost fell asleep on my chest and that’s when I tried to figure out a name in my head. To me, you are very, very, very special. Like a kitten. And I think the name fit. The first time I said it I was terrified you’d hate it. But the second time I called you “Kitten” it sounded better. But that was when I called you “my sexy highland kitten.” It almost felt right. But it still needed some fine-tuning. Saying it in your head and actually saying the words are two very different things. No matter what you do you’re sexy one hundred percent of the time. And highland kitten doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. But kitten did. So you became a kitten to me. And I don’t want anybody else calling you kitten. You’re my kitten. I know that’s being selfish but that’s the way I feel.”

Suddenly and without warning, Milly drove to the side of the road and stopped. She rested her head on the steering wheel. Her face was red and there were tears on her face.

Milly looked like she had been holding her breath.

“Now it’s my turn to say wow. Have you been rehearsing this answer in your head? Because I never expected anything like what you just said. I guess I expected some really weak answer dripping with sentimentality. What you said almost sounds logical. But I really liked that “selfish” bit at the end. I’m your kitten. I love it. Now, what about when I call you honey?”

Brad knew if he didn’t handle this question just right things could get very frosty very fast.

“I love it when you call me hon. It just sounds so special. And when you say it I know the word is meant just for me. A lot of people call their significant others honey, but you’ve taken that and put your own special spin on it. Hon is more than alright. I know you mean me and no one else.”

Milly leaned over as far as she could, grabbed Brad’s head, pulled it towards it towards her, and give him a really passionate kiss.

“Brad Foster you make so damn happy at times I just want to eat you alive”. After that she rolled down her window and let out a little shriek.

“YAHOO!”

Brad bowed his head and talked very softly.

“There is another reason but you might find it silly.”

Milly turned his face till her gaze met his. And looked right into his eyes.

“Brad Foster. You’re under my spell. I command you to tell me this instant.”

“OK, I’m under your spell. But don’t forget you commanded me to tell you. I love stroking “her” because she’s so soft. Her “fur” is very much like a kitten.”

“You mean you love stroking-” Milly pointed between her legs.

“And “she” tastes great! I love getting “her” all hot and bothered too.”

“Well tell Tony The Tiger and all those little tigers to behave themselves.  As for Tony’s taste well…” her voice trailed off but her face spoke volumes.

Brad held her head in his bandaged hand. Milly started to get teary-eyed.

“Hey, Kitten. It’s more than all right kitten. I don’t mind. The worlds not going to end if you don’t want to. And in a car this size I’m not sure you even could if you wanted to.”

“You sure Hon? I want to try one more time. Maybe it’s an acquired taste. I just to please my man.”

“And you do please me kitten. In more ways than I can count. If you want to try it one more time that’s fine. And if you choose to never ever do it again I’m fine with that too. When we’re making love I never ever want you to do anything that makes you queasy or uneasy.”

Milly dried her eyes and composed herself.

“After you were born they must have broken the mold. You’re so understanding at times. But let’s get going. All this talk of “him” and “her” has got my motor running if you know what I mean. And I can see “Tony” wants to be let out of his cage. I think I may know how to make the experience more palatable and pleasing. Next stop Hampton Hall Hotel & Spa!” Milly floored the Lotus and got back on the road.

The willows at the side of the road looked like they trying to touch the car. The signs for Hampton Hall got more frequent. “Tell me about Hampton Hall.” Brad leafed through the small pile of pamphlets in his lap. “Well, apparently this place has its own ghost. She’s known as “The Grey Lady.” Her real name was Anna Dixie. Her father was the fourth Baronet Of Bosworth. Her father was a real S.O.B and disapproved of her lover who was one of the groundskeepers. He set what was called a man trap on the grounds for the poor bugger.”

“Sounds like a charming fellow,” said Milly as she was weaving her way through Bosworth Market.

“As I was saying Anna was out for a stroll one night and blundered into this Man Trap.”

‘What was the trap full off?” asked Milly

“Essentially a man trap is a simple snare. But in this particular case it was a small pit full of sharp blades designed to impale their victim, and eventually, kill them. Like I said Anna blundered into this man trap and bled to death.”

“And her own father did this?”

“Her dad reasoned with his fists. He wasn’t exactly known for his smarts.”

“Oh, I know what you mean. A caveman with fancy pants.”

As Milly drove slowly through the parking lot her gaze was pulled toward Hampton Hall. She was awed by its size and majesty. Her jaw dropped open and eyes became as big as saucers. “Ho-ly Fuzzbucket! Just how big is this place?’ she asked not really expecting an answer. Brad just looked at her and chuckled. “What are you laughing about? Just look at this place. It’s gorgeous!”. Brad just looked at her.

bosworth-hall

Since they arrived in mid-afternoon they decided to unpack, shower, and have dinner. As they walked through the main hall to sign in Milly was flabbergasted by the enormity of everything around her. The solid oak doors were twelve feet high if not more. The fireplace, one of five, was so large Milly could walk right into it. And she was struck by the history around her. As she slowly walked down the hall she was constantly astounded or amazed by whatever she saw. As she and Brad walked through the hall, hand in hand, she gazed at everything like she had just be given the gift of sight.

“I can’t believe what I’m seeing. Do you see that paneling?”

“I sure do kitten. I sure do”

“And the molding. The detail. It’s just incredible!”

As Brad continued to look up his neck began to protest as if to say “I wasn’t built for this.” Never the less, Brad was in awe of how gorgeous this place really was.

“Know what hon,” said Milly

“What’s that kitten” replied Brad simply stupefied by the beauty around him.

“I think I want my wedding here. The only place that could beat this is a real live castle.”

Brad really wasn’t listening to or hearing Milly. What he was seeing was simply beyond comprehension. “Hope you remember to invite me kitten.”

“This reminds me so much of those English manor houses I’ve seen on PBS. I almost expect Alistair Cooke to be a chair in the lobby.”

“This was a privately owned house at one-time kitten but I’m afraid you won’t be seeing Alistair. He’s been dead for some time.”

“I know that hon. Still, it would have been nice.”

Bosworth Hall  - reception

                                                        Reception Area

As they approached the Reception Area to check in there were a number of other guests ahead of them. A bus tour had arrived just before them. One guest was chewing nuts as he waited. He began to tug at his collar. He coughed and coughed and went very red. He could barely utter a word and gasped for air. Brad saw this and intervened. He stood behind the gentleman and informed he was a doctor and was going to perform the Heimlich maneuver on him. With his feet far apart, Brad placed a fist just under the man’s rib cage but just above his navel. Brad suddenly compressed the area that made up the windpipe. This sudden compression caused a torrent of nuts of different sizes to rocket out of the man’s mouth. The man collapsed on the reception area desk. As he recovered Brad knelt and collected some of the nuts in a tissue. The man mopped his sweaty face with a handkerchief, collected his wits and started talking to Brad.

“That’s quite a grip you have my boy. I’m not quite sure how to thank you. I don’t plan on seeing Saint Peter for some time but without your timely intervention I suspect I would have seen him a great deal sooner.” Brad held up the tissue with the nuts in it. “Try eating them one at a time. You’ll live longer. No need to thank-”

Milly punched Brad in the fanny. The man took one look at Milly and came to a rather premature conclusion.

“These two deserve the bridal suite. Put everything on my bill.” When Brad started to protest when Milly punched him in the upper arm.

“Ouch!”

Milly poked her head out from behind Brad. “I apologize for my husband’s behavior. He’s too modest for his own good. Sometimes his modesty gets him in real trouble”

After they signed in Brad took Milly aside. “What’s with you? Those punches really hurt!”

Milly countered by saying “Now we can stay for free. Do you have any idea what kind of a beating your VISA card was about to take?”

Brad thought for a moment. “You know what? You’re absolutely right. You just saved me a pot full of money. But where did you learn to punch like that?”

After debating if she should tell Brad she finally told him.”Vito’s Bar & Grill. Before I left for med school my father insisted on me taking some self-defense classes. Vito’s Bar & Grill is full of animals and it’s cheaper than most other classes. Plus they serve a mean steak.”

As the walked down the hall to their room Milly hooked her arm in Brads. “Did I tell you I won the M-L-T-M award there?”

“What’s that award stand for kitten?”

“Most Likely To Maim.” she laughed and put her head against Brad’s shoulder.