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A Scottish Romance

Chapter 2

Mary and I mostly ate our meals in silence. Only a few sentences did we each speak.

“Who was that man earlier, Kathy?” She asked me between bites.

“I’m not sure. He did not give his name.” I answered back.

. “ New around here, he must be.” She said before taking another forkful of food.

Once again my thoughts over took me. The powerful heat from the man’s hand still tarried upon mine. My mouth and hand must have been on auto-pilot because before I knew it my food is gone. I kept thinking somehow I knew the enigmatic man. Does look like a movie star or singer I’ve seen? Something about his eyes. I’ve seen eyes like his before, but where? Oh well, I’ll figure it out.

Oh boy, did I ever figure it out. Sorry can’t tell you how or who he really is just yet. That would be giving my whole story away.

* * * *

“I’ve been thinking.”

“Huh,” I spat out, mentally shaking my head clear. “I’m sorry, Mary, I wasn’t listening.”

“Are you alright, henny? You don’t seem to be quite yourself this afternoon.” Mary looked at me concernly.

“No, I’m fine. My mind was just wondering. Now, what were you saying then?”

“Do you think that young lad was Mr. McGregor?”

“Oh I don’t know, suppose he could be. We shall know soon enough when he comes back to pick up his things.”

When we finished cleaning up our lunch mess it was time for Mary to go to church. Every Wednesday afternoon the lady’s choir practiced for the Sunday morning service. That means I had the whole store to myself for at least an hour. I switched the rad knob to “on” and found the rock n’ roll station after Mary was a safe distance away. This being the only time I had to listen to the radio because Mary didn’t like it on during open hours and my own radio was broken at home.

“Coming up next we’ll hear music from The Rolling Stones and The Vogues, but first a word from our sponsors.”

I let out a long sigh wishing the stations would just play the music instead of those annoying advertisements. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the mystery man’s list laying on the counter. With a basket and list in hand I started down the first aisl Behind me The Rolling Stones “Satisfaction” started to play. Just in time, now I could dance down the aisle. Dancing and signing to the music I started to fill the basket with the requested items. During the last chorus I twirled around to find the andsome mystery man watching me with an amused look on his face. Somehow I hadn’t heard the bell over the door ring when he came in. I could feel my cheeks become flushed.. I stood there frozen like a deer caught in headlights. I wanted to run and de from the embarrassment. He stepped forward taking the basket I held setting it on the floor. Taking ahold of my right hand with his, he looked into my eyes. For the first time I could see the color of his eyes. I noticed that from far away they re a deep chocolate brown, but now that I saw them up close they changed to a lighter shade of brown mixed with shades of green, gray and tiny specks of gold. They reminded me of a picture of a lake I once saw, the reflections of the mountains and sun xing into the water, the motion of the waves distorting the images. He placed his other hand around my waist with it resting on the small of my back. The Vogue’s song “Your the One” softly began to play in the background

Everytime we meet
Everything is sweet
Ooo your so tender
I must surrender
My love is your love
Now and Forever

Our body’s danced together in perfect rhythm with the music. So many movies I had watched of Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly longing to be the woman on the screen they were sweeping off her feet. Now my dream was coming true. This man was definitely my v y own Gene Kelly and the store transformed to the sound stage in “Singin’ in the Rain.” It’s my favorite part of the movie when Gene Kelley’s character takes Debbie Reynolds character into an empty sound stage. He sets the mood by turning on a fog ma ine and sunset colored lights. He then takes her by the hand and precedes to sing out his hearts desires and sweeps her off of her feet.

Your the one I long to kiss
Baby you’re the one that I miss
You’re the one that I’m dreaming of
Baby you’re the one I love

Time escaped our bodies. One second felt of the same length as a day. Our feet felt lighter than air. He pulled me closer into him. I could smell the faint aroma of cigarette smoke mixed with the faint smell of sandalwood which must have been from e kind of soap he used. Lightly I placed my cheek upon his woolly sweater. A daring move on my part since I would never show a man I didn’t know how I felt. Somehow he brought out the bold me, making me feel safe in his arms. I could feel the ruffnes of his beard on my forehead and I didn’t mind a bit that it was scratching against my skin. Softly he started to hum along with the music and I joined in singing the words to this man I didn’t even know.

Keep me in your heart
Never let us part
Ooo never leave me
Please don’t deceive me
I want you only
You must believe me

He placed my right hand on his shoulder and I wrapped both my arms around his neck. His now free hand pushed my chestnut brown, wavy hair from out of my face. I raised my eyes to see his as he delicately caressed my cheek.

You’re the one that I long to kiss
Baby you’re the one I miss
You’re the one that I’m dreaming of
Baby you’re the one that I love

I never wanted this moment to end. I tried to wrap every touch, scent and feeling in my memory bank so I could replay it over and over again.

I adore you, and no one before you
Could make me feel this way
Since I met you I just can’t forget you
I love you more each day

For just those few short moments the whole world melted away to the crystal blue sea. The only thing I could see were the eyes of my dancing partner. Never before in my life had I felt the way I did at this moment. My heart was beating so fast I was ure he felt it.

There may be some tears
Through the coming years
Ooo all the while I know you’ll be smiling
You’re love will guide me through every mile

You’re the one that I long to kiss
Baby you’re the one that I miss
You’re the one that I’m dreaming of
Baby you’re the one that I love.

The last notes of the song played out. The radio annoucers loud voice came on braking the songs magic spell. We both released each other, I mentally shaking myself to throw out the dream world to let in reality. He picked up the basket standing by ou feet taking it to the counter and placing it there.

“Do you always dance around in the afternoon?” He asked me not turning around to face me.

“ No, only on Wednesdays when Mary, the owner, goes to her choir practice. Must have gotten carried away today I think. Sorry about that.”

“Don’t be sorry, luv. I enjoyed watching as well as dancing with you. If I come back next Wednesday will I get another dance?” He turned around to give me a wink and a smile.

What a charmer this one is. If he keeps it up I’ll never let him go. “We’ll just have to wait and see now won’t we.” I gave him my best sexiest smile flirting hoping he would do the same in return.

“Do you have everything on my list ready?” He motions with his hand to the basket.

Failure! Thoughts began to meander around my brain as I stood there trying to figure this man out. What is up with this guy? I just gave him my “I’m interested in you” smile and he doesn’t respond. He doesn’t wear a wedding band and there isn’t a ta line around his finger so he can’t be married. Am I getting my signals crossed? I mean we just shared a romantic dance. He is flirting with me I think, but maybe flirting with women is second nature to him like an involuntary reaction. I headed over my position behind the counter. “Everything but the tea you requested Mr. . .”

“McGregor, James McGregor.” “So you’re the Mr. McGregor that bought the old McLean farm.”

“And how did you know that ?” He lifted both his eyebrows up questioning me.

I could tell he felt annoyed that I knew this information. His body language changed putting up a wall between us. “News travels fast in a small village, Mr. McGregor.” I said justify myself.

“James, please. What else do you know about me then?”

“Not to much. I know you’ve been staying at the B&B, you might be from London although your accent would place you in the north of England, and you’ve had a crew working on the main farm house even before you came here. Are they not finished yet?” I s tted out all the facts I had heard from the morning.

James’s eyebrows raised in a shocked position. “Well, Miss. . .”

“ I’m Kathleen Caldwell, but everyone calls me Kathy.”

“Well Kathleen, the crew has finished and the reason I’ve been staying at the B&B is because I didn’t have a bed at the cottage yet. That’s what I was doing this afternoon, buying a bed that is. I am from the north, Liverpool to be exact but I live i London now. That’s al you need to know for now, Miss Caldwell.”

The bitterness in his words stung. I started to ring up the items in the basket. I could tell by the way he crossed his arms that he didn’t want to talk about himself anymore. I was fascinated by the way he could switch from being a nice friendly gu to building up walls of privacy.

“Will you be getting tea any time soon?”

“Oh yes, I forgot to tell you. We will be getting a shipment tomorrow morning.”

“How much do I owe you then?” He lifted out his wallet from his back pocket. Opening it up I saw more money than I had ever saw.

“Eight pounds.”

I helped James carry the bags out to his car. He placed them into the boot of his car thanking me for the help. We both walked around to the drivers side. James opened the door and leaned against the side of the car. “I’ll try to stop by tomorrow to ick up the tea.”

My body shivered against the still chilly air. I wrapped my arms around myself trying to keep the chill away.

“You should get back inside, Kathleen. We wouldn’t want you to become ill.” I look up to find the nice James staring back. Once again we locked eyes and that odd feeling that I knew him came back. I searched his soulful eyes wanting to know how he felt towards me. His eyes showed no emotion at all making me fear I would jus become a passing thought. At this time I wasn’t sure how I felt. Yes, there was a physical attraction but, I had only spent half a day with this man and all I knew was where he was from. He could have been some kind of mad nut who kills people, but mething deep down told me this wouldn’t be the last time I saw him and I had nothing to worry about. James leaned into the car placing the keys in the ignition and started the engine. “I should be on me way.” He said as he sat down on the seat. “Goodbye, Kathleen.” James closed the car door. I gave a smile and wave.

I make my way across the sidewalk, up to the shop’s door. I paused before entering. Behind me I heard James’s car driving away.

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