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Saving the Best for Last

What happens when two members meet for the first time?
Scott stood up in frustration, sending his desk chair wheeling across the room and slamming against the wall. The motion caused his monitor to shake, almost tipping over. A woman’s voice came over the speakers.

“Scottie, ye canna keep stomping around like that! I canna see ye and yer words aren’t makin’ any sense.”

Scott went back to the computer and leaned in toward the screen. “Kara, you just don’t understand! When I tell you I’m broke – I’m broke! My unemployment checks are going to stop in six weeks. For almost two years I haven’t had any work. How do you think that makes me feel? I’ve tried doing side jobs, but with the economy being so bad, no one needs a carpenter. I took classes and tried to get into voice-overs for commercials, but nothing. I thought I was at least safe with that because no one would have to look at me. What the hell is wrong with this world when a man who is ready and willing to work can’t get a job?”

Kara did her best to stifle a yawn. It may have only been four o’clock in the afternoon where Scott lived in the States, but it was eleven at night in Scotland. She had been up early preparing her cottages for the coming weekend lodgers, but she couldn’t cut him off when he was so upset. She shivered as she heard the wind and rain hitting the windows of her century old farmhouse. Kara was thankful she had installed central heating a few years ago.

In a calm voice she said, “Ach, listen ma friend, ye have to stop this. It’s a waste of energy. No everyone is agin ye. Scottie, me een are about to close. I will caw ye in the morning. Let me sleep on this, okay?”

“Oh Kara, I’m sorry. You let me piss and moan for the last half hour and I never once thought about you. Get some sleep, sweetie. I’ll talk to you tomorrow. I’m going to stay up and try and figure out how long I can last here. Good night, darlin’,” Scott said, missing her already.

“Night,” Kara mumbled as she broke the connection. She let the cat out, locked the door, and stumbled up the stairs to bed. A whimper caused her to peek in on her son, Duncan, who had tossed off the blankets in his sleep. She tucked him in once more, brushing his strawberry-blond hair off his forehead and giving him another kiss good-night before turning in.

Kara was pleased to wake to morning sun. She still had to put linens on the beds in the cottages and check on the salt-blocks for the cows. Duncan mumbled a good morning to his mother as she slid a plate of eggs and sausages in front of him.

“Don’t be dawdling after school today, Duncan. I need you to come straight to the car. It’s going to be a busy weekend at the farm,” she said looking at her fair-haired bairn. He had his father’s wavy hair with a hint of red, but he had his mother’s sparkling blue eyes and her dry sense of humor. After Kara dropped him at school, she did her banking and stopped at the post office in Kirriemuir. It was mid-November and it appeared some of the shops were already gearing up for Christmas. It seemed the holidays started earlier each year.

Entering her property, Kara stopped at the two roadside cottages, changed out the bedding, and did a final inspection. It was Thursday and the guests would be arriving tomorrow. It was probably one of the last weekends she would see lodgers until after the new year. That was all right – it would give her time to see to some minor repairs. It would be so much easier if she could only clone herself. There was an advantage to the house and both cottages being built of stone with slate roofs. Repairs to the exteriors were rare but there was some updating to be done to the insides.

She steered her car up the lane to the main house, which couldn’t be seen from the road. Kara could see the fold of Highland Cattle grazing well off in the distance. She realized how lucky she was to acquire this property with its four hundred acres when she decided to leave the city, her psychology practice, and her husband. While he was happy being a police officer in Edinburgh, Kara wanted wide open spaces for Duncan. With an inheritance, she completely changed her life. Now Duncan could run in the woods, hike the hills, fish for trout in the lochan, and this year she would teach him to hunt for pheasant and partridge.

Her mother thought she had gone daft when Kara decided to breed and raise her Heilan Coo. The but and bens were only occupied thirty weeks out of the year so after a lot of research, Kara became a cattle rancher. These gentle giants were low maintenance and seemed to thrive in less than ideal conditions. They tended to be hearty and healthy and produce lean beef that is lower in cholesterol, and in great demand. A fortunate introduction to Donnan Farraday, and Kara found her mentor. The seventy-five year old retired farmer worked side by side with her, teaching her in the ways he learned as a boy, until his death last year. It had been tough without him. The part-time workers from the village were only enough to help with the cattle. The cost of hiring someone to do the maintenance was draining her meager bank account.

She glanced at the calving pasture behind the large barn and decided she would have to expand before spring arrived. This was going to be a banner year for calves and Kara knew she was going to need more help than she could afford. She walked into the house through the kitchen, put the kettle on for tea, and settled down at her desk next to the stone fireplace. Kara had updated all the appliances and transformed this large room with its slate floors into the heart of her home. She loved sitting in her over-stuffed chair next to the fire while Duncan did his homework at her desk.

She stopped at her laptop to boot up her Skype before attending to the whistling kettle. As the familiar high-pitched swoosh sounded, what she determined to be a brilliant idea popped into her head. While Kara waited for Scott to come on-line, she moved her paperwork out of the way and started making a list of things that had to be done around her farm. She was getting a second cup of tea when Scott’s deep baritone voice wished her a good morning.

“Are you in a better mood this morning, Scottie?” Kara asked her American friend.

Scott smiled in spite of himself. No, he really wasn’t in a better mood but when he looked at Kara’s blue eyes and winning smile, it felt like a little bit of weight had been lifted from his shoulders. Here was a girl, no – a woman, who with her long blonde hair pulled back in a ponytail, no make-up, a natural rose tint to her cheeks, and wearing jeans and a white wool sweater, was more beautiful than any super model. He supposed part of it was her personality. Kara was quick witted and had at times, a bawdy sense of humor. She had accepted Scott for the person he was, with no preconceived ideas about how he should look.

The two met as members on a website almost six years ago. Scott was known for posting funny quips and smart-assed remarks and Kara started to join in the fun. They introduced themselves and quickly became partners in crime. When Skype became available it was Kara who suggested that they download the software and meet.

Scott was more than a little nervous. He was never what one would describe as a chick-magnet, not unattractive but not what one would consider handsome. He did okay with the women, actually having been married twice before. He was what some mothers would have called a bad-boy. With his deep voice and his over six foot, muscular physique, he could be an imposing figure; more so when he was in short-sleeved tees and his tattoos were out in public. Tattoos, pierced ears, and long, dark brown hair kept tied back, combined with his replica of the Captain America bike used in the Easy Rider movie, everyone expected him to be a tough, hard-drinking brute.

Nothing could have been further from the truth. He had a passion for wood and building, either buildings or cabinetry. Working with his hands relieved the stress of the day. When the housing market went in the toilet and people stopped spending money on improvements, Scott found himself living off his savings, unemployment, and selling his beloved comic book collection.

Kara wasn’t at all nervous about meeting Scott. Nothing he could do would change the way she felt about her friend because she knew the real Scott and his gentle soul. Out here in the country, working her farm, making a good home for Duncan, Kara didn’t have a lot of opportunity to meet people. In Scott, she found a safe haven for her thoughts, hopes and dreams. He was her confidant and pretty much her best friend. He had never shared a photograph with her so she was excited to finally put a face with the name. Her attraction to him was his intelligence and sense of humor. Nothing would change that. When the 40-somethings finally met on Skype, it was like kindred spirits coming together.

“Oh, everything’s just wonderful,” Scott said with a hint of sarcasm. “No, I’m good for the next few months. I got a hit on my ad and the guy is coming over to look at my chopper this afternoon. I’ll be able to get by for at least six more months. It’s a good thing my old truck is paid in full. If I ever get a job I’ll need it to haul my tools. I can always give up my apartment and move in with my older brother, and then I should be good until at least summer. ”

“But your brother’s as mad as a hatter,” Kara hated to hear Scott’s plans. “You’d kill him within months. And your motorcycle, Scottie, you worked so hard on it.”

“Then you tell me what I’m supposed to do, Kara. I need the money. I can’t pay the rent after this month and if I don’t get out, I’ll get thrown out. I need to sell it to survive. I don’t have any health insurance so if I get in an accident I might as well be dead. Hell, then poof – no more money problems.”

“Stop it, Scottie – stop it right now! I hate it when ye talk like that. Now, I have something to propose and I don’t want to hear a word out of ye until I’ve said my piece. You’ve been talking of moving out of your flat and not having any work, so I had this idea. Would you be willing to come here and work for room and board? I’ve been making a list and honestly I don’t think I can afford to hire someone to do all of the repairs. It’s also the time of year when my cottages aren’t rented so I don’t have extra money coming in. The farm won’t be busy until calving season next spring. Scottie, we’ve often talked about meeting and this would be perfect. Get away from the frustration at home. Come to Scotland for the holidays, spend a few months helping me, and we can have a good time. What do you say?”

Scott stayed quiet for a few minutes. There was no way he could have imagined what Kara was going to say and now that she said it, he had a hard time believing it. Go to Scotland? Get away from his problems and his family? It was true that he would eventually have to give up his apartment so maybe this could work. He’d have the money to travel if his cycle sold. Visiting Kara would take a chunk out of his bank account, but he also wouldn’t have to worry about rent and food. Could this work?

“Scottie, are ye with me? Hello?”

Scott leaned forward and rested his chin on his hands. He looked into the eyes of his friend and saw her anticipating his answer. “Well sweetie, if you think you’ll have enough to keep me busy, and if the chopper sells, and if I can find someplace for all the junk in my apartment….”

Kara squealed, very unlike her, “You’re coming aren’t ye? Ach Scottie, it’ll be so good to finally meet. Oh my, Duncan will be gobsmacked! When? When can you come?”

“Kara, slow down; let me get some things settled first. I’m not sure this is going to work, but I’d like to visit you. Even if you intend to work me like a dog, this will still be the trip of a lifetime,” Scott told her, finally having something to smile about. He said he would talk to her after the weekend and hopefully have some good news.

For the next week, Kara was constantly checking her email. She hadn’t heard a word from Scott and he hadn’t been on the site, either. She was becoming very worried when she finally got a message from him.

“What are you doing for dinner on Sunday, December 18? I’d like to show you and Duncan my appreciation for having me stay with you. I’ll meet you on Skype tomorrow, normal time. Signed, slave labor.”

Although Scott wasn’t able to sell his motorcycle for what he thought it was worth, the money he received was enough to pay off some bills that had been hanging over his head. He sold or gave away all of his furnishings and asked his brother if he could store his remaining belongings in his garage, along with parking his truck over there. He had to book his flight four weeks in advance and even then spent over a thousand dollars for his round-trip ticket to Edinburgh. He flew out of Denver on a Saturday morning and arrived in Scotland the next day.

“Mummy, you’re making me dizzy walking around in circles,” Duncan said as he sat in the waiting area playing with his PS3. If he was excited to meet Scott, he didn’t show it.

“Hush,” his mother told him, searching the crowds on the other side of the glass doors. Where was he? Scott’s flight had landed and she expected him with her within minutes. Customs and security be damned, she had waited a long time for this meeting.

Although the security agent looked him up and down, the answers Scott gave were sufficient to pass him through. He felt a little like a lost soul, following the signs to the Information Desk, where Kara said she would be waiting. He hoisted his bag up on his shoulder one more time and picked up his pace. The past four weeks felt like a lifetime, waiting for this moment to come.

He saw her before she spotted him. She was tall and slender, wearing jeans, knee-high boots, and a dark gray pea coat. Scott had only ever seen Kara with her hair tied back, but today it was loose and laying on her shoulders. When the automatic glass doors opened, her eyes went directly to his.

Scott dropped his bag as Kara threw herself into his arms. With her feet not touching the floor she breathed into his ear, “You’re here, you’re finally here.”

She may have been a tall woman, but Scott towered over her by a good six inches. Duncan was a little tentative as he approached the large man, but when Scott started talking about Skyrim and Call of Duty, Duncan immediately warmed up. The two chattered non-stop all the way to Kara’s Land Rover and most of the way home. Kara was suddenly feeling a little outnumbered.

Scott became quiet as they turned up the drive to the main house. He marveled at the beauty of the countryside. When Kara rounded the bend, the large two-story farm house finally came into view.

“Wow, all this land and this house belongs to you? Damn, I’m impressed,” Scott remarked.

“You’ll be real impressed when I come in smelling like dung. It’s not an easy life, Scott, but I love it here. I don’t miss living in the city and working in an office at all.”

Inside her home, Kara took Scott upstairs to his room, showing him the only bathroom on the second floor.

“Why don’t you make yourself at home while I throw something together for you to eat? I’m sure you’re exhausted so after you can rest and then I’ll give you a tour of the farm,” she said from the doorway.

Suddenly overcome with gratitude for what she had done for him, Scott met her in the door and pulled her into his arms for a big hug. “You’ll never know just how grateful I am. I was really starting to go to a very dark place. Thank you, my friend.”

It took Scott a few moments to realize where he was. He woke staring at the wooden beams on the ceiling his bedroom, covered by a big down-filled comforter. The walls were white-washed, the curtains in the windows were a little flowery, next to the armoire there was a chair which looked like it would explode under his weight, and a nightstand that held a reading lamp, clock, and a carafe of water. He listened to the quiet of the house and wondered what Kara was doing. After a quick shower to wash the travel off of him, Scott headed downstairs to the kitchen.

Kara and Duncan were pulling on their boots when Scott entered the kitchen. “Hello there, lazy-bones, I wondered if you would ever come to life or if I’d have to bury your body in the back pasture. If there’s any possibility of you being hungry after the huge breakfast I fed you, there’s bread in the box, meat and cheese in the refrigerator and biscuits in the tin. I made a fresh pot of coffee or there’s water still hot for tea,” Kara told him, smiling at how rested her friend looked.

“I’m fine, thanks,” Scott replied and looked at them questioningly. “Where are you two going?”

“This is the last Sunday before Christmas so we’re off to look for a tree. I’ve got small woods near the base of the hills and Duncan said he found the perfect tree for us.”

Duncan’s face lit up when Scott came into the room. “Will you come with us? Come on, please?”

“Did you bring some boots, Scottie?” Kara asked.

“Yeah, but these will be fine. It’s not like you have the snow I have in the mountains,” he said, grabbing his coat off the hook near the back door and following them outside, wearing his sneakers.

Kara looked amused but didn’t say a word. The trio had hiked for over thirty minutes when Scott asked if they were almost there.

“It’s just over there, Scott,” Duncan answered. “Look! There’s the fold!”

Scott looked over at the shaggy, red-haired animals grazing in the distance. “What the hell are those? They’re friggin’ ugly.”

“Those are my Heilan coo, Scottie. And don’t call them ugly; they support my family, ye know,” Kara said, bristling just a little.

“Well give them a damn haircut, they probably can’t see with the long hair in their eyes. What the….?” Scott started to pick up his feet, looking at the cow dung he had just encountered.

“Serves ye right for making fun of my coo,” Kara said with a hearty laugh. “And don’t expect this woman to be washing those shoes. I asked if you had boots, you know.”

Duncan wasn’t shy about his laughter and Scott graciously took a good amount of kidding from the two of them. He was also handy with the ax and cut down Duncan’s tree in no time. Scott helped Duncan carry the tree back to the house, to prevent any of more dung incidents.

After a dinner of beef stew and crusty brown bread, Scott relaxed on the parlor sofa while Kara and Duncan decorated their tree. Tiny lights, handmade ornaments and tinsel transformed the evergreen into a majestic Christmas tree. Kara gathered the limbs they had trimmed off the bottom and placed them back in the bucket of water. Duncan left the room and returned with clumps of mistletoe. Kara tied the berry covered twigs with red ribbon and then they went about hanging the sprigs in doorways and from the ceiling.

“Um, are you hanging so much of that stuff so you can catch me standing under it?” Scott asked with a devilish smile.

“The mistletoe brings good luck, Scottie,” Kara explained. “It also keeps the evil spirits away.”

“Evil spirits – right. What are you going to do with all the leftover boughs from the tree? Would it be all right if I made a little Christmas something for the door?” Scott inquired.

“Awww that would be lovely, Scottie; maybe tomorrow in the light of day. After we drive Duncan to school I’ll show you the village and my cottages. You can check my list of repairs and add any of your own. I’ll let you relax this week and maybe next, but after that, my boy, you’ll be workin’ for your supper.”

The week seemed to fly by. Scott and Duncan caught some alone time in the village to do a little Christmas shopping and Scott even let the boy help him craft some evergreen, holly and mistletoe decorations for the front and back doors. It wasn’t uncommon for Kara to watch them with their heads together after the evening meal, whispering, laughing or playing a game. She just prayed they weren’t plotting against her.

Long after Duncan had left a piece of mincemeat pie and a glass of whiskey for Santa, and had gone off to bed, Kara added more wood to the fire in the parlor.

Scott wondered out loud, “Isn’t that an awful lot of wood, since it’s almost time to turn in?”

“Oh but you see, Scottie, I have to keep the fire going all night to keep the elves from causing trouble. I usually spend the night on the sofa to keep an eye on it, and because I’ll be up early cooking. I think you’ll like my parents. I dare say you and my father will throw back a glass or two.”

Scott smiled and looked around the room. Candles burned in the windows to welcome any strangers to the home and the flames of the fire seemed to dance to a yuletide song. He watched Kara reach for a shawl and drape it over her legs. Yes, he thought, this was the trip of a lifetime and right now, there was no place he would rather be.

“Kara,” he said in a quiet voice. “Can I give you my gift now, instead of tomorrow?”

“Only if you’ll open my gift, Scottie.”

They sat together, first handing each other gifts and then opening them. Kara gave Scott a blue wool sweater and a cashmere tartan scarf. Scott was almost embarrassed to hand her the very small box he pulled from his pocket. Inside was a small heart shaped locket. One side held a picture of Duncan while on the other side Kara found her own eyes looking back at her.

“Oh Scottie, it’s beautiful,” she exclaimed rising up on her knees and throwing her arms around his neck. “It is such a wonderful treasure. I’m so glad to have you here, Scottie.”

“Me too, Kara.” They talked until the wee hours of the morning, about their lives, their marriages, and their dreams.

Scott woke up, still sitting in the chair with his legs resting on the ottoman. The fire was blazing and Kara was nowhere to be found. He went upstairs, hoping to take a shower before Duncan woke up. His hand was on the knob when the bathroom door opened. Like a spirit coming out of the mist, Kara stood there with her long, wet hair dripping down her body and holding a towel in front of her. Her eyes and mouth were wide-open in surprise.

All Scott could do was grin and say, “What’s this? Another Christmas present?”

He learned that Kara was very quick at giving him a good punch, as she scurried past and disappeared into her bedroom.

Kara was a dynamo in the kitchen as she worked to prepare her clootie dumpling, while Duncan and Scott munched on bannock cake for breakfast. Christmas lunch would be a feast of Scotch broth, salmon, roast turkey and roasted vegetables. Scott was helping Kara cut the potatoes, carrots and Brussels sprouts for roasting when a sinewy, silver-haired gentleman burst through the back door yelling, “Nollaig chridheil huibh!”

Scott was immediately embraced by the elderly couple. Kara was very much like her father, tall and slender. Her mother was not as tall, and just a little round, but Scott could she was the influence on Kara’s sense of humor as well as where Kara got her beauty. Scott, Duncan, and Angus played card games while Kara and Fiona finished cooking and setting the table.

When the food was prepared Kara’s father stood at the head of the dinner table, lifted his glass of whiskey, and toasted, “Ith gu leoir (Eat plenty)! And Failte, Scott. Welcome.”

Kara’s dinner was a wonderful success followed by a huge bonfire out back. After a couple of hours, the group feasted on her clootie dumpling and brandy custard. All too soon the moon began to show its face through the clouds and it was time for Kara’s parents to return home. They left with a promise of returning for Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve), the next weekend.

Duncan had already retreated to his room to play his new PS3 games as Scott and Kara stood in the doorway, waving to her parents until they could no longer see the lights of their car. Kara turned to step inside the home, but Scott’s arm blocked her from entering. As she looked up to question him, Scott pointed to the sprigs of mistletoe hanging in the door above their heads.

“Not so fast, lassie,” Scott said with a sly smile. “I want to celebrate one more tradition.”

Kara held her breath as Scott bent to tenderly touch her lips with his. Neither could think of anything to say as they stayed motionless in the door way of the old farmhouse. It was Kara’s shiver that forced them to go inside. Nothing was said about the kiss that night, or the days following.

Duncan’s father, James, arrived Sunday afternoon to take Duncan to his home in Edinburgh for the week. He greeted Scott warmly, and Scott could tell there was no animosity between the parents. After a supper of left-overs the two agreed to go to bed early and start working in the cottages the next day.

Scott forgot how much he missed working with his hands, and working with Kara made the tasks even more enjoyable. The two joked around and played tricks on each other. Kara convinced him to get close to one of the coo and took pictures of his virgin meeting. They cooked together and at night they would sit in front of the fire, sharing a whiskey or two. Their days were filled with laughter and smiles.

They worked fast and efficiently, finished the repairs and updates to the cottages before the end of the week. On Friday, Kara asked Scott to help her in the hay barn, instead of moving on to the next repairs. Scott was impressed with her strength, being able to haul the hay bales into place. She was a demon with the pitchfork, moving the loose hay into a manageable pile. Kara turned and started up the wooden ladder to the hay loft when she felt Scott’s strong hands around her waist, pulling her off the ladder and setting her on the ground.

“Scottie,” she began. “What do ye think you’re doing? Let me climb up and….”

“Nonsense, tell me what you need and let me climb up there.”

Scott was on his way up the ladder before Kara could stop him. There was a warning crack and the horrible sound of wood splintering before the ladder pulled away from the beam.

“Scottie!” Kara cried as she watched the large man fall toward her. It was instinct that made her hold out her arms and attempt to catch him. The result was Scott landing on top of Kara, in the pile of hay they had just moved.

“Ooomphf….bloody hell yer a heavy one. Get your arse off of me,” Kara said, after having the wind knocked out of her.

“Ha, I can’t believe you were trying to catch me. What the hell were you thinking?” Scott asked, rolling onto his side.

Kara turned and propped herself up on one elbow to look at him. Hay clung to her blonde tresses and her face was tinged with pink from the exertion. “I’ll tell you one thing, Scottie. I’ll be puttin’ ye on a diet.”

Scott lunged towards his mouthy friend. The two wrestled in the hay pile and finally stopped when Scott yelled “Uncle!” after being tickled by Kara. She quickly sat on top of him, straddling his waist and threatening to continue her assault unless he promised to be a good boy.

“I’m warning you, Scottie,” she said grinning at him. “Ye best settle down now.”

Scott smiled and reached up to pull some the hay that was stuck in Kara’s hair. The blonde waves felt like spun silk, soft on his fingers. He felt his hand go to the back of her neck and pull her to him. He didn’t know if her mouth opened to object or to invite, but he took full advantage of the situation. As their lips met, he pushed his tongue in to find hers.

A current seemed to run through Kara’s body, starting at her lips and making its way deep into her soul. There wasn’t any thought as to what they were doing. Scott’s kiss ignited a hunger that Kara had long kept buried. She pressed her lean body into his while her hands held his head still so she could give him a proper kiss. Scott’s hands moved down her back to her taut round ass, and he pulled her body to him. Kara straightened her legs and stretched her body over Scott’s. She moved her hips, grinding her pelvis into his growing hardness.

“I want ye, Scottie,” she whispered, kissing him again. She pulled her mouth off of his and lifted her head, looking for an answer. With one hand on her upper back and the other on her waist, Scott gently rolled Kara onto the bed of hay.

His first kisses were light and gentle, starting at her eyes, moving to her nose and then covering her mouth. His body relaxed and molded against hers as the kiss grew more demanding. He pushed his knee between her legs and felt the heat of her body. Kara’s arms went to Scott’s back, trying to pull him even closer. Their tongues began to explore while their breathing became more rapid. Scott pulled back and looked at the woman who had changed his life.

He buried his head in her neck and whispered, “You realize this changes everything, don’t you?”

Very softly she whispered, “It’s about fucking time.”

A nervous laugh followed, but it was laughter, none the less. Scott got up on his knees and pulled Kara into a sitting position. He took the hem of her sweater and began to pull it off, over her head. The winter’s chill could not have cooled the pair down. Kara looked up at him, blue eyes that were bright and shiny, and a smile that was inviting. Her modest breasts were held in a delicate white bra and he could see her hard, pink nipples pushing against the lace.

Scott leaned forward to kiss Kara’s cleavage, and kept slowly kissing up her chest, along her throat and finally back to her lips. Kara’s hands went to Scott’s chest, and as he passionately kissed her, she began to work the buttons on his shirt. Fighting with the final two buttons, Kara gave a mighty pull, sending them flying into the hay.

Scott straightened, pulled his wool shirt off his body and laughingly said, “You could have just asked, you vixen.”

Kara was up on her knees in front of him, running her hands down his tattooed arms and leaning in to give his nipples a quick nip. His thought that the lady meant business was confirmed when she started tugging at his belt buckle. He straightened up even more, sucking his gut in a bit, and watching her determination. Buckle undone, jeans unsnapped, zipper pulled down, Kara remained silent but gave him a devilish wink and pushed him backwards.

She pulled his jeans open and reached inside to release his stiffening rod. Her breasts almost fell out of their lace prison when she leaned forward to taste the small drop of fluid that had formed on the tip of his cock. Scott moaned as she began to lick his pulsing member, tracing each vein, each bump and crease, with her hot wet tongue. She explored every bit of his shaft moving ever so slowly up towards the head. Round and round she swirled her tongue, covering the purple tinged helmet, pausing to tickle the V at the base of the head, before finally taking him into her mouth.

The breath caught in Scott’s throat, feeling her hot mouth work on him. Kara moved her head up and down, taking him deep, then shallow, fast, then slow, constantly teasing and playing with him. He suddenly felt the cool air on his cock, Kara’s mouth now replaced by her hand. She kept stroking him while she traveled down to play with his balls. She covered his sack with kisses and then licked them before taking them into her mouth. Kara rolled them around, manipulating them with her tongue and mouth until Scott’s body began started to stiffen.

Kara quickly moved her mouth back to his cock and began massaging his balls with her hand. She sucked harder and faster, relentless in her desire to quench her thirst for his juice. Scott’s body began to tense, again. She felt it in his legs, in the way his hand felt on her back, in the way his balls drew up and felt hotter in her hand. His body began to lock and a low guttural sound started to fill the silence of the barn. Kara felt his cock jerk as he sent the first slick, salty spurts down her throat. She continued to nurse until she drained him, swallowing every drop. The tension released from his body while she thoroughly cleaned him, kissing and licking away any evidence of their intimate encounter.

When Kara rose up, Scott pulled her to him, and kissed her deeply. He tasted his salty essence on her lips and in her mouth. He couldn’t remember the last time a woman had made love to him in such an animalistic way. She enjoyed the hunt, the capture, and the kill, but now it was Scott’s turn. He rolled Kara on to her back and then covered her chest and shoulders with hot kisses. The clasp on the front of her bra was no match for his teeth. One move and the bra opened and cups fell away to reveal her milky white breasts and hard pink nipples.

Scott lowered his mouth to her left breast, sucking, chewing, kissing and nibbling its flesh. Shock waves from her nipple went straight through to her clit. He massaged her right breast and continued to suckle with Kara’s hands holding him in place. He could feel her pull the leather tie that kept his long hair pulled back. One pull and he felt the avalanche of his hair cover the two of them. Kara ran her fingers through it, and rubbed it over her body. Slowly he kissed his way over to her other globe, leaving the first to tighten in cool air. Scott explored further, moving to her armpit, kissing his way down the side of her body. Kara trembled under his touch and her hips began to move. She found herself squeezing her legs to together to relieve the sexual itch that was occurring below.

Her scent began to fill the air and mix with the aroma of the hay. Scott placed kisses all over her tight stomach and then turned his attention to her jeans. It only took him a moment to sit up, undo them and pull them down Kara’s hips. He took in the sight of this slender woman, lying in the hay with her hair splayed out and the short curled hair between her legs beginning to grow damp. Scott bent to kiss her again, while moving his hand down toward her womanly heat. She opened for him and then clung to him while he pleasured her.

Scott kissed down Kara’s belly, stopping to play with her navel. She bent her legs and let them fall open, inviting him to dine. He buried his nose in her downy fluff, and drank in her fragrance. He kissed the creases where her legs met her valley, still not touching her and satisfying her want.

“For God’s sake, Scottie….,” she whined.

He raised his head and watched her face as he ran his finger up and down through her curls, slowly parting her lips. When he finally made his way through, she wasn’t damp, she was wet. He slid his finger up and down, from hole to clit, never touching either. He could feel her grip on his arm tighten and her nails dug in just a bit. Her hips bucked each time he approached her hole, as if trying to capture him. He slid his finger up and hit her clit, causing her to jump, right before he slid down and pushed his finger deep into her hot center.

Kara clawed at the hay and her hips rose high, showing him she wanted more. He could hear the wetness when he moved his finger in and out. Three, four, six times he kept pumping his finger and then finally on the ninth time he moved his mouth to her valley. With his finger in deep, he flattened his tongue and pressed it into her slit, heading for his prize, her pearl. Scott ran his tongue round and round her hard nub, watching for her reaction. He found it, concentrated on it and drove a second finger into her at the same time. He had never been with a woman who reacted as fast as Kara. Her body rose up and his hand was soon filled with wetness.

“Scottieeeeeee….,” Kara yelled, feeling like she had lost control of her body.

While her body convulsed Scott quickly moved his mouth to her hole and drank. It was sweeter than any nectar he could imagine. She came hard and she came fast; he was amazed. When she started to relax, he pulled back and moved up to kiss her. Kara’s face was soft and sweet, the satisfied expression of a lover. But Scott wasn’t yet done.

“Kara, are you ready for more,” he asked.

After the shocked look left her face, she smiled broadly. “What have ye got, Yank?”

“Ha-ha, you’ll see.”

With that Scott flipped Kara onto her belly and then pulled her hips up so that she was on all fours. Scott felt like he was high on Kara’s ambrosia. Her honey revived him and his steel rod was ready for action. Kara tossed her head and looked back at him over her shoulder. She had the look of a feral animal and her eyes showed her desire. Scott slid his already dripping cock up and down her slit before pushing it deep inside her hot, wet hole. He was surprised at how tight she was, and the pressure felt so good around his cock. Kara looked back one more time and smiled. Together they started to move.

Scott held on to Kara’s hips and slowly, gently moved in and out of her. While he watched her body swallow his cock her rosebud seemed to wink at him. It seemed to dare him to move a little faster, a little harder, and he complied. Scott suddenly growled and drove in deep. Kara answered him, pushing hard back against his body. Their movements become frenzied as if they each wanted to take the other to their limit. Pumping in and out of her tight hole, Scott wasn’t sure how long he would last. He pushed in deeper and then he felt it.

Kara’s pussy muscles seemed to squeeze him – trying to milk his cock. He looked at the hay she clenched in her hands and how she threw her head back, driving her body back against his. That movement caused him to release. Kara felt the explosion as his hot seed was launched into her womb. Their movements slowed until they finally collapsed in the barn, exhausted. Scott drew Kara to him and held her in his arms, looking into her eyes and kissing her, not like a friend, but like a lover.

It wasn’t long before the hay got them both itching and they decided to go back to the house. The morning mist had turned into a steady rain. Scott and Kara held their clothes and ran half naked across the lot to the back door. Bursting through the two laughed like children at a playground. Kara was trying to turn her sweater around when Scott scooped her up into his arms and carried her upstairs. After a long hot shower, they napped the day away.

Conversation wasn’t as free as it had been. Kara woke and left Scott sleeping in her bed. She was putting the finishing touches on dinner when Scott came into the kitchen. He crossed the room to her side and put his hand under her chin, lifting it to look at her. As Scott kissed her, Kara turned and put her arms around his neck. His long, dark hair fell forward and mixed with her flaxen locks, their bodies melted together.

“Hey, you,” he said, breaking their kiss. “Are you okay?”

Kara tucked Scott’s hair behind his ear. “Silly loon. Of course I am. I haven’t been this okay in a long, long time.”

Scott held her close, her head resting on his chest. She listened to the comforting rhythmic sound of his heart beating. He finally said what she had been thinking, “As crazy as this sounds everything feels exactly right.”

They knew they only had a couple of nights together before Hogmanay and then Duncan’s return home, on New Year’s Day. After a dinner of lamb chops and root vegetables, Scott built a fire and spread a blanket on the floor in the parlor. Kara came in with two glasses of Glenfiddich single malt. Scott couldn’t think of another woman who enjoyed the taste of good whiskey like Kara.

They sat side by side, leaning against the sofa, enjoying the warmth of the fire. Kara was making small talk about tomorrow’s New Year’s Eve celebration and preparations. She told him about the tradition of cleaning the house, including the fireplaces. They would meet Kara’s parents in Kirriemuir for dinner and then join in the village celebrations. There would be a torchlight procession through the streets for the lighting of a large bonfire. It would finish with a fireworks display while people danced in the streets.

The warmth and glow of the fire, mixed with the effects of their drinks made for a relaxed atmosphere. It wasn’t long before they were lying in front of the fire, kissing like a couple of teenagers. Kara moved away to have another drink from her glass and sat up to look at the man who was watching her.

“Penny for your thoughts, Scottie,” she offered.

“Well,” he began, “please don’t take this the wrong way but you don’t look like a woman in your forties. Sitting here with you, I almost feel like I’m with a girl, not a woman.”

Kara let out a hearty laugh. “I haven’t been accused of being a girl for a long time now. I don’t feel like I’m middle-aged. I think Duncan and being here in the country keeps me young. And you – you act more like a young lad than a man older than I. It’s kind of nice to have someone around who understands my jokes.”

“Kara, we’ve always gotten along and I didn’t think we’d have any problems. I also didn’t think we would end up in the haystack. No regrets, right?”

Kara moved to lean over and kiss him. “No pressures, no regrets. We’re just enjoying each other. How does that sound to you?”

Scott returned her kiss and said, “Sounds like a deal, little lass.”

“Good, now come to my bed, yank. I have plans for you,” she called to him as she stood and raced up the stairs.

There was no rest for the wicked the next day. True to her word, Kara had Scott helping her clean the house from top to bottom, before they went to dinner. Scott really enjoyed spending time with Angus and Fiona. They even convinced him to try haggis, which wasn’t as bad as he thought. All he could think about was how wonderful the people were, how beautiful the countryside was, and how much he enjoyed being with Kara. He even began to appreciate the coo.

The crowd started counting down to midnight at twenty seconds. At the first stroke of midnight, the church bells started to ring. Kara put her arms around Scott’s neck and drew him close for a New Year’s kiss. When the bells stopped ringing everyone linked arms and sang For Auld Lang Syne. Scott felt like he was on a movie set; this was unlike anything he could have imagined. After the singing there was more toasting and a lot of hugging and kissing before Scott and Kara said their good-byes and headed home.

Hand in hand, Kara led Scott to the front door instead of the back. She handed Scott a bottle of whiskey, pushed the door open, and motioned him to go first.

“Ah, Scottie, ye’ll be bringing us luck this year. According to first footing, the best luck comes from a male with dark hair. Now in you go, I want nothing but good things for this year.”

Scott pulled her close as she crossed the threshold. “I don’t see how it can get any better than this.”

The lovers went to Kara’s room. Scott stopped her from turning on a lamp, leaving the room illuminated by the hallway light. She stayed silent as Scott started with the top button of her blouse and worked his way down. As he slid the silky fabric off of Kara’s shoulders, Scott trailed kisses from one shoulder, up her throat to her mouth, and then the other. He reached around to her back and with one small move, unclasped her bra and let it slide down her arms, onto the floor.

Scott lowered himself to his knees and turned his attention to Kara’s slacks. He unbuckled her belt, undid her button and then slowly pulled the zipper down. He eased both hands around her waist and carefully moved the slacks over her hips and down her body. Her scent was mixed with lavender. Scott buried his nose between her legs and breathed her in. Kara opened her legs a bit and stepped out of her trousers, while running her hands though Scott’s hair. God, how she wanted him.

Scott stood up, pulled back the blankets and then helped Kara into the bed. While he slipped off his sweater and pants, he watched her laying there, her hair spread out on the pillow like an angel. The shadows of his muscles were evident in the partial light, including the one between his legs. Kara smiled in anticipation of their private New Year’s celebration.

Kara opened her legs as Scott moved to lie between them. He wasted no time separating her lips and tasting Kara’s sweetness. His broad flat tongue started on her perineum and slowly slid up her slit, over her hole and pressed into her already tingling clit. Kara put her hands on Scott’s head, trying to hold it still over her hard nub, but he wouldn’t have it. Again and again Scott moved up her slit, listening to his lady moan each time he pulled away. The next time he moved he stopped at her heat and pushed his tongue deep inside her. While he fucked her with his tongue, Kara started rubbing her clit in circular motions. The deeper Scott pushed his tongue the harder she rubbed, finally causing an eruption and filling Scott’s mouth with her tasty essence. Kara’s legs started to shake and her hands went back to Scott’s head while he lapped at her like a kitten with a bowl of milk.

Satisfied he had licked her clean Scott rose up and lay on top of Kara, covering her face with kisses. She could feel his cock dripping cock nudge her, ready to burrow deep inside. Kara wrapped her legs around his waist and lifted her hips in silent invitation. Scott kissed her deeply while he pushed his way inside. They moved together, slowly at first, letting their passion build - in and out, fast then slow, making love, savoring each moment and each movement. Passions building, pumping, pushing, gripping his ass, holding onto her, harder, faster, and finally exploding like the fireworks they had seen.

They slept soundly that night, each dreaming their own dreams of the upcoming year.

When Duncan arrived home he immediately wanted to show Scott his new games and to challenge him. Kara and James sat in the kitchen, talking about the holidays over a cup of tea. Scott and Duncan’s howls of laughter would sometimes interrupt their conversation.

“Your friend seems very nice, Kara. Duncan seems quite taken with him,” James observed.

Kara smiled and looked into the fire. “I’d like it if you could get to know him at some point, Jamie. I think you’ll like him, too.”

After Duncan came home the time seemed to fly by. Scott and Kara spent their days making repairs and putting in new fencing for the calving pasture. And sometimes, they escaped the world for an afternoon in Kara’s bed. They weren’t sure if Duncan was even aware that Scott had moved into her room.

Scott still had two more weeks before he had to fly back and wanted to spend some time alone with Duncan. He convinced Kara to drop them in the village for a few hours of male bonding. Over lunch Duncan seemed to open up more than he had and told Scott how he would like to go to school and someday design computer games. Scott talked to him about his family and how he loved to build things. Duncan was thrilled when Scott offered to build him a computer desk for his room, if time allowed and only if Duncan agreed to help.

They were walking to the barber shop in Reform Street and passed a small jewelry store. While Duncan was getting his hair cut, Scott stepped outside and wandered next door. He was peering through the glass at Present Time Jewelers when Duncan walked up next to him.

“Are you looking for a ring for my mum?” the innocent asked.

The question completely caught Scott by surprise. “Why would you think that?”

“I’m young but I’m not stupid. I have eyes. You and mum love each other, so I wondered if you were going to marry her,” he said matter-of-factly.

“Well…., I….,” Scott stuttered.

“You do love her, right?”

Scott stopped and stared at the young boy. Did he love her? It seemed so natural. But did Kara feel the same?

“So, are you saying that if I did ask your mom to marry me that you would give us your blessing?” Scott asked.

Duncan seemed to straighten his shoulders and become a little taller with that question. In as deep of a voice as the boy could muster he said, “Well sir, if you promise to always treat my mum well, you have my blessing.”

Duncan’s arms went around Scott’s waist and the two hugged in agreement and when Kara picked them up, the two boys shared a secret smile.

That night Kara was sitting on Scott’s lap in front of the fire in the parlor. It had become their nightly routine, talking, sharing a drink, and kissing before bed. During the past weeks they talked about the farm, James – Duncan’s father, Kara’s aging parents, Scott’s previous marriages and what he was going to do when he went back to the US.

“I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do,” he told her. “February is not the best time for construction and I’m not sure things are going any better economically. I guess I might have to consider moving to another state. I was thinking Las Vegas but I hear that building has come to a stop there, too.”

“Oh Scottie,” she said kissing his cheek, “you’ve tried so hard to find work. It makes me sad.”

“Sweetie, I don’t want you to feel sad. I want you to be happy. What if I told you a secret?”

A smile crossed Kara’s face along with a suspicious look. “Okay, I’m listening.”

Scott cupped Kara’s face and looked into her blue eyes. “I love you, Kara. I don’t just love you; I’ve fallen in love with you. I have nothing to give you but my heart. That being said, I would be so completely honored if you’d marry me.” Before she could answer he placed a tender kiss on her lips.

Tears formed in her eyes, and Kara had a hard time forming her words. “Scottie, oh Scottie, ye mean so much to me. I didn’t think this would happen, but I love you, too. Of course, I will marry you.”

They sat in front of the fire for a long time. There was a lot to do, to plan, to discuss. Scott was in Scotland on a visitor’s visa and Kara already knew that would have to be changed. He would also have to return to the states to sell his truck and make arrangements for shipping his belongings to Kara.

When they finally went to bed, their talking continued. Kara loved to rest her head on Scott’s body, place her leg between his, and run her fingers through the hair on his chest.

“Can I ask ye a final question, Scottie, and then I’ll shut-up and go to sleep? Why? Why me? You’ve been married twice and ye once told me never again. Why now?”

Scott tipped her head up and kissed her again. “The answer is an easy one, Kara. I saved the best for last.”

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