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A Lowland Adventure - Mr. Maxwells' Vacation

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Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
[Episode 18]

Smultronställe*
Relieved from the depressing thoughts of Graham, Alex returned to thoughts of Jessie. He had to see her again. And she was in danger when she was alone. He dialed her number.
“Hello, Jessie here.”
“Ciamar a tha thu?” Alex had tried looking up Scottish Gaelic to impress her.
“Alec?”
“It’s me.”
“Weel, I wudna mistak you for a native speaker. But I ken ye’re tryin, an it’s sweet.”
“One minute on google translate is hardly a Master’s level accomplishment. I called to see if you’d like to go out to dinner. The fanciest restaurant in Gallovidia. You name it – price no object.”
“Och, Alex that’s verra guid o you. But yon's not want I’m wanting the day. Hoo’s this? A picnic up in the Forest. I wud enjoy that, an be prood tae show you some o my favourite places.”
“That sounds…very nice.” Alex tripped, almost saying ‘romantic’ – he sensed that would have been a big mistake. It seemed to him that Jessie resisted sentimentality. She seemed to prefer hiding her feelings behind arcane knowledge. “How do I get a picnic together?”
“I’ll dae that; I ken jus the things.”
“Alright. But I insist you keep the receipts and let me pay you back.
“It’s a deal.” Jessie, as a good Scot, always watched her budget closely. “I’ll come to your place at aboot five. Ye can bring the wine.”
“See you then. I’ll have more on the case to tell you.”

After they rang off, Jessie was very pleased. She was going to get together with Alex, but not because of fear or dependence, but to have a picnic. While he had suggested the meal, she had taken charge and made it her own. And hiking and dining up in the hills and forests were guaranteed to feed her soul!
She closed out her work (truth be told, she hadn’t been able to concentrate at all) grabbed her things for eating out, and jumped in Clio to pick up her messages.

When Alex hung up, he was similarly encouraged. Jes had seemed so angry leaving, that he had worried she wouldn’t want to see him again. While he was more the type for a white tablecloth meal, a picnic could be fun, and surely would be with Jes. And he sensed how unique the Forest was to the lassie and looked forward to seeing her in her natural element. It seemed so much a part of Jes that he almost envisioned her like those deer he watched with amazement the first day here, bounding freely through the woods.
With some time left, he sat back, closed his eyes, and became Graham.

‘Whit shall I put on?’ thought Jessie. Her first instinct, as ever, was her denim shorts. She always felt most comfortable in those, didn’t much like jeans, heavy-duty foresters’ trousers would be the sensible wear – but, hell, Alex was planning a romantic candlelit dinner, she’d parried that idea into the great outdoors, but there’s nae reason why a lassie shudna luik her best.
So ... she put on her favorite soft pale-blue chambray shirt, tied at the midriff, sheer green tights that showed her athletic legs to good advantage, and wrapped around her hips the mini-McTaggart kilt, the shades of blue and green blending well with the rest of her outfit. Sturdy blue walking trainers, a green waterproof in some gossamer-light fabric designed for spacewalks, neatly folded in a small pouch, and she was ready for the Forest.

At a few minutes before six, Clio, loaded with picnic supplies, pulled into the parking area at the Tonderghie House B&B. Jessie jumped out and headed toward Alex’s bungalow.
She was surprised to find herself so anxious to see him again. He’s jus got me nervish aboot this kidnapper, she said to herself, unwilling to admit other feelings that were developing for the American.

Before she could get to the door, Alex emerged. He had apparently been watching for her. He was dressed in his best L. L. Bean deer hunting gear. He figured that would work in the Forest, and it synced with his thoughts of Jes as a doe. He had a soft, short-sleeved chambray shirt in camouflage, rugged denim shorts in the same, and waterproof hunting boots. He carried a trail model rain jacket, fleece-lined. He had learned his lesson almost freezing to death.
As he saw Jessie alight from Clio, he almost whistled. The bare-midriff, very short kilt, and eye-catching green hose were incredibly sexy, he thought.

As the two approached to within a few feet more rapidly than either had expected, an awkward moment ensued as neither had planned an appropriately familiar greeting. Alex, totally surprising himself (he never knew what to do in awkward social situations), did precisely the right thing. He leaned forward before Jessie could move and gave her an air-kiss on the cheek. “Good to see you again, Jes.”
Jessie, taken aback by the very friendly but appropriate gesture from the usually clumsy Maxwell, stammered, “An tae see you.. tae, Alec!”

They quickly climbed into Clio, and Jessie pulled out onto the Queen’s Way.
Despite heading out on a lovely afternoon to picnic at one of her favorite spots in all Gallovidia Jessie was feeling very torn. Her almost obsessive desire to see Alex again and his suave yet sweet greeting had caught her off-guard. These feelings were not what she would normally allow herself.

They drove along toward Craigclattran Loch, which Alex cheerful recalled as they passed. He knew by now how much Jessie treasured this place. Several times he tried to start a conversation by complimenting a feature or praising a view. Each time Jessie responded with a dismissive or even sarcastic response.
They followed the narrow road by the Loch and turned on what seemed to Alex to be an endlessly winding way. When he remarked on all the twists, she replied: “Aye, I ken whit ye're ettlin fer, a bulldozer ta kerve thro a the hills, an a chainsaw to chap doon a the trees, sae ye can get fra A ta B in a puckle o minnits the fester.”
That quieted him down. After a few minutes, they were passing a surprisingly grand-looking Victorian shooting lodge Alex remarked humorously that he could check in there in his deer hunting outfit. Jessie chuckled to herself at his humor but felt, for some reason, compelled to say. “Wi yon fantoush breeks an yer fancy deer-huntin rig, ye'd fleg the brawest buck aroon fra a mile awa!!”
Out of the corner of her eye, as she was expertly putting Clio through her paces on the winding way, she saw the hurt in Alex’s eyes. Why had she said that? Jessie wasn’t usually a nasty or sarcastic person. Today, for some reason, she just had to shoot down everything he said.
Alex sat silently for a while, wondering what he’d done to get these put-downs. He settled on his kiss for her back at the B&B. Too forward. I just needed to be polite and keep saying how much I loved this place, which I honestly do, he thought.
18-02 Forest.jpg
After what proved to be only a half an hour or so from the Loch, they were bumping up an unmade track through forestry plantations till they come to a clearing, where Jessie parked the car by some old rail tracks and pieces of twisted metal machinery. She explained to Alex that there were once busy copper mines in what seemed now to be such a remote spot.
They grabbed all the food and gear out of Clio and donned their back-packs. Jessie gave Alex a large folded woolen tartan to carry. “Am Féileadh Mòr. Think of it as a Scottish picnic blanket.” In truth, she gave him the much heavier share to carry. Jessie was strong and independent, but she didn’t pretend that a larger man like Alex wasn’t able to carry a bigger load. When he jokingly asked if Jessie wouldn’t make it easier if she just had him carry the whole car, she snapped back, “Gin it’s tae muckle for the strang American, this wee lassie can tak some.”
Jessie led the way as they clambered up a steep, narrow goat-path. The trail was deeply forested at first, steep and unmarked. Before long, they emerged from the forest to a relatively level shelf where smooth rocks rising above the short grass which was filled with wildflowers.
Along the way, Alex was thankful that Jessie had to lead since only she knew where they were headed. By being behind, Alex got to admire her nice shapely butt and her long, athletic legs, sensually caressed by the green tights and which, with the short kiltie, seemed to go up forever! Jessie glanced around occasionally and was well aware of his looks. Another time, she might have been offended at being leered at. But today, she just felt flattered. On a naughty whim, she casually hiked the kiltie up to give the laddie a better show. A gesture that Alex observed and appreciated.
18-04 Forest trail.jpg
Alex was not in nearly as good condition as he imagined himself to be. Therefore, by the time they reached their destination, he was panting heavily. Jessie continued to tease him unmercifully for being soft.
In truth, Jessie was feeling a mite bit guilty for being so hard on Alex, who had taken it all in his stride. However, she feared that if she stopped, the talk might become too friendly, too sentimental. And she couldn’t let that happen, no matter how attractive she found Maxwell.

They choose a comfortable enough place to sit and set out their picnic. Alex gratefully set down his load. He stood back up and looked around. He might have still been panting from the climb, but the view took his breath away.
In front of them, the ground dropped away sharply to a truly magnificent view across a loch towards the rugged Range of the Awful Hand surrounding the Merrick. Jessie pointed the mountain out, which Alex remembered was the highest ‘mountain’ in Gallovidia. Scattered below were huge relics of basaltic rocks baked by volcanoes when the plate carrying what was going to be England collided with the one carrying Scotland, millions of years ago.
18-06 Merrick.jpg
My God! Alex thought to himself. It’s like heaven on earth! He turned to Jessie, who was standing, hands-on-hips, gazing on the scene as if mesmerized herself.

“What is this place called, Jes?”
“Rig o the Laggan” she said, with emotion in her voice. Alex looked and saw love in her face for this place. Given her resistance to showing emotion, the way she looked out on the scene warmed his heart.
“It is magical. Thank you for bringing me here to share it.”
Jessie blushed slightly. Those were the perfect words for him to say. Who was this man from Wisconsin? Despite her fear of intimacy, she did want, very much, to get to know him better and to share this special place with Alex.

A moment later, she caught herself. She reminded herself that she had to maintain an emotional distance from this fascinating American.
“I’m surprised a Yank wud e'en notice sic a thing. I'd expeck you tae say it's guid land for a shopping mall and acres of car park ” she said, turning away. The dig hurt Alex. He had been sincere in his reaction to the beautiful spot that Jes has shared. If she brought him here, why say that? He was doing all he could think of to be nice to Jes.
Alex then tried the direct approach. He leaned in close and touched her cheek. Jessie felt electricity shoot through her body. This had to stop!
She tilted her head and waved a disapproving finger at Alex.
“Noo, noo, Mr. Maxwell. You didna think you’d get dessert afore the meal, did ye?”

Alex looked at her with a mix of frustration and desire. She was so pretty. Her eyes flashed summer twilight, and her skin glowed with a lovely flush. Her long legs and bare middle stirred his sexual desire, and her cute, small breasts rose and fell enticingly with her quick breathing. She seemed aroused. What the hell was the problem?
But he was a gentleman. Despite dominating and sadistic fantasies, Alex, in real life, would never consider pushing a woman to where she didn't want to go.

*Smultronställe – Swedish. The literal meaning is “wild strawberry patch”, but the word is used to mean a special place that is close to your heart, that isn’t so easy for others to find, where you feel at ease and at one with the world.
 

Fossy

Tribune
“Noo, noo, Mr. Maxwell. You didna think you’d get dessert afore the meal, did ye?” - not so much a put down as a promise, I reckon. Will this tranquil date finally see the consummation of what is very clearly a mutual desire - we need to wait and see what this wonderfully weaving tale has in store for us ... :)
 
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Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
“Noo, noo, Mr. Maxwell. You didna think you’d get dessert afore the meal, did ye?” - not so much a put down as a promise, I reckon. Will this tranquil date finally see the consummation of what is very clearly a mutual desire - we need to wait and see what this wonderfully weaving tale has in store for us ... :)
"Noo, noo, Mr. Fossy It isna a date, ye ken." - Jessie
 

Barbaria1

Rebel Leader
Staff member
He was dressed in his best L. L. Bean deer hunting gear.
Upscale trendy ... :rolleyes:

The season’s ill—
we’ve lost our summer millionaire,
who seemed to leap from an L. L. Bean
catalogue. His nine-knot yawl
was auctioned off to lobstermen.

from the Robert Lowell poem “skunk hour”
 

Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
[Episode 19]

Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate*
“Well then,” Alex said as cheerfully as possible to soften her mood. “Let’s get down to eating.” With a boldness that surprised even him, he ran his tongue around his wet lips.
“Gae on wi'ye the noo, ye gallus rascal!" said Jessie, shoving him. Then she turned to open the food containers and serve while hiding the deep blush she felt coming on. He is so cute, she thought. Why the hell did I stop him?
Alex quietly helped to lay out the food. He was suitably impressed with the meal that Jessie had assembled on relatively short notice. As he arranged it, Jes explained each item:

Smoked Salmon terrine,
Organic Dunlop Cheese,
Soft Organic Blue Cheese,
Sourdough and Wholewheat from a local artisan baker,
Home-churned butter from a community farm,
And tomatoes and cucumbers from Jessie’s garden.
The dessert was Cranachan in heavy glass servers. Jessie explained that this was a Gaelic word for dessert. It was created from a mixture of whipped cream, honey, and fresh raspberries, with toasted oatmeal soaked overnight in (of course!) a drop or more of Whisky. It was a kind of Scottish version of a trifle.
19-02 cranachan.jpg
Everything looked tempting and delicious, and Alex praised each dish.

For his part in the feast, Alex had made a quick run to Castle Wraith (surprising himself with his ability to navigate that far) and scored two bottles of a South African oaked chardonnay. He had no way of finding anything more impressive in this unfamiliar place.
However, his choice was met with a left-handed compliment. “Och, oaked Chardonnay frae the Cape o Guid Hope? Yon's nae sae bad, ava. I wis feart ye'd bring some Californian plonk tastin o naethin but stainless steel!”
Alex caught the subtle insult but said nothing and just opened a bottle. They sat together on the Feileadh Mòr, at an uncongenial distance. Alex poured out glasses of wine and drank his without comment. I don't know, he thought to himself, the wine tastes rather good.
They both dug into the food and piled their plates high with the sumptuous fare. Alex repeatedly complimented Jessie on what she'd prepared, and she grudgingly acknowledged. The food and the scenery were beautiful complements for each other. The dessert proved to be a spectacular conclusion to the fine meal.
Jessie found the wine to be lovely but refused to say so. But she did refill her glass multiple times. The two went through the first bottle before the meal was half over, and Alex cracked the second.
Later, Alex was very relaxed, sipping his third glass of the oaked wine and spooning the last delectable remains of the Cranachan with fresh raspberries from the bottom of the serving glass. The picnic in this picturesque spot had been both palate- and soul-satisfying. Jessie was beside him, semi-reclining against a rock, staring dreamily out over the Scottish landscape. Her relaxed look, clearly loving the place, stirred romantic feelings in the man from Wisconsin. His eyes were drawn to her soft, bare tummy, moving slightly with her breathing. They then drifted down to her tight shorts. Alex thought that it couldn’t be better than this. Except, perhaps, if Jes didn’t persist in leading him on only to shove him away when he became affectionate.

Despite her best efforts, Jessie felt more and more affection for this gentle, sensitive man who was trying so hard to be friends (or more, she thought). Seeing, through lidded eyes, him checking out her tummy and her shorts sent a tingle of warmth through her loins. However, memories of the painful heartbreaks from so many disastrous relationships left her petrified of starting another.
Alex felt the glow of the wine and the magic of the place Jessie had brought him to. He wished, with all his heart, that he could share his feeling with this remarkable woman. However, he seemed to mess up at every turn. Fortified with much wine, he tried a classic male maneuver of shifting his seat toward Jessie to close some of the four-foot gap. When he had it to two, he halted, fearing she would notice and shy away again.

For some time, they were quiet, savoring the golden liquid and staring at the view. Then both simultaneously spotted a pair of golden eagles overhead. At the same moment, they both said, "Oh! Look there." They laughed together at their synchronous outbursts. Then they both stared upward at the beautiful pair of birds as they swooped and gyred in the deep blue sky.

*Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate - Aland D. Wolfelt

Discipline is helping a child solve a problem**
While they didn’t touch or speak, Jes and Alec felt a powerful closeness as they shared the moment in this place. A few moments later, they both turned to face each other. Looking into each other’s eyes from an intimate distance, the emotional pull toward each other was almost irresistible. Alex leaned slowly forward toward Jessie’s lovely face. He was lost in the deep, beautiful eyes.
Panicking, Jessie fought back once more. "Watch it. Ye gouster, I ken whaur yer min's a-rinnin, an it's no on gowden eagles i the lift, it's on the wee eyrie in ma kecks. I ken you Yanks loo huntin, an that's fine by me, I'm no agin it, but ye maun gie yer quarry a guid lang chase!
Alex stammered and tried to say that he didn’t – wouldn’t! But the wine had tied his tongue. As a child, he’d had a speech impediment. Years of having no one understand what he was saying had left a deep hurt in his self-confidence. Now it seemed to rush back as this girl laid into him.
“That’s right, blether some denial. Ye men are a ilka-same. You’ll say ony fancy words to tak advauntage o a lassie.”
With that, she gave him a shove, more violently than she'd intended, and knocked him back over, spilling his wine on his shirt.

Then something in Alex snapped. He sat back up and looked at Jessie. The look in his eye sent a shiver down her spine. What had she done? Why had she pushed him (even literally) so far? She began to think of how to apologize.
Before she could, Alex spoke in a deep and firm voice:
"That does it, you stubborn lassie! Now you'll get what you've been asking for. Sometimes a spoiled, little girl doesn't know when to stop. When she gets to that point, the man with her must step in and teach her a lesson. It is for her own good.” Without thinking of it, Alex was quoting the ‘Master’ in one of his stories on CruxTalk about masters and slaves.
With a surprising amount of agility and strength, Alex caught Jessie by the arm and threw her face-down across his legs, her wine glass now also flying. Using one hand to hold her in place, he tossed her kiltie up with the other and landed a hard smack, dead center on her upturned ass.
Jessie momentarily was too surprised to respond fully. But, then, as she felt a second hard blow to her butt, she screeched out, “Mo chreach!” and fought like a banshee.
Alex didn't know what her words meant but could easily guess the sentiment. Somehow, hearing her curse at him helped break some barrier, some restraint he had felt.

At heart, Maxwell was a gentle, peaceful man, if anything, overly deferential to women. To force himself on a girl like Jes in real life was anathema to him. But something was different here. The food, the wine, the view, the company, even, perhaps, the knowledge of her hidden submissive nature, it had all created a kind of magical, unreal world in which acting out a fantasy seemed right. A world closer to his domination dreams than to his real-life deference. He felt his adrenalin flow, and his manhood aroused (literally as well as figuratively).
Alex released Jessie's arm and, instead, grabbed the dark silky hair at the back of her head. Then, more roughly than he intended, he twisted her head around to face him. The shock and power of the action quieted the girl for a moment. She stilled and listened to him, speaking softly, yet firmly, to her.
“Jes. I’m sorry, but you have this coming. You need to be taught a lesson here. So just lay there across my knee and stick up your beautiful ass to take your punishment.”
The moment was dripping with tension. The two looked at each other, each determined not to give. Then the tension broke. Alex's comment on her beautiful ass and the threatened punishment touched parts deep down in Jessie. Desire arose to overcome stubbornness. Her face softened, and she lowered her eyes. “D'ye raelly think my erse is bonnie?” She said with a shy smile. “Aye, ye're right, Alex. I’m sorry. I’ll tak ma punishment.”
The girl ceased struggling and adjusted herself straight across the American’s knees with her butt in the air.

Alex would not have been surprised for Jessie to punch his lights out. However, he grinned at her submissiveness. He flipped her kittie up, showing her tights and - he was surprised to see - a real silk thong. Remembering a porno spanking video he’d seen, he said, with more confidence than he felt, “Twenty spanks. After each, you will count the number and thank me properly.” He thought of those scenes where an actor pretending to be an English schoolmaster would discipline a schoolgirl. After all, he thought, Jessie had told me she attended an English school!
“Aye, Sir,” was her meek reply. Then in a submissive but playful voice, “Shouldna ma tights and thong be pu'd doon, Sir?”
“Right you are, girl. Lift your hips.”
Obediently, the girl raised her hips, allowing Alex to slid the sexy green tights and panties down to her knees. Her ass indeed was beautiful, thought Alex, admiring the fair curves, the soft mounds, and the cute dimples where they merged into her thighs. The deep cleft hid the ultimate treasures.

**Discipline is helping a child solve a problem – L. R. Knost

It is natural to be impacted more deeply by pain than by pleasure.***
Alex raised his right hand and brought it down hard. “Smack!” The sound echoed in the forest.
“Ow. One. Thank you, sir.”
“Smack!" "Oww! Two. Thank you, sir.”
“Smack!" "Aggh! Three. Thank you, sir.”
Alex pulled his punches a little. He cared so much for this girl. He didn't want to be too hard. His real-life experience in administering erotic punishment was non-existent.
Jessie knew he was taking it easy. Her rear was hurting, but it could have been far worse. And she wanted worse. For a moment, she thought of saying something about hoo he didna match the discipline wielded by dominies wi the tawse i the days o auld lang syne ... But then she remembered how teasing she's been and how hurt he looked. She didn't want to do more of that.
By the time they’d passed ten, Jessie’s cheeks were bright red. Alex was lost in staring at the sexy flesh quivering under the blows. His lust drove him to hit harder and harder, drawing louder cries from the lassie.
As the count closed in on fifteen, with ever harder spanks, Jessie was crying. That was very unusual for her. She always controlled her emotions better than that. Approaching twenty, she was actually sobbing. She knew it was partially the pain, but much more the emotional release. She had fought to keep her feeling bottled up for so much of her life and especially the last eight months, that letting Alex this close and experiencing such strong feelings for him allowed the floodgates to open.
“Smack!" "OWWW!, {sob}, Twenty. Thank you, sir {sob}.

Alex took her arm and pulled her up to his chest and held her tight in his arms. Jessie cuddled in a ball against his body and cried, softly, now.
They remained thus for a good while. Jessie was slowly calming down but holding onto Alex like a life preserver, and Alex was keeping her close, stroking her hair and gently caressing her tear-stained cheek.

Finally, Jessie fell silent. She raised her head and looked into Alex's soft eyes.
There was no hesitation now, no reluctance remaining. The two leaned together and kissed.
It was a passionate, deep kiss, mouths opening, tongues thrusting and exploring, arms grasping the other, heat rising between their impassioned bodies. All the desire and impatience that had accumulated since their last embrace flooded into this kiss. It seemed as if they were alone in the world, with just this beautiful place and each other.
Alex was in heaven as he kissed this enchanting woman. He had longed for her so much! His left hand slipped down the soft blue chambray fabric on her back, to her side, and around until he cupped her modest breast. The feel of the firm yet springy flesh intoxicated him.
Jessie lost herself in the kiss as well. Rig o the Laggan had always moved her deeply, and today was no exception. Watching the two eagles seem to court in the air made the moment seem right for affection. She was tired of resisting her urges, tired of denying her strong feeling for this man. The pain in her rear reminded her of her desire for being dominated and caused a wet arousal in her loins. This gentle man seemed capable of punishing her without trying to take advantage. Jessie allowed herself to let go, feeling his strong arms around her and his hot tongue probing her mouth.

A few moments more of the passionate kiss and embrace, and a funny little voice deep in the girl’s mind awakened. He’s feelin yer tit! Are ye gaen ta mak loove tae this stranger? Right here? Right noo?
At the same time, Alex felt a surge of concern. His passions raging and his manhood aroused, he somehow felt this was too fast. The girl was so special, and the moment was so supercharged with emotion. Would he be taking advantage of her vulnerable feelings?
Simultaneously, they both broke off the kiss, and Alex took his hand from her chest.
Awkwardly, they disentangled and sat beside each other as Jessie pulled her panties and tights back up, while Alex looked respectfully away. As she smoothed her kiltie back down, a naughty thought came to her.

"Alex," she said in a naughty little girl's voice. "Have you ever heeard o 'linkie huntin?'"
19-10 Lassie Hunting.jpg

***“It is natural to be impacted more deeply by pain than by pleasure.” - Carol Storm, Crystal and Gold
 

Barbaria1

Rebel Leader
Staff member
Alex would not have been surprised for Jessie to punch his lights out.

Probably what I would have done to him ;)


He is so cute, she thought. Why the hell did I stop him?

Displaying here a definite need for a visit to an optometrist :rolleyes: or, if not that, in need of treatment for the delusional.

"Alex," she said in a naughty little girl's voice. "Have you ever heeard o 'linkie huntin?'"
19-10 Lassie Hunting.jpg


Ahhh ... here it comes. Now we’ve learnt what this story is really about! :popcorn:
 

Fossy

Tribune
[Episode 19]

Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate*
“Well then,” Alex said as cheerfully as possible to soften her mood. “Let’s get down to eating.” With a boldness that surprised even him, he ran his tongue around his wet lips.
“Gae on wi'ye the noo, ye gallus rascal!" said Jessie, shoving him. Then she turned to open the food containers and serve while hiding the deep blush she felt coming on. He is so cute, she thought. Why the hell did I stop him?
Alex quietly helped to lay out the food. He was suitably impressed with the meal that Jessie had assembled on relatively short notice. As he arranged it, Jes explained each item:

Smoked Salmon terrine,
Organic Dunlop Cheese,
Soft Organic Blue Cheese,
Sourdough and Wholewheat from a local artisan baker,
Home-churned butter from a community farm,
And tomatoes and cucumbers from Jessie’s garden.
The dessert was Cranachan in heavy glass servers. Jessie explained that this was a Gaelic word for dessert. It was created from a mixture of whipped cream, honey, and fresh raspberries, with toasted oatmeal soaked overnight in (of course!) a drop or more of Whisky. It was a kind of Scottish version of a trifle.
View attachment 954629
Everything looked tempting and delicious, and Alex praised each dish.

For his part in the feast, Alex had made a quick run to Castle Wraith (surprising himself with his ability to navigate that far) and scored two bottles of a South African oaked chardonnay. He had no way of finding anything more impressive in this unfamiliar place.
However, his choice was met with a left-handed compliment. “Och, oaked Chardonnay frae the Cape o Guid Hope? Yon's nae sae bad, ava. I wis feart ye'd bring some Californian plonk tastin o naethin but stainless steel!”
Alex caught the subtle insult but said nothing and just opened a bottle. They sat together on the Feileadh Mòr, at an uncongenial distance. Alex poured out glasses of wine and drank his without comment. I don't know, he thought to himself, the wine tastes rather good.
They both dug into the food and piled their plates high with the sumptuous fare. Alex repeatedly complimented Jessie on what she'd prepared, and she grudgingly acknowledged. The food and the scenery were beautiful complements for each other. The dessert proved to be a spectacular conclusion to the fine meal.
Jessie found the wine to be lovely but refused to say so. But she did refill her glass multiple times. The two went through the first bottle before the meal was half over, and Alex cracked the second.
Later, Alex was very relaxed, sipping his third glass of the oaked wine and spooning the last delectable remains of the Cranachan with fresh raspberries from the bottom of the serving glass. The picnic in this picturesque spot had been both palate- and soul-satisfying. Jessie was beside him, semi-reclining against a rock, staring dreamily out over the Scottish landscape. Her relaxed look, clearly loving the place, stirred romantic feelings in the man from Wisconsin. His eyes were drawn to her soft, bare tummy, moving slightly with her breathing. They then drifted down to her tight shorts. Alex thought that it couldn’t be better than this. Except, perhaps, if Jes didn’t persist in leading him on only to shove him away when he became affectionate.

Despite her best efforts, Jessie felt more and more affection for this gentle, sensitive man who was trying so hard to be friends (or more, she thought). Seeing, through lidded eyes, him checking out her tummy and her shorts sent a tingle of warmth through her loins. However, memories of the painful heartbreaks from so many disastrous relationships left her petrified of starting another.
Alex felt the glow of the wine and the magic of the place Jessie had brought him to. He wished, with all his heart, that he could share his feeling with this remarkable woman. However, he seemed to mess up at every turn. Fortified with much wine, he tried a classic male maneuver of shifting his seat toward Jessie to close some of the four-foot gap. When he had it to two, he halted, fearing she would notice and shy away again.

For some time, they were quiet, savoring the golden liquid and staring at the view. Then both simultaneously spotted a pair of golden eagles overhead. At the same moment, they both said, "Oh! Look there." They laughed together at their synchronous outbursts. Then they both stared upward at the beautiful pair of birds as they swooped and gyred in the deep blue sky.

*Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate - Aland D. Wolfelt

Discipline is helping a child solve a problem**
While they didn’t touch or speak, Jes and Alec felt a powerful closeness as they shared the moment in this place. A few moments later, they both turned to face each other. Looking into each other’s eyes from an intimate distance, the emotional pull toward each other was almost irresistible. Alex leaned slowly forward toward Jessie’s lovely face. He was lost in the deep, beautiful eyes.
Panicking, Jessie fought back once more. "Watch it. Ye gouster, I ken whaur yer min's a-rinnin, an it's no on gowden eagles i the lift, it's on the wee eyrie in ma kecks. I ken you Yanks loo huntin, an that's fine by me, I'm no agin it, but ye maun gie yer quarry a guid lang chase!
Alex stammered and tried to say that he didn’t – wouldn’t! But the wine had tied his tongue. As a child, he’d had a speech impediment. Years of having no one understand what he was saying had left a deep hurt in his self-confidence. Now it seemed to rush back as this girl laid into him.
“That’s right, blether some denial. Ye men are a ilka-same. You’ll say ony fancy words to tak advauntage o a lassie.”
With that, she gave him a shove, more violently than she'd intended, and knocked him back over, spilling his wine on his shirt.

Then something in Alex snapped. He sat back up and looked at Jessie. The look in his eye sent a shiver down her spine. What had she done? Why had she pushed him (even literally) so far? She began to think of how to apologize.
Before she could, Alex spoke in a deep and firm voice:
"That does it, you stubborn lassie! Now you'll get what you've been asking for. Sometimes a spoiled, little girl doesn't know when to stop. When she gets to that point, the man with her must step in and teach her a lesson. It is for her own good.” Without thinking of it, Alex was quoting the ‘Master’ in one of his stories on CruxTalk about masters and slaves.
With a surprising amount of agility and strength, Alex caught Jessie by the arm and threw her face-down across his legs, her wine glass now also flying. Using one hand to hold her in place, he tossed her kiltie up with the other and landed a hard smack, dead center on her upturned ass.
Jessie momentarily was too surprised to respond fully. But, then, as she felt a second hard blow to her butt, she screeched out, “Mo chreach!” and fought like a banshee.
Alex didn't know what her words meant but could easily guess the sentiment. Somehow, hearing her curse at him helped break some barrier, some restraint he had felt.

At heart, Maxwell was a gentle, peaceful man, if anything, overly deferential to women. To force himself on a girl like Jes in real life was anathema to him. But something was different here. The food, the wine, the view, the company, even, perhaps, the knowledge of her hidden submissive nature, it had all created a kind of magical, unreal world in which acting out a fantasy seemed right. A world closer to his domination dreams than to his real-life deference. He felt his adrenalin flow, and his manhood aroused (literally as well as figuratively).
Alex released Jessie's arm and, instead, grabbed the dark silky hair at the back of her head. Then, more roughly than he intended, he twisted her head around to face him. The shock and power of the action quieted the girl for a moment. She stilled and listened to him, speaking softly, yet firmly, to her.
“Jes. I’m sorry, but you have this coming. You need to be taught a lesson here. So just lay there across my knee and stick up your beautiful ass to take your punishment.”
The moment was dripping with tension. The two looked at each other, each determined not to give. Then the tension broke. Alex's comment on her beautiful ass and the threatened punishment touched parts deep down in Jessie. Desire arose to overcome stubbornness. Her face softened, and she lowered her eyes. “D'ye raelly think my erse is bonnie?” She said with a shy smile. “Aye, ye're right, Alex. I’m sorry. I’ll tak ma punishment.”
The girl ceased struggling and adjusted herself straight across the American’s knees with her butt in the air.

Alex would not have been surprised for Jessie to punch his lights out. However, he grinned at her submissiveness. He flipped her kittie up, showing her tights and - he was surprised to see - a real silk thong. Remembering a porno spanking video he’d seen, he said, with more confidence than he felt, “Twenty spanks. After each, you will count the number and thank me properly.” He thought of those scenes where an actor pretending to be an English schoolmaster would discipline a schoolgirl. After all, he thought, Jessie had told me she attended an English school!
“Aye, Sir,” was her meek reply. Then in a submissive but playful voice, “Shouldna ma tights and thong be pu'd doon, Sir?”
“Right you are, girl. Lift your hips.”
Obediently, the girl raised her hips, allowing Alex to slid the sexy green tights and panties down to her knees. Her ass indeed was beautiful, thought Alex, admiring the fair curves, the soft mounds, and the cute dimples where they merged into her thighs. The deep cleft hid the ultimate treasures.

**Discipline is helping a child solve a problem – L. R. Knost

It is natural to be impacted more deeply by pain than by pleasure.***
Alex raised his right hand and brought it down hard. “Smack!” The sound echoed in the forest.
“Ow. One. Thank you, sir.”
“Smack!" "Oww! Two. Thank you, sir.”
“Smack!" "Aggh! Three. Thank you, sir.”
Alex pulled his punches a little. He cared so much for this girl. He didn't want to be too hard. His real-life experience in administering erotic punishment was non-existent.
Jessie knew he was taking it easy. Her rear was hurting, but it could have been far worse. And she wanted worse. For a moment, she thought of saying something about hoo he didna match the discipline wielded by dominies wi the tawse i the days o auld lang syne ... But then she remembered how teasing she's been and how hurt he looked. She didn't want to do more of that.
By the time they’d passed ten, Jessie’s cheeks were bright red. Alex was lost in staring at the sexy flesh quivering under the blows. His lust drove him to hit harder and harder, drawing louder cries from the lassie.
As the count closed in on fifteen, with ever harder spanks, Jessie was crying. That was very unusual for her. She always controlled her emotions better than that. Approaching twenty, she was actually sobbing. She knew it was partially the pain, but much more the emotional release. She had fought to keep her feeling bottled up for so much of her life and especially the last eight months, that letting Alex this close and experiencing such strong feelings for him allowed the floodgates to open.
“Smack!" "OWWW!, {sob}, Twenty. Thank you, sir {sob}.

Alex took her arm and pulled her up to his chest and held her tight in his arms. Jessie cuddled in a ball against his body and cried, softly, now.
They remained thus for a good while. Jessie was slowly calming down but holding onto Alex like a life preserver, and Alex was keeping her close, stroking her hair and gently caressing her tear-stained cheek.

Finally, Jessie fell silent. She raised her head and looked into Alex's soft eyes.
There was no hesitation now, no reluctance remaining. The two leaned together and kissed.
It was a passionate, deep kiss, mouths opening, tongues thrusting and exploring, arms grasping the other, heat rising between their impassioned bodies. All the desire and impatience that had accumulated since their last embrace flooded into this kiss. It seemed as if they were alone in the world, with just this beautiful place and each other.
Alex was in heaven as he kissed this enchanting woman. He had longed for her so much! His left hand slipped down the soft blue chambray fabric on her back, to her side, and around until he cupped her modest breast. The feel of the firm yet springy flesh intoxicated him.
Jessie lost herself in the kiss as well. Rig o the Laggan had always moved her deeply, and today was no exception. Watching the two eagles seem to court in the air made the moment seem right for affection. She was tired of resisting her urges, tired of denying her strong feeling for this man. The pain in her rear reminded her of her desire for being dominated and caused a wet arousal in her loins. This gentle man seemed capable of punishing her without trying to take advantage. Jessie allowed herself to let go, feeling his strong arms around her and his hot tongue probing her mouth.

A few moments more of the passionate kiss and embrace, and a funny little voice deep in the girl’s mind awakened. He’s feelin yer tit! Are ye gaen ta mak loove tae this stranger? Right here? Right noo?
At the same time, Alex felt a surge of concern. His passions raging and his manhood aroused, he somehow felt this was too fast. The girl was so special, and the moment was so supercharged with emotion. Would he be taking advantage of her vulnerable feelings?
Simultaneously, they both broke off the kiss, and Alex took his hand from her chest.
Awkwardly, they disentangled and sat beside each other as Jessie pulled her panties and tights back up, while Alex looked respectfully away. As she smoothed her kiltie back down, a naughty thought came to her.

"Alex," she said in a naughty little girl's voice. "Have you ever heeard o 'linkie huntin?'"
View attachment 954631

***“It is natural to be impacted more deeply by pain than by pleasure.” - Carol Storm, Crystal and Gold
At long last Mr Maxwell realises what us readers have been yelling at our screens for days now "If ye want this lassie then tak a firm hand t'her equally firm ass man!" ... but is this the start of the beginning for Alex and Jess ... or the beginning of the end? Terrific chapter ...
 

Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
So if Alex and Jessie start playing that game of the hunt, let's hope they don't forget that someone else might be on the hunt too!

At long last Mr Maxwell realises what us readers have been yelling at our screens for days now "If ye want this lassie then tak a firm hand t'her equally firm ass man!" ... but is this the start of the beginning for Alex and Jess ... or the beginning of the end? Terrific chapter ...
Even the woodland creatures were shocked:
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Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
Graeme’s Girls
Only the Best for Discriminating Connoisseurs
(Photo’s and additional details available on verified request)

Dossier #1049
Name: Zuzka
Age: 21
Height: 174 cm. (5’8”)
Weight: 66 kg. (146)
Hair Color: Honey Blonde
Eye Color: Pale Blue
Nationality: Polish
Language: Polish, English
Personality: Frankly, a ‘spoiled brat’ with a fiery temper – in urgent need of correction
Background: Wealthy family in Warsaw, worked briefly and not well, as an Au pair in Edinburgh.


1610483919789.png
 
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Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
I know some of you find interesting the process that goes into the creation of a story. In the case of A Lowland Adventure, It began eight months ago to the day on May 13, 2020, when fevered in lockdown, I was searching for ideas for a story. I had been in a private conversation with someone here about all things Scottish (I am about 1/8th Scottish and have a fascination with the land and people). An idea came to me and on the next day, the 14th, I wrote down the germ of the tale and sent it to my correspondent. Receiving positive feedback, I moved ahead. Here is what I wrote then

May 14, 2020
A thought came of a modern-day mystery-adventure that would take place in the Scottish lowlands starring a lovely academic researcher, assisting a bumbling, tactless, but brilliant at detecting American on holiday attempting to hike the Scottish moors (something which proves well beyond his sorry constitution half-way into his first day). Together, this "odd-couple" discovers dark secrets of the primitive countryside and of each other.


If this is of interest to any of you, I could share a bit more.
 
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Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
[Episode 20]

Finding The Lair of the White Worm*
It was an unseasonably cool evening for July, and Mrs. McTavish had kindly lit a fire in the fireplace when she brought the tea and cakes that Alex had requested. He and Jessie sat in the two sitting chairs by the fire, enjoying the evening treat. Though seated discreetly apart, they both felt a closeness that hadn’t been there the last time they were together here.
Neither said a word about what happened on the hilltop, but both knew that their relationship was changed forever. Neither Alex nor Jessie fought anymore against the attraction they felt for the other; both accepted that they were drawn together, though their future was undefined. Trying to break the silence, Alex remarked on a cricket jumping away from the warming hearth, reminding him of a Dickens’ short story that he’d read as a boy**.

Jessie forced her thoughts away from Alex and Mrs. McTavish's sinfully tempting pastries after eating her second teacake far too rapidly. She broached the compulsory subject. “Whit do we ken aboot Graeme?”
“Grame? I called him Graham. What is that name?”
“It’s the auld Gaelic way o pronooncin Graham, ye can spell it G-r-a-e-m-e. An it wis the name o a notorious Gaollovidian freebooter, a smuggler, an ootlaw ye'd say, terrible ruthless, he was, a scoundrel wi endless cruelties.”
“Well, he sounds just like our man. I think we’ll call him that. Thanks for the idea.”
“Ye’re weelcum.” said Jes, modestly.

“But to return to your question,” said Alec, “We, of course, 'know' almost nothing. But there is a reasonable probability that I have him down in the broad outlines." He then recited his profiling as Jessie, who liked to see things on paper, jotted her notes under the title “Graeme.”
“He’s in it for love and money. He got started to satisfy his desires, but learned that he could make money, a lot of money by selling the girls on to ‘collectors.’ You’d be shocked to know how many mega-rich men (and a few women) out there are glad to pay a fortune for a sex slave, especially one custom selected for his wants.”
“I believe it,” interjected Jessie with bitter resentment in her voice. “Leuk at a the poorfu men in politics an enterteenment wha jalouse they can tak advauntage o a lassie, whanivver they ettle ta!”
"Just so," agreed Alex." These men are even richer but more discreet. You find many of them in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, with private islands or walled and guarded compounds – beyond the reach of ordinary law enforcement. I suspect that Graeme has partnered up with an international ring, maybe Russian or Ukrainian, to smuggle the girls out of Britain and on to their eventual buyers. Some will be special orders, while others are just vulnerable, pretty, young girls who can be auctioned off to the highest bidder.”
“Scunnersome!”

“I believe that Graeme picked this area for his base for several reasons. It’s quiet and low crime with an almost non-existent police force – as we’ve seen.”
“Aye, yon's the trowth!”
“And, like you've said about the Gallovidian Graeme, there used to be a lot of smuggling activity here in the old days. That means there are some isolated beaches or unused harbors where the girls could be loaded on ships to take into slavery?”
“Aye, there's a guid mony ... let me think. Hey, I see Mrs McTavish has pit oot the OS maps, we need to vizzy them a wheen ...
Jessie peered at the maps, running her finger along the rugged, deeply indented Gallovidia coastline.
“They need to be out of the way, unused. Not even for casual recreational boaters.”
“Noo, the smugglers in the auld times uised ta sail weel up the Solway, they'd land at places like Arbiglan, whaur yer kenspeckle peerat John Paul Jones waur born an bred! Bit the Firth's silted up, the landin's nae say guid the day ... an alang here, whaur puir Mary Queen o Scots left her land for the last time, it's Militairy Trainin Range, they practice firin rockets inta the sea there ... a dinna think oor white sleever wud risk gettin hit by a scud missile!”

Alex listened, fascinated by Jessie’s knowledge of the coast and of its history. He shared that love of history. What an adorable girl, he thought!
She folded up the first map and moved on to a second.
“Bit oot beyond Burra Heid noo ... ye ken The Wicker Mannie? That's whaur he went up in flames! There's St Trinian's Cave, but there's too mony veesitors aroon there ... but the next bit o the coast's lanely, an no aisy to win tae frae the land ...”
Her eyes lit up!
“Aye, a ken there's an auld landin place doon below whaur the auld copper mine wis, , Bluidy Bite they cry it,... .. aye, an there's a cave neerhaun, whaur smugglers uised ta stow their stuff, Buchie's Hole ... it's weel hidden frae the lan, an no aisy to fin fra the sea neither.”
“Sounds good,” said Alex. “Any others?”
“The ither bit o the coast whaur smugglers had saicret landin places and caves wis ower on the Rhinns, maistlie the west side, luikin owr ta Irelaun.”
Jessie was studying Morag's OS map again.
“Aye, alang here's a lanely stretch - luik here, Port Drumhinnie, agin there waur some works here in the auld times, lang disused, but there's a wee jetty an moorin gear, a wudna be surprised gin bad yins yaise it!’
"Excellent. The next step is to visit these as soon as possible and look for signs of recent activity. I'm afraid it's too dark now to see anything."
"I'll drive us oot there the morn, at first licht." Said Jessie enthusiastically.
"Maybe I should go alone," cautioned Alex. “It could be a little dangerous to be snooping around there.”
"Ye'll no gae there withoot me. Sorcha's ma frien, ye ken, we're lippen for her baith thegither! An forby, ye'll anely git lost!"
“All right. But we will need to be careful. I didn’t mention the other reason I think Graeme choose this area for his base. That stubborn privacy and isolation of the people here.” Jessie looked up, ready to dispute that, only to see a grin on Alex’s face. “I know,” he said. “You have your reasons. However, it creates a culture where a man who has money and even a slight Scot accent, could come in, buy a place, and equip it as his lair with few questions asked.”
“Aye, he could.”
"And our challenge is to find the lair. It will be fair-sized or more. Graeme would want a large basement for his dungeon/torture chamber…"
“Torter chaumer? Ye jalouse he torters the lassies hissel?”
“I’m sure he does. He’s a dedicated sadist. But, unlike you and your ‘ex,’ he wouldn’t use a safeword or hesitate to hurt a girl beyond her endurance. He would get really ugly!”
“Puir Sorcha!”
Puir Sorcha and a half dozen other girls. That’s why he needs size for cages to keep the girls until the next shipment goes out.”
“We maun fin him an stap him!”
"Easier said than done. Is there some county records department where we could look up the new owners of houses in Gallovidia?"
“Hmmm... there maun be a register o tax-peyers in Dumfries, but I dinna think ye can inquire at it wi'oot giein some guid raison - data protection's kittle, ye ken. The Register o voters isna mickle uise aither, crooks wudna register to vote. I think the Land Registry in Embro keeps a the deeds and documents, but they arena up to date, an ye maun order copies fer a hefty fee. In Scotlan, soleecitors dae the darg o yer estate agents, but ye canna jus waltz in an ask aboot raicent sales, they're gey secretive. So, finin oot wha's bocht a property, specially gin ye dinna e'en ken whilk property, isna sae easy - but I ken oor best soorce wud be the local blether.”
“The blether?”
“Aye, the gossip! Dinna misdoot what ye dinna ken. In a wee clauchan like this, some folk ken ilka thing that gaes on. Your lanlady, Morag, she keeps her lug tae the grund, she kens muckle o the comins and gaeins hereaboots. An she’s guid friens wi Beth, wha jus happens ta be the postmistress - they arraunge the floors i the kirk thegither. Aye, ye tak ma word, they twa will be able to tell us of ony unco fowk wha’s takken ower a big hoose i the past few yeers.”
“I’ll take your word, Jes. That’ll be our next step after identifying his smuggling cove.”
“Whit mair can ye tell aboot him?” asked Jessie.
“He’s smart, very smart. He is methodical, plans everything out in great detail. That might expose a weakness. If we force him to act fast, without planning, he’s likely to make mistakes.”
“Aye. Whit else?”
"Most likely, he fancies himself a ladies' man and an exceptional lover. I would expect that in reality, his is average or below, compensation, you know?"
“Aye.” Though not a profiler, Jessie was well and widely read and was familiar with the concept of compensation.
“So again, he’s vulnerable to having his attractiveness and manhood questioned. If it was, he might lose his temper and go off without thinking. Still, that’s when he’s most vulnerable.
“So we say he's ugsome, an he's anely got a wee pintle?”
“Maybe. But only if we know what we are doing and are out of his reach. He might make a mistake losing his temper, but he’s also likely to become extremely violent.”
“Och, i'm dumfoondit hoo ye can feegur a that oot!”

“It’s my gift. So, do you have what you need to sleep here tonight?”
"Whit? Are ye glaikit? We hae a wee bit o dafferie up the hill, an noo ye jalouse a'm yer playcock?"
"No, Jes. I didn't mean that. You can sleep in the bed, and I'll use my sleeping bag on the floor. I only want to be able to watch over you!"
"A dinna need ye takin tent o me, thank ye a the same, a'll sleep in ma ane bed the neet!"
“I think that is a bad idea, Jes. We don’t know what Graeme is up to.”
“Be that as mebbe, a'm awa the noo. An ye tak tent o yersel, Alex Maxwell."
“Jes…”
“I'll be back at blink o day the morn, an we'll chack oot yon coves”
“All right. But be very careful, Jes.”

With the issue settled in her favor, Jessie felt her new affection for Alex stirring. As she opened the door, she turned and said, "Aye, a shall ca canny. An thank ye fer yon bonnie picnic at the Rig o the Laggan, Alec. It wis gey speeshal fer me."
“As for me, Jes. See you in the morning.” He was sorely tempted to use the word love then. But he sensed that might just scare her off again.
After he changed, put out the lights, and got in the soft bed, his mind went back to that afternoon on the hillside. He replayed every moment, over and over again, until he drifted off to a night of dreaming of Jessie.
Alex had no way of knowing, but Jessie shared the same thoughts.

*The Lair of the White Worm - a horror novel by the Irish writer Bram Stoker, published in 1911 – the year before Stoker's death

20-02 Lair.jpg20-04 Lair61VJVwCcfmL.jpg20-06 Lair.jpg

** ”The Cricket on the Hearth: A Fairy Tale of Home” - a novella by Charles Dickens, published and released 20 December 1845” - described by the author as "quiet and domestic, innocent and pretty." It is subdivided into chapters called "Chirps."
 
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Fossy

Tribune
[Episode 20]

Finding The Lair of the White Worm*
It was an unseasonably cool evening for July, and Mrs. McTavish had kindly lit a fire in the fireplace when she brought the tea and cakes that Alex had requested. He and Jessie sat in the two sitting chairs by the fire, enjoying the evening treat. Though seated discreetly apart, they both felt a closeness that hadn’t been there the last time they were together here.
Neither said a word about what happened on the hilltop, but both knew that their relationship was changed forever. Neither Alex nor Jessie fought anymore against the attraction they felt for the other; both accepted that they were drawn together, though their future was undefined. Trying to break the silence, Alex remarked on a cricket jumping away from the warming hearth, reminding him of a Dickens’ short story that he’d read as a boy**.

Jessie forced her thoughts away from Alex and Mrs. McTavish's sinfully tempting pastries after eating her second teacake far too rapidly. She broached the compulsory subject. “Whit do we ken aboot Graeme?”
“Grame? I called him Graham. What is that name?”
“It’s the auld Gaelic way o pronooncin Graham, ye can spell it G-r-a-e-m-e. An it wis the name o a notorious Gaollovidian freebooter, a smuggler, an ootlaw ye'd say, terrible ruthless, he was, a scoundrel wi endless cruelties.”
“Well, he sounds just like our man. I think we’ll call him that. Thanks for the idea.”
“Ye’re weelcum.” said Jes, modestly.

“But to return to your question,” said Alec, “We, of course, 'know' almost nothing. But there is a reasonable probability that I have him down in the broad outlines." He then recited his profiling as Jessie, who liked to see things on paper, jotted her notes under the title “Graeme.”
“He’s in it for love and money. He got started to satisfy his desires, but learned that he could make money, a lot of money by selling the girls on to ‘collectors.’ You’d be shocked to know how many mega-rich men (and a few women) out there are glad to pay a fortune for a sex slave, especially one custom selected for his wants.”
“I believe it,” interjected Jessie with bitter resentment in her voice. “Leuk at a the poorfu men in politics an enterteenment wha jalouse they can tak advauntage o a lassie, whanivver they ettle ta!”
"Just so," agreed Alex." These men are even richer but more discreet. You find many of them in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, with private islands or walled and guarded compounds – beyond the reach of ordinary law enforcement. I suspect that Graeme has partnered up with an international ring, maybe Russian or Ukrainian, to smuggle the girls out of Britain and on to their eventual buyers. Some will be special orders, while others are just vulnerable, pretty, young girls who can be auctioned off to the highest bidder.”
“Scunnersome!”

“I believe that Graeme picked this area for his base for several reasons. It’s quiet and low crime with an almost non-existent police force – as we’ve seen.”
“Aye, yon's the trowth!”
“And, like you've said about the Gallovidian Graeme, there used to be a lot of smuggling activity here in the old days. That means there are some isolated beaches or unused harbors where the girls could be loaded on ships to take into slavery?”
“Aye, there's a guid mony ... let me think. Hey, I see Mrs McTavish has pit oot the OS maps, we need to vizzy them a wheen ...
Jessie peered at the maps, running her finger along the rugged, deeply indented Gallovidia coastline.
“They need to be out of the way, unused. Not even for casual recreational boaters.”
“Noo, the smugglers in the auld times uised ta sail weel up the Solway, they'd land at places like Arbiglan, whaur yer kenspeckle peerat John Paul Jones waur born an bred! Bit the Firth's silted up, the landin's nae say guid the day ... an alang here, whaur puir Mary Queen o Scots left her land for the last time, it's Militairy Trainin Range, they practice firin rockets inta the sea there ... a dinna think oor white sleever wud risk gettin hit by a scud missile!”

Alex listened, fascinated by Jessie’s knowledge of the coast and of its history. He shared that love of history. What an adorable girl, he thought!
She folded up the first map and moved on to a second.
“Bit oot beyond Burra Heid noo ... ye ken The Wicker Mannie? That's whaur he went up in flames! There's St Trinian's Cave, but there's too mony veesitors aroon there ... but the next bit o the coast's lanely, an no aisy to win tae frae the land ...”
Her eyes lit up!
“Aye, a ken there's an auld landin place doon below whaur the auld copper mine wis, , Bluidy Bite they cry it,... .. aye, an there's a cave neerhaun, whaur smugglers uised ta stow their stuff, Buchie's Hole ... it's weel hidden frae the lan, an no aisy to fin fra the sea neither.”
“Sounds good,” said Alex. “Any others?”
“The ither bit o the coast whaur smugglers had saicret landin places and caves wis ower on the Rhinns, maistlie the west side, luikin owr ta Irelaun.”
Jessie was studying Morag's OS map again.
“Aye, alang here's a lanely stretch - luik here, Port Drumhinnie, agin there waur some works here in the auld times, lang disused, but there's a wee jetty an moorin gear, a wudna be surprised gin bad yins yaise it!’
"Excellent. The next step is to visit these as soon as possible and look for signs of recent activity. I'm afraid it's too dark now to see anything."
"I'll drive us oot there the morn, at first licht." Said Jessie enthusiastically.
"Maybe I should go alone," cautioned Alex. “It could be a little dangerous to be snooping around there.”
"Ye'll no gae there withoot me. Sorcha's ma frien, ye ken, we're lippen for her baith thegither! An forby, ye'll anely git lost!"
“All right. But we will need to be careful. I didn’t mention the other reason I think Graeme choose this area for his base. That stubborn privacy and isolation of the people here.” Jessie looked up, ready to dispute that, only to see a grin on Alex’s face. “I know,” he said. “You have your reasons. However, it creates a culture where a man who has money and even a slight Scot accent, could come in, buy a place, and equip it as his lair with few questions asked.”
“Aye, he could.”
"And our challenge is to find the lair. It will be fair-sized or more. Graeme would want a large basement for his dungeon/torture chamber…"
“Torter chaumer? Ye jalouse he torters the lassies hissel?”
“I’m sure he does. He’s a dedicated sadist. But, unlike you and your ‘ex,’ he wouldn’t use a safeword or hesitate to hurt a girl beyond her endurance. He would get really ugly!”
“Puir Sorcha!”
Puir Sorcha and a half dozen other girls. That’s why he needs size for cages to keep the girls until the next shipment goes out.”
“We maun fin him an stap him!”
"Easier said than done. Is there some county records department where we could look up the new owners of houses in Gallovidia?"
“Hmmm... there maun be a register o tax-peyers in Dumfries, but I dinna think ye can inquire at it wi'oot giein some guid raison - data protection's kittle, ye ken. The Register o voters isna mickle uise aither, crooks wudna register to vote. I think the Land Registry in Embro keeps a the deeds and documents, but they arena up to date, an ye maun order copies fer a hefty fee. In Scotlan, soleecitors dae the darg o yer estate agents, but ye canna jus waltz in an ask aboot raicent sales, they're gey secretive. So, finin oot wha's bocht a property, specially gin ye dinna e'en ken whilk property, isna sae easy - but I ken oor best soorce wud be the local blether.”
“The blether?”
“Aye, the gossip! Dinna misdoot what ye dinna ken. In a wee clauchan like this, some folk ken ilka thing that gaes on. Your lanlady, Morag, she keeps her lug tae the grund, she kens muckle o the comins and gaeins hereaboots. An she’s guid friens wi Beth, wha jus happens ta be the postmistress - they arraunge the floors i the kirk thegither. Aye, ye tak ma word, they twa will be able to tell us of ony unco fowk wha’s takken ower a big hoose i the past few yeers.”
“I’ll take your word, Jes. That’ll be our next step after identifying his smuggling cove.”
“Whit mair can ye tell aboot him?” asked Jessie.
“He’s smart, very smart. He is methodical, plans everything out in great detail. That might expose a weakness. If we force him to act fast, without planning, he’s likely to make mistakes.”
“Aye. Whit else?”
"Most likely, he fancies himself a ladies' man and an exceptional lover. I would expect that in reality, his is average or below, compensation, you know?"
“Aye.” Though not a profiler, Jessie was well and widely read and was familiar with the concept of compensation.
“So again, he’s vulnerable to having his attractiveness and manhood questioned. If it was, he might lose his temper and go off without thinking. Still, that’s when he’s most vulnerable.
“So we say he's ugsome, an he's anely got a wee pintle?”
“Maybe. But only if we know what we are doing and are out of his reach. He might make a mistake losing his temper, but he’s also likely to become extremely violent.”
“Och, i'm dumfoondit hoo ye can feegur a that oot!”

“It’s my gift. So, do you have what you need to sleep here tonight?”
"Whit? Are ye glaikit? We hae a wee bit o dafferie up the hill, an noo ye jalouse a'm yer playcock?"
"No, Jes. I didn't mean that. You can sleep in the bed, and I'll use my sleeping bag on the floor. I only want to be able to watch over you!"
"A dinna need ye takin tent o me, thank ye a the same, a'll sleep in ma ane bed the neet!"
“I think that is a bad idea, Jes. We don’t know what Graeme is up to.”
“Be that as mebbe, a'm awa the noo. An ye tak tent o yersel, Alex Maxwell."
“Jes…”
“I'll be back at blink o day the morn, an we'll chack oot yon coves”
“All right. But be very careful, Jes.”

With the issue settled in her favor, Jessie felt her new affection for Alex stirring. As she opened the door, she turned and said, "Aye, a shall ca canny. An thank ye fer yon bonnie picnic at the Rig o the Laggan, Alec. It wis gey speeshal fer me."
“As for me, Jes. See you in the morning.” He was sorely tempted to use the word love then. But he sensed that might just scare her off again.
After he changed, put out the lights, and got in the soft bed, his mind went back to that afternoon on the hillside. He replayed every moment, over and over again, until he drifted off to a night of dreaming of Jessie.
Alex had no way of knowing, but Jessie shared the same thoughts.

*The Lair of the White Worm - a horror novel by the Irish writer Bram Stoker, published in 1911 – the year before Stoker's death

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** ”The Cricket on the Hearth: A Fairy Tale of Home” - a novella by Charles Dickens, published and released 20 December 1845” - described by the author as "quiet and domestic, innocent and pretty." It is subdivided into chapters called "Chirps."
Honestly, Alex puts on a chivalrous facade but he really must be beside himself with pent up need to tear Jess's tartan knickers away and have his way with her! And ... 'scunnersome' is most definitely a word I shall be using more frequently from now on :)
 
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