Hi All. Thanks Doris for inviting me. (Okay having your arm twisted and I promised no drum kit for my grandson… yet)
Have you ever walked somewhere and felt a special something in the air? A sense of mystery and well, magic?
Driven down a road and seen a shadow? Turned to look behind you because you swore someone—or something—touched you?
Had déjà vu? Wondered why you got such a sense of contentment in one place and not another? (Or I guess malevolence or plain nasty tingles down your spine.) Wondered what if?
But mainly had the sensation that you’ve found a place out of today’s world.
I have. It’s in the foothills of the highlands, not quite as far north as where I’ve set Cat’s Cradle—it’s my secret place and it is mystical, and I’m convinced it’s a place out of time. Somewhere I dare not share. Where if I went through the gate I’d be transported back to an era where there are no phones or laptops. No electricity or gas, and the men wore plaids, not even kilts, and were well all out macho scots.
That place was where the idea for Cat’s Cradle began. I could see it in my mind. Believe in it, and eventually just had to write it.
After all Cat needed to know her heritage and discover her lover before it was too late.
Angus had to find out what had happened, before it was too late.
Me? I just went with the flow.
It started out as a very short story in a hardly read anthology, before it expanded into the story you now get.
Cat McLean grew up with a strange family saying about a portal to the past, and when she returns for a visit to her Scottish ancestral home, strange takes on an entirely new meaning. She might feel an instant connection to the drop dead gorgeous Scot she encounters, but you’d think she’d remember sleeping with him.
Angus has waited for his one true love for nine long years. He is not about to let her go again, even if she has picked up some odd customs in her absence. Time travel is impossible...right? Then again, true love conquers all, or so they say.
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A wee tease…
Angus nodded. “You need to get out of those wet clothes.” Another rumble of thunder and a jagged fork of lightning lit up the eerie light. “There’s a storm coming.” He hadn’t long shut the door behind them before the storm rumbled straight overhead. With each flash of lightning, his companion flinched. “Do you... ye no like thon storms ony mair?” he asked her. “I remember you used to fair love to watch the lightning.”
“I’ve never liked lightning. Just who do you think I am?” She pulled the tunic over her head and looked around. “Where shall I hang this?”
Her upper body was clothed in a short white garment, which outlined her breasts. His fingers itched to touch them; to stroke the globes, and caress and tease each sharply defined nipple until she moaned for more. At the thought of just what more he could do his cock swelled. Angus took the garment from her and draped it over the back of a chair. Even as she rummaged in the strange bag she’d brought with her and pulled another unknown garment over her, his cock remained hard. Soon, he promised himself. Soon I’ll be buried balls deep inside her sweet body, filling her, spilling my seed, and making bairns.
“Cairsti Catriona, I have no idea what game you’re playing, but if you don’t stop we’ll start playing my game instead. The one where you’re tied naked to my bed, and I spank your arse red and hot and fuck you until neither of us can move. Everywhere. Over and over. Shite, woman, I’m hard and wet just thinking of it. I can’t begin to tell you how I’ve waited to enjoy that again. Nine long years you’ve been gone, and like I promised there’s been no other women. The only fucking I’ve had has been by my own hand. That’s been the way of it. I kept my oath. Did you?” In his earnestness he forgot to use broad Scots. He could tell the moment she realized, and cursed under his breath. In Gaelic.
Her indrawn breath was loud in the quiet room. Did her red cheeks mean she liked the idea or was appalled by it? He hoped it was the former and was bloody scared it was the latter. She poked him in the stomach with a straight finger and by hell, the sharp jab stung. Angus rubbed his hand over it and ignored the gleam of satisfaction in her eyes.
“Stop messing about, mister, or next time it might well be my knee in your balls, or my fist in your face.” She smirked. “Or both. Okay, somehow you’ve gotten hold of my name, although no one ever calls me it. I’m Cat. Cat MacLean. I’m twenty-six, although why I’m telling you my age I have no idea. I live in Margaret River in Western Australia, and I’m a chef. This is my first visit to Scotland and I have no idea who the hell you are. Oh, and I’m a teacher of self-defense, so don’t think you’ll get away with any of the ‘tie me to the bed, smack me’ scenarios you might have in mind. I’ll have your balls in a knot before you even get to first base.”
Her eyes sparkled and her chest heaved. Angus was entranced. He had no idea what she was talking about, but he loved the fire he could sense in her. His Cairsti had grown into a fine, feisty woman. He would enjoy showing her ways of channeling her spirit when they made love.
“Are you listening to me?” she demanded and poked him again, this time hard on the arm. Angus did his best not to wince. He’d be a mass of bruises before long. The woman had talons on the end of her fingers
“Ach, Caisti...er Cat, you’re a fine woman. I’m looking forward to enjoying all of your ideas soon. But be warned, if I decide you’ll be tied and spanked, believe me you will be. You enjoyed it before, you will again.”
This time there were no warnings. She punched him so hard in the stomach he wheezed in pain. “And I’ll be remembering that,” he said once he could speak. “Why get angry at the truth? Is that what Australia taught you?”
“It taught me to defend myself against idiots like you it seems. Look, who are you and why is this place like something from a countryside museum of olden day Scotland? A joke’s a joke, and I can usually take one as well as anyone, but this has gone on way too long. Surely no one lives like this anymore, or dresses like you? I mean you’re not even in a kilt for goodness’ sake, just a ratty piece of tartan. And although you’ve a fine set of pecs, they do nothing for me, so why not go and put a sweater on? It’s freezing in here—that fire’s as good as useless.” She waggled her fingers in the direction of the peat fire, which, he admitted was only putting out a low heat. He hadn’t noticed before.
With another muttered curse, Angus strode across the room and stirred the fire with a metal rod. In truth he’d forgotten just how basic the croft was. They called it a farm, but it was part of a large estate, and now he’d moved out, it stood empty until its owners returned from their journey. He was glad he’d been able to borrow it.
“So.” He hadn’t heard her move up behind him, and her voice in his ear made him jump. “You know who I am. Who are you?”
I wish she’d stop with the pretense and be honest. “Your completion. Come on, Cat, do ye no remember how I took ye, and ye cried oot ma name as ma seed filled ye? How ye promised to come back tae me? If I’d had ma way we’d hae wed and you’d hae stayed here with me and not ventured across the world. But your parents said no, you had to go and make a good life with them. Are you tellin’ me our love means nothin’?”
Why was she staring at him as if he had three heads like some freak in a travelling circus?
Find Raven here: www.ravenmcallan.com