Stray Master

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[Chapter Ten]

🎉Happy New Year!!🎉

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Scottish Translation -
mo leannan bhoidheach - my beautiful sweetheart
mo chridhe - my heart
ghràdh - Love
Màthair - Mother
Bràthair- Brother
na gabh dragh - Don't Worry
Coorie - Cuddle
Faither - Father
Feart- afraid

Irish -
Scut - useless sod
Gobdaw - A twit, hasn't got their shit together and never will.
Eejit - Idiot
Pup- More than a brat, less than a prick; Skating on a very fine line.
dún do bhéal- Shut your mouth
A leanbh - my child
mo bhuachaill - My boy/ my boyfriend (he means 'my boy')
Wagon- A woman that is foul and pure evil


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Tuesday, I wake up to enormous, calloused hands gently shaking me awake from my deep sleep. Groaning, I slap the hands away. My phone hasn't rung yet, meaning, the day hasn't started for me. Once Lewis calls and convinces me to get up, then maybe I'll consider waking up. Until then, this person with warm hands that feel oddly familiar will just have to wait. This stubbornly tired and glued to the pillow submissive isn't going to get my ass up for anything other than Lewis or chicken parmesan. Preferably both.

I hear a deep chuckle over me, one of the large hands going through my hair and taking a fistful of it. The hand softly urges me to turn my head, now instead of being face down in the pillow, I can breathe properly, my cheek sitting on a wrinkle in the pillow cover. A presence appears to loom above my head, I'm able to feel the faint warm breath of them but I'm calm, not freaked out or scared. If anything, my body relaxes back into the blankets and takes comfort in the hand in my hair. Another soft laugh, "Better wake, mo chridhe. Gonna be late."

Groggily, I open my mismatched eyes and flick them to the side. The first thing I see is the tattoo, a symbol with five circles that intertwine with each other creating a cross-like shape - one circle in the middle and others on each side; top, bottom, left, and right. The four outer circles connect in the middle of the fifth one. It has no color, the lines are thin but bold in dark black that stands out against the pale skin on the underside of the wrist. Following the veins that run from the wrist up the arm, I notice that this particular arm is thick and muscular with the occasional small white scars, uncovered with the colorful tattoos that are beginning to envelop the skin. The shoulders are broad and the short sleeve shirt on them is tight, the throat is also thick and the jaw sharp with a growing beard that needs attention. My brain comes online and I smile at Lewis when I see his amused smirk.

"Hi." That is all I say, voice rough from sleeping, smiling sweetly at him.

Lewis huffs another laugh, hand in my hair releasing me just to smooth out the tangles. "Hi. Ya gonna be gettin' up?"

I shake my head, burrowing my face into the pillow with a gleeful smile. Lewis stayed the night again after he picked me up from work with Seán, we had to drop the Irishman off at his apartment first but then came back to mine to do what Lewis had suggested. He has the day off today and asked if I wanted him to stay with me again, I never hesitated to say he could. I love waking up to him being here with me and falling asleep on him while cuddling is warm and pleasing to me, hearing his heart under my ear and his chest shift as he breathes is comforting. I have never felt safer than I do when I'm in his arms, wrapped tightly against his body and held as I drift to sleep. Lewis hums to me when he notices I'm drifting off, knowing I enjoy it and it's now one of my most favorite things in the world.

I remember falling asleep on the couch in the living room, snuggled on his lap with his arms around me as we watched some Halloween movie on tv. He fixed me more soup and made sure I was full, I went through my usual routine that he has me on; eat, shower, and rest or paint. Lewis watched me paint for hours, sat on the couch, and asked questions about what I was doing with colors or stayed quiet and let me work. He'd tell me to take a break and drink water, move around to stretch out my legs. Eventually, I settled down on his lap without asking if I could; too tired to move around him. He laughed and shifted me to a more comfortable position.

He must have moved me to the bed sometime after I fell asleep, I doubt he slept on the bed with me though. He makes sure I want him to lay with me otherwise he won't get on my bed, I find it nice that he won't without explicit permission from me, others would love that. I know once we start getting to know each other more and, hopefully, become a couple, he'll stop asking if I want him to sleep with me in bed. I prefer that, I want him to just lay with me without asking. Although I know he does it mostly for me as a precaution, showing me he won't harm me or assume too soon that he can share a bed with me. It's nice and I find my trust in him growing, yet I wish he'd just do what he wants. I know he knows that I want him in bed with me, to cuddle and hold me. He knows I want him to hum to me when I'm on his chest and to get pets when he plays with my hair. But, he still feels it's necessary to ask before he climbs into the bed beside me. I might just firmly, at least try to be, tell him to stop asking and get into the damn bed.

I can imagine that Seán's mother and grandmother had taught him to be aware of his actions around potential partners, because whenever CeCe talks about the guys she dates she never mentions that they do what Lewis does regarding the bed. Ryan never did this either, so Lewis is either like his because he just is or he was taught to be 'proper'. He had said that his mother, aka Seán's, had taught him to respect the men he dates, not that he didn't but she thought he wasn't going about things properly. Taking things slow and dating before sharing a bed. He laughed about some of the things she did to him when he brought home his ex, she caught them in a heated kiss and took a broom to Lewis as punishment for not listening to her. He wasn't hurt and said it was more amusing than anything. So, I can easily imagine that he had just grown used to taking things slow and waiting for me to give the okay on laying in bed with me.

I wonder how she would react to me, Lewis's adopted Mother. She sounds kind and loving when Lewis talks about her, yet he also says she is protective and won't let someone hurt her boys. I won't meet her for a while, if ever, so I'm not sure why I'm thinking about it. Maybe because Lewis had met Miss Parry and she disliked him, I fear Lewis's mother will have beliefs about me. But it isn't as if Lewis would fly me to Ireland or fly his and Seán's parents here to meet, would he? Would he want me to meet his other brother, Jack? If I meet Jack, Lewis will have to meet Sarah, and I'm not certain I'll be ready for that.

"What ya thinkin on, ghràdh?"

The bed dips as Lewis sits on the edge of it, the blankets pull slightly and my thighs are pressed against his lower back. His hand is still on me, sliding from my hair to my upper arm. He's staring down at me, green eyes light with mild concern and curiosity as I realize I've gone from a smile to a frown from my thoughts of being liked by his mother and meeting his family, the vague thought of Miss Parry. Of course, he's worried, I changed expressions faster than I turned red when he gave me compliments.

I ask because I'm curious what he thinks and it's stuck in my head what would happen if I met his mother, he's a blunt man, he'd tell me the truth. That is one of the big things I've learned about Lewis, he is straight to the point with no care for feeling attitude, he is blunt and honest. He cares for me, showed me enough times now that I do not doubt that, but he also speaks honestly to me. My voice is hesitant and I avoid his eyes, "Would, uh, would your mom like me?"

He doesn't answer as quickly as I thought and I glance up at him, catching his eyebrow raise and head tilt just barely. He's probably thinking I'm crazy. There is a chance I'll never meet her or his family, to him, this is random and not having to do with a starting case of anxiety. I rush to explain myself, figuring I should before he gets scared off. "It's just, Miss Parry is making such a big deal of us dating and not liking you and I might not meet your mom but I'm curi-"

Lewis stops anything else I was going to say with a squeeze of my arm and a sharp clicking of his tongue. It grabs my attention and I'm momentarily confused by the noise, no one had done that to me before. Until I realized it's his way to make me stop talking and listen to him. A warning that he wants me to pause and pay attention to what he's going to say. Willam had a way to tell me the same thing, he would tap twice on any hard surface and if I didn't hear it he would tap his finger on my wrist. I like Lewis's warning better, I can hear it clearly and it's distinct, he doesn't do it often and I've only heard it once or twice.

The question of what he did stays in my throat once I figure it out and I give my attention to Lewis, the Scotsman smiles at me when he sees I was able to recognize the signal for what it was. He leans faintly closer to me, his hand sliding the short distance to mess with the hair on the neck of my neck and he makes certain I'm paying attention. "Màthair would love ya, sure of it. She loves anyone who makes her boys happy, and ya, Tommy Boy, make me happy. Just don't refuse to eat her food and you got her heart. Na gabh dragh, mo chridhe."

Hearing that he thinks his mother would like me if we ever met fills me with a relief I didn't expect to have, knowing that she wouldn't try to push her adopted son away from me is where most of the relief comes from. Yet, it's also the fact the fear of watching someone stare at me as Miss Parry did Lewis when told that I don't like my own parents; like I'm a horrible person not worthy of being with their son, is gone now. Lewis knows his mother and I believe him when he says he thinks she would like me. Besides, what are the chances of his mother having the same belief as Miss Parry? She has to be a good woman, she raised Seán, who is extremely nice, and took Lewis into her home.

Looking at Lewis, I feel another smile slide onto my lips and shyly hide my mouth with the sheet. Suddenly embarrassed of asking such a question in the first place. "Oh, that's good...I'm glad."

Lewis laughs, stealing the blanket from me and uncovering my face with a smirk. "Aye, very good. Now, ya gonna be late if you don't get up. Can't lay here and coorie all day, now can ya?"

A whine breaks out of my mouth, the very idea of getting up and going to work is a pain. "But I don't wanna!"

The Scotsman chuckles, "If I stay with you at work, will ya?"

My eyes widened, I wasn't expecting him to want to continue coming into the cafe. Although Lewis doesn't care what Miss Parry thinks, it makes sense that he wouldn't allow her to scare him out of coming to the cafe to see me. But staying for my whole shift? Watching work and how much better I am at it since I've been sleeping more and having him get me there on time? That'd be the best, talking to him between orders and seeing him joke with CeCe.

I'm shooting up so fast Lewis has to jerk back, my arms going around his neck and hugging him tightly. "Yeah! Come to work with me!"

His arms wrap around my waist as he laughs at my sudden movement and shout, standing up with me in his arms, letting my legs swing out from the blankets as he turns to my dresser. A surprised giggle escapes me, laughing when I'm sat down on my feet in front of Lewis. On the dresser is a pile of clothes, dark gray jeans, and a light gray long sleeve shirt, on top of them is Lewis's hoodie. Lewis takes my hair in his grip to turn my head to him, going the tongue clicking once to gain my attention again.

"Take a quick shower, then come get dressed. I'll find us something to eat."

I nod, biting my bottom lip to keep from smiling too much. I love the change he made to himself, going from playful and laughing to serious and giving me instructions to get me ready. It feels natural and incredibly good, letting Lewis dominate me and take control. It's a giddy feeling that is swelling inside me, my mind reminding me that I finally have someone to dominate me and I'm delighted that it's Lewis. He makes everything fun and pleasant, he gives me butterflies and, even in the short time we knew each other, he shows me he genuinely cares about me. I'm always amazed by him because he is just so much, the gestures he does to subtly dominate me to the nicknames he gives me, the way he handles other people to his uncaring of Miss Parry's attitude towards him. Lewis is beginning to be the best man on the planet to me, I can only hope it won't turn sour on me.

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Lewis does stay with me at work, ignoring Miss Parry's glare. He only leaves once for an hour or two to go back to his apartment to change clothes and shower, he comes back quickly with damp hair in a loose bun, different jeans, and a pull-over hoodie. He talks with me and CeCe between orders, jokes with the regulars, and drinks at least three different coffees. It's been the best day for me, I'm able to brag to Lewis how good I'm going at my job because he gets me to sleep and wakes up at reasonable times, that since I'm not late anymore, I have a normal schedule. Lewis smiles when he hears he's helped me, kisses me on my head with a whispered 'Good boy'. He sits and listens to me when I get too hyper and laughs when CeCe eventually slaps me on my back or arm in her annoyance. We make plans to go to a movie and CeCe jumps in wanting to go because we haven't hung out much lately outside work. Lewis didn't mind and mentions asking Seán if he would join us. I'm happy that they get along and that we are slowly turning into a small group; Lewis and me, then Seán and CeCe.

I've never been in a group before, of friends at least. In high school, I was alone with Ryan and he'd have friends to sometimes leave me for. No one wants to befriend the new kid that transferred in the middle of the year for questionable reasons. Ryan tried to get me into his group of sports players, he was a soccer player, but I always left because it felt forced and some of the kids were rude. So, I never had a friend group that bloomed on its own and I wasn't pressured into it. This shaping one feels natural, none of us are pushing a friendship and we each get along. I'm loving it.

Seán enters the cafe thirty minutes before CeCe and I's shift ends, he greets Lewis with a punch to the stomach. People that had seen it, gasp or stare at them in shock, it's not every day someone gets gut-punched. CeCe watches with raised eyebrows and leans on the counter, calmly. I feel a spike of fear from seeing Lewis double over, holding the area Seán's fist landed. But it's for nothing as Lewis laughs, had only bent from the shock of the action. Then he returns the punch with, "Ahh, ya bastard! Fuck that for!?"

CeCe turns her head and nudges me, nodding in the direction of the kitchens. Following her eyes, I see Miss parry standing at the doorway to the kitchen, it has a view of the whole front area. Giving her front row seats to whatever Lewis and Seán do or say, to intervene if she wishes to. She must've seen the greeting Seán had and wanted to avoid a fight, or she saw Lewis return the favor and wanted to see what I would do at watching him punch someone. I'm doing nothing, I know they would never hurt each other, they're brothers and love the other fiercely. Seán has a reason for punching Lewis, even if it ends up being because he wanted to. If I learned anything from Lewis about their relationship, is that they hit or punch and bully each other for fun but it never means a thing.

Seán rubs his stomach, smirking as he pushes Lewis' shoulder. "We didn't call Màthair."

I've never seen Lewis pale as if he saw a ghost, but that is exactly what happens. Green eyes go wide and his skin on his face is ghost white. He takes a breath, delivers another punch to Seán before he nods and reaches into his pocket. "Fuck it."

Seán agrees with a nod as he watches Lewis go through his phone, stating with the childish fear only a Mother could inflict on a son. "We're fucked."

I have to hand off coffee to an impatient man as CeCe deals with another customer, the rush is slowing down and not as many people are walking in. No one comes to my side of the counter and CeCe can handle the one at her side, so I turn back to the scene where the two dominants are. Lewis has raised his phone to be between their ears, Seán having stepped closer to be able to hear better. I can hear the faint ringing of the phone, so it must be on the speaker. Glancing at Miss Parry, I wonder if she can hear it. She's calmly watching the scene play out, her glare at Lewis still present.

All of the sudden, both dominants jerk back from the phone when a loud, muffled voice answers with yelling and shouting. I can only catch a few words mixed in with a foreign language that I assume is Irish Gaelic as Lewis mentioned that is what Seán was raised speaking. "Bunch of Scuts!", "Little feckers ya are!", then "gobdaw! Both ye, Eejits!"

Lewis and Seán glance at each other, then stare at the floor. Body language screaming that they've been thoroughly chided even as the angry mother keeps going, shouting into the phone. She only pauses to take a breath and the men take the opportunity to get their own words in. They speak over each other in the language their mother did, I can identify the word for Mother and Brother. She lets them talk, staying quiet and listening to them grovel for forgiveness.

"This is awesome. Such big dudes, brought down by an upset woman across the world." CeCe covers her grin with her hand, black and white spiral eyes staring at the men.

It is amusing to see Lewis and Seán get scolded and beg for forgiveness, they are giants in the cafe since no one comes close to being their height and they look like trouble makers with the tattoos and lumberjack beards and muscles. Some people had avoided being too close to Lewis while he was here, in fear of him doing something to them. I found that quite funny because I know Lewis and know he wouldn't hurt someone that hadn't done anything to him. It is sweet that they don't want to upset their mother, but the image of these two huge men groveling is too good.

Miss Parry is now leaning on the wall, still staring at Lewis as the man instantly shuts up when the woman on the phone speaks. What is she thinking? It's bothering me how she is witnessing him talk to his mother figure and she isn't even appearing sorry for judging him on his parent situation. Maybe she doesn't realize that's his mother, I could understand that. She doesn't know Scottish or Irish, she could think that's a friend they made mad. Although, what friend could make them react as they did. Only a parent, or guardian, could do that.

"Peace Màthair, peace." Lewis chuckles, a new smirk on his face that matches Seán's.

"Aye, Màthair. We deeply apologize, no need for the spatula."

Lewis winces at that, his free hand rubbing his lower back, "Aye, that shite hurt like a fecker."

Seán laughs and Lewis curses him, going to hit him but is interrupted by their mother's voice. "Ya damn well deserved it too! Stop hitting ye Bràthair."

The man lowers his arm faster than I've ever seen him move, "Aye, Màthair."

I can hear her mumble faintly, the only word I catch is, "pups"

She speaks more and they listen closely, Lewis glancing my way and giving me a smile with a wink. I go red and look down to hide my growing grin, hearing him chuckle. He gets his Mothers attention and has to explain, at least I assume he does as he speaks in that Irish language he told me about. Seán talks over him after a few sentences, looking over at Miss Parry with a glare of his own. Good to assume then that he knows what she thinks of Lewis, and now doesn't like her. Lewis scowls at him and stomps on his foot, earning a loud curse and another punch, people are staring at them again.

"Lads! dún do bhéal!" is shouted, and the men listen but both seem reluctant. "Lewy, A leanbh, let me speak to this woman."

My eyebrows raise, what woman? Did Seán mention why Miss Parry hates Lewis, is that why he looked at her? Whatever it is, Lewis doesn't seem to agree with how the conversion is going. "Màthair, don't think that is a good idea. Let me dea-"

She interrupts him, sharply, "Lewy."

"Màthair. Mo bhuachaill wants to deal with her, let us." Lewis continues to argue, giving the Irishman his middle finger. The other man just smirks.

She goes off on him, speaking in Irish and throwing what sounds like insults at him. It lasts for a few minutes until he relents, "Peace! Màthair, fine!"

He spares me a small smile before he turns and walks straight to Miss Parry. Oh. I'm not all that upset, the more I think about her reason for wanting to speak to my boss, I find it refreshing and great that she wants to defend Lewis and, in turn, us dating. She will give Miss Parry a good verbal beat down for her actions in trying to push Irishwoman's son away from me for her stupid reasons. I did want to deal with Miss Parry myself, take her to hang out with Lewis, and show her that he isn't what she thinks and that he can be a good guy even if he hates his birth parents. Who better to show her that than his own mother, adopted or not, she knows him better than I could at the moment.

Miss Parry narrows her eyes untrusting at Lewis when he gets closer to her, and he raises his free hand flat in the air as one would do to a scared person to show he means no harm. The Scotsman taps the phone to take it off the speaker and hands it to her, Miss Parry slowly raises it to her ear, raising an eyebrow at Lewis. "..Hello?"

As soon as she speaks, Miss Parrys goes wide-eyed and her mouth drops open, looking up at Lewis in shock. The man just crosses his arms, appearing to struggle in holding in a laugh. I'm nudged by CeCe again, being pointed to the clock and pushed to the staff room. I'm quick to get my apron off and run back out to watch what will happen, hearing CeCe laugh at me. Since my shift ended I book it over to Lewis where he stands next to Miss Parry, waiting for his phone back. He smiles at me and welcomes me into his arms by catching me when I practically jump at him.

"Well, hi there, ghràdh." He presses a kiss to my cheek when I look at him.

I grin at him, "Are you scared of her? It looks like you're scared of her."

He scoffs, "Nah. She's just scary. Faither is feart of her too."

I notice his accent is much thicker than usual, talking to his mother must have subconsciously made him do it, I like it. It's pleasant to hear. I laugh at what he said, she must be one hell of a woman to have three huge men, as I'm assuming their father is too, scared of her. "She sounds aggressive. I like her."

He laughs, "Oh, you'd get along grand. I'm damn well fucked."

CeCe pokes me in my back and when I turn to give her my attention, she quietly gestures that she's going to wait for us with Seán, who has moved to a table and is typing on his phone. Nodding, I attempt to snuggle further into Lewis's chest, loving the warmth he gives out. I feel his chest rumble as he laughs, tightening his arms around me and leaning down to enclose me in his hold. His chin on my shoulder and his broad shoulders curved over me; it pays to date someone as huge as Lewis, specifically in the cold seasons.

I watch as my friend goes and starts up a conversion with Seán, the man grinning and shaking his head. I can picture her asking if he is into women or not, to her it doesn't hurt to ask because if she doesn't know where he stands on his preference of gender to date, she might make a fool of herself flirting with a gay man. No one wants that, it's uncomfortable for everyone involved.

When I turn back to Miss Parry, she's just lowering the phone from her ear and handing it to Lewis. She seems confused yet embarrassed at the same time, even terrified. Continuing to glance at Lewis then the phone with her eyebrows furrowed. Lewis makes the goodbyes to his Mother quick, I assume telling her he'll call tomorrow and that he loves her. I hear Seán's name, so I'm thinking he spoke for the Irishman also. It's only when he has put the phone in his pocket that Miss Parry asks her question.

"What is a Wagon? She said it like an insult."

Lewis chokes on his laugh, I'm able to feel his chest shift with the effort to hold it in. "It is. Called ya evil."

Miss Parry raises her eyebrow, staring at him then lowering her eyes to me. Seemingly considering something. "From what I got from her, besides the shouting and threats or insults, is that I'm not being a good model for Tom."

Biting my lip, I slowly show my agreement to that with a small nod. "Yeah. What you believe isn't reasonable. Lewis is great and you hate him just because he doesn't have a relationship with his birth parents. That's just-"

"Bullshite." Lewis provides.

Shrugging, I agree, "Yeah. That."

"Actually, I was thinking of asking if you would consider hanging out with us. Me and Lewis. Alone. To see how awesome he is. I mean, both of you would have to agree but-" my rambling is paused by the distinct clinking of Lewis's tongue.

"Calm, Tommy Boy." He soothingly rubs my side and I gradually relax into him again.

Miss Parry observes us, her eyes sharp. But she nods her head once, "Okay. For you Tom, I'll give him a chance. I apologize for grabbing you, that wasn't right and I regret doing that."

I light up, she's giving him a chance! She'll finally see him for the amazing and caring man I know he is, she will love him. She has too. I look up at Lewis, waiting for his answer to the suggestion. He smiles softly, "I'll do it.

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