Stray Master

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[Chapter Eleven]

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Scottish Translation -

ghràdh - Love

Màthair - Mother

Bràthair- Brother

Grandmother = máthair mhór (Great Mother)

Seàn and Lewis say Maimeó (Mam o)

Bairn - Baby

Crabbit – Bad-tempered or Grumpy

Nyaff – Irritating person

Wagon - evil woman

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It's two weeks after Lewis and Miss Parry agree to spend a day with me, getting to know each other. We haven't been able to pick a day because Lewis's work schedule got filled with a block of new houses that were supposed to be built, his boss had him and Seán working most of the weeks, only getting the weekend for breaks. Lewis always apologies when he says he can't meet me and Miss Parry, promising when he gets time off that he'll come to see me. I can tell the all-day schedule is weighing on him, usually, he only works half a day, and his unit switches out with another group of construction workers. Whenever he calls me after gets off, it's always after the sun goes down, he sounds worn out and in need of rest. Lewis asks about my day and if I want him to come over, or if I need anything; he never talks about work that much. He never did unless I brought it up or he mentions it in a story about him and Seán, he tells me his schedule when he thinks he might be busier than normal.

Seán had answered Lewis's phone once when I texted him to see if he was back on his usual schedule, worrying about his sleeping and health habits since he started this project. Instead of texting me back, Seán called me. The background noise was loud, machines moving, metal clanging, and tools being used. I could hear Lewis having a shouting match with another man, something about nails and roofs. He sounded annoyed and not at all the playful man Seán says he is when working. The Irishman explained when I asked if the Scotsman was okay, "He's swearing a man to hell from a roof, he'll be fine. I'd worry if he wasn't. Lewy needs some more sleep, is all. Don't worry too much, Tommy. I'll watch him."

Lewis had said that the homes were a high priority, he guessed that some more financially able people were wanting to move in. He also admitted he didn't pay attention to his boss when the project came up, hadn't heard who wanted the houses built as quickly as possible or if it was the city preparing for more people who move in the area. It doesn't matter to him as long he gets the work done and gets paid, he loves building- his passion, if he gets to do that then he's happy. I'd be happy if he gets more sleep, but he assured me he is. I had wanted to have him stop calling me at night to help me sleep, thinking he might not want to do it considering he needs his rest, but when I suggested the idea Monday the second week, he immediately shot it down. He told me that he likes doing it, that it's become his schedule after work or at eleven. It made me happy. Because he wants to call me and hum to me.

Miss Parry has been bothering me about it, which is surprising. I didn't expect her to be excited about spending time with Lewis, since she claims to dislike him. I figure she may just want to get it over with, having her mind made up about Lewis being trouble and no good for me. She keeps asking if he 'finally got over his fear of spending time with me'. I tried to explain that he isn't scared of her, far from it. Yet she won't listen to me, or CeCe. Lewis would probably never be scared of Miss parry with a mother like his and Seán's, that woman had sounded scary over a phone call I didn't even hear all of. From Miss Parry's reaction to her, she was in another realm of daunting.

Every time I explained that Lewis had work she rolled her eyes and mumbled under her breath, I can never hear what she says but CeCe had glared and pushed our boss away from me. My friend didn't tell me what it was that made her so angry, just told me it was nothing and that Miss Parry was a bitch. Miss Parry kept coming up to me and asking each day for two whole weeks, even when I told her that Lewis would be busy for a while and we still didn't know how long this new schedule of his would be. It's getting annoying. CeCe thinks so too and had said that to Miss Parry's face, the woman only made a face and walked away.

It's week three, Monday when Lewis calls me in the morning. He's been doing it the past few weeks without missing a single day, no matter where he is when he calls. Some days he calls when he gets up and is getting ready himself, others he's already at the site and steps away to call me. It makes me feel special, no one had done this for me before. Take time from their work or day to call me to make sure I make it to work on time, showered, and have eaten. There was a day when he asked Seán to call me, that was a shock; waking up expecting a Scotsman but the voice is Irish and decidedly not Lewis. The Irishman clarified that Lewis asked him to get me up, told him to get Lewis when I sent pictures of my clothes as we do in the mornings he isn't with me.

That was an experience and kind of embarrassing to have Seán know that Lewis does these things for me, the man didn't judge me and even assured me that he did some of it with his ex-boyfriend. Lewis had mentioned once that Seán's ex-boyfriend was a sore subject, the break up was messy and that the Irishman was still cleaning up the mess the man left in his life. Lewis didn't go into details, out of respect for his brothers' privacy, but I suspect it's the reason why Seán is only free after he leaves the site with Lewis in the afternoons and the mornings before work. I haven't seen or heard from him between those times. Maybe he has another job? Then again, it isn't my business.

I'm whining as I answer the phone, a voice in the back of my head saying it could be Seán again. I don't care, I'm sleepy and do not want to deal with Miss Parry today. "Hmmm."

The responding quiet laugh is Lewis's and while I'm happy, I'm still tired. "Get on up, Tommy Boy."

Another whine mixed with a groan escapes, "Can't I just call in sick? I'm tired"

I can hear Lewis shuffle what sounds like a bag, then, "answer the door, lad."

Curiosity is the only reason I move to get up, why do I have to open the door? Where is Lewis, I haven't heard the ruckus of the site or him shuffling to get ready for work. I'm complaining and making getting up is a bigger deal than it is, purely for fun and I'm sure Lewis knows I'm playing. Dragging my feet and using the wall for support since my eyes are half-lidded, my body refuses to function right now, too worn out and wanting to go back to bed. My hair is a mess, tangled and strand in my eyes, my clothes are wrinkled and the shoulder of my shirt is hanging off my shoulder. There also seems to be an indent on my cheek from a wrinkle on my pillowcase.

When I finally get to the door, my phone is still in my hand, and I open it. I'm met with a chest, having to blink a few times to get the blurriness out of my vision and focus. The chest is covered with an image of a Viking head with an axe and a weapon with two blades that appears as a bigger axe. It's complete with a beard and long hair. It reminds me of Lewis. My eyes flick up, Lewis is leaning on the doorway, watching me with a smirk.

"Surprise, ghràdh. Hop in the shower while I get the food ready." is what he greets me with, as if him being here with his new schedule isn't rare.

He lifts his arm that isn't bent with his hand disappeared in his jean pocket, he's holding a plastic bag with some kind of containers in it. It doesn't seem to be cans or a fast food container, it throws me off a bit because I didn't expect Lewis to know how to cook- except the soup. Now I'm wondering what's in the bag and what he appears to be wanting to cook me. Yet I can't ask, once I open my mouth he clicks his tongue and shakes his head.

His free hand, the one that was in his pocket, takes my shoulder, and gently pushes me back into my apartment. "Shower first. I'll get your clothes, and get this ready. Then I'll tell ya what it is."

I pout at him and earn a raised eyebrow, I think about not listening to him and pushing for him to answer me, but the feeling of him coming here and instantly reinstating any dominance that was lost from him being unable to be here in person. It's nice over the phone, yet nothing compares to having him here in person. Over the phone, he can't know if I'm doing as told, excluding if I give him pictures. When he comes here, he can know I'm obeying an order or that I put on what he wanted me to. Lewis can correct me easily, inflict the feeling of having someone bigger and stronger than me to demand me, and have the dominance that I need behind it.

So, instead of arguing, I give a short glare to show him I don't want to do what he said but I'll do it anyway. He smiles evilly, knowing exactly what I think of his demand. "Imma take ya paint if give me that look again, boy."

Wide-eyed, I turn and run to my bathroom, hearing him laugh his deep belly laugh. Once in the bathroom, I'm quick to work the knobs on the shower to turn it on and adjust the temperature.

Usually, I'm tidy when I take my clothes off to shower, folding them, and setting them on the toilet lid. This time, not so much. I'm excited to see what Lewis is making and eager to ask if he's still on his new schedule, or if he got lucky and has the day off. I don't fold my sleeping clothes, a pair of sweats and an old sweater that is covered in paint stains. They're thrown on the floor and left there as I carefully step on the shower.

Taking quick showers is my specialty; body wash first, clean the important areas, then hair. Shampooing is dangerous when one is rushing, tilting your head the wrong way and you get suds in your eyes, my neck aches when I get finished from tilting my head back and doing it again for the conditioner. It's a gift, or a practiced one, to get through a shower in fifteen minutes or less. That is how I shower this morning, rushing even if I don't need to, I'm too eager. Stepping out and quickly drying off after turning the water off, I run across the hall with a towel over me to my bedroom. There, I find light blue jeans and another black hoodie that is not mine, my guess is that Lewis brought it because that bag was a bit bulgy.

Getting dressed doesn't take long and soon I'm walking into the hallway to go to the kitchen when I smell something delicious. My stomach rumbles and I agree with the unspoken demand to eat whatever smells like heaven. Lewis is standing at the oven, two containers filled with steaming food on the island with two plates with them behind him. He smiles as he turns once he hears me, "Sit down there, won't cha. Almost done, I am."

Doing as he said, I climbed on a stool closest to him, eyeing the containers. One has what appears to be mashed potatoes and one has chopped potatoes, I can hear something sizzlingly on the stove and my stomach moans again. "What is this? I didn't think you cooked more than soup."

Lewis laughs while he moves whatever food he cooked from the skillet to the container I can see next to him. "Màthair sends me and Bràthair food every week, tries to at least. Just warm it up and add herbs to it. She heard you liked potatoes, and made our families Colcannon Potatoes, and roasted red potatoes. She sent over some spiced beef, too."

The Scotsman begins to plate the food, starting with the meat then the mashed potatoes, before the roasted ones. He sprinkles some green herbs on the mashed potatoes, sliding the plate to me with a fork when he's done. It looks good, delicious. I do love any kind of potatoes, mashed or roasted, anything with them I will most likely enjoy. Although, I don't eat much meat. Chicken is the only meat product I remember buying and that was already in a frozen meal that I warmed up in the oven. I hadn't bought chicken or meat besides that. Hadn't any reason or wanted to buy meat when it looked disgusting on the sleeves, blood and bone are normally gross and it makes me sick. I'm not against eating meat, it makes me uncomfortable knowing it was once an animal, but if I focus on something else, I can swallow it.

The fact that his mother thought of me when she sent him food is sweet and I love the woman already. She seems like the woman to welcome someone to anything, an event or whatever, with a big pile of food. I doubt she'd let me skip a meal, Lewis makes sure I don't and I can only imagine what she'd do if she caught me trying to skip. From Lewis and Seán if he's around, stories of her, she'd smack someone with whatever is in her hand for skipping a meal or refusing her food. Same things with their grandmother, like mother like daughter apparently.

For the sake of Lewis and his mother, I'll try the beef. It's sliced like ham would be in the pictures or cooking shows, neat and precise. I'm not expecting to like it, never have enjoyed beef. But as soon as I take a bite, a burst of flavor invades my senses. Different spices and herbs, I can't place all of them, yet the combination of them makes me moan. I quickly go for the potatoes because if the meat was so good, they must be heaven on earth. I'm proven right when the mashed Potatoes turn out to be the best I've ever had, I'm tasting things I didn't expect; like bacon and cabbage. The roasted potatoes have flavors I had never tasted, only the garlic is familiar.

Looking up at Lewis for an explanation of the flavor, I see him eating and watching me with the amused glint in his eye and a half-smirk. Once he swallows, he nods to the red roasted potatoes. "Rosemary, garlic cloves, salt, and pepper. Learned it the first day at home, always burned the potatoes though."

I laugh, picturing a younger Lewis trying and failing to roasted potatoes. "I love this! The potatoes are amazing and I didn't think I'd like the beef, I never actually ate it before. But this is good! Thank you!"

Lewis shakes his head, "Thank, Màthair. No one cooks as good as her, 'sides Maimeó."

"Who's that?" The name he said at the end sounded familiar, I've heard it before but I didn't catch what he meant.

Blinking, Lewis pauses eating. "Grandmother, great mother, either one. Thought Seán told ya."

I shrug, suddenly feeling bad I forgot the meaning of a word. I've been good at remembering them. "It sounded like what I heard better but I must have forgotten what it meant, sorry."

He just smiles, 'It's okay. Ya don't need to memorize all the meanings or words I say."

"I know, I just like to understand what you mean better without asking. It's like a fun game for me, guessing what you say and what it means. I heard that before, I'm too tired to play the game."

Lewis laughs at the half-lie, it was a game at certain times. Mostly when he's with Seán, he tends to get more of an accent with the Irishman, harder to understand the thicker it gets. I have to assume what some words mean and it's hard, as their slang is different and the words sound off to me. The lie was that I was tired, I'm not anymore. The food and Lewis were enough to wake me up, the shower helped too. I wouldn't fight him if he told me we'd forget about work and go cuddle in bed, who would? Yet I'm not tired to the point I'd fall asleep standing. That's a point for something.

Then, I remember. The thought of working jogged my memory. "Oh! What are you doing here?! Don't you have work today?"

Lewis smirks again, this one kinder than the last. "Nah. Boss gave me the day. I'm fuckin free, Bairn."

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Lewis walking in with me through the door to the cafe earns CeCe shouting her relief of not having to deal with Miss Parry asking about him today, the mentioned boss is appearing vaguely surprised at the sight of him. I don't think she expected him to come in, which brings the question as to why she thought that when he agreed in front of her. Does she seriously think he'd go back on his word? Lewis would never, he is honest and as far as I've experienced with him, he keeps his word, his promises. I only leave Lewis with CeCe for a minute to grab my apron, but when I return, Lewis is giving Miss Parry the stink eye. My boss is standing where she was when she spoke to Lewis's mother, rolling her eyes at him. Sighing, I accept the fact that they may never get along. It's still worth the try though, just to be positive.

The larger man kisses my forehead once I'm close to him, his hand resting the back of my neck and gripping my hair to push my head up enough to look at him in the eyes. "I'll stay with ya today, make up for the past few weeks. Then we'll deal with the Crabbit over there."

I grin at him, loving that he wants to spend the day with me rather than go home and sleep or get his housework down. I am concerned about his sleeping schedule, but he doesn't have dark shadows under his eyes, light ones that are barely noticeable if you're not searching for them. I'll just have to make sure he takes a nap at home. I want him to stay at my apartment for a little while, force him into bed, and make him sleep.

"Okay! Do you want coffee? You had like, a dozen last time." I realize I sound eager when both Lewis and CeCe laugh, the Scotsman grinning just as wide as he normally does.

He nods his head once, "Aye, I'll take one. Surprise me."

It's perhaps ridiculous how fast I run around the counter where CeCe is shaking her head at me, playfully disappointed at how eager to please the dominant I am. Not thinking about the choices of coffee, I just start making one on muscle memory. If I thought about the options I'd never get anywhere and be stuck on it, I'd stress over it and it would be a whole thing that I don't need. Muscle memory never goes wrong, I don't need to think and I can concentrate on making it the best coffee I've ever made. When I'm done, I register that I don't know what I made. Too focused on what it needed, I didn't pay attention to what the name of it was.

Lewis hands CeCe money because he knows by now that I won't take it. He insisted on paying even if I offered to pay for his coffee for him. He just told me that I made it, it was only fair he paid me properly. I wouldn't take his money when he tried to pay, so CeCe came and snatched it from his hand. Lewis looked amused rather than annoyed at the whole scene. When he takes a drink, not seemingly bothered by the hot temperature of the liquid, I watch nervously. I want him to like it, be proud of my skill to make him a coffee.

He smiles at me, probably aware of why I'm staring at him in wait the same as the other times. "It's great, Bairn. I like it. Thank ya. You did good."

I suddenly feel bashful, whenever he tells me I did or was a 'Good Boy', I get red in the face and feel soft all over. I haven't been told I was a good boy in a while by a dominant, and sure Lewis says it or shows me he thinks it. But for some reason, it still gets me that I have someone to tell me I am a good boy. It's an amazing feeling, getting little tingles in my stomach and my heart flutters. Lewis chuckles, his hand ruffling my hair then pulling me closer to press another scratchy beard kiss to my cheek.

Lewis stays all day like he did last time, this time he doesn't leave and orders more snacks and coffee. Honestly, he gives Miss Parry's food higher praise than she deserves at the moment, same with his money. Giving her much more business than she already had, spending his money on coffee and baked goods. She sees everything too, she'll step from her office or the kitchen and see the Scotsman eating something she made or watches him pay for things. If she still hates him after he compliments one of her experimental muffins, a bacon bits one, I will lose all respect for her.

CeCe has fun teasing me about bringing Lewis to work with me, "It's bring your date slash potential boyfriend to work day!', 'I'm impressed you still got the no sex anything rule going on, he's hot.', 'Awe, look at the eager sub wanting to please the big bad wolf- or Viking, he's Scottish right?' She seems to appreciate that Lewis is bigger and stronger, appearing mean and intimidating, as she compares him to different dangerous things. When the Viking subject came up, she had a whole concept of Lewis being a huge Viking warrior and me being a villager his clan, or whatever they were called, was raiding. The entire conversation was stupid and Lewis was laughing like a crazy person.

Miss Parry was present through some of it, cutting in to remind us to work even if we were speaking between customers. She eyed Lewis cautiously when he mentioned that he thought some of his ancestors were Vikings, he didn't know for sure because his deceased great grandfather had memory issues and he liked to tell stories. Although Lewis did grow up with certain Viking traditions and customs, people in the small town he grew up in, in Scotland called him a modern Viking. Miss Parry didn't appear to like that, CeCe did, she looked happy her concept could come true with role play.

When my shift finally ends and I've put away my apron, Lewis takes me in his arms. Around my waist, lifting me up enough to keep my feet from touching the floor. A shocked laugh leaves me, gripping his arms, and giggling as he squeezes me. "Lewy!"

I don't realize what I said until Lewis laughs and rubs his beard against my neck. "Ah, 'bout fuckin time!"

If calling him his nickname is the way to make him happy and smile, then I'll stick with that. I like it when he smiles, and him giving me a beard burn isn't all that bad either. He normally does it when he's teasing me innocently or when he's in a cheerful mood, which means he could randomly decide to do it anytime. Lewis appears to be always happy, everyday has a positive or is good for something. Once, when he was over to hang out on a rainy day, said, 'It's a good day for crops and ducks.' He nearly never sees a negative in something.

Lewis walks the short distance to where Miss Parry is, at the doorway to the kitchen. She had come out as she usually does when our shifts end to wish us a good day and tell us to get rest. She doesn't look pleased with how Lewis is carrying me, but I like it and she can't do anything when Lewis is here. The Scotsman sets me on my feet, keeping me pressed against his chest when we get in front of her. Stating sternly, a complete one-eighty from a few seconds ago, "I'm not scared of ya. Now, let's go, Tommy Boy wants us to spend time with him."

Miss Parry stares at him for what feels like forever, then glances at me, before she nods once. "I'll grab my bag."

I sure hope this goes well.

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