Stray Master

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[Chapter Twelve]

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Scottish Translation -

Bairn - Baby

ghràdh - Love

Màthair - Mother

Irish Name - Cairbre (care-bra)

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It’s awkward and uncomfortable. The aura between Lewis and Miss Parry is tense when we walk from the cafe, Miss Parry on my left and Lewis on my right with his arm over my shoulders, keeping me against his side. He repeatedly glances at her and tightens his arm around me, making sure he can move me quickly if she decides to grab me as she did that day. I’m happy he wants to protect me, but she won’t touch me. Miss Parry feels guilty that she touched me without my consent in that way, she won’t lay a finger on me until she thinks I have forgiven her. Lewis doesn’t know that and I’m relieved that he wishes to step in if she did attempt to separate us.

Lewis had shown that he is serious about all of us hanging out, serious about pleasing me since it was my idea. I do not doubt that he would’ve let her dislike him if I hadn’t spoken up and stated that I wanted them to get along, He doesn’t care that she hates him, doesn’t mind the reason. The only thing Lewis cares for in this situation is that I asked him to attempt to get along with her, no matter that he was the kinder one when they met. He most likely doesn’t like that she tried to dig into his private life and the fact she grabbed me against my will, but he couldn’t care less if she likes him or not.

My boss doesn’t look very happy about it, but like Lewis, will do this to make me happy and say she tried. She has had a scowl on her face since Lewis practically commanded her to leave with us. The only flaw I’ve seen that is serious from Miss Parry is that when she believes something or makes her mind up, it’s extremely difficult to change her mind. I imagine this being one of the times where she is stubborn and unable to allow herself to see the good in Lewis, Oliver had mentioned when he came in after his shift that she has been unable to keep things peaceful and argues- or attempts to, with him about whether Lewis is a good man or not. Olivers thinks she is overreacting, that it’s a side effect of her emotions over boiling from being unable to conceive a child just yet. They had been trying for months before I met Lewis.

They’re doing everything they can, going to doctors or doing little charms, remedies that are supposed to help get a baby easier and faster. I suppose it would take a toll on someone, wanting to bring a life into the world so desperately yet being unable to do so. Hearing that Lewis hated his parents had probably triggered her erratic emotions and she has convinced herself that he is a bad man. Trying to find his faults from nothing, for example, when he carried me over to her- she didn’t appear to find it something I would like and was displeased by the action. His possessiveness will be an issue if she sees him guarding me against wandering eyes or throwing a dirty look to someone for staring too long, on the rare occurrences. Lewis has the habit, as aforementioned, of using my arm as a leash and dictating where I go, she won’t like that. She may know I’m into BDSM, but she doesn’t and will not know about my kinks.

Anything Lewis does may, to her, look like a fault of his. That simply will not do. I need them to get along, two important people in my life will be seeing much of each other, I’d rather not have them glaring and cursing the other. I know they wouldn’t do that in front of me, too respectful of my wishes for them to like each other. Yet they might talk shit about the other; Lewis had already gotten Seán to think badly about her, though I understand he only explained our situation and it was merely natural that his brother got upset about someone trying to push him away from a relationship. Miss Parry is trying to change Oilvers’ mind, even when the man hasn’t met Lewis yet. They’ll just continue to dig a hole until someone gives and snaps or accepts each other.

I’d very much like it if they accepted each other and that Miss Parry apologies to Lewis for digging into his past and for the ridiculous belief she has of him. He hasn’t done a thing to her, was respectful up to the point she made her dislike apparent then started throwing small common insults- he is a child at heart and she deserves them right now. He mostly says them to make me laugh at the odd and funny words he uses, but still. My boss had mainly glared and rolled her eyes at him whenever he caught her watching him, which she does. He can’t come into the cafe without her appearing and observing him as a prison guard in a high-security prison would.

I’m shocked she had even left the cafe with us, putting Oliver in charge with a single phone call. I had expected her to change her mind or walk away not to deal with him right now, although she was asking about him too often to let the chance to prove me wrong about him slide. Miss Parry cast me a look when Lewis had grabbed me to place his arm over my shoulder, concerned and I sent her a smile while I snuggled closer to show I liked it. Even then, she looked apprehensive with him pressed against me.

She has been near Lewis enough to know just how large he is, yet she glances at him from the corner of her eyes to size him up. Studying his big hands and muscled arms, his long legs, and broad shoulders. Catching the tattoos that peek out of his clothing when he moves. I’m aware that she may be comparing him just like CeCe is, only her version of Viking Lewis is much more serious and dangerous rather than us fucking like CeCe’s is. His appearance does scream Viking, any movie I’ve seen shows Vikings being huge muscled men with long hair either up in buns with parts shaved, beards, and possessive rage for whatever they raid. Lewis fits the image, except the rage- although I’m sure seeing him angry is scary if he is uncontrolled as he normally is.

Lewis knows she’s doing it, sizing him up as if she intends to fight him, but he won’t do anything to stop her. He isn’t unaware that he is a big man and that he intimidates others easily, I’ve seen him use it to his advantage in public when other men think that Lewis is all bark and no bite- even if they have never met or spoken to him. Lewis doesn’t tolerate words being spoken about him by strangers and had once led me to two men who were rolling their eyes at him and one had made a gesture on Lewis’s height then arms. We were walking in the park again, days before he met Miss Parry, and I was uncertain what he would do. Lewis had merely straightened up as he did to the man in the cafe and stepped much closer to the men than needed, and walked us past them. I had seen one stumble and understood Lewis checked his shoulder roughly enough that the men backed further away from us. I didn’t see them again.

So, yes. It is very much awkward as Lewis leads me to his truck that is parked down the road from the door to the coffee shop, it’s a gray four-door with rust over the wheels and on the tailgate. Lewis wants a new one but won’t buy one until this one dies on him, maybe not even then because he’d probably just work on it to get it going. Miss Parry rolls her eyes at it, seeming unsurprised that his vehicle is old and rusting. The Scotsman opens the passenger door for me and doesn’t allow me to climb up into the seat myself, lifting me and placing me on the seat. I don’t mind, he explained the step on this side is broken and I’m too short to step up without it, he has these huge wheels that boost the height of the truck, Besides, it’s to be manhandled.

Lewis opens the back door behind me for MIss Parry and waits as she climbs in, in case she needs help. They don’t speak, but the fact that Lewis didn’t leave her to struggle to get in, speaks a lot. She matters to me and he probably doesn’t want me upset at him, since I know he wouldn’t leave anyone else to struggle. Once she’s settled he closes both doors and walks around to the driver’s seat, climbing in with no problem. The truck takes a few turns to start, Lewis having to use a special method involving a screwdriver instead of a key. The truck is loud, roaring to life, and sounds similar to a race car.

I glance back to Miss Parry to see her reaction to Lewis’s truck, only to see her moving stray tools and oil rags, some clothes to other seats. It’s cleaner than the last time I got a ride from him, I noticed it when he drove us to the shop. Usually, it’s packed with tool bags that either he or Seán forgot to take out or was too lazy to throw into the bed of the truck. She’d have a heart attack if she saw that mess. I’m happy he attempted to clean, got rid of most of the bigger things, and bought air freshers to remove the oil and machinery scents. It’s not perfect but he tried and that’s enough.

Lewis is on a mission, I can tell from the focused glint in his eyes as he drives through the street with one hand on the wheel. His other is hanging off the armrest between us, and I don’t bother to ignore the urge to take the hand in mine. He glances at me at the feeling of me sliding my hand in his, gently squeezing it with a smile. I lean back on the seat, relaxed. “Where are we going, Lewy?”

His eyes flick to the rearview mirror to see Miss Parry for a split second, voice carefully controlled. “Store. Gonna get ya some food. ’Bout time we did that.”

I go wide-eyed, “But- I didn’t bring enough money to go shopping! My card isn’t reloaded just yet. I won’t be able to pay. “

Miss Parry gets only one word, “Now, To-”

Then Lewis is speaking, tongue clicking. “I’m paying.”

I hear Miss Parry cough as if she hadn’t got time to swallow before Lewis spoke and choked, Lewis seems vaguely pleased at the reaction. She takes a second before speaking, “I’m sure Thomas can pay for himself, it’s not your responsibi-”

Lewis very nearly growls, staring intensely at Miss Parry from the mirror while stopping at a red light. “I want to pay. He needs food and I promised I’d take him. He is my responsibility till he tells me otherwise.”

His tone leaves room for argument and while Miss Parry appears to want to, I hear her lean up to see my reaction. I’m smiling because it feels good to hear that I’m Lewis’s responsibility and that he wants to care for me. He had told me he wanted to before, but for some reason, hearing it directed at another person makes it more real. Reminds me that is my reality now, having Lewis here to care for my needs and wants, he wants to do everything for me and I honestly love it. He takes the stress off things and makes decision making easy; punishment or be a good boy?

He has been wanting to take me shopping for groceries for a while now, unfortunately, life has different plans. I’ve had enough food to last me because I don’t eat much until Lewis came along and has me eating more, he usually brings something with him when he comes over to pick me up or hang out. But I have been running low on my stock, we just haven’t been able to get there. I normally have to reload my card for groceries, it keeps me from spending it until I get to the store so I still have money. Lewis has been working on that new schedule of his and hasn’t been able to drive me places as he wishes to. I’m actually looking forward to going now. I hate the store; the people, the lines, and the indecision on what to get. This time though, I have Lewis and he’ll help me and show Miss Parry that he cares for me.

She will see that he does what he can for me and will give me vertically anything I want, within reason, of course. Lewis will be positive to get me healthy things and that I try new food or vegetables and fruit. He has told me before that I need more healthy food in my diet and has slowly been going that; giving me protein high meals with vegetables or fruits his mother sends. I find it surprising that I like what he gives me so much, I’ve never been much of a fan of healthy things, the most I’ve eaten is a salad on occasion. I’m proud of myself and glad Lewis is slowly introducing it to me.

Surely, once Miss Parry sees him doing this for me, her outlook on him will rise. What more could she want? For him to give up his life and change it to fit her high standards? Lewis is rough around the edges and he has beliefs that are different from hers, he grew up much differently and comes from not only one other country but two; it should be obvious that he wouldn’t be what she probably envisioned for me. Lewis fits me though, he is what I need and what I’ve been wanting. It’s hard to see her being this way when she was so accepting of Ryan and in some way, William even if he didn’t last long. They don’t come close to Lewis in terms of understanding me and my needs, and while William may have been a dominant that helps others in the community be doms or cares for subs, he wasn’t like Lewis at all.

I’m hoping that on this trip, Miss Parry sees that Lewis is more than his hate for his parents. He is caring, loving, and protective. He will make sure nothing happens to me and that I get what I need, and I doubt he’d hurt me purposefully. Lewis is loyal, I’ve seen it from how he acts with Seán and how he defends anyone he is close with. Miss Parry doesn’t need to worry about him hurting me, if he wanted to he probably would’ve done so by now.

Lewis holds my hand the whole drive to the store, staying quiet while listening to me and Miss Parry talk. We haven’t had many conversations since the day she met Lewis and I want to catch up, see how she is doing even if I saw her every day, know how Oliver is and if she spoke to Sarah. I tried to ask about the topics, but she had quickly stepped in when she noticed Lewis was going to stay quiet. Trying to subtly warn me that allowing Lewis to do so much for me wouldn’t be good and that I give him too much power, we’re not even at the store yet and she can’t keep it to herself until she sees what I see.

It bothers me and I can see it bothers Lewis also, yet he stays quiet and merely squeezes my hand again to remind me to keep calm. At first, I’m put off that he isn’t saying a thing. Why isn’t he defending my needs when Miss Parry is acting like she knows them? Defending himself when he hears her mumble in my ear that he’s not good or what I need, that he’s too aggressive and possessive. It adds to my annoyance, Lewis doesn’t let someone talk about him this way, why is he letting her dig at him as if he isn’t sitting right here, directly next to me.

Then I see, understand. His jaw is set and his arms tense, flexing as his hand tightens on the steering wheel, knuckles going stark white with the force. His green eyes glare and pierce whatever he looks at with an anger I hadn’t seen before, lips in a tight line. He looks barely controlled, so close to raging. Yet he doesn’t do a thing. His hand in mine is gentle, he hasn’t glanced at me in case he scares me with the look in his eyes, and he hasn’t made a sound. Because he knows Miss Parry is like another Mother to me, I had mentioned she was my mother figure once, and I wouldn’t like it if he snapped at her. He doesn’t do anything to defend himself for me.

He also knew that if he snapped, growled, or sneered at her, he would only be proving her correct. That he is too aggressive and dangerous, that I wasn’t safe with him. She’d work harder to separate us. Realizing this, I squeeze his hand with a stronger grip and lean over to kiss his cheek. Miss Parry pauses at the action and I glance at her, she blinks as if it surprised her then looks at Lewis for his reaction. Lewis takes a breath, his hand relaxes on the wheel, and his muscles relax. Then he smiles at me, the anger in his eyes calmed down, and gently pulls me closer over the armrest while he’s driving to kiss my temple.

It’s a quiet drive to the store after that, Miss parry leaning back and watching us as she normally does. To observe Lewis or me, or just the both of us as a couple, I don’t know.

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Lewis helps me from the truck when we get to the large local store, I know better than to try to get out myself that resulted in me nearly falling on my face. Nonetheless, he tells me to wait for him to open the door and assist me. He doesn’t help Miss Parry but she doesn’t appear to need or want his help, she very well slams the door shut and it makes me jump because I hadn’t expected it. Lewis is quick to wrap his arm around me and let me shift closer, it happens naturally like it’s what I’ve been doing all my life, going to him for any sort of protection. Miss Parry gives me a look that says she’s sorry for spooking me but also upset I went to Lewis instead of her, but what did she expect?

We don’t talk until we get inside the store to where the carts are waiting to be taken. Inside isn’t very crowded, people spread around and going about their shopping. Occasionally two people will accidentally run into each other or kids will go past with their parents and stare in awe at Lewis’s size. The check out lines is the busiest, as they always are. Lines of people waiting with carts full of things warn me we’ll be here for a while.

Lewis had kept me on his arm, his other hand stuck in his pocket. Miss Parry is the one that grabs the cart just as I make a move to grab it, saying in the motherly voice she only uses rarely when she’s feeling particularly happy, “I’ll push it, Thomas. It’s the least I could do seeing as you invited me along.”

I feel Lewis shift with the silent huff of laughter, he didn’t invite her, he demanded she come along and he knows that just as she does. She probably only phrased it that way to show me how demanding and scary he could be when he wanted something done, a fact I had already assumed. Lewis is dominant and I specially asked him to dominate me, he will be demanding and intimidating at times because he knows by now that I love it. It’s also just how he is wired, he is uncaring of others’ feelings and doesn’t care if he hurts or offends someone with his words. He is mainly unfiltered in his words and thoughts, I get that much from seeing him interact with people in the cafe and from Seán, yet he contains himself around me for now. He rethinks sentences and words to make sure I don’t get hurt accidentally from his uncontrolled mouth. It’s one of the signs I know he cares for me.

He doesn’t deem that worthy of a response, because he looks down at me and smiles. “Wanna go anywhere first? Art shite? Get more paint?”

I grin at the questions, glad he shows his interest in my art in front of Miss Parry. But I shake my head, leaning into him and relaxing more than I have in a store before. “I have enough paint and brushes and canvases. You basically got me a whole stock. I’m sure it’ll last me for another week or something.”

The reward he gave me by buying paints and other things have lasted me this long only because he had been taking up my time. I want to be around him and pay attention to him, not spend my time painting and ignoring him. Of course, I still paint and draw, just at certain times like before bed or in the afternoons when I’m alone while Lewis is still at work- that is more so recently. Lewis does tell me to paint if he comes over sometime during the week, sitting and watching me.

Miss Parry raises her eyebrow, “You got him paints?”

The tone of her voice tells me she didn’t expect Lewis to be a supporter of my painting and drawing, most likely saw him getting angry and yelling at me to stop. The smile she earns from me is tight and strained, “Yeah, he surprised me. I thought he would tell me to get food, but he just told me to pick whatever I wanted.”

Lewis grunts, arm tightening for a second on my shoulder. “Aye, ya be a good boy and I’ll buy ya more. Damn well deserve it, Bairn.”

Then he turns us and starts walking, not paying attention to the reaction Miss Parry would’ve had to that. I hear her mumble under her breath, unable to hear the words but can recognize the hissed sounds as an insult or curse. The cart is following us, Miss Parry appearing at my side to walk with us instead of behind. Lewis leads the way through the grocery section and stops at the meat shelves, while the sight of blood and bone bothers me, Lewis doesn’t seem to notice that some packages are leaking blood and the plastic is nearly breaking from sharp bones. He picks up a package, one of the few that doesn’t have blood flooded in it. Then grunts again as he sets it down.

“Thomas, do you eat meat? I didn’t think this was something you liked?” Miss Parry asks, eyes flicking to a large package that has bones in a row, I assume that’s ribs.

Glancing up at Lewis I know he’s listening, even if his eyes are on the different meats. “Usually no, the blood and bone are nasty. But Lewis’s mother sent him some really good food that had meat in it, I liked that.”

Miss Parry stares at me and tilts her head, “The woman I spoke to? She sent you food?”

“Aye. She heard Tommy Boy liked potatoes and sent some over with her spiced beef.” Lewis answers for me, looking back at us and glancing at my boss before down to me. “She was happy ya liked it, said she’d send more.”

I flush at the thought of Lewis sitting with Seán talking with their mother about me, her making plans to make food and send it here for a person she doesn’t even know. It’s sweet and I’m liking her more and more I hear about her. She sounds amazing and funny, she’s a great cook and she helped Lewis when he needed a family, She’s already one of the best people to me, and I haven’t met her, though I wish I do.

“Is that allowed? Isn’t she in Ireland, would food last the trip here?” Miss Parry points out, seeming to search for a reason not to like that Lewis is getting his mother to send me things.

Lewis’s eyes get sharp at the implication that his mother is sending bad or expired food to us. Voice firm, almost a growl, “Been doin it since we moved here as a gift. Always fresh and good. Don’t say a word bout Màthair’s ability to send us food from home. I won’t tolerate that.”

Miss Parry’s eyes widened, if I wasn’t watching her as closely as I am, I wouldn’t have noticed it. She seemed to have hit a point in Lewis where he doesn’t care if I scold him for snapping at her, his mother is off-limits on her digs at him and he will not let her speak badly about the woman he sees as his mother. I won’t mention this, because she had no right to question what or how his mother does things and it was a low blow.

His arm removes itself from my shoulder to allow his hand to slide down my arm to my hand, his larger hand grips mine and he starts to softly pull me away from the meat. Grunting, “All processed, Màthair will send some. Cairbre should have a fresh new stock he’ll deliver.”

A small disgusted shiver envelops me at that, the idea of an animal being killed upsets me but I know Lewis is used to getting fresh meat from one of the people near his family’s house and they never need to buy meat from a store. He assured me he himself has never killed an animal unless the creature was in pain and wouldn’t be able to live or heal then he put them to rest. He doesn’t hurt or anything and isn’t interested in that, when he lived in Ireland the only thing he did was herd sheep with horses. It still upsets me that he lived so close to a farm that killed animals and that sometimes he mentions said farm, but he can’t help how he lived and that he’s accustomed to that. I won’t force him to change.

The rest of our shopping trip is just as tense, if not more, than the ride over. Miss Parry is glaring at the way Lewis guides me around the store when his arm isn’t wrapped on my shoulders, trying to tell him that I like certain things he throws in the cart, or that I wouldn’t eat all the food he chooses. Lewis mostly ignores her, will comment that he’ll make sure I’ll eat all of it and that I need to try more things. Once he starts grabbing spices and seasonings, ingredients for a home-cooked meal, Miss Parry actually picks them out and attempts to put them back. Lewis nearly blows like a cartoon character.

I understand that Miss Parry thinks I don’t need all this and that I won’t eat it all, I won’t cook without burning the apartment down. But she needs to see what Lewis is getting without me arguing against it. He has mainly grabbed healthy things, fruits, and vegetables, water, no eggs. The cart looks like a vegan menu or diet exploded. Lewis is great at motivating me to eat new stuff and I believe I will eat what he buys today. It’s looks good, the nuts to snack on are the ones I like because he had asked then grabbed them, the salad makings I will eat as salad isn’t so bad; the fruit and vegetables are mainly ones I know and enjoy- carrots, apples, broccoli and cauliflower, zucchini. I wonder if Lewis would want to make Zucchini bread with me.

So when she starts doing that and Lewis briefly looks close to snapping again before calming himself, I untie his hand from mine. He stares down at me with a raised eyebrow, displeased. He’s had my hand for most of this shopping trip and he wouldn’t let me grab anything off the shelves, whispering an explanation in my ear when Miss Parry isn’t paying attention, ‘You’re my responsibility, and while I’m ya dominant, even temporarily, you are not pickin off the shelves.’ It made my heart stutter and I swear, I may be in love. The power exchange through it all is the most satisfying thing that has happened today, and I am proud I haven’t gotten turned on to the point I had an issue.

After removing his hand and intercepting Miss Parry as she goes to place some kind of herb that Lewis had grabbed without an explanation, and take it from her before she puts it where it was grabbed from, as to avoid breaking the rule Lewis had placed. She turns to me, smiling when she notices I’m free of Lewis’s hand. “Thomas, I’m sure you don’t need rosemary for anything. You’ll never use it, dear. Why don’t you put it back and we’ll work on replacing some items.”

I remember something Lewis warmed up for me from his mother that had rosemary in or on it, and assume that either he was going to attempt to make it or she was sending more over from Ireland, maybe something else had some in it. Lewis wouldn’t buy things unless he knew he’d make sure I used them or he did when he was over. He has a reason for doing the things he does for me, even if he doesn’t speak them.

I hand the Rosemary to Lewis, unsure if he’d want me to be placing anything in the cart. He places the clear bag the herbs are in on top of lettuce before he grips my hand again and pulls me closer to him, kissing me on my hair. As he does, I explain to a stunned Miss Parry, “His mother sent food with rosemary in it and I liked it, so he might show me how to make it or something. I may need it. He does things for a reason, I like that too. Please understand I like everything he does, he doesn’t hurt me. I trust him.”

Lewis smiles, I feel his lips curve on my hair and he whispers a “Good Boy” to me.

Miss Parry keeps her hands to herself after that, going back to watching and observing how we act with each other. I notice her studying the items in the cart she pushes around a few feet behind us, looking at everything Lewis puts in it and noticing that my favorite oven meals are in there along with the food he is buying for me to try. With her doing nothing to make Lewis pause, we get through the shopping quickly and Lewis instructs me to find a checkout while he runs to grab something, kissing my cheek before he turns to run off.

While Miss Parry and I walk to find a register, I drag about how happy I am with Lewis. We haven’t spoken and when I tried in the truck, she interrupted me, now though I can finally tell her how much better I am with Lewis. She listens, staring at me and watching me light up whenever I remember something that Lewis did for me. Telling her he makes me laugh and he cares for me, that he’s willing to learn about art for me and how he calls me to hum when because it helps me sleep. It’s embarrassing to admit that, but she seems so shocked it’s worth it.

I keep it up, knowing she has to crack in her hate eventually. In the line, I keep talking while I search for Lewis. He turns a corner and I instantly smile, because he looks happy and proud. He’s holding a pack of three canvas and more paint. He places on top of everything and slides his arm over my shoulder, hugging to his side, and watches me look at the paint he got. I use a specific kind and worry he got the wrong paints, but it’s the exact kind I got last time, different colors.

“You remembered!” I’m shocked as I turn to look up at him. Not even Miss Parry remembered the kind of paint I use when she buys them for birthdays.

Lewis grins, “Had ta search, but yea. Different colors, aye? Ya got the whole rainbow now.”

I hug him tightly, my cheeks hurt from smiling at the fact he searched and he remembered. Miss Parry looks between us and the paints, conflicted.

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