Stray Master

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[Chapter Twenty Five]

🔓🔎🗝

Scottish Translation -

Bonnie - Beautiful/ Pretty

Bràthair - Brother

Màthair- Mother

mo leannan bhoidheach - my beautiful sweetheart

na gabh dragh - Don’t Worry

Name Niamh - Means ‘bright’ or ‘radiant’

Scut - useless sod

Gobdaw - A twit, hasn’t got their shit together and never will.

Salach - dirty

Pup- More than a brat, less than a prick; Skating on a very fine line.

🔓🔎🗝

It’s Christmas, and for once, I’m excited. Usually, I don’t celebrate Christmas, too many bad ones for me to try to make one good. Miss Parry and Oliver, CeCe, and Ryan always get me something, but they know not to invite me to any parties they may go to. Miss Parry tried a few times, I never showed up and I explained I don’t do Christmas, it’s just another day for me. Growing up in the environment I did, Christmas was just a disappointment when Santa didn’t come and shouting and alcohol and new bruises. The last one ended with police officers and a body bag. Christmas isn’t a good day for me.

I like the cold, the snow, and staying in with hot chocolate with a movie on or painting. That’s how I normally spend my Christmas day, with short visits from my boss and her husband, and Cece, Ryan if he can make it. It’s lonely sometimes, but it’s better than being stuck in the middle of a crowded house filled with drunk people. I go out to change it up, go to the park and draw, cuddled into myself with one of my big comfy winter coats on. I’ll play away in the snow like a child and, once, I got into a snowball fight with a group of teenagers.

This year is much different. I’m excited and happy and I can’t stop bouncing my leg. Lewis and I had been an official couple for about a month now, spending so much time with each other, I go to his apartment or he comes to mine. His apartment is like a second home for me at this point, I stay over most nights I go over there and it’s always the best. I love spending time with Lewis, he’s a great man, he’s exactly what I was searching and dreaming for. I couldn’t ask for a more supportive and caring boyfriend and Dominant. Lewis had invited me to spend Christmas with him and Seán, saying it wouldn’t be a party and would just be us, staying in his apartment.

It’ll be our first Christmas together and knowing that Lewis wants me there made me warm inside, and I agreed without fully thinking about it. But it is our first holiday as a couple and I would feel bad if I rejected him just because I have a thing about Christmas. Besides, it may do me some good to celebrate it with someone who wouldn’t walk on eggshells around me in an attempt not to trigger me or avoid certain topics. Lewis and Seán don’t know anything about my past, and while Lewis is likely to find out during our relationship, I’d rather that happen later and not sooner.

I was told that they have a tradition in their family, a very simple one without a party or anything dealing with drinking, as both of them don’t drink alcohol. I wasn’t told too much, Lewis wanting to surprise me, and I don’t mind too much. As long as no one is drunk and it’s not a party, I should be fine. I’m wondering what the tradition is though, I would assume that they would speak to their family, considering their family is in another country. I’m preparing myself to end up speaking to Lewis’s Mother if they do call, I know they call her every day on the way to the cafe or before they leave work, I’m betting they call her every holiday too.

Some would probably be uncomfortable meeting parents a month into a relationship, but Lewis and I have been dating for maybe three-four months, granted one month as an exclusive couple, but in the grand picture, that detail doesn’t matter much to me. Lewis’s Mother, and general family, are important to him and he loves her with every fiber of his body. I think it’s necessary I meet her to further our relationship, gain more trust and start trying to gain his Mother’s approval. She sounds like a hard lady to please and while I am intimidated, she has two huge men afraid of her, she has to be scary, I can push past that. I hope.

Lewis is picking me up from work, Christmas falling on a Friday, and giving us the weekend before New Years’. He had already promised to take me to the store Sunday to get more food, and he had sworn he and Seán worked on his apartment the last few days to make it much more lived-in and appear like a decent place, not an empty cheap place as it is. I didn’t like that his kitchen was as empty as it was, or that his living room only had the small couch he doesn’t even fit on. The whole place is too small for him and I’d like it if he fixed at least some of the issues if he wants to live there.

I haven’t been over there while they worked on it, Lewis even said he had some of his work friends help him out. Seán had only smirked when I asked about it a few days ago, the Irishman coming in the cafe before Lewis had, ‘It’s great, Tommy. Ya’ll love it.’. It gave me hope that Lewis has places to put food and a bigger refrigerator, with a nice little table to prepare sandwiches on. Lewis seemed pleased and happy with the work they were doing, kissing me long and hard, making a promise to show me the new bed he had bought. I find it sweet that he’s changing his living space around just to make it more to my liking since I’m staying there more often, as far as I know, he has only changed the very important things; his living room and kitchen.

I’m hoping for a big, for his apartment at least, comfortable couch that fits both of us and a real coffee table, or maybe a tv stand with a place for the movies. The bed he had was the best I had ever slept on, if he got a brand new one I can’t wait to lay on it to test it out. I’m sure Lewis would’ve got one that he deemed would be approved by me, he always makes sure he has things that I’ll like on hand and I don’t think this will be any different. He just seems like that kind of man, and he has proved he is. He is mostly prepared for when he picks me up and if he doesn’t have something, he orders it or we go on a trip to get it. I had never met a man that will pause a movie in the middle of it to take me to get ice cream before the store closes, then make sure to rewind the movie in case I missed something while asking for ice cream. He spoils me much more than I was prepared for. I love it.

The only thing that I know won’t happen is the cock warming sessions, Lewis had made a schedule for us and I adore the process of following his instructions up to him allowing me access to his cock. We do it every time I’m in his apartment and we know we won’t be interrupted, once every weekend. Seán will be with us today and I’m unsure if he’ll stay all weekend or not. No cock warming today, maybe tomorrow or Sunday. I don’t like waiting, but I have no choice unless I want the Irishman to see me with his brother’s cock in my mouth.

My shift ends exactly as Lewis and Seán walk in, the Irishman making quick conversation with CeCe after giving me a wide grin. CeCe is in the Christman spirit, her eyes are red and green contacts, and the sweater she wears is black with Santa running over a granny with his sled in bright reds and browns for the deer, gold for the sled, and some more red for Granny’s blood in the snow. It’s a very graphic design and I wonder where in the world she even found it. She’s in chain jeans, black ones with little chains hanging from the belt loops. The chains have red and green ridden wrapped around them, and her thigh has a patch of Zombie Rudolph the reindeer, only instead of cute and innocent, he’s a zombie.

CeCe has admitted that she’s going to the mall to get new lingerie for a date she has, telling me she met a cute gothic woman at some witchcraft store she goes to for home decor. She was grinning and I could tell she likes this new woman, wants more than what she’s been doing lately- one-night stands. I’m told she had already been on a few dates with Kat, the new woman. I couldn’t be happier for CeCe and I hope this works out, she’s been avoiding dating for a while and I want her to be happy.

Lewis meets me halfway to the staff room, where I just came from when they walked in. He’s in more clothing since it started snowing, a thick hoodie and thicker work pants I always see in the men’s section of stores. His hair is down, messy, and tangled from the hood he has over it. He has on boots that are more appropriate for protecting feet from snow, thick and the sole is chunky. He grins at me, enveloping me in his arms and sweeping me off the floor, pressing a kiss to my lips as he does. I can only laugh and go along, placing my arms around his neck while feeling him move an arm over my thighs to support me.

When he pulls back, I smile at him, “How’s the apartment? Did you guys finish it?”

He chuckles, “Aye, Bonnie. All done and ready for ya.”

Grinning, I kiss him again. “There better be a coffee table.”

He just laughs, nodding. “Wouldn’t forget that, guarantee. There’s a nice, freshly made coffee table waitin for ya.”

He starts to walk us out, allowing me to wave at Miss Parry and CeCe before he steps from the building. Ryan had to return home, he gave me a present, two new hoodies, and a book about painting techniques that had tips and information I didn’t know on how to better a painting or fix problems without trashing the canvas. I loved the hoodies and the book is what I’ve needed for a while now, something that will help me better my skills as a painter and I appreciate the thought.

“Made?” I question once I remember his words.

He smirks, “I and Bràthair started it months ago, just got it finished.”

Seán appears at Lewis’s side, another grin on his face. “Màthair was on his arse bout that shelf. Had ta make one ta please her, now you.”

I blush at the implication that they made a table for their mother and me. I didn’t mean Lewis had to make one, I just figured he’d buy a real table. But I know they love building things, it may just be another habit they have. Building tables for the fun of it, I can’t relate to that but I respect the time and effort they put in it. Lewis puts me in the front seat of his truck, shoving Seán when the man pretends to pout and makes a comment about boyfriends and getting pushed to the backseats. The Irishman laughs and swears to me he isn’t bothered.

It’s a good time when both of them are around, their banter is funny and I love the brotherly love between them, especially knowing they aren’t blood family. It makes me feel closer to both of them when they talk about Ireland and tell me stories, explain inside jokes so I can join in laughs. Lewis has his hand on my thigh and only removes it to either make a show of slapping his brother or accidentally actually slapping Seán. I can already tell that today will be a good Christmas day, and I couldn’t be happier about that.

Along the way, I notice that Lewis isn’t driving to his apartment building, going the opposite way and towards the better-looking and slightly more expensive apartments are. Down a side road that takes us to a small apartment complex in plat-like sections, the buildings appear fairly new, if not a few years old. There are yards and a playground for children, the parking spaces go to every building with a few carports along the back to act as garages. It’s a pretty place, spacious and inviting,

At first, I figure we’re going to Seán’s place, but the Irishman is looking around curiously at the cars and buildings. “Lewy?”

The Scotsman hums to show he heard me, keeping his eyes on the road in case of ice or to keep from running into the slow van in front of us. So I continue, “Where are we going?”

He squeezes my thigh, “It’s a surprise.”

Deciding to trust him, I stay quiet while Lewis searches for a good parking spot, finding one near the front building that faces the road and is close to a carport that stretches around the back to the front. He parks directly in front of a door, the small yard separating the lot from the door is covered in a layer of snow, and the children must have already played in it as it’s messy and has footprints and snow angels in it. Lewis and Seán get out first, Lewis coming to help me out of the high truck. I’m still curious as I let Lewis take my hand and lead me and Seán to the door, watching as Lewis unlocks it with a key and pushes me in gently.

It’s a nice apartment. Spacious and large enough for maybe two people, Lewis doesn’t touch the ceiling but I can see that the kitchen would be an issue if he’s with someone else in it. The kitchen connects to the living room, it has counter space and a decently big refrigerator, one that is better than the mini-fridge he has. The living room is larger, the space enough for a black corner sectional, one that has the long lounging cushion on it for laying down, it’s filled with blankets and pillows and looks like heaven. The tv is the same one Lewis has, only this one is on a black rustic stand with sliding doors like barn doors. The floor is wooden, the only carpet is in the small hallway. The walls are a pretty grayish-white, big windows with black curtains behind the tv.

In the middle of the room, directly in front of the couch, is a gorgeous wooden table with a small shelf at the bottom, the legs of it are thick and have designs along them. The closer to it I get, I see the top is shiny with a craving of a farmhouse and a barn in the distance, horses roam by the house and sheep are in a field just behind it. It’s amazing artwork. The table looks brand new, freshly polished or sanded, and it suddenly clicks as to why we’re here.

Turning to Lewis and Seán, who has been watching me take everything in. Lewis is leaning against the small island counter in the kitchen and Seán is grabbing water from the refrigerator, both with knowing smirks at my shocked expression. “Did- you moved?!”

Lewis laughs, coming closer to hug me and kiss my temple. “Aye. Ya were right, needed a new place with how small the other was. This place will be better for you to come over to. Got a couch for ya and a proper kitchen, and a table. Can also stand straight without bumpin my head, that’s good too.”

A small shocked laugh comes from my throat, I can’t believe he basically said he moved house because I didn’t like it. I wasn’t expecting this, had never heard of a boyfriend moving just to please his partner. The old apartment was too small for Lewis and it didn’t seem very healthy, but he had lived there for how long I don’t know. I wouldn’t dream of him moving just because I pointed out some things that needed to change; the kitchen situation and the table, and the tv.

“Lewy! You didn’t need to move!” My shocked statement earns another laugh, and one from the Irishman.

Lewis rubs his hand down my spine and back up, reassuringly. “I know, mo leannan bhoidheach. Wanted to, needed to. Ya just pushed me ta finally do it. Na gabh dragh.”

He grips my hair gently and tilts my head to kiss my lips, “Go on, look ’round. Bràthair and I needta do somethin, I’ll call for ya in a few minutes.”

I ask a quick question before I do as said, “How did you get an apartment so fast?”

“Done some work for the manager and my lease was comin to an end. Got some friends to help, here we are.”

The apartment is perfect, or as close as possible to it. The bathroom is decently big and the walk-in shower is just big enough for Lewis, the tiles on the wall the same color as the living room. There’s a closet in the hallway that has a vacuum and cleaning products. A small guest room or office next to the bathroom, no bed or furniture. The only thing in the room is a large item wrapped up in blue reindeer wrapping paper, laying innocently on the floor with two more wrapped items. Lewis hadn’t said anything about them and I don’t want to open them without his permission, they might be for someone else, like a family member.

I move on to the last room at the end of the hall, on the right. It’s the master bedroom that has a huge bed in the middle of it, covered with a thick blanket and three fluffy pillows. Two nightstands on either side have cute little lamps on them, there’s an open closet across from the bed, filled with Lewis’s clothes. I jump on the bed, groaning as I sink comfortably into the mattress and I quickly curl up with my head on a pillow, snuggling in deep and sighing. I can fall asleep right here and die happy. Although I’m interrupted when I hear a chuckle at the door.

“Found the bed, did ya? Like it?” Lewis questions, leaning on the doorway.

“Like it? This bed is amazing! I claim it as mine, find a new one for yourself.” I roll on the mattress as if to make my point, smiling widely when he laughs.

“Get right on it, I will. Come on off there and see our tradition, just started.” He waves me closer and I reluctantly listen, making a promise to myself to return to the bed as soon as I’m allowed.

Lewis places his hand on the back of my neck, guiding me through the hall and into the main space. Seán is on the couch, phone in hand and speaking Irish, words going over my head too fast for me to even attempt to understand. He’s face timing someone, that much is obvious as I can see movement from the screen. Then the voice I know as their Mother comes through the speaker and I automatically look up at Lewis, he’s been watching me to see my reaction and smiles reassuringly.

“If ya don’t wanna meet her yet, don’t have ta. She wants to meet ya, but she’ll understand if yer not ready.” He leans down to whisper in my ear, arms wrapping around my waist.

I prepared myself for this and I’m happy that he isn’t just throwing me in there, giving me a choice to just observe rather than participate. But I’d like to be involved in his tradition, it’s a special thing he does for his mother and he had invited me to be a part of it for our first Christmas. Besides, I do want to meet the woman that scares him. She has to have some tips on how to handle him or how to get things from him when I feel bratty, after all.

I nod slightly, hearing Seán laugh and hear bim shift on the couch. “I wanna meet her, too. I don’t know Irish or Scottish though.”

He chuckles, squeezing me. “She’ll speak English. We’ll translate when she gets too excited.”

Lewis kisses my head, nudging me closer to the couch and sitting next to his brother, pulling me down on his lap. The move was unexpected and I made a surprised noise as I’m grabbed, gaining the woman on the screen’s attention. Seán fixes the phone on the table, propped up with one of his boots, this way we’re all in view of the camera. All while the woman is practically shouting and grinning, talking in Irish and I blink because I didn’t think she’d be this excited.

Lewis and Seán laugh when she actually sets her phone down to clap and bounce around. My boyfriend speaking in my ear, “She’s just repeatin how cute ya are. And cursin me for not sendin her a picture.”

I blush and smile sheepishly when I’m faced with her again. She’s older than Miss Parry, with stress wrinkles on her forehead and pale skin, her hair is gray and black and in a tight bun high on her head. Her eyes are deep blue and lit up like a kid at an amusement park, she’s missing a tooth on the side of her mouth just visible when she smiles too widely. I can’t see her well enough to guess her height, but from stories, I gather that she’s my height or shorter. She’s a beautiful lady, wrinkles or one less tooth or not, and personality matters much more than looks. She accepted Lewis in her family and I count her as a good person for that.

“Ah, Màthair! Calm down, will ya? He doesn’t understand ’hat yer sayin.” Seán interrupts her rambling.

A tiny giggle comes from me when she pauses and glares with the strength of a thousand knives at the Irishman, which has him wincing and apologizing for interrupting. Her attention returns to me at the noise and she suddenly smiles again with kind eyes. Her voice is thick with an accent and I need to think through her words to process them fully, “Yer a cutie, ya are! Oh! Niamh, I am! Doubt Lewy told ya ’hat. Fuckin scut ’hat lad.”

She says that last part in a teasing tone as she glances past me at Lewis, I feel him huff out a laugh, “Real nice, Màthair. Insult me in front of him.”

She just rolls her eyes, turning back to me with a little shake of her head. “He’s a Gobdaw on good days, but he’s a good lad, he is. I taught him damn well.”

Laughing, I agree. “Lewis is amazing, he talks about you a lot. So does Seán. I’m Thomas, people call me Tom or Tommy though. It’s nice to meet you.”

She grins and I feel Lewis kiss my neck gently, his arms squeezing me. She mainly teases when she questions. “And my boys ’ave been good, aye? Hard workin like ’hey should be.”

Both Lewis and Seán laugh, the Irishman shaking his head. “Yeah. They always go to the coffee shop all dirty from whatever site they work at and Lewis makes sure I have everything I need.”

Niamh’s grin softens into a proud smile at that, “Just as we taught him.”

Then, “do ya walk right in all fuckin salach?! Damn well better not, fuckin pups!-” she keeps going in Irish and I lose track of the scolding, laughing at the shared look the men give me for ratting them out.

We talk to Niamh for hours, the men getting updates on family members and who had died in the small town they had lived in. I get to know their mother and she asks questions about me, asking if I actually liked the food she sent or if Lewis was ‘pulling my leg’. I learn that she can’t work on the farm anymore because of her bad leg, her husband- Connor- does most of the work with a few young men from town that they pay or some family members. Her mother, Lewis, and Seán’s grandmother, Ethniu still live with them. Niamh can talk, for hours and maybe the full day. But I love her and she seems to like me.

We go outside into the snow, Seán handing me the phone while I watch their Mother limp with her cane outside also. Outside, we play in the snow. Lewis and Seán make a small snowman, I help while holding the phone and watching Niamh sit on the step of the porch and make a snowman on the side of the stairs to make sure it doesn’t get ruined. We do this for hours and the huge tattooed, bearded men have a snowball fight with me and Niamh laughing at them.

It’s the best Christmas I’ve ever had.

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