Under a Scottish Sky
Seeking stars, finding love!
Michelle Reyes is a strong, guilt-ridden woman. Traveling as a nurse from her home in Manila to Scotland to see the stars, she meets Adrian, the son of her patient. She sees Adrian as arrogant, unforgiving and cruel. But is Adrian more than he appears to be?
Release Date: September 26, 2017
Genre: Contemporary | Multicultural | Interracial Romance Novella
~ A PINK SATIN ROMANCE ~
“I love Scotland!” Michelle told her sister over the phone, taking her luggage from the conveyor belt at the Glasgow airport.
“Don’t get too excited,” her sister said. “It may seem magical and all, but it’s nothing but farmland. Call me as soon as you get to the residence.”
Michelle rolled her eyes. Leave it to her sister to look at the cloudy side of things. She had a habit of raining down on Michelle’s joys. Just because her sister managed to get a well-paying job in the US, she’d thought it qualified her to give Michelle advice. Never mind that her sister was seven years older than her. Age was just a number according to Michelle, it didn’t really qualify sense. Michelle swung her rucksack on her back and walked towards the help desk.
“Hullo Miss, ken I help you?” the lady at the desk said.
Michelle smiled, she was really in Scotland. “I need to travel to Oban, how do I get the train there?”
“Lass, you’ll have to get the McGill’s bus service to Paisley Gilmour Street. Then take the train to Glasgow Queen Street.” The woman tapped her pencil on a map and went on, “Trains from there to Oban are pretty regular.”
“Thank you, Ma’am,” Michelle replied, quite upbeat. She was a traveler at heart after all. A big city girl from Manila. She knew how to change trains, buses, jipneys, tricycles and even motorcycle rides within the crowded capital. How hard could it be?
Michelle soon found out. The bus had been pre-booked by airport travelers and couldn’t seat her, so she waited for another. It didn’t dampen her spirits. She tried to call her employer to inform him of the delay, but his phone had been switched off. How rude! When he knew she’d be arriving today. Still, she was here and she couldn’t ignore the beauty of the city, so different from where she’d just come from.
The air was fresh and clean, slightly heavy and damp. But clean, unlike the smog clogging the Manila skies. The roads were wide and the people, tall and fair. Michelle knew she’d stand out as a Filipino. Her pixie cut and sharp Mongoloid eyes were a dead giveaway for an Asian. She just hoped people didn’t assume she was Chinese. Chinese tourists had developed a bad reputation, so she pulled out the cross from under her collar and let it hang out, her sky-blue shirt now horribly crumpled after the twenty-four-hour journey she’d made across the continent. Her jeans and thin socks couldn’t prevent the slight chill she felt in the cold air.
After a thirty-minute wait, she got on the bus. It was a good thing that she’d exchanged enough money. She had to thank her sister for that nugget of wisdom. When she finally got on the train to Oban, every part of her body ached. She wanted to sleep, but couldn’t because she didn’t want to miss the spectacular views.
At barely two in the afternoon the sun was making its way home, the sky painted in different shades of violet and pink. She wanted to click pictures, but with her camera stuck in her rucksack and exhaustion setting in, she ignored the urge to do so. Any exertion would be painful. Instead, she sat back and watched the scene outside the window.
Once the first tunnel passed, there were embankments, followed by lush fields, misty water, trees in shades of orange and green displaying their October attire. Soon there were valleys and hills, bends and beautiful snow crowned mountains. It took her breath away. There were no homes during the second half of the journey and the land seemed lonely. Silvery rivers snaked through the land. It was a marvelous view. All the shades of green that she’d never seen in her whole life, she saw on her first day in Scotland.
Oban was the last station. A short taxi ride was next in order, but it was a bigger surprise when the elderly gent at the wheel pointed out that Pennyfuir was closer to Ganavan than Oban.
“You mean if I need to buy a beer, I need to take a fifty euro ride to Ganavan? Scotland’s expensive.”
Michelle strained her ears to hear past the thick Scottish accent. It almost sounded like a totally different language.
“Aye, but our Scootlond is a beautiful place lass. It’s a place of legend and lore. Well, lass, to be honest, Pennyfuir is right between the two. You’re going to have to shell out money if you have to go about, unless you rent a car. Say I’ve been around here long enough. I grew up here, I’m not aware of too many people living up there, whose house you going to?”
“My employer is Adrian Mackintosh. You know him?”
“Oh, so you’re a wet nurse,” he said, laughing, red in the face, his whole body rumbling.
Michelle rolled her eyes. “No, I’m a geriatric nurse.”
“You lookin’ after his mother then. Poor old woman, been around for two years now, after that stroke. Still not getting better eh?”
She’d read the file, the woman had plateaued off. There was little in the form of medical diagnosis, except that she had suffered a stroke. She noticed the sun had descended and her phone showed it was just a quarter past five. The air felt wet and a slight rain pelted the car as it left the city behind, if you could call Oban that. Finally, he stopped in front of a large, rustic stone house.
Michelle sighed, hoping her sister was wrong about her predictions. She looked up at the sky, hazy with clouds, not a star in sight.
“Lass, here’s my number, give me a call if you need a ride into town. Just ask for Ben, that’s me.” He stopped before he sat in his taxi. “Welcome to Oban, sweetheart, be careful this place is so beautiful, you might fall in love.”
Michelle grinned, pocketing the card and knocked using the antique handle on the large stained wooden door. Once, twice, silence. Her eyes wandered to the bare garden stripped of any vegetation. Some of the windows had wooden flaps that could use some polish. There were no bars on them. It would be easy to rob the place. But what robber would stop here, in the middle of nowhere? For miles, there were no houses or inhabitants in sight. An occasional car zipped past the main road. Other than that, the green of the forest and the green of the open fields meshed into one.
She couldn’t see any lights in the house. They better have electricity. She gasped, when she thought about the internet. She had to keep in touch with her thousand plus friends and follow the latest developments on her favorite cooking shows.
After knocking again, she’d given up hope, fatigue eating into her sanity. If the house had running water, it would be a miracle. Her sister was right. There was nothing on the land as far as the eye could see. A land rover sat in the open garage. The huge 19th century home resembled a heritage site. It was truly all farmland. She knocked again, this time beating the clunky tapper with more punch and haste.
When the door opened Michelle stared at the man at the door. Tall at six feet and with cornflower blue eyes, he simply said, “You’re late,” before turning inside the house.
Michelle blinked. No introductions. She peeped inside, no one else was there. Was this Adrian Mackintosh, her employer? She had expected an old man, with wrinkled skin, not this Hollywood imitation. His T-shirt hugged tight to his chest and she could see his chiseled arms, green veins popping over the strong hands like a river run map. She was drawn to him. Tall, lean and fit. She swallowed, trying to form words in her mouth.
“I missed a bus and—”
He didn’t wait to hear from her.
“Well, you’re here now, let’s not argue.” She heard the emphasis on the “r” and the “u.” His voice sounded strong and bassy.
Michelle found it hard to focus. She should have been mad at him, not the other way around.
He showed her to a room at the very back of the home. A large room with a bath.
He turned around and she bit her lip. His smoldering stare could make her melt. She looked away, trying to sound unaffected, “Alright, I’ll see you tomorrow then.” An eye for an eye was her motto. If he could be so casual, then so could she.
He stopped and looked at her. He regarded her for a second, thrown off balance by her dismissive nature.
“Here are your keys, there’s food in the kitchen and you can start by seven tomorrow. My mother is in the first room on the right upstairs. You can just follow the duties I sent via email.”
When he closed the door, she breathed out. The man was impressive. How did she luck out with such a hunk? She laughed. Though he could do with an attitude fix. But still wow, what a male.
In the shower, under the wet spray, she wondered what it would feel like to be kissed by him. Adrian Mackintosh was a fine specimen of one. A real hot-blooded Scottish one.