Disclaimers – See Part 1
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Addy left the office at around 5:30 pm. When she arrived at the building, she picked up the mail and placed it on the kitchen counter. She couldn't help noticing a letter addressed to Karen. The letter was from barrister's office in Scotland. Karen had not arrived yet. She had been in Baltimore all day meeting with clients. She would probably arrive later because the rush hour traffic was a killer coming from Baltimore to DC, or the other way around! Rush hour around the Washington DC Metro area was bad no matter in which direction you were going.
Addy wondered what that letter was all about. She knew that Karen's was from Scotland and that her family was still there, but after her father died a few years back, she had severed all contact with the rest of the family. They, apparently, had a difficult time accepting Karen's lifestyle, and she had opted for not dealing with that situation by just remaining distant. So, this letter was unusual.
“Sweetie, I'm home!” Karen always sounded happy when she announced her entrance.
Addy was delighted to hear the announcement. They always waited for each other with great expectation. She couldn't wait to see her.
The moment she came in Karen could smell the fantastic aroma coming from the kitchen. She loved Addy's cooking. It was so flavorful! She often told her that she would turn out to be a fat old lady if she continued to cook that way. “Never!” Addy would reply
“You will always be your usual gorgeous self and, may I add, a very healthy one on account of my very nutritious healthy cooking!”
Karen dropped her brief case on the sofa, took off he pumps and headed to the kitchen to see her Addy. She came from behind and gave her a big hug. “Umm. I've missed you all the day!”
“How could you? You called me about four times!”
Karen pouted and fanned her eye lashes. “You didn't miss me?”
Addy smiled sweetly. She turned around and put her arms around Karen's neck. “Terribly! I was bored to death. How did the meeting go?”
“I think I calmed them down. It'll be fine.”
“By the way, sweet heart, there's a letter for you from Scotland.”
“What are you cooking? It smells great! I wouldn't be surprised if the neighbors started to knock on our door to ask for your recipes!
“Ummm!” She came close to smell the pot and to kiss Addy. She couldn't resist being close to her. She nuzzled and kissed her on her neck also. “I think I just found something that tastes better than the food!”
“Larsen, behave! Go check that letter, see what it is.” Karen chuckled. She then grabbed the mail from the counter
“A letter from Scotland ? What the hell could it be? Nothing good, probably. All that remains there spells trouble for me!”
She opened the envelope and sat on the stool on the other side of the kitchen counter.
“Oh, no!” Karen was visibly shaken. She put her hand to her mouth as she sat on the sofa.
“What? What happened?”
“My aunt Charlotte passed away…. two weeks ago ! I can't believe this! How come none of those idiot relatives of mine over there called me to tell me about it?! Oh, God! This is awful. She died and no one told me!” Her eyes got all teary.
Addy came closer to offer some comfort. Karen leaned her forehead on Addy's shoulder.
“Do you see what I've always told you about my family there? They've never liked me. They hate me! They think I'm some kind of phenomenon. They could never cope with the fact that I'm gay. I'm like the black sheep of the family, the relative no one talks about. Aunt Charlotte always stood up for me. But they are all narrow minded people! It was too much to expect that they'd understand. So, you see how they operate. I find out about the death of my favorite aunt from the executor of her will!” Addy listen attentively, as Karen vented. She needed to get all that out of her system.
Karen continued to read. The letter had several pages.
“Uh! Look, I can see why they didn't call. They are probably kicking themselves in their assess as we speak! Son of bitches!”
“What? What happened?”
“Well, according to this letter, my aunt bequeathed property in her will to me. This barrister requests that I attend the reading of the will.”
“In three weeks.”
Addy was standing by the dining room table. Big brown eyes open in disbelief. “Are you going?”
“No, of course, not. I can't just drop everything and run half the world maybe just to find out that she left me a potted plant and a picture album!” Karen was furious. Addy could tell that she was feeling more than she was letting on and not making much sense.
“The letter does not mention what the property is?”
“No, it's ridiculous! I'm going to change.”
Addy knew that when Karen got upset her initial reaction was always to rant, then she would calm down and discussed matters more rationally. So, the cooling down period was necessary now.
“May I read the letter?” Karen looked at her. “Sure, you can read any letter addressed to me, Addy, I have nothing to hide from you.”
“Sorry, babe, I just have respect for people's privacy. Can't help it!” Karen rolled her eyes and went into the bedroom to change.
When she came back, Addy was serving the food. “Are you going to be okay?”
“Can you get the wine?”
“Sure.” They sat down to eat. Addy was an expert dealing with Karen. She was subtle, but to the point. “Ker, maybe you shouldn't discard this so hastily. Maybe you should go pay your last respects to your aunt. That might make you feel better. Also, if you say she loved you so much and you really cared for her, maybe you shouldn't discard her last wishes so quickly. Maybe you should go.”
Karen looked at her.
Addy continued. “Maybe there's something important tied to this. I doubt that they would make you come for nothing. Think about it, would you? Who was this aunt anyways? Tell me about her.”
“Addy, the truth is that I'm pissed off because Aunt Charlotte was my favorite aunt, and those idiots didn't bother to call me about her death. They never liked me. The never liked the fact that I'm not like them. When my mother passed away, I was very young. My dad didn't know what to do with me over the summer months when there was no school. So he would send me to the country to visit Aunt Charlotte. She lived up north.” Karen continued with her story.
“Aunt Charlotte married a fellow from Aberdeen. I think he was in the oil business. They moved to a family estate near Altee, it was about ten minutes away from town. I never met her husband. He died pretty young but left her pretty well off. I loved spending my summers there. We had great times. Everyone in town knew her and when they found out I was her niece, it was as if I was the queen around there. She was the one who took me to Spain. I told you about it. Remember?” Addy nodded.
The cottage was beautiful. She had horses, a pond, lots of trees and you could see the ocean from there. I have the best memories of my life from that place. I wonder if she sold the cottage and the land. She couldn't have possibly kept up with it, it was too much. Aunt Charlotte loved Scotland. She got mad at me when I decided to leave. She didn't think I would ever go back. Funny. I never did! I guess she was right.”
“Why did you never go back? You never wanted to?”
“I went when my dad died, but my life was going well here and I didn't have a reason to be there, so why?”
“I think you should go. If not for anything else, just for the memories and for the fact that no matter what, she remembered you in her will.”
Karen became very thoughtful.
“Maybe you are right. She loved me. Maybe I owe her that much, since nobody cared to call me about the funeral! I wonder if she had a good funeral. Oh God! This is so sad! I still can't believe it, those idiots!” Karen was thoughtful for a little while. “Would you come with me if I go?”
“Oh, your family is really going to love that I'm sure! You, bringing your girlfriend along?”
“You are not my girlfriend! You are my partner!”
“Okay, partner! Would that make a difference to them? Get serious, Ker, you know what I'm talking about! They'll hate you even more if you show up with me!”
“Well, that settles it, you are coming or I'm not going at all!....and if they don't like it….I really don't care, never have, never will!”
“You are a brat!”
“So, I am a brat! As long as you love me, I don't give a damn about what the rest of the world thinks of me! You are all that matters to me!”
Addy, smiled and nodded in complete resignation of this adorable person's attitude.
“Well, then, to Scotland we go! You are going, baby, you owe it to your aunt and to yourself.” Addy proclaimed. Karen was looking at her. She was thinking that she had just been ‘railroaded' into going back to Scotland. How does she do this to me?
Addy chuckled as she realized what was going through Karen's mind. As she was leaving for the kitchen, she smiled and bit her lower lip in a very seductive way. She came back, got close to Karen, who was still seating and eating the last of her dinner, kissed her on the cheek and whispered seductively in her ear. “You look very sexy when you are thoughtful!”
Karen nearly choked with a piece of chicken. Addy was all smiles, as she turned around and walked to the kitchen. She knew what she could do to Karen. Once recuperated, Karen got up and placed her plate in the sink. She came over to Addy and placed her arms around her waist
“Do you think the dishes can wait until after dessert?” Addy's mischievous smile was all the answer Karen needed. Karen came close and nuzzled her face and neck. Placing very wet kisses on her neck.
“Bedroom.” The dishes were well soaked two hours later when the washing resumed.
Scotland -- Three weeks later
After rearranging their schedules and some shopping, they were in a plane headed for Scotland. Whenever they flew far they always opted for the better plane accommodations. Once they were comfortably settled in their seats, the plane took off. They placed their drink orders and leaned back in their seats. When their Bloody Marys arrived, Addy took Karen's hand.
“I want you to tell me all about Aunt Charlotte and about your memories with her.”
“The first thing I will tell you is that she would have loved you.”
“Because you are bringing me back to Scotland. Let that be clear to you, my dearest, I could care less about any will or any of those people there. I'm only here because you are here with me, and I have no interest in anything there and that's that!”
Addy rolled her eyes. “So, now that you have made your bratty statement, will you tell me about her and about the people there?” Karen pouted. “I suppose I have no choice.”
“Nope, I'm all ears, Larsen, spill! ”
It was a long way to Scotland. By the time they got there, Addy knew enough about the family that she could probably pick them out from a crowd. According to Karen it was a dysfunctional family. This was the family on her mother's side. There was no family on her father's side. Her mother was the eldest of all the brothers and sisters. There was Uncle Phillip , Aunt Margaret and Aunt Beth. Aunt Charlotte was the second child after her mother. Uncle Phillip and her father were like oil and vinegar, and argued all the time. His wife, Augustine, was an obnoxious woman and no one liked her either. They had two grown kids. One of them was in London , the other lived in Germany. Aunt Margaret was married to a snob named Charles. Nobody liked him either. They had a daughter, who lived in Paris. Aunt Beth was married to a man named Rupert. The family thought she married ‘beneath' her, so they had put some distance from them. They had four kids. Karen didn't know where they were.
When Aunt Charlotte married she moved north. Karen's dad was an architect and stayed near the city where the construction business was booming. Karen went to school in Edinburgh , but after her mother died, her dad would send her to Aunt Charlotte's for the summers. Aunt Charlotte had no children of her own and loved Karen dearly. She took Karen under her wing.
The barrister made arrangements for their accommodations in the small town inn. They rented a car at the airport and rode to the address they were given. Karen drove because Addy was terrified with the concept of driving on “the other side of the road.” They were going to be staying at the town's inn. “You meant to tell me that this is the only inn or hotel in town?” “Yeah, Addy, is a small town. It's probably pretty plain too. Don't expect any luxury.” “As long as it's clean, I don't mind plain.”
It turned out to be a very quaint inn in the center of town. It was called the Carriage House. They settled in and decided to walk about the town and find a place to eat. There weren't many places to eat either. The town seemed to be a small community where everyone knew each other.
Soon they found the pub and went inside. They took a booth by the window and when the waiter approached Karen asked about the local brew and placed her order. Addy not being very familiar with the local drinks, ordered the same thing as Karen. Their tastes were pretty similar and Addy was confident that if Karen liked it, she would too.
“I don't know about you, honeybunch, but I find the town really cute. So far, I love it!” Karen smiled. She would always get goose bumps whenever Addy referred to her with any endearing terminology or when she made up names just for her. Like ‘mushy' or ‘hot lips. Addy knew the effect her words had on Karen and she just loved to see Karen all smiles when she heard them.
“Yeah, so far, but I can tell that you've never spent a winter here! It gets very cold.”
“I think it's lovely, everything is so green, like your eyes. Maybe that's why I like it so much.”
Karen nodded sideways, rolling her eyes. She smiled and looked out the window. Addy kept looking at her mesmerized.
“I really love your eyes, I can't help it! They are so green, so gorgeous!”
“Addy, you are embarrassing me!”
“I know, and I love it!” Addy did a little seating down dance as she continued to grin, as Karen was blushing a bit.
Karen pointed a finger at her. “You'll pay for this!”
Addy smirked, still looking at her. “With pleasure, I'm sure!”
Karen grinned from ear to ear. She's comfortable, she doesn't blush anymore! She's awesome!!
Their drinks came and they placed their food order. “So, what happens tomorrow?”
“Well according to the letter we meet at the barrister's office at 9:00 am. It's only two blocks from here, so we can walk there.”
“It's amazing to have everything at walking distance. Do you remember the town?”
“Yeah, pretty much. It's very small. Not much to it. I don't see many changes. Things around here don't change much.”
“Do your relatives live around here?”
“No. They are mainly in Edinburgh and Glasgow. I think Aunt Charlotte was trying to get away from all of them, that's why she lived up here. She was a smart woman.”
At 9:00 am the following morning they were at the barrister's office. Mr. Kimbell was a tall thin man, with a very serious face. “Were your accommodations satisfactory?”
“Yes, they were. Thank you. It's a lovely place, a lovely town.” Addy added.
He gave her a very polite smile “Yes, we are known for our hospitality.”
The door opened and there was Aunt Margaret. Karen got up and greeted her “Hello Aunt Margaret.” “Oh, dear, it's been ages. How have you been? You remember Charles, right?” Charles was her husband, a stiff nose fellow she had never liked.
“Yes, I do. It's good to see you again Charles.”
“This is my friend Adriana Marcos.” Addy knew that Karen hated to introduce her as her friend when she was so much more than that, but she knew she was going to have to deal with that because, introducing her as her partner would certainly scandalize a lot of people and she'd rather maintain a low profile specially when there was nothing to gain from advertising their relationship. They had talked about it and Addy insisted on not being the cause of more friction in the family, so she asked Karen to introduce her as a friend. There was no point on starting with the wrong foot with the family. “Please, to meet you.” Karen agreed, because what the heck, they weren't going to be here long and there really was no point in creating ‘a situation' as Addy described it.
Everyone was seating with somewhat uncomfortable, but polite looks on their faces. Addy, just avoided everyone and looked at the pictures on the walls while smiling politely also.
Next to arrive was Uncle Phillip and wife Augustine. Pleasantries were exchanged, and they also sat down. The lasts ones to arrive were Aunt Beth and her husband Rupert. Everyone greeted each other. Surprisingly no one hugged, or kissed Karen after so many years of not having seen her. Addy concluded that Karen must have looked like her mother because, for sure she did not resemble, in the very least, anyone in that room. Maybe that's why they didn't like her!
Acknowledging that all the required parties were there, the barrister, who apparently wanted to move the business of the day along, announced that he was going to proceed with the reading of the will. This is where things got interesting.
He first announced that he had personally drafted Charlotte Larsen Gibson's will as he was her good friend and counselor. He further noted the two people who had just come in, and were members of his staff, were witnesses to Charlotte 's last wishes therein conveyed in the envelope in his hands. He further stated that the envelope in his hands was a registered will and that it had been sealed when drafted and never opened until today, exactly one month after Charlotte 's passing, as she wished.
Having cleared the authenticity of the will, he announced that that he would proceed to its reading. He broke the seal in the envelope and began. “To my sister Margaret I leave the old Volvo, so that she can have the joy of fixing it every time it brakes. She knows exactly what I'm talking about.” Karen and Addy both had to suppress their smiles. I think I like Aunt Charlotte!
“To my sister Beth, I bequeath the stamp collection she's kept from me all these years. I also leave for her the painting of the river which she always loved.”
“To my brother Phillip, I leave the lawn mower and Edward's motorcycle.” Everyone looked a little astonished. Karen noticed that something was up and sort of straightened up on her chair. Addy just looked around the room to find very expectant faces. What the hell is going on? There were a few ‘buts' and ‘what about' and then the bomb was dropped.
“My most important legacy is to my niece Karen Larsen, rightful heir to the land and title of Lady Katherine Larsen. To her I leave, as it was left in my care, the title, the land, the manor and the cottage, as well as all their contents in the town of Altee in the Shire of Evergreen.”
“WHAT?!!” Everyone was on their feet. There were some expressions of disbelief and even some shouting. There were also a few comments. “This cannot be right!” “She doesn't even live here!” “How could Charlotte do this?” “She has never cared.”
Karen remained seated. Addy simply looked at Karen not knowing anything about this property. Addy noticed that Karen had her poker face on. Addy knew it perfectly well. It was the face she used when playing hardball negotiating deals for clients. It was a face which revealed nothing. To Addy that was an indication that hell had broken loose and that something big was happening here.
Her eyes looked like two frozen crystals as she looked around the room at the almost rioting relatives. She dared not look at Addy. The poker face would have dropped if she had. She couldn't allow the relatives to see a softer side of her. No she had to hold the cold calculative bitch look.
Addy thought that this property was of some value or importance since it had caused such disarray among those present. The others were outraged apparently they had some expectations regarding this property. Karen, on the other hand seemed unaffected by the news. Looking at her, you couldn't tell if she was happy or sad about the information she had just received. All Addy knew was that this was totally unexpected. What the heck is going on here? Addy could not stop looking at Karen at first, but she looked away later. Addy knew that Karen had to handle the matter her own way. She also knew that Karen was an expert in tough face to face situations.
Mr. Kimbell managed to calm the crowd when he announced that there was more.
Charles spoke. “Well, that sounds much better. Read on.” Charles demanded. His face seemed to relax somewhat, apparently wishing that something good would come next.
“The properties bequeathed to my niece are contingent on her accepting the terms of the bequest. The terms are that she is to settle in the premises and remain in Scotland living for three consecutive years. The term may be interrupted only for two weeks a year for an appropriate vacation. Mr. Kimbell is named executor of this, my last wish and testament. Should Karen not accept the terms of her bequest, or not comply with the 3-year residency term, the property is to be sold and its proceeds equally divided among my sisters Margaret and Elizabeth and my brother Phillip.” The poker face held on.
“Ms. Larsen, on a separate note, Charlotte wrote the following for you: “Dear Karen, you always loved the shire and the cottage, it is rightfully yours. Here's your incentive to come back to your mother land. Maybe as an adult you will understand and appreciate the meaning and the true value of it. It is yours, but only if you want it.” Mr. Kimbell announced that the reading of the will had concluded.
“Ms. Larsen, the will specifies that you are to provide me with an answer within three days of the reading either accepting or rejecting the bequest. If you accept, the will provides for a period of two months to make any arrangements necessary to change you residency to the shire. Once you do, I will register such date in the books and the three year term will begin to run.” Mr. Kimbell's last statement added injury to insult to the relatives present. “After three years. Ms. Larsen, you will have clean title to the property. The estate has no liens and owes no taxes. It was appraised two months ago at a total value of 8 million Euros. As you know, the town of Altee seats on the property, therefore tax revenues collected from the town maintain the property operational.”
“WHAT?!!” Phillip and Charles cried in unison. Aunt Margaret fainted. Augustine looked like an Egyptian mommy. Aunt Beth had a cough attack. Rupert jump to his feet, Charles paced back and forth. There was a whole commotion in the room in light of the fainting and the cough attack, the shouts and general animosity. Mr. Kimbell's staffers ran to get water for the coughing woman and salts to bring back Aunt Margaret. Charles spoke in a loud voice to the still unresponsive Karen. He tried to grab her to maybe shake her up for some kind of response to his many questions. However, as he was coming to grab Karen he found two hands and a full body stopping him. “Excuse me, I don't mean to be rude, but I think Karen needs some space and some time to think about all these. As you can imagine, this was totally unexpected and as much of a surprise to her as it has been to you.”
Karen was pale as a sheet of paper and unresponsive. The poker face barely holding. Addy could tell that they needed to get out of there soon. The bubble was about to burst.
Addy knew that Karen was not well. This was a tremendous bomb dropped on her lap.
Addy asked. “Mr. Kimbell, are we done? Can we possibly leave and contact you at a later time?”
“Yes, Ms. Marcos, certainly. Here is my card. Please, have Ms. Larsen call me within the next three days with an answer, or sooner if she has any other questions.” Everyone started to get up to leave, some in silence, some talking loud in outrage.
“Upon hearing Ms. Larsen's decision, I will be in contact with all of you. Thank you very much for coming. Ms. Larsen, if you call my office tomorrow we can arrange to meet at the cottage so that you can see the property.”
“This is an outrage!” Charles proclaimed.
“What did we expect from my crazy sister? I knew her mind was not well.” Aunt Elizabeth stated.
“Crazy, this is crazy! I cannot believe it!” Aunt Margaret noted. She spoke to Karen. “Karen do you have any idea about what you will do? You are certainly not moving back, are you? You have not been here in ages!”
Among all the yelling and ranting, Addy came close to her and whispered in her ear. “Come on, baby, let's go.” She looked at Addy, the poker face was showing signs of collapsing. Addy got the message immediately and both of them started to walk towards the door.
Once outside the building, Addy kissed her and placed an arm around her waist. “Sweetie, are you okay?” Karen turned around and practically collapsed in her arms. Addy could feel the tension of Karen's body. Karen was not crying she was still holding back. “Come on, baby, let's go to the inn.”
They walked quietly. Addy held her close, as they walked to the inn. Once inside, Karen collapsed on the bed. Addy sat on the bed and caressed her arm. She dared not say anything not knowing what Karen's thoughts were. Eight million Euros! What kind of a place was this?
Karen was speechless on the bed looking at the ceiling. After a few minutes, Addy came next to her and lay on the bed next to her and brushed her hair back. She kissed her face several times on several places, hoping to get some reaction and wake her up from her state of shock. It worked. Addy knew all her buttons. Karen kissed her back and hugged her.
“Talk to me, peachypooh.”
Karen smiled at the new term. “‘Addy, I don't know where to begin! Why did she do this? She knew I couldn't do it. Why did she put me in this spot?”
“I don't know, baby. I guess she wanted you to come back. She sure is giving you a good incentive! What is this place, anyways? It's got to be something nice. Can we go see it?”
“It's a beautiful place. I think you'll like it. It's just that its here!”
“Turn around, let me massage your back, you are too tense, let me help you relax.” Karen complied. The massage was good and needed. Karen was relaxing. She fell asleep. Addy leaned and kissed her. She too closed her eyes to try to get some rest. It had been quite a morning. Around lunch time, they went down to the pub to get something to eat and from there they called Mr. Kimbell and asked if they could see the property. Addy reassured Karen that she didn't have to decide or do anything. Karen gave her a very strange look when Addy insinuated that there was a decision to be made.
So, there they were, and there it was. Looking out of a Jane Austen book, the most fabulous house in the whole of Scotland. “Oh my God. This place is huge!” This was no cottage! This was a mansion! Addy couldn't believe it. Twenty two rooms! A kitchen the size of a basketball court, bathroom after bathroom on every room, fireplaces, candelabra everywhere, gardens and gardens, flowers, fire places and a most fabulous staircase.
“Is this what you consider a cottage in Scotland ?”
“No, this is the manor house. The cottage is in the back. The property is an estate. When the manor house got to be too big for her, she closed it down and moved to the smaller cottage in the back. Come on let me show you the cottage.” They walked through a beautiful garden full of trees and other shrubs and then over a hill.
The cottage was behind the small hill. The back drop to one side was the ocean. To the other side, seating on green rolling hills on the far distance, horses and stables and a lake. In the middle of that picture perfect scenery, was the cottage. When Karen pointed it out, Addy froze bringing her hand to her mouth. If anyone ever wondered what a Kodak moment was, this was certainly it. Kodak would have paid for a sight like that! Addy was speechless.
Karen noticed that Addy had stopped at the top of the hill. “What's wrong?” Addy's eyes were misty. Karen couldn't understand why the she was getting so emotional over the view, granted that it was beautiful, but to bring her to tears?
“Addy, what is it?”
“Ker, this is breathtaking!”
“Yeah, I thought you'd like it.” Addy felt the fresh cool wind coming from the ocean and about one hundreds scents in the air, the scent of flowers and herbs, of the grass of the pines trees and so many others. Her senses were overloaded with the beauty and the feel of the place.
“Ker, I've been here before. I've seen this place from this very spot. Call me crazy, but I've seen this place before, maybe in a dream?” It was surreal. Addy really felt she had been there looking at that very place. As she walked towards the cottage, Addy couldn't help thinking that there was some sort of sign there for her. Maybe they were meant to come here!
“Well it is kind of picturesque, maybe you have seen a painting somewhere resembling country scenery and this reminds you of it.” Karen came over and tenderly kissed her. Addy was still over taken by the view. It was the most gorgeous, quaint English cottage ever! It looked like a painting. All it needed was the frame. Karen was worried seeing Addy so shaken.
Karen took her hand and pulled her towards the cottage. “Didn't you want to see the cottage? Come on, baby, let me show it to you inside.”
Addy followed Karen down the hill as Karen reminisced on past memories. “See that tree over there? I fell from it and broke my arm. I gave Aunt Charlotte a good scare that summer.” She opened the door to the cottage. When Addy went inside, she was surprised at how cozy it was.
“Oh Karen, it's beautiful! It's like a setting for a movie!” She turned around to look at Karen only to find her in tears.
“She loved this place…I did too.” Addy hugged her and Karen took comfort in her arms.
“Let me show you the rest.” No matter from where, the place looked perfect. The view of the ocean from the eastern part of the cottage was breathtaking. There was an enormous fireplace in the living room area. There were two bedrooms. The larger bedroom had a fireplace and a seating area apart from the bedroom. It was a place to lounge or read, like a small den. The walls were covered with beautiful mahogany bookcases. The windows were huge in the bedroom and in the dining room. The garden was full of flowers and well kept shrubbery, in the back there was a patio with a gazebo from which one could see the ocean in the distance. The kitchen door opened into the patio. Everything was adorable.
“Do you think we can ask Mr. Kimbell if we can stay here the next two nights instead of the hotel?” Addy asked. Karen was surprised with the question. “Yeah, sure, why not?”
They called Mr. Kimbell. “Yes, I don't see any problem with that. It can be arranged. I'll have my assistant provide all the necessities and you can move in this evening after you check out of the hotel.” When she was done talking to Mr. Kimbell, she came out to the patio where Addy was seating.
“What's brewing in that head of yours, Ms. Addy?”
“What makes you think something's brewing?”
“As if I didn't know better! Wild guess, come on Adriana Marcos, do you think I don't know you by now?”
Addy crumple her nose, giving her one of those know-it-all looks. Yeah, you know me alright!
“Well, let me start by asking you, what you are thinking.”
“What could we possibly be talking about Ker?! About accepting this deal!”
“Are you out of your mind!?” This came out in a very Scottish accent.
Addy smiled, she loved it when the Scott came out in Karen.
Karen knew what she was smiling about and nodded her head as she tried not to smile and have a serious look. “Addy do you think that I'm even considering this deal?”
“You are not? Ker, how could you say no to all of these? This place is charming, adorable. It's like a setting for a movie!” Karen got up and walked away towards the ocean part of the property. She looked mad. Addy followed her.
“Ker, what's wrong?” It was very unusual for Karen to get mad. Addy had rarely seen Karen mad, much less at her, but Karen had an angry look on her face now.
“This is what's wrong. How could you possibly ask me to consider this? The fact that you are asking me to consider this proposition freaks me out!”
“Addy? After all we've been through, you ask me this? After all the time we've waited to be together, you asking me to put our lives on hold and have me stay here for three years while you are over there….I just don't understand! I cannot believe how you can even think about it? I don't get it!”
Addy missed the point Karen was making. “Baby, this place is part of your life. This is where you grew up, where you memories are! These are your roots! I don't have this and will never have this in my life. I can let you throw it away? You belong here!”
Karen continued to speak on an angry tone. “Do you think that this place is worth more than our relationship to me? Addy, they could offer me Buckingham palace tomorrow and I'd turn it down for Christ sake!”
“Ker, what does our relationship have anything to do with being here three years? Now I'm the one who's lost!”
“Me here, you in the States…three years! What kind of a life is that?” Karen walked away, she needed to cool off. She was fuming. Addy had never seen her like that.
Addy remained behind just looking at her go. All of a sudden Addy understood what was happening. She ran after Karen. “Ker, I never said I wouldn't stay here with you!” Karen looked back at her, eyes wide opened.
“Addy, I can't ask you to abandon everything over there and move here with me! Your life is over there, your kids, your family, your friends!”
Karen continued to walk away from Addy. She was walking very fast as if not wanting to be followed. Addy didn't follow this time. She remained where she was and watched Karen walk away.
She found the trunk of a tree and sat down to think. Karen for her part walked a good distance, but stopped at the top of one of the hills closer to the ocean. She was torn from having to leave all these behind, but there was no question in her mind that Addy was the most important thing in her life and no matter how much this place meant to her and was part of her life, her future was somewhere else, with someone else and only the future mattered. Her family could shred apart everything. Sorry Aunt Charlotte, but I cannot do what you ask of me, I love her more than I love your Scotland !
After a little while, Karen noticed that Addy was behind her. “I'm sorry, Addy. I didn't mean to be so angry. I just don't understand. I don't know what came over me.”
“I do.” She came close and hugged Karen from the back, her arms around Karen's waist. She kissed her on the neck several times. Karen leaned back into Addy's shoulder. Addy liked it when Karen let go of herself and relaxed. She was always so tense.
“You were thinking that you'd have to choose between me and this place and you thought that if you chose to stay you‘d lose me. I would have reacted the same way.” Karen turned around and buried her face into Addy's shoulder.
“Addy, I love you.” She pulled back and looked at Addy. “You are the most important thing in my life. Nothing else matters. This is just a place.”
“I know, baby, my only question is why do you think you have to choose, and why do you think I don't feel the same way about you?”
“For someone so smart, you can be pretty thick some times! You know? Ker, you are right. After all we've been through, how could you possibly think that I'm suggesting that we separate for three years! I couldn't possibly deal with that either.” Karen smiled.
“I never suggested that we separate. I will stay here with you. How am I going to ever get through that thick head of yours that I'm not with you on a temporary basis!”
“But, Addy, you have other people in your life, your life is there with them also. This is one argument you are not going to win Ms. Marcos, just drop it. This place is my past, you are my future. It's a no brainer for me.”
“Double or nothing?”
“If I win this argument, I get double of whatever I want, if you win, then it's double for you.”
Karen smiled mischievously. “What's at stake?”
“Blank check. The winner names the prize.”
Karen got all excited, she was grinning form ear to ear. “Be careful with what you risk! This is a pretty closed deal for me, missy. My mind's made up. As far as I'm concerned, I've already won.” She smiled triumphantly.
“Wipe that smirk off your face, Ms. Larsen! I wouldn't be so sure of winning, you haven't seen my hand yet, and I think it's pretty good! I still would like to play, are you game?”
Karen's look was worth a million dollars. She was beaming. “I wouldn't miss this game for any stake! You're on, deal! Wait! How do we know who won?”
“I think it will be self evident.”
“Is that so? You have a lot of faith in your hand, Ms. Marcos. By the way, may I repeat that you are risking a lot. I already know what I want!”
Addy knew also what Karen wanted, they had talked about the subject and the matter had been postponed for a later day. Addy knew she had the winning hand and she knew Karen too well. “You are on!” She had a very daring face on. Karen was very competitive so she was elated with the look and the challenge.
Karen knew Addy wouldn't play unless she knew she could win, but on the other hand, she thought she was pretty firm with her decision and that nothing would dissuade her. Nothing! No, they were going back together. She was not leaving Addy alone and she was not going to ask Addy to leave her family for a piece of real estate!
“Here's my hand, I see my brother and my friends a couple of times a year, I mainly talk to them on the phone. My kids are all grown up. One is married, the other is in grad school. They have lives of their own. I talk to them all the time anywhere I go.”
Karen continued to grin. “Weak hand so far, Ms. Marcos, you are loosing big time. I have a visual of myself collecting!” She stuck out her tongue and brushed it against her upper lip raising her eyebrows suggestively.
Addy grinned. “Pervert. Put that tongue back where it belongs! I'm not done yet. Here's my winning card, Ms. Larsen, and this you must belief as true, if I am to win today, and I hope I do! Not so much because you won't get to use that tongue where you want it tonight, but because I think my win will be better than that!” Addy smiled. Karen grinned. She loved this woman! This little sparring match was more of a confirmation that she was not leaving her out of her sight even for a day!
Karen was grinning to the point that her face hurt. “I will let you be the judge of that when you are good and ready, Ms. Adriana! In the mean time, let's see what else you got cooking that would make me concede my precious prize. I see myself as a very satisfied winner already.” Karen continued to grin. She listened expectantly, as she continued to brush her tongue against her upper lip.
Addy had to bite her lip to contain her smile. She tried to be serious as she spoke, although it was difficult to suppress the grin looking at Karen's face. Addy spoke slowly, placing careful effect on each word pronounced. Her eyes were totally focused on Karen's, as if trying to penetrate her skull and reach a direct connection to her brain. “Ker, I'm looking at my life right now. All I see are the most gorgeous, beautiful, amazing, incandescent green eyes I have ever seen!” Addy was waiting for some reaction, but Karen was obviously not getting the message. Karen frowned and used her face to question the meaning of those words, expecting something more concrete.
Addy tried again. “I'm looking at my life and all I see is you.”
When Karen realized what Addy was saying, her face distorted as she tried to control the one thousand emotions hitting her. She brought her hand to her mouth. Addy watched, slightly smiling with delight and love. Karen's eyes welled with tears as Addy continued to speak in a soft loving voice.
“You are my life Karen Larsen. You are the reason I get up every morning. Yours are the loving eyes I see when I open mine. You are what I look forward to every single day of my life. You are the one who makes me happy. You are my world and my life. You are not asking me to stay in Scotland , Ker, you don't have to! I'm staying in Scotland because I love you and because I want to stay here with you. It wouldn't matter if it was Scotland or Timbuktu ! Any place is good, as long as you are there. I want to be with you always, forever, where ever. If I cannot get that through that thick head of yours, I lose, and surrender to whatever you want, but if you can believe me and accept my words as true from the bottom of my heart and my soul, Karen Larsen, I win and you are my prize.”
As Addy spoke, Karen's shaky hand covered her mouth. She was trying to contain herself from sobbing, but couldn't. Before Addy ended her extensive monologue, Karen was sobbing, and hiccupping as she dropped into Addy's arms. “I told you I'd win. Guess you are going to have to wait on those tongue maneuvers!” Addy grinned.
Between sobs Karen nodded, and ended up laughing. Her head was buried in Addy's shoulder. Addy was holding her tight in her arms. They held each other for a long time. After a while Karen pulled back. “I've never felt so good about losing. Luckily, I have a lifetime to look forward to for the so-called tongue maneuvers.” She was smiling, her eyes still filled with tears. “I'm yours, Addy.”
“You bet you are!” Addy kissed her on the lips amidst a torrent of tears. “Silly woman, stop crying, I love you!” Karen felt so awkward smiling and crying at the same time. They remained at the top of the hill until it got dark. They were just hugging and placing little kisses on each other. No words spoken. It was Addy who broke the silence.
“You know, I think we'd better take this inside. If we are going to be here three years, we don't want to scandalize the neighbors.” Karen grinned as they walked to the cottage arm in arm.
That night staying at the cottage felt different. It felt intimate. It felt as if the world had been reduced to them, to that place. The cottage was cozy, although everything was old and outdated. The lights were dim, the kitchen was dark, the bathroom tile was circa 1900s! The water pressure was low, the shower stream was weak, the bed was small, the mattress sagged, the light fixtures were a mess, some were missing parts, the windows were dirty, and the furniture was dusty and worn. Nothing seemed to be up to the women's standards. Everything was going to need replacement or improvement. However, the place had a cozy feel to it and they were happy. They were so comfortable with each other, everything else affecting them seemed to be of little consequence or fixable in one way or another. Things didn't seem to matter when they were together. Everything was possible.
They went to town for dinner and to check out of the hotel. On their way back they bought a few items for the next mornings' breakfasts. When they came back, they sat in the patio and drank the bottle of wine they had picked up to celebrate.
“The place is going to need some work. I mean if we are going to be here three years, we have to make it comfortable.”
“Addy, are you sure about the three year thing, baby, it's a long time and the winters are long and cold up here.”
“We'll do it, Ker. We'll have to fix this place to prepare it for hibernation.”
Karen noted. “Maybe Mr. Kimbell can recommend contractors.”
“Ker, what about work? What are we going to do? We can't retire yet, we are not old enough. Can we live off our investment income?”
“Let me run some numbers after I get some input from Mr. Kimbell about expenses. At least we'll be rent free. That's a big chunk of savings right there. I think we have plenty to live comfortable. I think we can do it. Plus, I can always do consulting work for the firm.”
“Me too. Eugene is going to go nuts when we tell him that we are both leaving!” Eugene Thomas was the management partner in the firm.
“What are we going to tell people?” Karen asked.
“The truth is always best. That you inherited this place, that is worth a lot, that I need a break and that I'm coming with you to get away and to keep you company. Sounds credible and good to me. What do you think?”
“Yeah, I suppose it's good.”
“Ker? I got a bit confused when Mr. Kimbell spoke towards the end, what was that about the town seating on the property and the taxes paying for its maintenance?” “It's an old land covenant, I know it exists, but I can't remember the details. I need to check it out.”
After chatting a while about some of the changes needed in the cottage, they agreed that it was time to sleep. It had been a long, challenging day for the two of them. After taking their showers, both agreed that something had to be done about the hot water heater and the water pressure.
“I think I still have some soap on me! I didn't have enough patience to rinse it off. That shower is the slowest ever!” Karen chuckled at Addy's remarks. Addy was very energetic and she had to have things move fast, the shower stream was certainly too slow for her.
Addy was the first one to get into bed. “Okay, top of the list, a new mattress and bed! This one has certainly seen better days!”
“Oh, no, let me try it…shit! I don't think its going to make it through the night!”
The mattress had a sink hole, the moment you got in, you were already in the middle of it. The bed frame made terrible squeaking sounds every time they moved. Addy laughed. “Ker, I think we are going to wake up on the floor! We are not going to be able to sleep with all these noise, I'm glad there's no one else here to hear it, oh, God!”
Addy pulled Karen closer to her. “Come here!”
Karen couldn't help smile when the mattress rolled her on top of Addy. “You know there is something about this mattress that I like….”
Karen was snuggling into Addy's shoulder. “Umm, I definitely think it has some redeeming features! Plus, we really don't have to sleep, you know. By the way you better hold me tight, I don't want to slip off with all that soap that you may still have on you!” Karen chuckled as she made the comment. “Very funny, Ms. Larsen, just be careful where you put that tongue, I don't want you choking on my bubbles! Karen could not stop laughing for the longest time at Addy's remarks. This woman was something else! One would never be bored around her! Karen kissed her and held her tight
“Hey, Addy? You said I was your price, but you haven't told me if there's anything you want me to do.”
“Ms. Larsen, you are not very good at playing dumb, you know! You know exactly what I want aaaand.... may I remind you that it was a double deal?”
Karen chuckled into the warm shoulder holding her. “Addy, remember that the bed is not in great shape!”
Addy looked at her with a raised brow. “Are you quitting on me, Ms. Larsen? Have I lived to see the day?”
“Never! I think I'm in deep trouble here, but even if we end up on the floor, I'm certainly up for any trouble I can get into with you!” Karen kissed her.
“You should be very careful who you play with, Ms. Larsen. It's payback time!”
Karen was grinning from ear to ear. “I always thought a loser's payback was always somewhat of a burden, but it looks like my payment is going to be more of a pleasure than a burden. Not that I'm complaining, but what kind of bet was that?” She kissed Addy, gently almost brushing her lips.
“Ms. Larsen, haven't you figured out yet that you never lose when you play with me?”
Karen continued to grin as she continued to place kisses on Addy's face, neck and nearby areas.
“Plus…..in a way, you lose because you get to do all the work as enjoyable as it might be!”
“Ms. Marcos, I like the odds of playing with you. A long time ago I realized that when it comes to you, winning or losing is not as important as playing!” She arched her eyebrows very suggestively.
By the time Karen was done speaking, Addy's underwear was off and Karen's hands were all over her. Addy moaned with pleasure. Karen's hands came up to pull Addy's t-shirt off. Once the t-shirt was out of the way, her hand massaged Addy's breast. “I don't know why you insist in coming to bed with clothes….” She kissed her neck and collarbone and she played with her nipple. “You know you are not going to keep'em for long…”
Addy moaned. “I like it when you take them off!”
Karen smiled. “Is that so?” Addy grinned. She loved it when Karen teased her.
A husky, seductive voice teased. “Is this mine?” Addy moaned. “Oh God…. Ker!
They were both breathless, panting after their love making. Karen's eyes, again, all teary. Addy kissed and held her. “Silly woman!” Karen was exhausted, resting on Addy's shoulder.
After a few minutes of basking in each other's embrace. Addy spoke. “I think that you've forgotten something.”
“What did I forget?”
“That we had a double deal.”
Karen raised her head. She was smiling to the point that it hurt. “You are going to kill me, woman!” She was coming up to kiss her.
Addy raised an eyebrow, and looked at her smiling in her very sexy way. “Is this a complaint?”
“Hell no! Karen plunged right in and kissed her passionately, as the double deal began its course. Addy had the ability to arouse her beyond the comprehensible. She had never experienced what she was experiencing with her Addy.
“Addy, if I were to die right here right now, I'd die the happiest woman on earth.”
“And where would that leave me? Don't you dare die on me!”
Karen was in heaven!
The next day, Mr. Kimbell was happy too see them and to hear Karen's decision. “Now I understand we have two months to get everything taken care off back home, is that correct?” “Yes, Ms. Larsen do I understand that it is your intention that Ms. Marcos will be staying with you for the three years?” “Yes, is there a problem with that?” “No. Not at all.” “Good. We are going to fix the cottage together.”
As a lawyer, Karen needed to clarify all obscurities. “Mr. Kimbell, I really need to be clear the fact that there is nothing in the conditional clause that would stand in the way of Ms. Marcos staying with me for the next three years. Her agreement to keep me company here is the main reason for which I accepted the terms of the inheritance. For that matter, Mr. Kimbell, I would like to retain your services as our attorney while we are here to keep everything in order for us. Also, if there are any costs associated with the disposition of my aunt's will, I will gladly take care of them. You have been of great service to us and I would expect that you extend to us the privilege of your counsel and friendship as you did with my aunt.”
Mr. Kimbell was delighted with Karen's word of praise and offer of business and friendship. It was obvious that he was a man who appreciated respect and who valued family traditions and old friends. “Ms. Larsen, Charlotte was a good friend for many years. She spoke very highly of you. She would be very proud of your decision today. As you know, the estate is rightfully yours and…”
Karen cut him off “Yes, I know.”
“It will be my pleasure and honor, as a colleague, to tend to your legal affairs during your residency here.”
“By the way, Mr. Kimbell, as my attorney, you are bound to keep all of my affairs in confidence, for that matter, I would appreciate if you kept all my affairs away from my relatives. As you saw, we are not a tight crowd.”
Mr. Kimbell smiled a bit. “Yes, Ms. Larsen, on that you and Charlotte agree also.”
Karen smiled. Mr. Kimbell was a smart dude!
“You might as well know the following information, also in confidence, of course. At the end of the three year term, I would like the title of the property on both of our names.” She pointed to a totally shocked Addy. He seemed somewhat surprised also but he was merely and administrator attending to her wishes. So he agreed to make all the necessary arrangements.
The women left Mr. Kimbell's office to pack and head home to make arrangements for the move. “Ker, I didn't say anything in there because we have three years to discuss the matter, but we need to discuss this thing about my name being on the title. I don't know if….” Karen interrupted her. “Addy, I don't want my relatives getting one nail from this property. You are the beneficiary in my will. No matter what, all this goes to you. Like you said, we have three years for you to agree to this.” She smiled, waiting for Addy to lash back. Addy turned to look at her, but when she saw Karen's face, she knew she was being mocked. “Smart-ass! You'll pay for this!”
“With pleasure, I'm sure!” Karen grinned. So did Addy.
As they closed the door to the cottage before leaving, Addy looked back.
“I have a good feeling about this place, Ker. It feels like home.” Karen looked at her with adoring eyes. When Addy looked at Karen and saw those emerald eyes beaming at her, she knew this was the right thing to do. There was a future here. They kissed and looked at each other. “I love you baby.” “I love you too.”
They walked to the car holding hands.
The end. (for now!)
I'd like to thank everyone who read “Turning on a Dime.” Writing this story has been a great experience. Your feedback kept me going. It's hard to believe that two months ago, I started to post my little story and that today it ends. It's even harder to believe how many of you liked it and wrote to me. I was sincerely touched by the many readers who shared their feelings, emotions and personal experiences with me, as they read the story.
I would also like to thank the fabulous people who volunteer their time to keep this web page running. I cannot possibly say enough good things about them. I would also like to thank Melissa Good, just in case she ever comes across my story. She is the person who sponsors this web page as an open forum for amateurs, like me, to showcase our musings. As an added note, the Academy has favored me with an Author's Page! On that page, you will be able to find all the parts to the story, as it is frequently updated. I appear in the Index page as K-Morgan.
As to my little story, I absolutely adore Addy and Karen, and have thoroughly enjoyed developing their lives as they found love and themselves. What I would like to do now is develop a sequel of these sexy ladies' life as they start their new life in Scotland. Much, much more is yet to happen! So, please look for it. If you would like me to e-mail you when I start posting the new story, drop me a line and I will.
As Addy would say -- ¡Nos vemos en Scotland ! (See you in Scotland !)
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