Erase and Rewind - Chapter 2

“You should’ve seen them, Cait,” Kaylee gushed over the phone. “They’re so posh if you cut them, they’d bleed blue.”

Cait, Bluetooth earphone safely in place, chuckled as she stacked the wood in her garage. “Kaylee, being posh doesn’t necessarily mean having blue blood.”

“I know that.” Kaylee sighed dramatically. “I was just making the point of them being posh. Last night, the women came down for dinner in gowns. In gowns, Cait, and the men wore suits. It looked like we were having a black-tie affair at the hotel.”

“It’s appropriate to change for dinner, Kaylee.” Cait brushed her hands on her jeans and went inside for a cup of strong tea. She’d need it. Kaylee’s phone-calls always took for ever.

“They already looked posh when they checked in, Cait,” Kaylee insisted in a stage whisper. “The bride’s mother actually had matching suitcases. Monogrammed suitcases.”

Cait sat at her kitchen table and opened the tin of shortbread. This phone-call was proving to be one of the really long ones.

“You should see their make-up, it’s like they’re not wearing any.”

Good make-up should make you look natural, but Cait refrained from telling Kaylee that. The girl would probably not even hear her. She was talking so fast, she had to gulp in air to keep up.

“And the hair. And the jewels. And the shoes. Oh, Cait, the shoes. It’s like Sex and the City. And, och, the men. The men. Gorgeous, handsome, sexy as hell. Och, Cait, you should come and see them.”

Cait laughed softly. She had a perfect specimen of manhood coming home in a few days, and as far as she was concerned, no other man could hold a candle to Alexander Cameron. However, that didn’t mean she couldn’t go up to the hotel, have a bite, pop into the bar to say hello to Hamish, and maybe get a glimpse of Maura’s posh guests.

She listened to Kaylee gush about said guests, their wardrobe, accessories, and looks for the next twenty minutes, while she tinkered about the house, making everything ready for her man to come home.

Λ

“So,” Maura started as she took the empty plate from Cait, “Kaylee rang you up, didn’t she?”

Cait grinned. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“I know she did.” Maura rolled her eyes. “You wouldn’t have come to dinner otherwise.”

Cait shrugged. “Maybe I like the food.”

“You only had a sandwich.”

She hadn’t exactly been hungry. “A bloody good sandwich.”

“Caitriòna.”

Cait chuckled. “Yes, Kaylee informed me about your posh guests.”

“They are a little posh. Well, half of them. They obviously come from money, but they’re not posh in a bad way, Cait.” Maura rinsed the plate. “They’re incredibly nice, even. They did look a bit out of place last night all dressed up sitting in my modest dining room staring at their plates, but none of them made a fuss about the food.”

“Did you serve the haggis?”

Maura chortled. “No, I’m letting them acclimate a little.”

“Let them think they’re safe.” Cait laughed. “I liked your devious mind. I hope you won’t serve them that cake-like pish they serve the tourists for those idiotic Scottish Nights in Edinburgh.”

“Oh no, dearie, they’re in the Highlands, they’re getting the real thing.”

“I want to be a fly on the wall when that happens. What are you making them tonight? Sandwiches?” Cait asked, looking around the empty kitchen.

Maura swatted at her with a towel. “Haud yer wheesht, missy. They went to Urquhart Castle—”

“In search for Nessie? Don’t they know she doesn’t show her pretty face to tourists.”

“—and to visit Culloden Moor. They’re dining in Inverness tonight.”

“I hope the ladies have some other footwear with them, high heels are a bad choice for Culloden.”

“Contrary to what Kaylee told you, they did bring some sensible clothing and footwear. I saw them when they left.”

“Designer, I’m sure. Nothing else would fit into matching, monogrammed suitcases.”

Maura rolled her eyes. “Kaylee is a blether.”

“But we love her nevertheless,” Cait added and stood. “Thank you for dinner, but I should get going. Is Hamish working tonight?”

“He is. And he’s busy. The bar is full. Everyone wants to get a glimpse of the Americans.”

“Who knew they would be so good for business, eh?” Cait kissed Maura’s cheek and left the kitchen, heading toward the bar.

It wasn’t overly busy, but there were more locals than usual. Which had probably more to do with the fact Celtic was playing a Champions League game than the Americans staying at the hotel. Not that anyone at the bar tonight was a particularly avid Celtic fan, but having a Scottish club in the CL counted for something.

She wiggled her fingers at Kaylee, who was blinking coyly at her beau du jour, seemingly completely forgetting about the absentee hotel guests, and climbed on a bar stool.

“Hello, bonnie lass,” Hamish greeted her from the other side of the counter, his deep voice making the brogue sound even thicker. “Usual?”

“Yes, please.” She peered quickly at the TV screen. Two nil for Celtic with fifteen minutes to go. Great, but everything could still change.

“Are ye here for the Americans, too?” Hamish asked, placing a glass of cranberry juice in front of her.

She took a sip. “Unlike some, I’m not that curious. They’re people like you and me. They don’t breed them with two heads in the former colonies, you know.”

He chuckled. “Och, you’re crabbit. When is Alex comin’ hame?”

Cait rolled her eyes. Why did people keep calling her cranky lately and asking about Alex in the same breath? She wasn’t cranky, and even if she was it had nothing to do with Alex’s absence. She didn’t need a man to calm her. She didn’t—It suddenly dawned on her what everybody meant, and she looked at him with wide eyes. “Get your mind out of the gutter, Hamish.”

He barked out a laugh. “Yer a bit glaikit, aren’t ye?”

“Who knew you were all so pervy.”

“Not pervy, realistic.” Hamish grinned. “So, when is he comin’ hame?”

“He said Saturday.”

“Two more days.” He winked. “Will ye be all right or dae ye need some help?”

She flicked a walnut at him. “I can manage, thank you.”

“Just offerin’.”

“Shut yer trap!” Her laughter was swallowed by the cheer that rose when the referee’s whistle announced the end of the football match.

Then Hamish nodded towards the door. “Here they are.”

“Mom, Dad, let’s grab a drink,” a female voice intoned. A familiar female voice. A voice from the grave.

“Thea, honey,” another female voice chimed in. “Ask your brother and Felicity if they want to join us.”

Oh, God. Cait stared straight ahead, petrified.

A younger female voice called out, “We’re grabbing a drink at the bar—”

Don’t say it, don’t say it, don’t say it. Please, don’t say it.

“—Oliver.”

Cait’s heart plummeted, the quote from Casablanca echoing in her head. Of all the gin joints...Oliver Queen was about to walk into her life once again.


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