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Scottish composer Angus and gallery owner Emily provide comic relief with a minor erotic jolt in this week’s installment of the Belles. To refresh your memory, Emily once pretended to steal Angus’ prized Zippo lighter, hoping she might provoke him to spank her. But Angus was a bit thickheaded and didn’t get the message. Poor Emily was reduced to painting lifelike pictures of men’s hands, though she’s thinking of moving on to belts…

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I am not a smoker, but I’m fascinated by Zippo lighters. Maybe it’s because a lighter is a very personal item, like a piece of jewelry.

16. Angus Scores

Emily cringed internally as she saw Angus making his way toward her with a determined look on his face. She was standing behind the kitchen island, and she glanced in both directions, calculating her best route of escape.

“Oh no ye don’t, lassie,” said Angus. “Stay right there.” He reached her and took hold of her right upper arm, as further insurance. She stared grimly straight at his neck, which was at eye level for her, even in her wedge shoes. A few russet hairs curled on his sternum, summoning a mental image of Angus without his clothes. The hair all over his body was very… red.

Angus took her chin in one hand and raised it so that she had to look him in the eye. His own eyes were cobalt blue. “Ever since that wee barnie we had over the lighter, ye’ve had nowt to do wi’ me,” he said. “I miss ye, Emily.”

She grasped his hand in both hers and lowered it, looking down as she considered her answer. He had such sexy hands that it made her bottom tingle just to look at them. “It’s okay, Angus. I’m not mad.”

“I’m not so certain o’ that,” he said, chuckling, and in mock offense, she let go his hand and gave his chest a shove. “Anyway, I want ye tae have this.” He drew the lighter from a back pocket of his jeans and offered it to her.

Emily felt her face begin to burn. He thought she still coveted the damned lighter! But it had sentimental value to him, and he was giving it up for her sake. If she refused it outright, his feelings might be hurt. “Oh. That’s so sweet of you. You don’t have to do it, Angus.”

“I want ye tae have it. I want things right between us again.”

She nodded solemnly as he placed the green-enameled Zippo in her hand and closed her fingers over it. “All right. Thank you.” This was ridiculous. She didn’t even smoke!

He was slipping an arm around her waist to pull her closer when Jaime came to refresh his drink. “How’s the score coming along, man?” he asked Angus, who was composing music for the Philadelphia Theatre Company’s upcoming production of Macbeth. Jaime superstitiously referred to Macbeth as “the Scottish play,” for it was considered bad luck among the theater crowd to pronounce the play’s title aloud. Angus had no such reservations. “Ye mean fer Macbeth? Mah heid’s full o’ mince at the moment,” he told Jaime, “but dinna fash yerself. I’ve a few ideas.”

Jaime winced as Angus spoke the inauspicious name. “You like to cut it close, eh muchacho? Hey, what’s on your belt? Is that a Celtic knot?” He pointed to Angus’ worn leather belt. Its rectangular silver buckle was ornamented with a pattern of cleverly interwoven strands. “Aye, it’s the one I wear with mah kilt,” said Angus.

“Hilda’s been searching high and low for one of these,” said Jaime, leaning over and peering at the buckle. “Take it off, man, so I don’t have to keep sticking my face in your pingo.” Hilda, Emily knew, was the propmaster for PTC. Angus sighed and unbuckled himself. As he pulled the belt through its loops with a snap, Emily caught her breath involuntarily, her eyes glued to the leather strap in his hands. She felt her heart speeding up, and between her legs, a warm, melting sensation.

Angus’ eyes turned to her, questioning. “Are ye all right, Emily?” She realized she was breathing harder, and she coughed into her hand to hide it. “Just a tickle in my throat,” she said, and then, teasingly, “Maybe you should trade belts with Jaime so your pants don’t fall down.”

Angus jerked his chin at Jaime, who obligingly ambled off, admiring his prize. Then he said to Emily in a low voice, “Maybe it wouldnae be a bad thing if mah breeks fell down, later on. D’ye ken how much I want ye?”

“Okay. We’ll hook up tonight.” said Emily, pleasantly conscious of how aroused he made her feel. “But I don’t want to leave just yet. I’m worried about Tina. This is the anniversary of the day her husband died, and last year she drank herself into a stupor.”

Copyright 2016 by Linnet Moss

Notes: A short chapter this week, as are most of Emily’s interludes. But the plot is about to thicken…

Writing accents is very difficult. You have to convey a sense of what the English sounds like to the listener, but if you’re a purist and try to express every sound in every word, it looks very odd and distracting on the page. Furthermore, I always wonder, isn’t an accent a relative thing? I am a speaker of “standard” middle-American English of the kind one hears on national news programs. Do people who speak other forms of English hear a Scots “accent” differently? Who, after all, has the “accent”?

In any case, I dipped into Diana Gabaldon’s book Outlander to help shape Angus’s accent. And ever since I watched the TV version of Outlander, I can’t help but picture Angus as rather Sam Heughan-like. Come to think of it, Jamie does administer a rather thorough spanking in the book. And not playfully, either.


The Beauteous Sam.


Men in kilts. Ya gotta love them. Photo by Alex Cunningham. Click for source (www.your-kilt.com)