By Dominique Melaragni (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Summary: Lois and Clark head to Scotland to solve the mystery of the poisoned whisky. While they're there, they manage to sample Scotland's finest malts, play golf at St. Andrews, indulge in chocolate Flake bars … and perhaps even satisfy a certain kilt fantasy. :-)
This started life as one scene that just had to have the rest to fill it out - I wanted to put Lois and Clark on a train and seeing as I've never been on a US train, I had to get them to the UK to put them on a UK train. Hey, it gave me an excuse to get over all my Clark in a kilt fantasies! <g> Some of you might have already read the NC17 version, this one has certain chapters missing!<g>
I'd like to say thanks to Anne, Jules, Gail, Karen (who read it as I went along) and everyone else on IRC who encouraged my kilt thoughts and also kept asking when there would be another Flake scene. I still think I deserve a share of any increase in Cadbury's overseas sales! <g> Also thanks to Jackie, whose namesake appears in this fic and listened to me babbling on the phone for hours about it!
Any comments would be most welcome
Lois Lane Kent sauntered back towards her desk with her coffee. The article she and Clark had been working on for the last few days was finally completed, they had LANed it to Perry and were waiting for his OK before they headed home. When she reached her desk, she noticed a box sitting on it addressed to her in Clark's handwriting. She glanced around but there was no sign of him. She pulled the package towards her and opened it up to reveal a long strip of tartan. She looked at it quizzically. "What am I supposed to do with this?"
Two strong arms curled around her waist and a voice chuckled in her ear, "I knew you'd forgotten!"
"Clark…stop that," as his hands slid under her jacket, "well, at least stop it here and what have I forgotten?"
"You've forgotten that this is Burns Night and we're supposed to be going to Tam O'Shanters bar for a Burns Supper because this is the 200th anniversary of his death." said Clark, ignoring Lois' instruction to move his hands and gently caressing her waist.
"No, I hadn't forgotten but I didn't realise it was fancy dress!" Lois waved her hands in exasperation.
"It's not but the invitation said that some Scottish dress was required so I thought a tartan sash would be easiest."
"Oh, and here was I thinking that this was the latest thing in sexy lingerie!" She felt Clark's hands tighten around her waist and knew that her words had created a mental image of her dressed in a thin strip of tartan. Batting at his hands, she asked, "Hmm, Clark and what are you…"
"Lois! Clark!" came Perry's voice, "Just fix a couple of things here and you can call it quits for the night."
Lois and Clark groaned to each other, shrugged and went to see what Perry wanted.
Lois stood in the shower, letting the hot water cascade over her. 'What have I got to wear that'll go with tartan? Hmph, why don't I let Clark wear the tartan and I'll just attach the heather to my black dress? Come to think of it, he hasn't actually told me what he's planning on wearing. Something Scottish, the invite said, Lois racked her brains, 'the only Scottish clothes I can think of is a kilt' Lois grinned, picturing Clark in a kilt. She could see him in her mind's eye, a short black jacket and a dark kilt fitting snugly over his hips. Lois' smile widened as she remembered something else she'd been told about kilts - that traditionally nothing was worn under them. She moved under the shower jet to let the water pressure massage her back. "This could be very interesting indeed!" She imagined dancing a …what was it…a Highland fling with Clark and his kilt creeping higher as he twirled, exposing little glimpses of thigh and hinting at what lay higher. She imagined a slow waltz…surely not all the Scots dances involved jumping up and down with hands in the air…and running her hands over the tartan to his tight bottom and caressing it through the thick fabric and knowing that that was all that separated them. She could almost feel Clark's arms around her…when suddenly the water stopped. Lois was shaken from her reverie
"You've been in there for ages and we have to leave soon if we want to get to this Burn's Supper in time for the Address to the Haggis."
"The what to the haggis?"
"The Address to the Haggis…it's traditional. Burns wrote a comic poem calling the haggis as important in its way as one of the chiefs of the clans of Scotland so they address the haggis before they eat it."
"Ah, about this eating the haggis…um, isn't it made of sheep's stomachs and innards and things? I don't think I want to eat that."
"It used to be, Lois, most haggis today are a mixture of oatmeal and mutton so you can eat it perfectly safely although real haggis is lovely as long as you're not concentrating on what's in it. Now, are you coming out of that shower…I'm not going to come in after you this time and I'm going back to finish getting dressed before you do what you usually do and tempt me into getting you out!"
Lois got out of the shower, pouting. "I'm going to have to think of a new tactic now". She padded through to the bedroom with a towel wrapped around her and stopped in amazement when she saw Clark. "Clark! What are you wearing?"
"My tux, what does it look like?" Clark looked puzzled.
"But…but…why? It said to wear something Scottish."
"I am, I've got a tartan cummerbund and a tartan bow tie" Clark had no idea what Lois was getting at.
"But aren't you wearing a kilt?" Lois couldn't help a murmur of disappointment creeping into her voice 'So much for dreams' she thought.
"Kilts are very expensive and I don't think that they'll be worn tonight. Most people going don't have much connection with Scotland so they won't bother." He wondered about the flicker of disappointment that had flashed across her face. Lois wanted to see him in a kilt? Why? His brain refused to consider the topic as Lois dropped the towel swathed around her and made her way to the dresser to pull out her lingerie. How many times had he seen that simple act? But his mind still refused to function on a higher level of consciousness when he caught sight of Lois' body.
Lois turned round, well aware of what she was doing to Clark. Heck, she had caught herself almost visibly drooling over him so it was only right that she induced the same reaction. "Clark, are you ready? Then go and let me get ready. If you stay here looking at me like that, we'll never get to the Tam O'Shanter in time for a whisky nightcap, let alone this Ode to the Haggis thing"
Clark grinned sheepishly, "OK, It's just…"
Lois smiled conspiratorially and winked, " It's OK! I know exactly what you mean and I'll prove it conclusively later!"
Lois watched as a man dressed in full Scots dress carried a plate with the haggis into the room preceded by another kilted man playing the bagpipes. She glanced at Clark and smiled. This had been a great evening so far. Tam O'Shanters was a Scots pub but its dark wooden panelling was swathed in bright tartans for its opening night party. Jack MacPherson, the owner of the bar had explained that although he could've opened earlier, he had wanted to wait for Burns Night. "Besides my special malt whisky only arrived three days ago, it's blended especially for Tam O'Shanters and I wanted a special occasion to share it with the public. No-one but the stillman at the distillery has ever tried it although I'll confess that I tried some when it arrived and I haven't been able to resist having a dram every night! It's real amber nectar. Can I offer you a glass?" Lois had never been keen on whisky so she settled for a whisky liqueur but Clark took a glass and declared it one of the best Scotch he'd ever tasted. Jack had smiled in pleasure and passed onto another group of guests. As they had sat down at the tables, there had been a little heather corsage at each lady's place and a tiny bottle of the whisky for the gentleman. Clark had picked up her corsage and slid his hand between her skin and her dress to pin it on. He smiled, Lois' heartbeat picked up just with that innocent touch although he didn't think she realised. Lois felt Clark's' hand rest below her shoulder and wished it would slide a little lower. Even thinking about that simple touch made her feel excited although luckily no one seemed to notice.
'…yer sonsie face, great chieftain o' the puddin' race." Lois pulled herself back to the present. She was missing the address. She didn't understand very much of it and by some of the bemused looks around the room, she wasn't the only one. She did appreciate the drama when the kilted man pulled a dagger from his woollen sock, raised his hand and plunged the blade into the haggis, splitting it down the middle. With a final prod at the haggis, the man stopped reciting and the room burst into applause. Lois turned to Clark, " I know that you can order dinner in 347 languages but I refuse to believe that that is one of them!"
Clark laughed, "No, it's not! Though I got the gist of it!"
"And they wear knives in their socks? Isn't that dangerous?"
"It's called a skean dhu. It means hidden dagger in Gaelic. In centuries gone by, men used to have to leave their weapons at the entrance to the castle, but having a dagger in their sock, allowed them not to be unarmed. And the skean dhu has it's own little scabbard which can be very ornate."
"Ah, I see. And now here comes my serving of haggis"
"Haggis, Neeps and Tatties," said Jack MacPherson, presenting each of them with a loaded plate.
"I'd always wanted to go to Scotland but remind me not to. I'd never know what they were talking about! Neeps and tatties?"
"Neeps are mashed turnip, and tatties are potatoes. And you can go to Scotland safely because they don't really talk like that - well, not many of them. Now eat it…it's lovely."
Lois pushed her fork into the haggis gingerly. "If you say so…"
Lois threw herself onto the sofa in the apartment. "I'm exhausted" she said, pulling her shoes off and throwing them to one side. " I never realised highland dancing was so energetic. And it's so much fun once you get the hang of it. I liked that Strip the Willow one - though I'll have bruises on my arms from twirling round and round. That man at the end and Jack had drank a bit too much of his special blend of whisky, I think - I was amazed that they stayed upright long enough to finish the dance."
Clark finished hanging up their coats, put Lois' shoes where she wouldn't fall over them and took off his bow tie, loosening his collar before sitting down beside her on the sofa. "Yes, it was fun. That whisky went down very well, Most people had several drams, although I prefer a single malt so I'm glad they had several good ones. You even seemed to like the haggis." Lois stuck her tongue out at him. Clark pulled her towards him and tried to bite it but she pulled it in too fast.
"Slowcoach!" she teased. Next minute, she saw the apartment blurring round her and found herself lying on the bed with Clark bestowing kisses on her.
"Slowcoach, am I?" as he slid his hand from her waist to the back of her neck.
"Only when it matters, Clark…Ouch! Your hand caught my corsage and the pin stuck in." Clark pulled her dress slightly away from her and tried to kiss where the pin had dug in.
"I can't quite reach," he muttered as he nuzzled against her neck. His hand slid round to the back of her neck and pulled the zipper of her dress down. "Now that might make it easier," he said, as he levitated them off the bed far enough so he could slide Lois' dress off. "That looks sore, I'll kiss it better."
A long time later, Lois stretched luxuriously. Grinning mischievously, "Thanks, Clark, that feels much better but I think it might need a repeat treatment!"
Clark was only too happy to oblige.
"Did you guys hear the news?" Jimmy asked as soon as Lois and Clark arrived in the newsroom.
"What news?" asked Lois
"You know that new bar that opened last night on Main Street? Well, they found two bodies in it this morning!"
"What! Tam O'Shanter's! We were there last night!"
"Yep! The two bodies were identified as …" Jimmy rummaged for a piece of paper, "…Jack MacPherson and Angus Ballantyne. There's no evidence of a struggle or of any forced entry…Lois, where are you going?"
"Tell Perry we're on this!" Lois shouted over her shoulder as she grabbed Clark and headed back to the elevator.
"Lois, why are you so keen on this story?"
"Well, there's nothing else really happening in Metropolis. Seriously, Clark, why do you think? I met a man last night, who seemed in perfect health and was very nice and today he's dead - I'd like to find out what happened."
Lois caught sight of a familiar figure as she and Clark made their way through the police barriers around Tam O'Shanters.
"Inspector Henderson!" she called.
Inspector Henderson turned round, "Lois, Clark, we were coming to see you later seeing as you were on the guest list for last night."
"Well, maybe we can help each other," said Lois sweetly. "What do you know about Jack MacPherson and Angus Ballantyne?"
"Wrong way round, Lois, first you help me! Here are two photos of Jack and Angus, did either of you see either of them last night?"
Lois and Clark glanced at the photographs. "Jack spoke to us when we arrived, offered us a whisky and he served our haggis," said Clark, "I never spoke to this Angus though."
"I danced with him during one of the reels. He seemed fine, maybe a little the worse for wear because of the whisky but other than that he was normal," added Lois. "So what do you know about them? And what killed them?"
"Hmm, that's what the other guests we've managed to contact say. OK, MacPherson was a British agent but he was honourably discharged from Her Majesty's Service a few months ago. He'd always wanted to live in Metropolis so he used his retirement package to set up the bar. Angus was just an old friend from home, who'd come over to help him set the business up. He worked as a stillman in a distillery. We don't know what killed them. There are no marks on the bodies and no sign of damage inside the bar. They're doing a post mortem now. We're working on the possibility that it might be something they ate."
"And we'll get the results first, Inspector?" asked Clark ignoring Lois' comment.
"As soon as I've seen them."
"And you said that haggis was perfectly safe to eat, Clark." smiled Lois
"Well, the other people who ate the haggis are fine."
"Actually, " said Inspector Henderson "A large proportion of them are feeling a little under the weather, though with the amount of alcohol some of them drank, that's hardly surprising!"
Lois growled at her computer in frustration. Jack had checked out as reported by Henderson although he must have had a few enemies if he'd been an agent. Angus was listed as being a stillman at Glenverary distillery.
"Nothing, Lois?" Clark said, coming up and sitting on her desk while he glanced at her monitor, " Wait, Glenverary? That sounds familiar - wasn't that where that little whisky miniature came from? Where Jack's special blended malt was made?"
"Yes, but that tells us nothing. Jack wanted a special whisky for his bar so he went to his best friend, a stillman, to get him to blend it - that's hardly odd."
"I know…I'm reaching." laughed Clark
"Clark, it's Inspector Henderson on line one," shouted Jimmy.
"Clark Kent. What's the news, Inspector? …uh, huh… really?"
Lois sat, desperate to find out what was being said but Clark kept shushing her. As soon as he put the phone down, she pounced! "Well!"
"The post mortem showed that both men died of a drug overdose but the drug has never been seen before. Star Labs say that it appears to be a highly addictive compound but they have no idea where it originated. They think that it's too complex to be a natural compound. The men also had large levels of alcohol in their systems so Star Labs tested the whisky and found the drug in it. The drug is so addictive that the police are warning anyone who had more than one dram to go to their doctor because they'll need help when the effect wears off later today."
Lois paled, "But you tried it!"
"Yes, but I only had one glass and besides I doubt it would react with my physiology. The pathologist thinks that they had drunk so much of the special blend that they simply overdosed on the drug. So now, all we need to find out is…"
"…how the drug got into the whisky," she finished along with him. "I wonder if the drug is in the entire Metropolis batch or just in a few bottles that Jack was drinking from."
"Star Labs are testing it now."
Lois was sitting thinking about who could've had the opportunity to spike the whisky and who would've wanted to. The phone startled her out of her reverie.
"Lois Lane Kent, Daily Planet…oh, Dr Klein, *all* the whisky was affected. What about the miniatures?…I see and …really …Thanks - we'll keep you posted. Clark!…Dr Klein says that all the whisky was affected even the miniatures and the miniatures were bottled in Scotland so we must have international sabotage somewhere along the line. Jack must've known something very important to make it worthwhile risking not just his life but everyone in Metropolis itself."
Perry slammed his fist on the desk. "International spying? Unknown drugs? I love it - now find out the connection and it'll be front page news! Go pack!"
"Pack?" Clark looked at Lois bemusedly. She shrugged.
"Yes, pack! If the drugs are being produced and added in Scotland then you two are going to have to go there if you're going to get the story."
"Oh and be careful over there - if you get into any trouble, I doubt Superman will be able to get there as quickly as usual."
"You're probably right, chief, but are you serious? We've to go to Scotland ?" asked Lois, "What about the travel budget?"
"The budget won't matter if this story ends up as international news. Why don't you two *want* to go? Ah, it's your first anniversary next week…well, Scotland can be very romantic."
Lois and Clark gave into the inevitable and left the office. "But it's cold and wet in Scotland, I wanted a nice romantic anniversary," muttered Lois.
"Yes, but Scotland does have hotels in castles, with four poster beds and roaring fires."
"Well, when you put it like that…what are we waiting for?"
Lois shivered as she and Clark stood on a railway platform at Prestwick airport "OK, tell me again! Why did we come to Scotland?"
"Because Perry virtually threw us on the plane and because if we discover the origins of what the DEA are now calling the most dangerously addictive drug in existence, we might be in line for that Pulitzer you've saved a space for beside the Kerths."
"Ah, yes but remind me…why couldn't we get a car here and drive to Glasgow and the hotel instead of having to freeze waiting for a train to take us there?"
"Because our car is booked in Glasgow but the plane was diverted because of fog at Glasgow airport…the airline couldn't arrange for us to get a car here but they did manage to reserve seats on a train for us," Clark looked down at Lois, she was bundled up in a coat, scarf (in dark tartan that he'd bought at the airport when they realised how cold it was), hat and gloves but she was still shivering. He suspected that it was partly a ploy to get him to cuddle her but he wasn't adverse to being manipulated that way. He opened his coat and wrapped his arms round her, enclosing her in the coat in the process. She looked up at him and grinned, she had got exactly what she intended. He smiled, he just couldn't resist her…her cheeks were rosy in the cold and her eyes danced with pleasure at having manipulated him. He kissed her nose and tucked her head under his chin. She leaned back into him, enjoying the feel of his warm body against her back. She slid her arms behind her and caressed his buttocks, pulling him closer against him. His arms tightened around her.
Delighted with the effect she had on him, she looked up again, "How far away is Glasgow and the hotel?"
"Too far! I'm just glad that I've got a long coat on!"
"Well, maybe the train will be one of those old fashioned ones with separate compartments and curtains at the windows. And those lovely long seats so I can curl up next to you."
"And let's hope that it's a *very* quiet train!"
Lois laughed. Clark took a deep breath, "You are a little witch!" he groaned. Just as her hand moved to hold him more firmly, a train approached the station. Clark breathed a sigh of relief and moved away to pick their luggage up.
To Lois' disappointment the train was not only very modern but also very busy. She and Clark struggled past people already standing in the aisle to get to their seats and she almost screamed when she saw them. They weren't next to each other, so she wouldn't even be able to be close to him or use him as a pillow, they were facing each other across a table. The seats were on the inside, next to the window and after they had pushed past two disinterested school kids who had Walkmen on full blast, sitting in the aisle seats that made up the four around the table. Lois had asked the boy sitting next to Clark if he would swap seats with her but he'd replied that there was no chance because that would mean he'd have to sit next to his sister. Clark had chuckled at that and told her just to sit down, after all, at least they had a seat.
Lois looked out of the window as the train gathered speed. "You couldn't really say there was a view here, could you? The land seems quite flat and it's fairly bland," she whispered to Clark, leaning over the table to get his attention.
As Clark leaned forward, he noticed that Lois had unbuttoned her coat and that from his new position, he had a very good view of the swell of her breasts. "I wouldn't say that," he said pointedly, glancing down.
Lois scolded him mockingly, "Really, Mr Kent! I'm shocked at you!" She leaned back in her seat, still looking at him. The gaze in his deep brown eyes was heated and admiring and she felt herself grow warm under his regard. She looked out of the window again and stretched to try to distract her body from the spell Clark's look had woven. As she stretched though, her legs brushed against Clark's under the table. The table wasn't that wide and she'd had her legs tight up against the seat when she boarded the train and huddled up to keep warm. Now, she felt a sudden heat as if that innocent touch was a branding iron on her skin. She looked up, startled at her immediate response and saw the same look in his eyes. No matter how she moved, her legs would press against his. She began to rub her calf against his slowly, looking at him as she did it. He closed his eyes and then seemed to regain his control and opened then once more.
Lois' slow caress of his leg had almost pushed Clark over the edge. He had closed his eyes, thanking the gods that she was dressed for travelling and couldn't really take off her laceup shoes and tease him further and then suddenly had an idea. He slipped off one of his shoes and found Lois' ankle. He saw her eyes widen as she felt his toes trying to push up her trouser leg. He stretched his leg further, slowly rubbing up her leg as far as he could reach, all the while looking at her response. Her cheeks were flushed once again and her breath was coming quicker. Her eyes looked steadily at him although they occasionally seemed to glaze over. She pressed her legs together to try to stop the growing throb at the top of her legs. Clark slid his foot down her leg and inserted it between her legs, just below her knees. Slowly, he withdrew it before pushing it through again. Lois swallowed hard, she couldn't believe how sensual his caress was and how she was responding. Clark carried on thrusting his toes between her legs until he realised from hearing Lois' rapid heartbeat that if he continued much longer, they might have quite an audience. He changed the rhythm of his caresses - reducing the intensity until he was merely stroking her ankle again. Lois breath slowed again and she looked up and smiled before glancing around the carriage. Luckily, no one had seemed to take any notice of what was going on. The girl beside her who might've noticed something appeared to be more interested in gazing at Clark. Lois recognised the look of adoration in the girl's eyes and smiled, 'well, she's got good taste' she thought to herself.
As soon as they had got off the train, Clark left Lois at the little cappuccino bar in the station while he went to find the car. Lois sat on a high stool, drinking her cafe mocha and watching the people rushing around the station. The station was a big Victorian sandstone building with huge hallways and a high glass roof. Lois was amazed by the variety of people around the station - there were people who appeared to be au fait with the height of fashion and others who looked as though they had never had a bath. She had always supposed Scotland to be a small introverted country but she was realising that these people obviously took a keen interest in what was going on in the rest of the world, at least in fashion terms. She was also amazed at how many people smiled at her and at each other as they went past. A waitress came over to clean the table next to her and asked her if she'd ever been to Glasgow before. Lois ended up finding out a little about Glasgow's history and famous sons before the girl left with a smile and the hope that Lois had a pleasant visit. Just then Clark reappeared jingling the car keys.
"What is it? Why are you smiling?" he asked.
"This place is so friendly, people kept smiling at me and saying hello so I could hardly frown at people. Besides, you're holding car keys which means that we can get to our hotel which means…" Lois let her voice trail off and gave him a quick kiss.
As they left the cafe, the waitress waved and shouted goodbye. "Who was that?" asked Clark.
"Just a waitress who was telling me about Glasgow while you were away. Did you know that the man who virtually invented art deco was born in Glasgow? She said that the building opposite the car hire place is a good example of Macintosh's work - seemingly he used a lot of squares and loved windows to take advantage of light. She also showed me her jewellery which was made in a Macintosh design with lots of stylised roses and leaves. I'd seen things like it before but I'd never realised that it was Scottish."
"Sounds like you learned a lot!" said Clark as they reached the car.
"That must be the building she was talking about. She's right. That red sandstone is so pretty. It's a lot more interesting than bricks…and you're driving?" she finished, raising an eyebrow.
"I thought you might be tired after the flight and not really feel like tackling driving through a crowded city on the wrong side of the road. Besides I got detailed instructions on how the freeway goes through the centre of the city and how to get on it so we can get to the hotel which is just outside the city."
"That's all right then. I don't think that I'm really in the mood to tackle strange traffic signals and those roundabout things that the British love to put in the middle of the road. And if you actually know the way to the hotel, we'll get there a lot quicker and after what you were doing to me on the train, I intend to get my revenge."
"I'll look forward to it."
They climbed into the Landrover 4x4. "It's not as well kitted out as mine," sniffed Lois. As they drove towards the freeway, they commented on how few skyscrapers there were and how all the buildings were either red or golden sandstone. Lois couldn't believe how many designer shops there were.
As soon as they were out of the city and going along at a steady 70, she debated whether to take her revenge on Clark early. She looked over at him and started to move her hand towards his leg. Clark had been watching Lois out of the corner of her eye and had seen the wicked little gleam in her eyes that had preceded her hand's journey. He caught her hand in one of his and deposited it back on the seat, although he kept hold of it.
"How about we declare a truce while I'm trying to concentrate on where we're going?" he suggested. "I'm already wondering what you've got planned as revenge and that's distracting me enough."
Lois pouted at him, "All right! But I may refuse to give you any mercy later!"
Clark laughed, "Who said I'dve asked for mercy anyway? I am the Man of Steel."
Lois looked at him, her eyes flashing with the challenge, "OK, definitely no mercy!"
Clark glanced over and grinned before returning his attention to the road - they'd played variations on this theme before and he had to concede that they usually made for interesting evenings. Lois was looking out of the window now, planning her revenge no doubt.
Lois lost herself in watching the countryside flash by and letting her mind go blank. She didn't need to plan her revenge - she knew exactly what she was going to do.
Lois had dozed off when the hotel came into view about thirty minutes later. Clark touched her arm in the darkened car and pointed out of the window. Lois stretched and looked at the floodlit castle sitting amongst trees above a loch.
"Wow! It's beautiful. Is that where we're staying?"
"Yes, we'll be there in about ten minutes. That loch you can just about make out is Loch Lomond, it's the biggest stretch of water in the UK."
"Clark, you're like a walking encyclopaedia! How do you know all this?"
"My middle name's Britannica!…Ouch!" as she lightly slapped him for his terrible joke. "No, I read a guide on the places I knew we'd be going to while you were sleeping on the plane."
Lois looked at the castle in disbelief as they parked the car. "It's candy floss pink! I thought you only got pink castles in fairytales. But it doesn't look painted."
"It's not. It's pink granite. It's the other stone commonly found in Scotland, you'll see a lot of granite and sandstone around, although most granite is the usual silver grey. Come on!'
Lois looked out of the huge window in the hotel room. "This place is beautiful," she said, "I can see the loch glittering in the darkness, it's reflecting the sky and it looks almost black. The moon is lighting up the mountains on the other side and it's so peaceful. Now, I'll agree that Scotland has some lovely views! Aren't you going to come and have a look?"
"No!" said Clark, who had dropped onto the bed as soon as they'd got into the room, "I can see a lovely view from here!"
Lois looked round and laughed, "Cute, Kent! But revenge is a dish best served cold, so stop looking at me like that! It'll do you no good!"
"Can't I try to change your mind about revenge?" he asked as he crossed over to the window and wrapped his arms around her.
"You can try but I doubt it'll work. Besides, I want some fresh air. Will you come and take that walk down to the loch that the receptionist mentioned? She said it was floodlit and I think it would be nice," Lois knew how persuasive Clark could be and she wanted nothing to interfere with what she had planned for later in the evening.
Walking through the forest, Lois was aware of the noise of the wind blowing through the trees, the breeze ruffling her hair and the warmth of Clark's arm around her shoulder. She could smell the pine and the coldness of the air revived her.
"The air smells so fresh here and you can smell the chill in the air."
"Yes, it feels as if you're the first person to breathe it in. Although, the people who lived in the castle 600 years ago when it was first built must have thought exactly the same."
"600 years. That is so awe inspiring, I mean America hadn't even been discovered then and there were people living in that castle. When the United States declared its independence, that castle was already 400 years old. It makes you feel that American history is so recent, unless you include the native American history but most people don't." mused Lois.
They reached the shore of the loch and gazed out over it. The breeze had dropped away and the surface of the water was like glass. The mountains and the moon were reflected perfectly in it.
Lois looked up, "Look at the stars! I know that they are the same ones that look down on Metropolis but they look so huge here, as if they are about to fall out of the sky."
The breeze picked up again, moving ripples across the water. Clark bent down and picked up a flat pebble from the beach. After turning it over in his hands, he flicked his wrist and sent it skimming over the water.
"One…two…three…four…five…six skips!" he smiled.
"How do you do that? I've always want to try it but I've never been able to do it!"
"Here, you need to find a flat, round pebble that's not too thick, then you just throw it like you do a frisbee but with more of a flick to your wrist."
The stone flew about ten feet out into the lake and sank straight to the bottom.
"Try again," Clark put his arms round Lois and showed her how to throw the stone but it sank again. After a few more attempts, the stone managed three skips before it sank.
"I did it!" Lois exclaimed, turning round to face Clark. Clark smiled, she was so excited, almost like a little girl and she was adorable. He bent his head and touched his lips to hers. Lois couldn't help but respond. The scene was so romantic with the moon above and being in his arms felt so right. As he felt her melt into his arms, he deepened the kiss, thrusting his tongue into her warm mouth and rediscovering all the little crevices that he knew so well. Her tongue explored his mouth, running around his teeth and rubbing against the top of his mouth. His hands slid to her waist and up under her top. Lois ran her fingers down through his hair.
"Clark, not like this. I want you with me and we can't here," she moaned.
Clark reluctantly agreed and smiled as he picked her up and flew them back to the start of the floodlit walkway.
Clark took a deep breath as Lois casually crossed her leg under the table. Her stockinged foot slid even higher this time, skimming his thighs. She had been doing this all through dinner, her foot reaching higher and higher each time she repeated the action. They had only just finished the venison and he wasn't sure if he was going to survive until dessert. He looked down at the table, wondering if it was longer than Lois' legs, before looking up at Lois.
Lois was attempting to look innocent but failing miserably. She looked more like a cat who could see a jug of cream and a smoked salmon sitting within reach and no one nearby to stop it. She had decided that she should give Clark a taste of his own medicine before giving him a dose of hers!
"So what are our plans for tomorrow?" asked Lois.
"We leave here in the morning and head northwards up the west coast. Jimmy is going to fax us a list of the whiskies that Angus was blending at Glenverary to create the Tam O'Shanters malt. Glenverary, itself is quite far north so I think we should try to go to the other distilleries on the way, in case whoever is making the drug is trying to put it into an ingredient of the malt rather than the finished product. We might get as far as Glenverary tomorrow but we might have to wait until the next day. Hopefully, there, if we don't find anything anywhere else, we'll find something that will give us a clue as to where the drug is being manufactured."
"And if we find nothing?"
"We'll find something…the large bottles and miniatures were bottled in different plants and it's unlikely that someone would have been able to sabotage both."
Just then the waiter put two plates of Drambuie chocolate terrine in front of them. Lois' eyes gleamed, "I think that I prefer this branch of Scottish cuisine to the haggis."
While Clark drank his coffee, Lois made sure that every last hint of terrine was removed from her spoon. Clark smiled to himself, psychology said that some people loved chocolate because they saw it as a substitute for sex, Lois just loved it. She put the spoon in her mouth, the bowl of it facing him, once more and ran her tongue round the inner edge of the bowl unselfconsciously. Clark groaned, she could torment him without even trying, what would she do to him when she'd had a chance to plan her assault. He decided that another cup of coffee might give him the time he needed to garner his control.
Lois glanced up at the sound, and realisation swept across her face. If he thought that was arousing, just wait until he saw what she had planned for later. In fact, it was getting late and Lois was getting impatient. She'd been contemplating her revenge all day; she wanted to put her plan into action.
"Lois, would you like a coffee this time?" asked Clark as he indicated to the waiter to come over. Lois thought fast, she really didn't want coffee. As the waiter arrived, she uncrossed her legs, "No, I'm not in the mood for coffee," replied Lois, extending one leg to its full length and reaching as far across the table as she could. Her leg skimmed past one of Clark's knees before nudging at the napkin on his lap.
Clark jumped as he felt her toe caress his lap, just out of sight under the tablecloth. He decided that waiting to collect his control together would be impossible if Lois continued like this. Thanking the waiter, Clark asked that the meal be put onto the room bill.
Clark lay in bed, listening to the water running as Lois got ready for bed in the bathroom. He could still feel Lois' touch from dinner etched onto him. Lois wanted revenge and to make him beg for mercy - and he wasn't about to let on that at the moment it wouldn't take much for him to surrender to her. The water went off in the bathroom but Lois didn't come out immediately. He resisted the urge to peek on her - besides his powers seemed to become erratic when he was distracted. Flying, or at least levitating didn't tend to be affected, he put that down to the fact that he sometimes floated subconsciously when he was happy, but his other senses seemed to revert to being almost normal.
"Cla-ark!" came Lois' voice from the bathroom. "I was thinking, why don't we play a little game?"
"But you only play to win, Lois."
"Yes, but in this game, losing is almost as much fun as winning!"
"Which game is this? And why are we having this conversation in two different rooms?"
"It's a game of tag but played to my rules."
"Tag? In a hotel room?"
"Uh-huh, now that we're agreed on playing, I'm it! Coming ready or not!
Clark sat up in bed, prepared to move in case she really was serious but when she walked around the corner, he just stared, speechless. Lois had wrapped the tartan sash that she had brought from Metropolis, in case they went to a Scottish dinner around her waist so that it was like a very short kilt. The only other item of clothing that he could see was her tartan scarf which she'd hung around her neck.
She walked towards the bed and pounced, pushing him backwards onto the bed. "Gotcha!" she said. standing over him.
Clark recovered his voice, "So I'm it now, am I? Gotcha back!" He pulled her down onto the bed so that she sat astride him and began to slide his hands up her body.
"No, I won tag because I caught you first! And the winner gets to pick the new game so we're going to play 'Look but don't touch'."
Clark shook his head - no one could argue with Lois' twisted logic. Lois gently removed his arms from her. She leaned forward and kissed him, she nibbled along his bottom lip before sliding her tongue into his mouth and rubbing the inside of his lips. Clark groaned into her mouth. She thrust her tongue in deeper, sucking lightly on his tongue before running it along his teeth. Clark's arms went around her as he pushed his tongue into her mouth.
Lois pulled back, "No, " she whispered, "we're playing look but don't touch, remember? You're not allowed to touch me. You have to pay a forfeit." Taking the scarf off, she lightly tied Clark's hands together and proceeded to nibble her way along his jaw, up to his ear. She sucked on his earlobe before running her tongue down along the vein in his neck to his collarbone. Sliding her hands down over his chest, she stopped at his nipples. She traced her fingernail around the brown nub, before lightly scratching the top of it. Looking up to see how Clark was reacting, she was gratified to see that although he was watching her, his eyes seemed darker than usual.
She smiled, "You're getting the hang of this game now, aren't you?"
"I'm a quick learner," grinned Clark.
"Hmm, then we'll have to make the rules tougher. If you break the rules, you have to pay another forfeit."
"And if you break the rules?"
"I can't break the rules - they're *my* rules!"
Lois lay under Clark, very pleased with how her revenge had been taken. Clark for his part had decided that playing forfeits with Lois could be great fun even if she had imposed new ones when he had broken out of the sash. He lifted himself slightly, "Lois. you are an amazing woman!"
"Just so long as you remember that! Oh, yes and I won the game seeing as how you broke the rules!"
"Oh, I thought I'd just broken out of the sash! But yes, you won but I had fun just playing the game."
"Hmm, so what'll we play next?"
"I don't think I've got any energy left to play one of your games anytime soon. How about Sleeping Tigers?"
Lois shook her head, "No, you've forgotten something. The winner gets to choose the next game and I think we should …" Lois whispered in Clark's ear.
"Mrs. Kent, you're insatiable," smiled Clark, "and I don't want to be accused of being a bad loser!"
After collecting the fax that Jimmy had sent the night before, Lois and Clark had plotted the distilleries that they should visit on the way to Glenverary over breakfast. On their way northwards towards the first distillery on the list, Inverfiddoch, Lois was summing up the plan for the day. "So basically there were four makes of whisky blended into Tam O' Shanter's malt. We go to those four distilleries and just check that they are above board before we head off to Glenverary."
"Where hopefully we find the answer to this drug problem. Star Labs are looking into it to see if it has any positive effects and could be useful to anyone."
After an hour or so, Lois pulled over to the side of the road, "It's your turn to drive now."
"It's my what? Lois, it's lunchtime and you're in perfect health. The only time you usually let me drive your jeep is when you're too tired, ill or tipsy to do it."
"Yes, but this isn't my jeep and I want to look at the scenery. I keep wanting to look up at the mountains and I can't because this road is so bendy."
Clark got out and Lois scooted over to the passenger side of the car and made herself comfortable before they set off again. It was a glorious day, even if it was cold. The sun shone from a gloriously blue sky which was reflected in the colour of the lochs. The glare from the sun streaked blindingly across the water. The mountains, except for a few forests, looked free from vegetation but the rugged crags and tinge of heather gave them a stunning though stark beauty. Lois closed her eyes and saw the pattern of flashing sunlight on her lids as the sun shone through the trees on the side of the lochside.
The Inverfiddoch distillery was typical of a small, independent whisky maker. The buildings were flagstoned and some of the doors stood open displaying huge, empty wooden barrels. Lois and Clark were greeted warmly and taken around the distilling process. The huge copper vats shone in the still room where the barley was fermented in the spring water. Their guide explained that part of the secret of making a good whisky was having a good source of water. Each water has a slightly different blend of peat and minerals and this affected the taste of the final product. When he lifted the lids of the stills, Lois reeled. Even the smell of the far from finished product was alcoholic enough to make you feel drunk.
Next they were taken to a warehouse where they were shown the empty barrels being scraped out and prepared for a new batch of whisky. They finished the tour at a warehouse with a heavily secured door. Lois gasped when they went in - full barrels stretched in all directions, piled into racks. Their guide offered them a taste from one barrel. Lois declined, saying that she was driving but Clark tried some.
"So Inverfiddoch is a single malt?" asked Lois
"Yes," answered the stillman. "We don't make blended malts here. It's a fine art - each whisky has its own character and if you mix them in the wrong quantities, they can jar against each other but Inverfiddoch is used in a lot of malts by other independent distilleries."
Thanking their guide, Lois and Clark returned to the Landrover. Lois turned northwards to begin their trip to the next distillery.
"Argh! We've been to all four distilleries now that supplied Glenverary with whisky to create its Tam O'Shanter's malt and nothing!" said Lois, frustrated.
"Well, we know a lot more about whisky making. I wonder what whisky made with our recycled Metropolis water would taste like after all those stillmen kept talking about the importance of the purity of the water. We also know that none of the whiskies could have been tampered with before they left the distilleries. The security around them is incredibly tight because of the UK licensing laws."
"I suppose so but that means that we should find the answer at Glenverary tomorrow and Inspector Henderson said that the police here had found nothing unusual."
"Yes, nothing unusual that they spotted, perhaps with stranger's eyes, we'll have more luck." smiled Clark, reaching down and squeezing her hand.
"Ever the optimist, huh?" glancing over at him, from the driver's seat and smiling before returning her attention to the road.
Soon they saw a road sign for Strathpeffer, where they were planning on spending the night. "So, Clark, give me the history lesson on Strathpeffer," said Lois, grinning at him.
"Lois, it's nice to know something about the country that you're travelling through. Strathpeffer was a spa town in Victorian times. Queen Victoria herself took the waters here. There's supposed to be some unusual properties in the water but I can't remember what they are."
"We can find out tomorrow. The guide at the last distillery said that Glenverary doesn't start tours until after 11am so we'll have a few hours here and we can go and take the waters. That is such a quaint expression."
They drove up to the little Bed and Breakfast where they had booked a room and were greeted warmly by the landlady.
"Hello! We thought you might get here earlier but never mind. There's not much to do here in the evenings except go to the pub but the conversation there is revolving around rugby and Scottish independence and you'll not really know about Scottish politics on that matter,", chattered the landlady, Mrs MacPhail, as she bustled them upstairs to their room.
"Well, no, though we did go and see Braveheart," said Lois
Mrs MacPhail laughed, "It was an interesting interpretation of the events but it was a great film. We went to see it in Inverness and the audience were cheering all through it. Now I'll leave you here but would you like dinner here? I wasn't cooking tonight but I can give you a bowl of Scotch broth or an omelette or something. Or there are a few places open in the town although they might close soon.. Strathpeffer's awfully small and there's really not a lot in terms of entertainment for city folks like yourselves."
"We don't want to put you to any trouble, Mrs MacPhail, we'll go out and get something to eat and we might pay a visit to the pub but we'll probably have an early night, we've been really busy lately and haven't had a chance to sleep much." said Clark.
"All right though it wouldn't have been any trouble at all. The broth would just have needed heating up and an omelette takes virtually no time at all and I'll just go now and let you go out." wittered the woman as she closed the door behind her.
"And you complain that I babble!" laughed Lois, "So we'll go out to dinner and back for an early night seeing as how there's nothing to do in Strathpeffer."
"Well, there's nothing to do outside in Strathpeffer. I'm sure we'll find some entertainment," said Clark, bending over to give Lois a brief kiss. She responded by pushing against his lips with her tongue before running it along the top of his mouth when he opened to her.
"Hmm, we might find something to do, I suppose. Now shall we go and find dinner because I'm starving!"
"So we have the choice of that little cafe or a Chinese or that Indian?" asked Lois, "And that's it!"
"Strathpeffer's a small town and I hate to tell you but the Indian is closed."
"I don't really want Chinese. I guess it's the authentic Scottish cafe then."
The cafe was also a fish and chip shop. Clark ordered two fish suppers with everything on them.
"Fish supper? And why do I want chips with fried fish?" wondered Lois
"Fish supper is fish and chips and chips here are like French Fries but thicker." said Clark, glancing around the cafe. It was quiet and most people were carrying out their chips. Clark decided that eating at one of the tables would ensure that they would be observed and discussed for days to come.
"Can we have that wrapped to take out," he asked the waitress, who looked a little disappointed. She had just called a couple of her teenage friends to come have a look at this gorgeous American.
Holding the newspaper wrapped bundle in his hands, Clark walked along the street and went into a little park which had a wonderful view of the mountains and the moonlight on them. "I saw this place when we drove into town. Now here you go," passing one of the bundles to Lois.
"Oooh! I can feel the heat of it coming through the newspaper. Why is it wrapped in newspaper anyway?" she asked, as she unwrapped the paper.
"It's in grease-proof paper to start off with but newspaper is a good insulator and old newspapers are free. When I was travelling the world, I worked with a Scots reporter who used to say that today's hot story was tomorrow's chip wrappings."
"It's true enough, I suppose. What good are yesterday's papers? Now do I just eat this with my fingers?"
"Yes, the fish will tear into little bits and before you ask, the stuff on it is the full Scottish works, salt, vinegar and brown sauce. I've never had the sauce on it before - people in England don't put it on for some reason but that reporter used to swear that they weren't really fish and chips without real brown sauce. So here goes!"
"Mmmm, it's nice! Very hot though but these chips are wonderful though it's probably horrifically bad for you! Still once in a while never hurt anyone."
Lois popped the last bit of fish in her mouth and looked at her fingers, which were covered in sauce. She began to suck her fingers clean but Clark stopped her, grabbed her hand and began to help clean them by sucking on them himself. Smiling, she returned the favour, both of them looking into the other's eyes the whole time, watching the heat between them rising.
"You've got a little bit of sauce on your chin, Lois," said Clark, as he kissed it off before moving up to her lips and continuing his lips' caress. She moaned lightly against him, sliding her hands up his chest through his jacket.
"Let's go back. A public park in February is not somewhere where I want to be doing this." commented Lois, drawing reluctantly away from Clark and pulling him to his feet.
As they walked along the High Street, Clark noticed that the cafe was still open and that it also sold ice cream.
"Lois, would you like dessert?"
"I thought that's what we were going back to our room for," grinned Lois. "What else did you have in mind?"
"Just an ice cream to eat on the way back - that cafe sells 99s."
"99s? This country has so many strange things!"
"It's an ice cream with a piece of chocolate Flake stuck in it."
"Flake! Like those bars of chocolate that you crumble over ice cream if you can't get chocolate and end up with vanilla." Clark nodded. "Well, in that case, yes, I'll have both desserts."
Lois waited outside while Clark went inside and came out carrying two cones. "But you only get little Flakes in them!" she commented disappointedly.
"That's why I bought a pack of three full-size ones as well, for later!" chuckled Clark.
"Hmm! I knew I kept you around for a reason! And this cone is lovely too although the Flake is the best bit of it!"
Clark closed the bedroom door after managing to say goodnight to Mrs MacPhail and convincing her that he meant it. Lois was on him in a flash, pushing him up against the wall. "Now I want my second helping of dessert."
Clark grinned and gripping the bottom of his Tshirt, prepared to pull it over his head, when suddenly there was a knock at the door. Pulling the sheet over Lois, he went to the door to find Mrs MacPhail with two mugs of hot chocolate.
"Hello dears. I knew that you had been out and it's a very cold evening so I thought you might like a cup of chocolate to help you sleep."
Clark thanked her, telling her that they were indeed on their way to bed and the chocolate was very welcome, before almost throwing her out of the room. Setting the mugs on the table beside the bed, he turned back to Lois. "Come on Clark, leave them."
"No, you said you wanted dessert and since that's the best part of an evening, I thought we'd take it slowly," smiled Clark as he walked over to his jacket and pulled out a packet. "I wanted another bit of that chocolate."
Clark unwrapped a Flake and ran the edge around Lois' mouth. She bit at it and he allowed her a piece of the chocolate before taking the bar and dipping it into the hot chocolate on the bedside table. He drew a line with the melting Flake around her breasts before bending down and slowly licking it off. Then he dipped the Flake back in and drew a line to her navel and slid the Flake in. Once again, he carefully licked off the chocolate before melting more of the bar in the cocoa.
"Clark, I thought I was the one with the chocolate fetish!" Lois laughed as the Flake hit a tickly spot and she pulled it out of his hand, throwing it to the side of the bed. "You're supposed to have a fetish for *me*!"
"I am?" asked Clark innocently before proceeding to prove it.
As they lay together, their breathing slowing to normal rates, Lois sighed in contentment. Clark raised his head and looked questioningly at her.
"Hmmm, I knew I liked those Flakes," Lois chuckled, "but I have to say that I don't think that's quite how Mrs MacPhail intended the hot chocolate to heat us up."
Clark's low laugh joined hers as he turned them onto their sides. Lois snuggled into his chest as Clark pulled the sheets up again and soon they both slept.
Next morning, after escaping from Mrs MacPhail who had insisted on giving them a full Scottish breakfast with black pudding, scrambled eggs, bacon, porridge and so on, they went for a stroll down to the little building that had been the spa pavilion.
"So did you ask Mrs MacPhail for her recipe for porridge? I have to say that it was ever so slightly better than yours," said Clark as they left the B&B and he slid his arm around her shoulder.
"She volunteered the information when you disappeared upstairs for ten minutes. She cooks it in the microwave, says that it stops it being lumpy. She was most concerned about you - it was all I could do to stop her going up after you." replied Lois, sliding her arm around his waist, tucking her thumbs through his belt loops.
"I had to go and check something out but it turned out to be nothing although I stopped off to see Jimmy on the way back to ask why we hadn't heard anything on the fax. He claims that he tried. He says that Inspector Henderson is no closer to finding out who had a motive to kill Jack MacPherson. Seemingly although he worked for Her Majesty's Secret Service, he wasn't actually a field agent, he tended to stay in the lab and fiddle with gadgets so he didn't have the chance to make many enemies."
"He might've found out about a new weapon or something and refused to work on it and so he was killed by one of his own former colleagues in case he let something slip."
"Could be although Henderson did consider that possibility and the Service assured him, with that British aloofness that the idea was reprehensible."
"That doesn't mean that they didn't do it. I mean do you really think that they'd just admit to it."
"No, of course not but the Service also pointed out that they had many more creative ways to keep someone quiet including making them disappear without leaving a body to make people suspicious."
"That's true enough, I suppose though I still don't understand where the drug is getting into the whisky. The police checked that each inlet pipe into the main vat was clean and that the whisky is secure at all times in the process. The results of the drug tests that they carried out should be available tomorrow according to what Jimmy said before. I hope that we find something when we get to Glenverary or I might start to feel guilty about enjoying myself so much over here."
They reached the little pavilion and went inside. There were pictures of Strathpeffer's glory days around the wall, accompanied by descriptions of what people used to do. After looking over them for a few minutes, chuckling over some of the bathing suits the Victorians had worn, Lois wandered over to the far wall where a door led to a series of bathing rooms. There were mannequins in the pools demonstrating how they had been used and at the end of the corridor were three wells. A notice above them explained that Strathpeffer had been incredibly popular because there wasn't just one mineral spring here but three so it had been considered more efficient to come here and sample all three at once. A little drinking fountain beside each well invited people to take the waters.
Trying some, Lois commented, "It's so cold. Straight from the hills, I expect and it's so clear."
Clark had tried one further along, "Unlike this one," showing her the brown water, "It's the peat in the water that does that though it doesn't affect the taste at all." he added as she made a face.
At the end of the room was a table with cups piled on it and another notice. 'The waters of Strathpeffer were much renowned individually but some advocated mixing two or even all three together to achieve a more beneficial beverage. Unfortunately, the combination of minerals in the waters led to a foul smelling and tasting mixture though some people still tried it. Are you brave enough to mix this potion?"
Lois laughed, "So I can pretend to be a witch and mix a potion.". She scooped a little of the first and second wells into the glass and sniffed warily, "It's still OK now," she said, sipping it cautiously. As she added the water from the last well, the water in the glass turned black and there was a strong sulfurous smell "Eurgh! That's horrible! And they still drank it! Well, I'm not going to though you could seeing as you can eat anything."
Clark pulled away from the glass she held to his lips, "Yes but even I don't want to drink that! I'd rather have your oatmeal and that's saying something!"
Lois slapped him playfully and poured the water down the drain. "I suppose that it's lucky that all three don't end up mixed in the right quantities in a loch somewhere or there'd be no fish in it and no one living nearby for miles."
Leaving Strathpeffer behind, Clark drove towards Inverness and Glenverary. Lois had insisted that he drove so that she could look for the Loch Ness Monster as they drove along the shores.
"There it is! I can see the ripples of its humps going up and down!" exclaimed Lois, excitedly.
Clark looked over "No, though that's what most people see when they think that they see the monster. It's the wake of a speedboat rolling around the surface."
"Oh! Well, it might've been!" she mock pouted.
"So you wanted to find definitive proof of Nessie and have another story in the running for that Pulitzer!" he teased her.
"Clark, does Nessie exist? You could find out and set all the secrets to rest. You'd just have to X-ray the loch or go for a long swim."
"I thought about it once but there are so many metallic elements and the loch so deep and murky that it's very hard to get a clear picture. And besides, it's nice to leave a little mystery in the world - perhaps if someone tries to prove finally that there's no Nessie, I'll go and have a look and try to disprove it. There is a theory that there's not just one Nessie but a family of them living under the surface."
"That would explain why the story has lasted so long and I'd much rather think of a family of them than one poor monster all alone, swimming around endlessly trying to avoid capture."
"And you used to say that I was a big softie!"
"Well, you are! Let's just say that your influence is obviously wearing off on me occasionally…Look! Isn't that Glenverary over there?"
Clark turned the Landrover up the track that Lois had indicated.
"So this is Glenverary, haunt of a murderer perhaps, but it all looks so clean and fresh," mused Lois.
"Never judge a book by its cover, Lois. Now they know that we're coming and what we want to see - normal tours are missing out the blending area at the moment." commented Clark, parking the 4x4 in a corner.
"Just so long as they don't just show us what they want us to see! Though after going round those other distilleries, I think that I've got a good idea of what I should see." Lois said, getting out of the car and making her way to the little reception sign.
Lois couldn't complain about the thoroughness of the tour they got. She felt as if the owners of the distillery were showing them everything in the hope that they could prove their innocence in the affair.
They were standing in the blending room when a man rushed in to speak to Mr Gilfinnan, the owner, stopping when he saw Lois and Clark with him.
"Don't worry about them, I take it that the drug tests have come through and they're going to hear the results anyway so they might as well hear them here."
"The drug is in the whisky at the bottling plant. It's also in the barrels that are stored here. The inlet valves to the blending vat are clear of it but the vat itself has slight traces of it, although it gets more pronounced in the barrels."
Mr Gilfinnan paled, "That means that I have a murderer on my staff somewhere. This is a restricted area and the blending vat isn't like the malt stills where you can lift the lid and look down on the fermenting blend. It's sealed before each new blend begins."
Lois asked, "So the first sign of the drug appears here in the vat, it gets stronger by the time it is in the barrels and then it's found at the bottling plant."
"Yes… if you come back to my office, I'll show you the list of people who have access to that part of the distillery." said Mr Gilfinnan resignedly
Sitting in Mr Gilfinnan's office as he rummaged through his files, Lois looked around the little room, decorated with a few paintings of local scenes. She recognised the one of Loch Ness and of the Strathpeffer spa. Something began to nag her at the back of her mind.
Mr Gilfinnan cleared his throat and drew her attention back to him. He seemed to have aged since he had discovered that one of his staff was involved in the murders. She looked out of the window to avoid his haunted look and saw three men manhandling a huge barrel across the courtyard. Suddenly a thought crossed Lois' mind, "Mr Gilfinnan, the whisky isn't fermenting in the barrels, is it?"
"No, that process is over, the whisky is just maturing," explained Mr Gilfinnan, offhandedly.
Clark looked over at Lois. He knew that she had thought of something, he just didn't now what. She had a remarkable capacity for coming up with answers to strange events and problems. He watched the look of concentration on her face as she tried to grab hold of her thoughts and put them in coherent form. Suddenly, a look of triumph crossed her face.
"Clark! Mr Gilfinnan! You don't have to accuse anyone of murder. Jack MacPherson wasn't murdered. He died accidentally!" cried Lois.
"But the drug…?" queried Mr Gilfinnan, looking at Lois as if she had gone mad.
"The drug exists but I think that it's a natural one, despite what Star Labs said about it being too complex. Clark, remember the witch's brew at Strathpeffer - well Tam O'Shanters' whisky is a result of the same thing."
Clark realised what she was getting at," You mean, that individually all the whiskies are fine but when Glenverary mixes them together in specific quantities, all the different waters which were described as ensuring each whisky was different, react with each other and create a mild form of that drug!"
"Yes! And then the oak barrels that it matures in produces a stronger version of the drug," finished Lois, triumphantly.
Mr Gilfinnan sat down heavily, looking from Lois to Clark and back. "You might be right," he sighed in relief, "That would explain a lot but we'll have to prove it. I'll get the four whiskies that we blend and mix them together, then we'll send it for testing and see what happens. Unfortunately we won't know for a few days when the lab results come back."
Clark looked at Lois, "Mr Gilfinnan, while you make up the blend and give me a few samples of whisky that have been maturing for different times, I'll try to contact Superman and ask him to fly them to Star Labs in Metropolis where they'll be tested straight away."
Lois and Mr Gilfinnan were sitting in his office, waiting for the fax from Star Labs to come through when Clark returned. He winked at Lois, letting her know that her theory had been proved.
"Clark..I'm sorry that I left one of my bags back in Strathpeffer. Thanks for getting it for me," she smiled.
"No trouble, I would've been sitting here waiting otherwise."
Suddenly the phone rang and the fax began to print out. Mr Gilfinnan read it as it came through. His face broke into a huge smile, "You were right, Ms. Lane, Mr Kent, the distillery's name is clear and poor Jack and Angus can rest in peace. They even say that they think that a milder dose of the drug might be useful in the treatment of some cancers according to current lab tests. How can I ever thank you?"
"You could let us use your phone so I can send the story I was writing while we were waiting to Perry so it can make the lunch-time edition - It's only about 8am in Metropolis."
"Perry says that since it's Thursday and we're not going to get back to work until Monday now anyway, we might as well stay and catch a flight back on late Saturday night. Just so we can write up any follow-ups to the story, or so he said," said Lois as they left Glenverary an hour or so later.
"Sounds good. I know that you told Mr Gilfinnan that you'd like to go to National Distiller's Ceilidh as his guest tomorrow night but we don' t have to if you'd rather do something else."
"No, I'm quite looking forward to it. He was talking about it while you were away, saying that he'd not be able to show his face and it was always such a good night so I'm looking forward to it. And I'll get to practice all those dances I learned in Metropolis last week. Though I'll have to go and get a new tartan sash after you broke it the other night. Why? Don't you want to go?"
"Yes. I just wasn't sure if you were saying yes just to make him feel less beholden to us or not." Clark smiled to himself. Mr Gilfinnan had mentioned that his brother was a kilt outfitter in St Andrews and he'd be honoured if Clark would go and pick a kilt to wear to the ceilidh at his expense. Seeing as how Lois had looked disappointed last time, they'd been to a ceilidh and he hadn't worn one, he had decided to take the man up on his offer.
"So where are we going now? We don't have to be in Edinburgh until tomorrow night for the ceilidh. What can we go and see between here and Edinburgh?"
"I thought we might go to St Andrews. It's got quite a bit to see and we'll arrive with enough of the day left to do some sightseeing before dark."
"St Andrews? The home of golf," Lois said wistfully, "I've always wanted to see the Old Course at St Andrews - my father used to tell me about when he was in Scotland for a medical conference and he watched the Open at St Andrews."
"Well, I thought we could look at the cathedral and the castle today before dark, we can go and look at the golf museum if you like and then tomorrow we'll go round the Old Course before we leave."
Lois smiled over at Clark, "That sounds wonderful. When will we arrive?"
Less than an hour later, Clark nudged Lois awake from the doze she had fallen into. She yawned sleepily and blinked as she looked around before she suddenly sat bolt upright.
"The Old Course Hotel? Have you lost your mind? Perry will go nuts if he sees this on our expense accounts."
"Calm down, Lois. This isn't going on our expenses. We're here courtesy of Superman. Remember how I disappeared upstairs this morning at breakfast? I heard a jet spinning out of control and stopped a plane from the next door RAF base from landing on the 18th green. When they expressed their gratitude and offered me a room whenever I wanted it after commenting how lucky it was that I had been over Scotland at the time. I said I'd been visiting you and Clark to check on a story and said that you'd have more use of the room that I would so ta da! We're staying here tonight."
Lois chuckled, "Good old Superman, heh? You did phone in the jet story, didn't you?"
Clark shook his head exasperatedly, "No, how could I explain to Perry that I'd seen a jet almost crash on St Andrews when we were in the Highlands? And besides when have almost crashes been front page news?"
"All right," Lois conceded, "I'll forgive you seeing as how you've redeemed yourself by getting us into this hotel. Now are we going to sit in the car or shall we go and put our bags in our rooms?"
When they checked in at reception, the woman behind the desk smiled, "Mr and Mrs Kent? You're in room 501, that's on the third floor though not the fifth one as you might think. You're staying with us tonight, dinner will be served at 8pm and you're booked to tee off at 8am tomorrow morning."
Lois whirled round to Clark, "Tee off?"
The receptionist smiled, "They're all the same Mrs Kent, they book themselves a round of golf on the Old Course and accidentally forget to tell their wives." The woman looked in astonishment as Lois threw her arms round Clark and planted a kiss on him.
"We're going to play a round of golf on the Old Course?" she exclaimed excitedly.
Clark smiled at her enthusiasm. He'd known that she'd jump at the chance but he'd decided to keep it a surprise in case it hadn't worked out although the course coordinator had assured Superman that it should be possible. "We're going to go out for a few hours," he said to the receptionist who smiled and said that she'd send the bags up to the room.
As they walked into town, Lois was almost jumping up and down with excitement at the prospect of the next morning. "And you kept it a secret? You knew about it all day and didn't say a word! I should… I should…"
Clark laughed at her, "I kept it secret in case there was a last minute hitch and Sean Connery got that last spot instead. And what are you going to do to me?"
Lois smiled demurely, "I've decided to forgive you for keeping it a secret and I'll thank you properly later on."
They wandered around St Andrews for the rest of the afternoon. They wandered around the city, Clark had skimmed through a book on St Andrews and told her some of the strange stories about the city. As they climbed up St Rule's Tower in the grounds of the ruined cathedral, Clark explained that most spiral staircases go clockwise up the tower because most of the people having them built were right handed and it meant that they had an advantage if they were defending the tower by sword because they could use the staircase as a shield whereas the attacker had his body open to attack.
As they walked across the town to the castle, Clark suddenly pulled Lois to one side, "Don't stand on that!"
Lois looked down, "What? On those initials?"
"Yes, George Wishart, who betrayed the men in the castle was burnt to death on that spot and it's said to be unlucky to stand on it."
"Burnt to death? Eurgh! Sounds horrible!"
When they got into the castle, Clark took Lois over to the edge of the cliff. "You think that's horrible. Do you see that rockpool down there?"
"Yes" she replied hesitantly
"Do you remember joking about mixing a witch's brew earlier? Well, if you'd said that a few centuries ago, you'd have been thrown into that pool weighted down. If you floated and survived, then you'd have been named a witch and burned and if you'd sank and drowned, they'd have admitted your innocence."
Lois stared at him in disbelief, "Never! So the poor woman died either way!"
"Yes, people were very scared of witchcraft in those days," said Clark, taking her over to a little passage that opened out into a room with what looked like a well in it. "This was a dungeon. It's called a bottle dungeon 'cos that's what shape it is. Narrow neck up here but a full blow dungeon carved out of rock below. When the castle was captured in the 16th century, the murdered bishop's body was stored in salt down there."
"Clark! These people were a little barbaric, weren't they? And I thought Braveheart exaggerated the Scots' bloodthirstiness."
"They were also stubborn and determined to defend their cause. This is the countermine. The people laying siege to the castle, decided to tunnel under the walls and make them fall down by destroying the foundations. The people inside, created another tunnel to open onto the first tunnel and prevent it."
Lois and Clark stooped and went along the countermine. "It's so narrow and they must've had to stoop the whole way along. It's all wet and slimy, reminds me of the gutters in Metropolis!" shuddered Lois. They went down a ladder and could stand up in an almost airy room.
"This is the mine that the people on the outside dug. They had more time and space so it's much bigger and they could've prepared to storm the castle from down here too." explained Clark.
"It's still like a gutter, just warmer and dryer and perhaps a little deeper," said Lois, "and now I take it that we have to climb back up through that low little passage to get out!"
Clark stopped them once again on the way to the golf museum to point out another set of cobbled initials. "This one is even spookier! Patrick Hamilton was burnt here and if you look up at St Salvator's Church there, you can see his face on one of the stones. It appeared there as the smoke rose and he died."
Lois looked up at the face and shuddered. "Let's just go to the golf museum. That might be a little more civilised". As they arrived at the museum, Clark excused himself and left Lois to look around by herself for a while. Lois wondered what he'd heard this time but since they weren't going to be able to get the story anyway, she dismissed it and became engrossed in the various golf exhibits.
Clark hadn't actually heard anything, he'd glanced at his watch and decided that if he didn't get to this kilt outfitters now, he'd never get there. And he was looking forward to Lois' face when she saw him in it the next night. He had no idea why she'd looked so disappointed that night in Metropolis but he was willing to try to make it up to her. At the kilt outfitters, another Mr Gilfinnan welcomed him, saying that his brother had phoned to say that he'd be coming in. He'd looked up his clan books to see if Kents were entitled to wear any specific tartan and discovered that he could wear the dark green and blue Inverness hunting tartan. Mr Gilfinnan measured Clark from every conceivable angle and then produced an outfit.
Clark was told that he had to try it on now so that he could be shown how everything attached to everything else. After half an hour, Mr Gilfinnan declared himself happy with the result.
"Now will you be going with tradition, sir , or will you be requiring some dark undergarments to match the kilt?"
Clark had been amazed at how heavy and how much room a dress kilt outfit took up. He hurried back to the Landrover and wedged it behind the seat, covering it with the travel rug that had been in the car, before making his way back to the museum and Lois.
"It's about time you got back. Actually I thought I heard you earlier. There was a whooshing noise but you never came in. Then the whoosh came again and someone saw me look around and explained that it was the RAF jets at Leuchars. Now, it's nearly seven and if we have to be changed for dinner at 8, we'd better get back to the hotel."
Thankful for not having to answer any awkward questions, Clark agreed and they returned to the hotel.
After dinner Lois sipped at her chocolate cream liquer while Clark settled for coffee "I've seen so much whisky over the last two days that I don't think I'll ever drink it again," he said, "How's your liquer?"
"It's delicious. It's one of the best tasting chocolate things that I've had with the exception of those Flakes," Lois looked up at Clark through lowered eyelashes and smiled. Clark reddened a little at the intensity of her gaze in the crowded restaurant.
"Yes, it was the nicest chocolate I've ever had too," he returned the look.
Lois felt her knees weaken when she saw the desire with which he looked at her and wondered once again, what she had done to deserve him. She knew that he loved her more than anything else in the world and that he would do anything for her. Although she loved the flying and the other perks that Superman 'gave' them, like this hotel and the chance of golf on the Old Course, she was touched more by the little things that Clark did and especially how Clark made her feel. Putting down her glass, she leant across the table and held his hand. He looked up, surprised by her action.
"What is it?" he asked in concern when he saw unshed tears in Lois' eyes.
"Nothing," she sniffed, "I just wanted to say thank you for being you. I'm just thinking about how lucky I am to have you and how much I love you."
Clark rubbed the inside of her palm with his thumb and gazed into her warm brown eyes, "Lois, I'm the one who's lucky. I love you more than life and you don't know how special I feel that you love me."
They smiled at each other through teary eyes as Clark lifted Lois' hand to his lips and kissed it gently.
When they got back up to their room, Lois began to panic about what she should wear to play in the next day. Clark laughed as she cast the contents of their suitcase across the bed.
"You'll look wonderful no matter what you wear besides it's going to be cold at that time and I think most other people out there are going to be going for warmth rather than fashion."
"Yes, but most people don't have their own personal radiator to heat them up when the cold gets too much for them."
"So that's all I am to you, a cheap form of heating!" teased Clark.
"Well, not all, you're a very useful waste disposal when it comes to getting rid of my cookery attempts." laughed Lois.
He grabbed hold of her in mock anger and threw her onto the bed where he started to tickle her. Lois writhed under him and found his tickly bits in response. He grabbed hold of her wrists and holding them in one hand, continued to tickle her with the other. Knowing that she was fighting a losing battle, Lois decided to resort to dirty tactics. She stretched her neck up and kissed him, putting everything she felt for him into it in the hope of distracting him from her sore sides. He resisted until her tongue slid by his defenses and into his mouth, stroking the inside of his bottom lip.
Clark gave up - it was no use fighting with Lois when she was playing dirty. He responded to her kiss, chewing lightly on her bottom lip and changing his touch on her sides from a tickle to a caress. His hand slid down from her wrists, tracing a line down her arms and along her collar bone before settling on her breast. She moaned when she felt his touch. He began to undo the buttons of her blouse as she slid her hands up under his shirt and began to stroke his broad shoulders. Lois loved watching and feeling his shoulders ripple under the smooth skin. It suddenly became essential that she feel his bare skin against her own and she struggled to undo his buttons, her fingers refusing to obey her as quickly as she demanded. She gave up, holding an edge and simply ripping, hearing the buttons pop off as she did so. Clark pulled her up roughly, pulling off her blouse before undoing her bra and casting that aside. He clasped her to him again, as eager as she was to feel her skin next to his. Sliding his hand down between them to her waist, he met her hand on its way to his. Their eyes met and they giggled, breaking the sense of urgency both had felt.
"OK, so we both want each other out of our clothes as fast as possible. Right?" asked Lois undoing her skirt and starting to pull it down along with her tights and underwear, "So we'll have a race."
"But you've already started…" Clark started before disappearing in a blur for a second and returning fully unclothed.
"A dead heat!" Lois proclaimed, "Now while I remember, I said that I wanted to say thank you to you properly later so come here and accept my thanks graciously."
Clark didn't need a second invitation.
"Hey! This looks like a smaller version of the Golden Gate Bridge," exclaimed Lois as she drove towards Edinburgh over the Forth Bridge.
"Yes, but the Forth Rail Bridge is better known. It's a standing joke that they have to keep painting it. They start at one end, it takes them four years to get to the other end and then they go back and start again. Look at it over there," Clark pointed out of his window.
Lois looked over, "It's bright red! And I take it that the diamonds are just the design, the trains don't really go up and down like a roller-coaster."
"No, though I'll bet there are a lot of disappointed children the first time they go over and find out that they stay level the whole time. If you turn down here, we'll go down and have lunch here at South Queensferry. We can sit outside in the shadow of the bridges. Robert Louis Stephenson sat there and wrote Treasure Island. "
"Lunch does sound good after all that exercise we got…playing golf, I mean. It was so exciting to stand on that first tee and know that world champions have stood there too. And I even got all the way round with a half decent card. If I'd had my own clubs, I might've done even better."
"Probably. Though next time we end up playing on a championship course, I'll just caddy for you. I'm learning but I prefer easier courses."
Over their late lunch, Lois babbled some more about the golf while Clark just sat back and listened to her getting all the excitement out of her system. Lois suddenly finished her torrent and smiled sheepishly at Clark. "Sorry! I don't know how you manage to listen to me at times when I wander off like that"
"Don't apologise! You needed to get it off your chest and I'm quite happy to listen. You're so exhilarating to watch when you get carried away." Clark grinned back at her, "Now if we're going to see anything in Edinburgh, we'd better get going."
As they had done in St Andrews, Clark and Lois found their hotel and arranged for their luggage to be taken up. Clark quietly asking the doorman if the suitcarrier containing the kilt could be hidden discreetly somewhere.
"Wow! The doorman has top hat and tails. I must say that Mr Gilfinnan's friends know where to have a party." whispered Lois as they left the lobby of the Balmoral Hotel. "So where shall we go first?"
By the time, Lois and Clark returned to the Balmoral, they had seen quite a bit of Edinburgh. First of all, they had climbed up Scott's Monument which gave them an amazing view of the city. Lois couldn't believe how it was all laid out in perfect crescents and squares but one of the guides at the top of the tower explained that the Edinburgh council had held a competition in the 17th century to design the New Town on Edinburgh and what they saw today was the result.
Then they had walked up the Royal Mile which linked the castle on its rock to the Queen's official residence at Holyrood. Looking down all the little wynds that came off the High Street, Clark told Lois about Burke and Hare, who had killed people so that they could use their bodies for medical experiments and lurked in the wynds to ambush their victims. When they reached the castle, both were amazed that anyone would even consider attacking it. Looking down from the ramparts, the cliff was virtually sheer. They saw the cannons although they had missed hearing the one o'clock gun which was fired each day so that the ship captains in the Forth in days gone by could set their timepieces. The room which commemorated all of Scotland's dead in all the wars she had fought, with the tattered banners of the regiments moved them both.
"Now, I know you'll like this," said Clark pulling her up a tiny staircase to a small room with a heavy door. "Here are the Scottish Crown Jewels, the last queen of Scotland to wear them was Mary, Queen of Scots who was beheaded by her cousin, Queen Elizabeth of England. Although Mary's son, James, did go on to succeed Elizabeth as the first King of Scotland and England."
"But the Scots still guard their own Crown." wondered Lois "They really are very proud of their nation even although it's a part of Great Britain now."
"Yes, just don't tell a Scot that Scotland is a region of England. They guard their heritage and history very carefully and continue with their own traditions, like Burns Night and Hogmanay. The Scots virtually invented New Year celebrations in the West."
"Talking of celebrations, we'd better get back to the hotel and get ready. It's after 5 o'clock and this ceilidh starts at 7.30." said Lois, tearing her gaze away from the crown that sat gleaming proudly on a velvet cushion.
Lois checked her appearance in the bathroom mirror, nothing left to put on but her tartan sash although that was still in the bedroom. Clark was probably pacing the walls waiting for her. She'd been in the bathroom for nearly an hour, just yelling out comments every so often. She pulled the bathroom door open and turned the corner into the bedroom. Her jaw dropped.
Clark was sitting on a chair, fiddling with a shoe lace.
"Clark!..What are you wearing?"
Clark leapt up, not having seen her come in and feeling a little self-conscious. "Well, when in Rome…and you did suggest it when we went to the Burns Supper so I thought…" His voice trailed off as he saw Lois' reaction to his outfit.
Lois couldn't believe it. Clark stood before her, fulfilling one of her fantasies and she was even more aroused than she could have thought possible. He was wearing a short, tight black jacket with silver buttons. The jacket emphasised the breadth of his shoulders and tapered down to his waist. He was wearing a dark green and blue kilt, which wrapped around his waist before flaring out slightly into tight little pleats. His matching bowtie sat above a little black waistcoat that seemed to her to show off his chest beautifully. A black and white fur sporran with little tassels hung on the kilt and her mind imagined what sat immediately behind it. The kilt stopped just at his knees, showing off the rest of his legs to advantage. Woollen socks with little tartan flashes and diamond laced Highland shoes completed the outfit. Lois let out a long breath. Unthinkingly, she moved towards him and slid her hands under his jacket as she stood on tiptoes to kiss him. She thrust her tongue into his mouth and slid her hands down to his kilt.
"Lois, it's almost time to go downstairs and this outfit took me half an hour to put on. We don't have time. I'm not complaining although if I'd known you'd react like that, I'dve worn a kilt a long time ago. Perhaps you've got some ancient Scottish blood and it's genetic programming to chase men in kilts."
Lois laughed, "Maybe! Or perhaps it's just because the man I love is wearing it and I've always wondered what he'd look like in one." She went to their case to pick up her tartan sash. "I'll have to have two knots in this since you bust it and unfortunately it clashes with that lovely tartan. Where did you get the kilt from anyway?"
"Mr Gilfinnan's brother has a shop in St Andrews and he insisted that if we were coming to the ceilidh tonight, I had to get a kilt. This is a tartan that I am entitled to wear as a Kent and the second Mr Gilfinnan also gave me an extra slip of it so that you could have a new, matching sash. And now, seeing as how it's just after 730, we'd better go downstairs… although I'd much rather stay here and see what you might do to me."
Mr Gilfinnan introduced them to everyone at the ceilidh, telling the assembled guests how they had saved his reputation and toasting them in the finest whisky after the dinner. When they returned to the ballroom and began the dancing, it became easier to blend into the background. Lois insisted on joining in on the ones she had danced in Metropolis and watching and catching her breath while more advanced dancers did intricate reels. Lois watched the men twirl, their kilts skirling up giving tantalising glimpses of thigh. She tried to remember if any of the dances she had learned called for rapid twirling. She saw Clark walking back towards her from the bar. The short jacket emphasised his broad shoulders and the kilt clung to his waist, the pleats sitting flat in his hips. As he came towards her, she realised that the pleats in the kilt swayed gently emphasising the motion of his hips. She blushed slightly remembering what other motions his hips could make.
As Clark sat down, he noticed the red tinge on Lois' cheeks. He had seen her watching him walk across the room and he wondered what she had been thinking about. He grabbed hold of and squeezed her hand. She turned and looked at him and the unashamed hunger in her eyes made him catch his breath. When they called for sets for Strip the Willow, Lois dragged Clark to his feet.
"Come on…I like this one," she said, finding a place in a set.
As the music started, the first pair started twirling round and then twirled everyone else in the set. As the woman reached Clark, Lois watched his kilt raise slightly and give her a glimpse of his muscled thigh. As he moved back into his place, he glanced over at her and guessed what she had been thinking. As the dance progressed, he put more energy into his twirls, his kilt skirling higher each time although the weight of it meant that it could never reach too far up. Lois was becoming more and more distracted as the dance went on, almost missing her own parts of the dance so intent was she in watching Clark.
When they reached the top of the set and she and Clark were twirling around, she whispered in his ear, "As soon as this dance is over, we are leaving!" Every time he and Lois met in the centre of the set to spin for more than one turn, Lois managed to wind her arm around his waist in such a way that her hand rested under his sporran and seemed to burn through the fabric, arousing him even further.
As the music drew to a close, the couples in the set bowed to each other and began to disperse. Lois grabbed hold of Clark and began to weave her way through the crowd to the hotel lobby.
"Mr and Mrs Kent, are you not enjoying yourselves? Why are you leaving so early? And before I've enjoyed a dance with the lovely Mrs Kent," came the voice of Mr Gilfinnan.
Lois grimaced in frustration which changed to a smile as she turned to face Mr Gilfinnan, "No, we're having a wonderful time. It's just that I turned my ankle during Strip the Willow and I think I should go and put some ice on it. I'm feeling rather hot and need to cool down."
"Oh, I quite understand. I'll have to forego my dance though perhaps at a later date if you're ever in Scotland again." nodded Mr Gilfinnan.
Clark played into Lois' story, offering her his shoulder to lean on as Lois hobbled out of the ballroom. As soon as they were out of sight, she grabbed hold of his hand and set a brisk pace down the hallways to their room. When they reached it, she slid her hand into his sporran and realised that she could feel his hardness through the thin leather underside of it. Grinning wickedly up at him, she pretended not to be able to find the key and rummaged around in the sporran, 'accidentally' caressing him. Clark was just about to pull her hand out and get the key himself when Lois gave him a final firm stroke and pulled out the key, inserting it into the lock and opening the door.
She turned the lights on and kicked her shoes off before turning back to Clark who was about to take his jacket off.
"NO!" She shouted, as she padded across the floor to him, "I've been waiting all night to strip you out of that kilt and I'm looking forward to it immensely. Just stand there and I'll have you more comfortable in no time." Clark doubted that somehow. He might have fewer clothes on but he didn't think he'd be more comfortable.
Lois stopped in front of him and pulled at his bowtie with her teeth, leaving it loose and hanging. She undid the top button of his shirt and nuzzled at the skin now showing. Her hands dropped to the buttons of his jacket. Slowly she pushed the big, silver, square buttons through the holes and pulled the jacket back over his shoulders, leaving it pinning his arms to his sides as she knelt down and began to undo the waistcoat. She ran her hands up his chest as she pushed the waistcoat over his shoulders. Lois stood back a little, admiring her handiwork. She could see the muscles in Clark's chest and upper arms accentuated by the tautness of the fine white linen shirt stretched over them. He was helpless in front of her. Lois couldn't wait to take off the rest so she slid her hands under the jacket and pushed it and the waistcoat to the floor.
She reached upwards running her hands through Clark's hair before sliding them along the side of his head and gently removing his glasses. Turning aside, she put them on a nearby table before returning her attentions to stripping him. Lois twirled the end of his bowtie around her finger, slowly pulling it out from under Clark's collar before pulling his shirt out from the kilt. Clark could feel Lois' fingers tickling involuntarily against him as she undressed him. He could hear her breathing becoming quicker and shallower as she progressed to the buttons of his shirt. Spreading the shirt wide, she allowed her hands to caress his smooth chest, stopping to investigate his nipples further with her mouth. Kneeling down, she tugged at his crisscrossed laces with her teeth, looking up at him as it came undone. She unwound the lace and pulled Clark's shoe off. Bending to the other lace, she couldn't get it undone so she reached into the sock and pulled out the little skean dhu. She unsheathed it and cut through the offending lace before putting the dagger on the table beside the chair. She pulled down Clark's sock, caressing his legs as she did so. Holding her hand out to Clark, he allowed himself to be pulled to his feet.
Lois looked carefully at how the kilt was wrapped around Clark. The long length of heavy fabric clung to his hips, before the tight pleats swung out slightly. The tartan was slightly scratchy under her hands as she checked to see how exactly the kilt was put on. Undoing the first of the buckles around his waist, his sporran dropped to the floor between them. Kneeling down, she slid her hand a little up his leg as she unfastened the kiltpin and pulled it out of the heavy fabric. She moved round to his side and undid the two buckles that held the kilt on. The front part of the kilt fell open. Clark gasped as Lois' fingers slid across his stomach, moving to undo the button on the far side of the kilt. As she pushed the button clear of the fabric, the weight of the tartan hampering her efforts, the kilt dropped to the floor with a thud. Lois decided to give up her attempt to make Clark more comfortable and throw herself on Clark's tender mercies…or maybe just on Clark.
Lois fell forward onto Clark's chest. He felt her smiling on his skin and raising his head, saw that she was indeed smiling like a cat who had eaten not only the canary but followed it with cream and smoked salmon.
"I know that since we got this story tied up so fast, we'll have our anniversary in Metropolis after all but these days have been so perfect that I think I'd rather spend it here with you, a kilt and a Flake."
Clark laughed, "Lois, you really are insatiable!"
There you go - hoped you enjoyed it! Remember to pass on those comments! <g>