and Anisa gathered all the children and took them to the park. Though there
were many, some of King Rolfin’s children were the same age as Nicolette, so
there was plenty of supervision. They swarmed upon the park, swinging, going
down the slippery slide and merry-go-round.
While the children were
occupied, all of the others went to the castle. There was no need to guard
the books any longer. Jason put the Xilian book with the ones he brought
back. Johnny added his to the other pile. Angus, who had permission to keep
the one that once belonged to Drayton, hid his under his pillow.
“Wow! This is so cool. I
wonder if they got rid of the torture chamber and all the bats and spiders,”
Callum said. “Let’s go see, Elspet. Come on, Fiona.” The three of them ran
down the stairs. A red carpet with woven strands of gold covered the bare
stone steps. The bottom of the castle had a swimming pool instead of a
river. The walls were covered with light blue tile and dozens of chandeliers
hung from the ceiling. The tunnels were still there, but at the end of them,
instead of caves, were rooms. One was a playroom full of toys and games. The
others were full of bottled and canned goods, except one, which held chests
full of gems and gold. “Wow! Wow! Wow! This is way too cool. They’ve got a
pool! It’s an indoor pool so we can swim all year long, if they’ll let us.
Do you think they will?”
“Stop talking, Callum. I’m
thinking of all the amazing stuff down here. If it’s this great here,
imagine what it looks like up in the main rooms and the other floors. Let’s
check it out.” Elspet ran up the steps with Fiona and Callum right behind
Mairi and Johnny walked
around planning their wedding. The cooks went into the kitchen and Carling
actually let out a blood curdling scream of joy when she saw all the cooking
utensils and the refrigerator.
Lehimna’s table sat under
the stained glass window. It was encased, being preserved in the air free
Johnny and several of the
other men went outside and wandered through the maze and the gardens.
Mairi, the former servants,
and Sarmantha, talked about the details of the wedding. They discussed what
would be served and every detail about decorations. Mairi called the cooks
from the kitchen. “Ailen, I want you to make the wedding cake. I’ll take you
into town and introduce you to Mac McKenzie. He’s a baker. The two of you
can chat about the cakes and other pastries.” Mairi cupped the woman’s
fragile hands. “I am honored to have you bake my wedding cake. I know I want
marzipan on it, but the rest of it is up to you. Ackley, Locke, Carling,
I’ll have Johnny take you to my house. I’ve got a flower garden, beehives
for fresh honey and a massive vegetable garden. You may help yourselves. In
fact, the house is yours. You, Ailen, Locke, Carling and Ackley may live in
that house. You can come to work here each day, if you choose and then go
there at night. It’s a five minute walk. I’ve got the telly and a lot of
bedrooms.” The three women and one man thanked her and then went back into
Nellie and Penelope chose
that moment to show up. “Nellie! Penelope! I thought you were in Truro?”
Mairi rushed over to them.
“We were, dear,” Penelope
said. “Have you seen my Drayton? He’s a wizard now and a good boy.”
“I have seen him and I’m so
happy for him and for you. How did you get back here so quickly?” Mairi took
their hands and pulled them to the settee.
“Drayton brought us,”
Nellie looked around. “Who
fixed this castle up? It looks lovely.”
“The wizards,” Mairi said,
like it was something she said daily.
“Drayton came to Truro. Oh,
Mairi, it was wonderful. He apologized and he even told me he loved me. He’s
got a fiancé.” Penelope grinned from ear to ear.
“I know and it’s so
exciting. They’re coming to the wedding,” Mairi said.
“What wedding, dear?”
Penelope’s eyebrows arched.
“Johnny and I are getting
married, here, in the castle.”
“That’s lovely, Mairi.”
Nellie looked across the room. “Who are those gentlemen over there?” She
batted her eyes at one of them.
“That’s Tomkin and Stroud.
They’re hunters. Tomkin! Stroud! Come over here. I want you to meet my
aunties.” Mairi waved at the two men.
“Hello, ladies. My name is
Tomkin. And you are?” He grinned at Nellie.
“I’m Nellie Crawford and
this is my sister, Penelope McAllister. Our sister is Fiona’s grandmother.
“I’m sorry to hear that, but
happy to see you two.” Tomkin sat next to Nellie and Stroud sat near
Stroud coughed. “I’m Stroud.
Tomkin and I do the hunting for the king. I’m so pleased to meet you,
Penelope giggled and she too
batted her eyes.
Mairi nearly burst out
laughing. “Tomkin and Stroud, some of the best hunting in Scotland is in
this area. I’ll have Jimmy take you to meet Callum’s father, Malcolm. He’ll
introduce you to the hunting and get your licenses. Kill only what you need
for the feast after the wedding.”
“There’s no need for Jimmy
to take them. Penelope and I will show these two fine gentlemen where
Malcolm lives. Come on you two. Follow us.” Nellie stayed close to Tomkin
and Penelope to Stroud as they left the modernized castle.
“What about me, Mairi?”
Marlow stepped forward. “I’m the butcher.”
“Marlow, you sweet man,”
Mairi said, kissing his cheek. “I couldn’t live without you. Once Tomkin and
Stroud return, they will give it all to you to prepare. You will then pass
it to the cooks to cook.” Mairi giggled.
“And me, Mairi?” Selby
stepped out from behind Marlow.
“I will gather several of
Fiona’s friends and you will be in charge of them. Tell us what you need,
such as aprons and things, and we’ll provide it for you. They will help you
serve our guests. Is that all right with you?” Mairi smiled at the shy girl.
“Of course, Miss Mairi. I’ll
be pleased to help you.” She curtsied and stepped back.
“This is all too exciting.
Me, Mairi McAllister getting married in a real castle.”
“It’s beautiful, Mairi. I am
thrilled that my family will be living here. Perhaps Kegan and I should walk
around and have a look,” Sarmantha said.
“What is your last name?
Since you won’t be going by King or Queen anymore, you need a surname,”
“It’s Camille. Kegan and
Sarmantha Camille.” The king laughed.
Mairi turned to Isabella and
Anna. Their husbands and sons had all been so quiet. “Isabella, Anna, would
you and your husbands please help with the wedding? I’ve got so much to do.
Now that I am thinking about it, there are a lot of houses for sale in
Inverdrochit. That’s the place your families established long ago. It’s a
lovely town. Would you like to go and see it?”
Isabella ran up to Mairi.
“Thank you. That would be lovely. Come on, Kenneth. Tell Daddy to come on.”
“Jesse, would you mind
taking them over to Inverdrochit. It’s not much of a walk, or even better,
Angus, would you drive them over? Anna and Jorbi and his daddy too. Take
them to a realtor and see about finding them both nice houses to live.”
“Oh, and Angus, would you
give me away at the wedding?” Mairi put her arms around his neck.
“I’d love to, Mairi. Come on
all of you. Let’s go to the house and you can have your first drive in a
car.” Angus winked and Mairi and blew her a kiss.
“As for the rest of you,
since you’re staying, you’re going to need jobs. I’m sure there’s room for
you to stay here at the castle and I’m sure Sarmantha and Kegan wouldn’t
mind a bit, but you’ll need to earn some money. Jacob, you’re the youngest
of the group, aren’t you?”
“Anisa, she’s quite the
beauty, don’t you think? When she gets back, why don’t you find her and the
two of you do a quick run around the garden and find a place where we can
build an outdoor playground for the children.” Mairi saw Jacob blush.
“I’ll go with them, Mairi,”
Julian said. “I can have a look at the gardens.”
“That’s all right, Julian.
You let Jacob and Anisa go themselves. Off you go, Jacob. Find her. She’s at
the park with the children. Go on. Hurry up.” Mairi chuckled. Jacob was
about to argue, but Mairi gave him a mean look, so he shrugged his shoulders
and went off to find Anisa.
* * *
“Hey, what’s going on in
here? What did we miss?” Callum rushed down from the top floor into the main
“Slow down, boy,” Kegan
“It is so cool up there.
Each of the kids have a cool bedroom and so do you both. The top floor has
four bathrooms and when you go on the roof, there are chairs and plants and
loungers and tables with umbrellas in the middle, a telescope and all sorts
of super cool stuff.” Callum could hardly contain his excitement. “King
Kegan, can Elspet, Fiona and I come swimming at your indoor pool?”
“Indoor pool?” Kegan
squatted to Callum’s height.
“Yes, it’s a swimming pool
and it is down in the bottom of the castle, and there’s a play room for the
kids and all sorts of storage rooms filled with food. Haven’t you gone down
“No. Would you like to show
us?” Kegan took his wife’s hand.
“I’m staying here with my
mum until after the wedding, Callum,” Fiona said.
Elspet waited until Callum
was gone and then whispered to Fiona. “I’m going home. I’ve got something to
do. I need my mum to run me into town. I’ll talk to you later, Fiona.”
The two friends hugged and
“Mum, planning a wedding is
hard. Adjusting to all these changes is too,” Fiona said, sitting next to
her mum on one of the new settees.
“I know, sweetheart, but
change is good.”
“Mum, do you realize what
we’ve all been through in the last few weeks? I’ve missed so much school, so
has Callum and Elspet. We’ve been around the world and been in wars and
fought creepy things. I’ve gone back in time and brought people to the
future. They’re here, in the castle, with us. They’re our ancestors. At
least now Phelan is gone and Drayton is good!”
“It’s been a whirlwind. And
I am getting married in just a few days. Thank goodness I have a lot of
helpers.” Mairi yawned.
She and Fiona curled
together on the couch and fell asleep, oblivious to the dozens of people
running around the castle.