“Right then.” Simon McCalister stood at the intersection, awash in a dirty mix of mud and grimy oil-stained water, courtesy of what Louisianans considered winter. The rain had given way to an overcast December afternoon, though occasional droplets sputtered down from the sky. One such drop hit him right square on the bridge of his fine angled nose while he wheedled away at the stubborn bolts that kept him from installing the spare. Simon muttered a curse under his breath in his warm Scottish brogue as the wrench slipped through his slick fingers and banged him smartly on his thumb. The day started out well enough, though it had been a wee bit rocky in the middle, sure, but he wasn’t about to let a deflated tire ruin what was left of it.
If someone had told him a year prior that he’d be ready to become a new dad, married to a former student – and not just any former student, the brilliant, incredibly sexy Caitie Aston—now, Caitie McCalister – he would have told them it was all a bunch of bullocks. He’d never had luck in spades with anything other than his career and that’d been far from fulfilling. He’d been able to convince himself here and there that teaching young minds, molding artists, showing them how to use the gifts they had, that all of that had been fulfilling enough for him. When he met Cait, he realized that a life lived in pursuit of a career or even his writing, had been no life at all. Life was the look of love in her eyes, the touch of her fingertips as they traversed his spine, the scent of the softest skin of her neck, the kick of their child in her soft, round belly. Cait wasn’t just bringing their baby into the world, she had brought life back into his soul. Simon’s mind wandered on some nights as he lie stretched out beside his bride as she slept peacefully beside him. He loved his mum and dad and he loved his sister, gods bless her… but the kind of love that he had for Cait and the baby that rested in the sweet swell of her stomach? He hadn’t a clue that was even possible.
On days like this – when he had to deal with a troubled student who was failing because of a drug addiction, when he had apparently run over something sharp and pointy in the road, when he was running late for the obstetrician’s appointment and felt the biggest arse of them all for not leaving sooner (despite the fact that whatever sharp and pointy thing that had befallen him must have been a wee bit smaller than his field of vision could accommodate), he still had the warmth of his realization to make him smile. It grew like a seed and spread throughout his chest. He took a deep breath and smiled, despite the fact his fingernail would surely be a lovely shade of black come morning. He was the luckiest bastard in the world.
In a few minutes, he’d be on his way to the doctor. He’d be a tad late and give a guilty smile to the receptionist. Soon enough, the round-faced woman would usher him into the small room where his love would glance up at him with relief. Cait would give him that smile that made him feel sick in the very best of ways and he’d slide in beside her, taking her hand in his own. They would watch the life that they had made as it rested snugly inside of her. All would be fine.
He rose to his feet and let out the breath that he’d been holding. As he placed the damaged tire in the bonnet, along with the rest of the tools, the sun peeked out and gazed down on him from its position betwixt a group of clouds that seemed to threaten him with their gray wrath. He grinned and turned on his heel, a shrug in his shoulders as made his way to the door. “Go ahead and give it your best shot,” he grinned and slid his slender frame into the driver’s seat. Nothing could ruin his day.
As we go northward, winding through the Eildon Hills, I think of the night that awaits us. I wanted this night to be nothing more than she and I – us, within the solitude of nature. I want only to consummate our marriage to the sound of the breeze against the loch, while nighttime animals play a gentle symphony of their own in the subtle sounds of eventide. I wish to love my wife and be loved by her without the sounds of the city drowning out her softest cries. I immediately thought of a place I had only seen in passing, inquired of in a state of curiosity.
The retreat is what some would refer to as rustic. The idea came to me in the most perfunctory fashion when my wife decided to wait until the summer months for our honeymoon. Although I felt trepidation at not providing Caitie with everything that she might truly deserve, she easily persuaded me with those gorgeous eyes and the weight of logic. Although we spoke not of it, I understood all too well. The thought of seeing my wife struggle with childbirth in an even stranger land than the one in which we live or the one from which I hail instilled fright within me.
When we pull up, I look over to gauge her reaction. Under this tree it is my hope that the Gypsy caravan before Caitie reminds her of other edifices of wood. I hope she doesn’t find it too rustic; from this vantage point, she cannot see the gorgeous silks and other various cloth imported from the Far East and from Prague. She cannot yet see the magnificent colours and woodwork, the ornate touches in this space made just for two… (or perhaps more, though I really hope we don’t have visitors on tonight of all nights).
In this caravan, located in a woodland garden that overlooks the gorgeous loch, with amenities such as a stocked kitchen, lush bathroom and a wood burning stove to stave the cold, I hope to see very little of any room aside from the bedroom on this glorious night.
@CaitMcCalister As the sun shines on her hair, illuminated like an ancient goddess, she spins and laughs; all I see is her. In a moment of total clarity and synchronicity, I hear the beginning strains of music in the distance and I realize that my life has been building, culminating, leading toward this day. She looks over her shoulder at me and I wonder if it’s possible to be consumed completely, in my entirety by the happiness that I feel. The ocean calls out behind her and I hold out my hands… Right now, I want nothing more than to dance with my bride on this day made just for us.
Favorite Shots of Sophia Myles | Independent Magazine Shoot
@CaitieAston being beautiful as ever…
When your pregnant fiancee is the sexiest pickle craver in the entire world, what is the best thing that you can do for her while in London? Welllllll, there are a lot of things one could do, but with being in this unique city, but we couldn’t overlook Barbecoa. Jamie Oliver’s restaurant specializes in barbecue, but they have some of the most amazing pickles available. I hope that my beautiful Cait will enjoy them, among the rest of the faire, to only compliment the amazing time that we are having in London!
@CaitieAston and I arrived in London this afternoon after a somewhat emotional separation from my parents. Of course, I will miss them and I venture to say that my love will, as well, but I was and still am quite excited to share the insanity and beauty of this city with her. London. This place may not have the ghosts that New York City has for me, but it was the city in which I grew up. I hope she enjoys the magic of this ancient, wonderful place as much as I do.
First stop… our hotel.
-secretly always wanted to be ginger- @JulieMcCalister
I hope to always keep him this happy…
You make every moment of every day happy for me.. and guess what? I know that you always will..
Now to desperately try to return the favor…