Authors: Gwen Kirkwood
‘Oh, Ellen! This is lovely,’ Rosemary exclaimed with genuine delight. ‘And it is private from the two rooms and entrance hall you keep for showrooms, yet it is so convenient for your lovely big kitchen.’
‘Yes, we’ve made a small sitting room upstairs as
well for the winter. It has a good view and it’s cosy. I have my office up there and we have three bedrooms so it is all working fine. Best of all is that Alex is looking forward to us moving in here with just the two of us – much as we both love Kim. We realize she and Billy are a younger generation with lives and decisions of their own to make.’
‘And Alex is going ahead with installing the robots, I hear, much to Billy’s delight and satisfaction.’
‘Yes, they should be finished before the wedding but Alex is waiting for Billy and Kim to return from their honeymoon before they start them up.’ Ellen smiled conspiratorially. ‘I think he’s a wee bit afraid he may not understand all the workings, especially the computer connections.’
‘Oh, I’m sure he will,’ Rosemary said. ‘Alex was always intelligent when we were at school together, and he’s used computers for years now.’
‘Yes, but mainly for accounts and feeding the cows in the parlour. Besides, he wants Billy to know he’s needed. He still has a bit of prickly pride because Kim owns Highfold.’
‘He’ll get over that, I’m sure. He looks so happy when he’s with Kim. I never thought I would see him this happy.’ Rosemary shuddered, remembering how Billy had looked that first night at the hospital. ‘Even Carol is finding some joy in her life again with the two children, and being near enough to see Rena whenever she wants to talk. I feel I am so blessed.’
‘Mmm, me too,’ Ellen agreed. ‘Life is full of ups and downs, isn’t it? Kim is going for the final fitting for her wedding dress on Saturday. Mary Appleby is coming down for the weekend to try on her bridesmaid’s dress.’
‘I’m glad the two of them have stayed friends through the years,’ Rosemary said, ‘and Michael has agreed to be Billy’s best man.’
‘Yes, he’s a grand young man, and so meticulous,’ Ellen said. ‘I’m quite sorry he works so far away. He made a good job of clerking for me that time we had the auction at Highfold for Jane Lennox.’ She chuckled suddenly. ‘Billy got a surprise when we learned the identity of Michael’s girlfriend. Mary knew he had one but he had never told them her name, then he asked if we would invite Fenella to the wedding.’
‘Yes, I believe Michael and Fenella had kept in touch all through university, even though they were in different places. Apparently friendship blossomed into love, but not even Michael’s parents knew her identity. Michael seemed to think Billy regarded Fenella as his special girl and he was reluctant to spoil their own friendship. It must have been a great relief when Billy and Kim announced their engagement and he realized how wrong he had been. It seems Billy had often talked about the Lennox family when he and Michael shared the flat and of course Billy and Fenella used to meet at Gino’s when she was down in this area. They often teased each other and reminisced, but Billy has known Fenella since she was in nursery school so of course it was only friendship they shared.’
‘Maybe it was, but I suspect Kim wondered if there was more between them. Mary said all the secrets came out after they saw Kim and Billy’s engagement in the paper.’
Rosemary had made Ellen, Kim and Mary a special appointment with her own hairdresser on the morning of the wedding and they all looked lovely, Mary with her dark hair bouncing on her shoulders in loose waves and Kim with her thick honey-gold hair like a crown on top of her head. Her young face was radiant and Alex was as proud as if she had been his own daughter as he escorted her down the aisle. Billy gasped with admiration when he half turned and saw her coming towards him. Michael smiled.
‘She is beautiful indeed,’ he whispered.
Everything about the day went well, even the weather. When Kim threw her bouquet over her head it was Mary’s partner, a tall, slim young man, who caught it and handed it quickly to Mary with a special smile as he whispered, ‘I think it should be our turn next, sweetheart.’
Michael and Fenella showered the bride and groom with confetti.
‘Just you wait,’ Billy called with a grin. ‘We shall get our own back next year when it’s your turn.’
It was a month since Kim and Billy had returned from honeymoon. Both Alex and Billy were well pleased with the way the Bengairney cows had taken to the robots and everything was working splendidly.
‘I think I’ve got the best of both worlds,’ Alex said. ‘I still have my cows and now I have a family to help me and a wife to love me.’
‘So you’ve no regrets about installing the robots?’ Billy prompted.
‘Not one, laddie. I’d be crazy to want to go back to getting up at five every morning.’
‘Billy, I think we should invite your parents to Sunday dinner and you can show your father how well the robots are working,’ Kim suggested. ‘I will see how I manage the cooking on my own. If all goes well we can invite all the family another time. What do you think?’
‘I think I’ve married the best girl in the world, and I’m the happiest man alive,’ Billy replied with a grin before seizing her in his arms and giving her a kiss which left her breathless and flushed.
Kim enjoyed cooking and the meal was excellent. ‘It’s been lovely to have a delicious meal made for me without having to lift a finger,’ Rosemary said as she thanked Kim and kissed her cheek. ‘Bengairney has always felt like home to me, even though I was not born here,’ she added with a reminiscent smile. ‘Sam’s parents always made me welcome even when I was a little girl, and now I feel welcomed all over again.’
Sam agreed the cows seemed to have adapted well to the new system and the old place was looking clean and prosperous.
‘I think your parents would have loved Kim and Billy living at Bengairney,’ Rosemary said as she and Sam drove home together. ‘Kim is a young edition of Megan Caraford, the way she makes us welcome. Tania thinks so too. Now Bengairney will be the hub of the Caraford family again.
Another Home, Another Love
Written as Lynn Granger
Lonely is the Valley
The Wary Heart
The Laird of Lochvinnie
The Silver Link
© Gwen Kirkwood 2013
First published in Great Britain 2013
This edition 2013
ISBN 978 0 7198 1249 1 (epub)
ISBN 978 0 7198 1250 7 (mobi)
ISBN 978 0 7198 1251 4 (pdf)
ISBN 978 0 7198 0929 3 (print)
Robert Hale Limited
London EC1R 0HT
The right of Gwen Kirkwood to be identified as author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988