Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Outlandisher: Chap.19 - Making it in New York

Sant Ambroeus

Jonathan Frank Neil McRandall, Captain of his Majesty's Eighth Dragoons looked like anything but an 18th Century English soldier as he walked down Madison Avenue sporting a sleek, navy Armani blazer, white polo shirt,  second skin light blue denim jeans,  his feet shod in a pair of buttery leather Prada loafers.  His thick, dark hair was shiny and stylishly cut and he carried a dark leather man purse and a Bergdorf Goodman shopping bag.  Pulling off the Oliver Peoples aviators, his brown eyes sparkled as he peeked inside the inviting window of Sant Ambroeus Milanese Pasticceria (and Wine Bar).   Ravenous and liking what he saw, he pushed in the door and settled at one of the small tables near the window.

After browsing through the menu, he ordered a full bodied barolo to accompany the homemade lasagna with sausage and leeks. Looking around,  he decided he would finish up his meal with a frothy cappuccino (his favorite) and a small chunk of aged Parmesan cheese to go with the almond tort he had spied in the glass case.

Settling back to wait for the arrival of his order, he pulled out a small package and unwrapped the book he had purchased titled "Making it in New York!"  He smiled to himself, thinking he wasn't doing so badly thus far, thanks to the funds he had "borrowed" from the good looking, but uncooperative, Gerremy McButler.

Luckily for him, he had been a quick study after being transported to 21st century Manhattan and, thanks to some advice from one of McButler's friends, he had been able to double the money, first by betting on a horse named King Geordie through the bookie that lived in the same apartment building, and then by taking half of his winnings and putting them in oil stocks on the advice of a broker he'd met in a bar.

He'd been surprised how easy it was to make friends.  The stockbroker had been especially easy.  An older man, who had taken a shine to him, Michael Struan had turned out to have a taste for something McRandall was only too happy to provide him with...a little pain with his sex.   The ecstatic Michael had been very helpful in showing him around, taken him shopping  and helped him get credit at a few establishments by vouching for him,  in return for his small investment  and his ability to pleasure the old gent.  He kept several changes of clothing at Michael's luxury Upper East Side apartment and Michael was all too happy to shower him with expensive gifts in exchange for his discreet, but very forceful manner in the bedroom.

Now all he had to do was learn a little more about this bustling city he found himself in and with a few more friends like Michael, he just might have it made.

Yes, Jonathan F. Neil McRandall had very quickly become accustomed to the fine things this century had to offer and he was determined to enjoy every minute of it while it lasted, with little thought to the life or most of the people he'd left behind.

 He knew that Gerremy McButler had found his way back to this century because he had found the mirror missing from the big empty loft in Harlem where he had originally stashed it.  However, in such a big city, he figured his chances of running into him were almost nil and was sure McButler would be more likely to want to forget their time together.  He felt perfectly safe from that quarter.

McRandall's Obesession
The only person he  thought of with a pang of regret was Jamie McFraser.   He had not been able to crack that nut, not even with the beatings he'd administered to the younger man....and not being able to have his way with him, made Jamie McFraser the one prize, above all, that he wanted.  Somehow, somewhere, he knew he would get another chance and that might mean finding a way to travel back and forth through time....which in turn meant he would need to find out how to access the mirror without running into its owner, Gerremy McButler.

Meanwhile, there were plenty of lovely men to be conquered...he just had to find the ones, like Struan, that were fond of his specialty.  Mind you, he was not above forcing matters with some who weren't so fond of pain if they were worth it, but he had to be careful.  Try as he might to conjure up some of the beauties he'd taken his pleasure from,  he couldn't remember their faces.  Like any obsession, his thoughts constantly returned to Jamie McFraser.

His dreamy reverie was interrupted by the arrival of the waiter.   The heavenly aroma of his entree turned his mind to other  physical pleasures.   Unfolding the crisp white napkin and setting it in his lap, he took a sip of his wine, then picking up his fork, opened up the book to Chapter One:  "So you think you want to live in New York?"


The charming time traveler.
Claire "Sassyhack" McFraser sat in her kitchen pondering what to do about the fact she had now not seen hide nor hair of either her husband Jamie nor his friend Gerremy McButler for several weeks now.  She had thought to wait out Jamie's sudden bout of wonderlust, knowing he would eventually return to her.

Of course,  it had helped to be  distracted by her new visitor and fellow time traveler, the strange, but in his own way,very charming McButler.   He and his stories had been so fascinating that she hadn't had time to think about missing Jamie too much.  Now with both of them gone, God knew where, she was finding it hard to concentrate on anything much and that very thing was starting to affect her treating her patients.

Horse Chestnut
Why just today, while thinking of Jamie, she had inadvertently given a patient with a case of very bad piles a cayenne and habanero chile based salve she had mixed for an arthritic patient,  instead of the soothing butcher's broom, horse chestnut and aloe compound she had set aside for him.  It had been very disconcerting to hear the man's screams, as she had rushed to his cottage, correct medication in hand,  to rectify her mistake.   However she had been too late and the curses being uttered, between cries for her head, had kept her from knocking on the door.   She had hurried home and locked her own door, lest the man seek some retribution once he pulled his arse out of the water trough for the horses that she could now see him sitting in from her window.

To compound matters this morning she had had a visit from several soldiers seeking Jamie for questioning about the disappearance of a certain English Captain who had been dogging Jamie's steps for a while now.    Unable to give them any information as to her husband's whereabouts, they had asked her about a suspicious man matching the description of one Gerremy McButler, who had been seen in her company and also observed talking to the missing Captain McRandall shortly before he failed to report for duty.

Luckily for her, if not her patient, she had been in the midst of performing a circumcision on a very large man with a badly lacerated foreskin, when they burst in to question her and the squeamish, gagging soldiers had quickly departed after asking her to report to the fort tomorrow for further questioning.

After applying a poultice of agrimony, yarrow and rose bark to the man's member to stop the bleeding and promote healing, she had swathed it snuggly in bandages and allowed the unconscious man's three sons to carry him home with the advice to keep him drunk, lest he attempt to kill himself from the pain he was surely going to feel once he awakened.

She'd done her best for the sot and felt sorry for him,  but the angrier she got about Jamie being gone so long and putting her in the position where she might be in danger again, the more she thought she would like to perform a like surgery on him.

Sitting there, she suddenly remembered Gerremy McButler had mentioned that he was staying in an Inn with the name Red in it only he hadn't remembered exactly where it was.  It suddenly came to her that he was probably talking about the Red Bull Inn.

Could it be he had fallen ill again and was too sick to leave his room?

With that thought in mind, she went in search of her medical box and decided that she would pay him a visit to see if he needed some doctoring and.... and just maybe he might know where Jamie had gone off to, not to mention the whereabouts of one missing English dragoon.


Laying in bed, Gerremy McButler was thinking how much he'd enjoyed the day today.  Their adventures and narrow escape from the Cock and Ball and the leisurely dinner at the member's only men's club he had taken Jamie McFraser to afterwards, had been pleasurable.  He had fun watching the big Scot's reaction to almost everything, and he was aware of the fact that the man was one hell of a wing man, attracting the attention of women like mad.   He was used to being the main attraction, but he grudgingly let the younger McFraser share the limelight.

In contrast to his own joking way with the ladies, McFraser's shy politeness, lack of conceit and interest in learning from them, made for very different kind of evening than he was accustomed and he found himself  actually enjoying the interesting conversation with the three dancers that joined them, that wasn't necessarily focused on a seduction that would end up with the usual and, sometimes unsatisfying, ending.

One of the funnier things to watch was McFraser's confusion and incredulity about women.  Gerremy had observed that he was very polite to the strippers but perplexed and annoyed with some of the  more "normal" females he had seen.

It was true that "normal"  was a relative term when it came to women.  Aside from the obvious fans who welcomed his attention, he himself had always found it hard to gauge what kind of reception he would get when he approached them, a gleam in his eye.  That gleam could mean a variety of things...he was lonely, she was beautiful, he was horny (when wasn't he?),  he felt an overwhelming compunction for conversation, and a few impulses not even he could explain to himself.   He figured it was just a "moth to the flame" type thing with him,  that kept him going back after them, even at the cost of getting his wings singed, which had happened more than he wanted to admit.

Now, he could see the highlander was thoroughly confused and frustrated as to how one went about distinguishing who was a doxy, who was a "modern" woman, and who was a "decent" woman, as McFraser liked to put it.  In the last two places they'd been to and after seeing Elisa, he was completely baffled how one was to tell them apart.

Of course the vicious slap he had gotten for trying to put a dollar bill down a scantily clad girl's dress at the bodega where they had stopped to get milk,  caught him by surprise and his face had practically turned purple.   The linguistically gifted Scot had shyly translated the strange sounding patois she had thrown at him, saying he had only caught the "filthy cochon" part.  After all, the girls at the Club had been only too happy about this practice and this one didn't have much more on in the way of clothing.

Gerremy had had to explain to him that the money was not so they could buy "somethin' more decent to wear."

He could see he would have give the Highlander a crash course in the finer points of flirting with the female sex.   He had his own personal stable of  "chatting up" lines when he encountered someone interesting and he was going to have to pass on a few to the clueless Jamie.  His favorite,  "You look delicious tonight!" had always worked for him.

When they'd gotten back to his loft, he'd made some hot chocolate and, after elucidating a little more on 21st century females, the talk had turned to Scotland,  a love they both shared and understood, well into the early hours of the morning.

Now he found himself looking forward to another day of showing McFraser a little more of his world before they again set about the task of hunting down one slippery, crooked 18th century English dragoon, running around loose and, most likely,  causing mayhem in 21st century Manhattan.

Disclaimer: This is a work of pure fiction that exists only in the twilight zone of the writer's mind. Any and all resemblance to any person living or dead is purely coincidental. 

Songs out of tune, the words always a little wrong...Canzoni Stonate

No comments:

Post a Comment