Heather in the Highlands

by Wingco

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© Copyright 2018 - Wingco/Shelley - Used by permission

Storycodes: M/f; bond; rope; gag; bfold; castle; outdoors; shackles; dress; stuck; ghosts; fondle; tease; collar; cellar; cell; chain; entomb; rom; sex; climax; cons; X

story continued from part one

Part 2. 

Chapter 1

The ghosts had tormented Heather to the most wonderful orgasms and she lay exhausted on the bed after the last cleaning session. She had no idea of the time now. It felt like she'd been here ages yet her water supply had hardly been touched. The girl sure she'd finished one of the bottles. But they were both full, so was her biscuit box and that was curious knowing she'd eaten all the choccy ones within hours of the hatch going down. Even her waste bucket didn't smell though clearly she'd used it, the level of antiseptic not changed from when James had filled it.

She jumped on hearing the chain start to rush, knowing James had returned, and for a moment she was disappointed that he'd come to free her. Eventually the doors clattered open and he was there. Dressed as usual, carrying a clear bag containing what looked like the dress she'd worn yesterday.

Coming close as she got up, the pair embracing, Heather trying not to cry as his lips met hers. This night had been so special and now freedom... if she wanted it. She paused when James asked her, then to his relief she nodded. For a moment he had a daft idea that she'd 'gone' in the head and wanted to remain here for longer. But she began to strip off the dress, folding it up then getting into the modern stuff he'd brought. Finally stepping into the heels and saying she'd like to go 'home'. He didn't offer to bind her, and they held hands all the way to the jeep.

That evening lying in James' bed having had a refreshing bath, the girl again wearing Jen's nightie she told him what had happened. The ghosts had come for her, thus proving the theory about the spirits. "It was fun, I'll be a little sore for ages but I was right though. Strangely it's given me a lot of energy too. Sounds silly but I feel my batteries had been running down the last few months, now I'm fine again." 

He smiled in the darkness and asked her just how much energy she had, the fact she could 'hear' him smiling at the loaded question was enough and her hands reached for his shorts. "Enough to give you a shock matey," she grinned as their lips met, his hands easing the dress up.

It was a very tearful Heather McCreadie who bid James goodbye next morning. She knew time was passing and she had to get home to Ft William, though they promised to keep in touch. Kelvin and June arrived the following evening and found the lad busy in the yard, though he seemed a little distracted. But as he'd been alone for the last week since Heather and the other couple had gone they left him to it.

That night he was in the office when Kelvin said Heather was on the telephone. He managed to control his emotions as he came in quickly to speak to her, that lovely voice echoing down the line, the girl saying she'd safely arrived back in Ft William and thanking him for what he'd done. Kelvin overheard him wishing her well, the old lad grinning in the kitchen as June chided him for being nosy. "Hmmm, nice lass that Heather," he said when James came into the room. He saw his son pause, then grin and go red before turning away. 

Kelvin knew... you couldn't hide that sort of stuff from your father and before bedtime he came to see his lad. Having done a walkround of the farm and not able to find fault anywhere. James was making a good job of this. But he did want answers. Coming in to the office where the youngster was busy with paperwork. Placing a coffee cup on James' desk. "How long?" he asked, the lad freezing for a moment.

"Heather left yesterday morning, and yes, we did, alright?" was his reply, turning to see his dad smiling at the boy's discomfort. Not cruelly, but knowing all the same. "Good lad, if you'd lied to me I'd have kicked your ass off of the farm. I'm damn proud of what you do here," he said, giving the youngster a warm hug. As he left the room...

"And yes James, she's welcome back anytime," he said, the boy had a grin on his face at that. "Does mum know?" was a reply and Kelvin nodded. "Yes, she knew straight away, even before the phone call came," and the boy looked puzzled. Dad smiled now, "Heather has a penchant for chocolate biscuits and there was half a pack in the larder, now there aren't any. I know you don't like them... so there."

And return Heather would, months later in September. 

Chapter 2.

Somehow the girl knowing that June and Kelvin were away on holiday in Spain, the first time they'd left Scotland for years. James was working in the yard when he saw a familiar figure coming down the drive, pack on its back, those slim but firm legs and a tired but oh so cheeky smile as she got closer. 

Dropping his toolbox he rushed up and greeted her. Kissing Heather, rubbing Heather, thrilled Heather was once more in his arms. Interrupted by the sheepdog sticking its' wet nose between them. "Gerroff you silly bitch," he said as they both laughed. Heather squealing as he then spoke to the dog! Giving the animal a shove to one side so he could hold the girl again.

She too was pleased to see him and their chat that night was of... how they'd missed each other. Most holiday romances are just that and until today they'd only occasionally spoken on the phone. Both were just too busy with work. But now...

He made dinner while she sorted her washing out and had a bath for the first time in three days, the girl planning to be here all week and some of the next. But once they'd dined and were sitting on the sofa cuddling she also told James something that alarmed him. Despite her outward appearance Heather was very ill and that was why she'd come. 

"Since that night in Claggan that I'd said recharged my batteries I'd been OK, until three months ago when I collapsed without warning. I just get so tired, really listless and sometimes I just cannot feel the urge to do anything. Yet this week I've been OK travelling up here on the coach, and today I managed to walk right from Ullapool to Braemore. Eleven miles with full backpack. So damn frustrating when it happens. I still work at the shop with the other girls but the medics are baffled when I can do things one day yet not the next. They know there is something wrong with my innards because of the bloodwork figures but the other tests prove nothing. So I hoped, James, that having come here to be with you..."

"That you'd let me spend another night locked downstairs in the castle. See if that helps."

James stared at her, the girl looking back, eyes pleading with him not to deny her the chance. Smiling when he nodded, breaking down in tears and they came for a hug and kiss. "Not tonight though?" he asked and she grinned, not resisting as he placed both hands on her waist, easing Heather towards the bedroom. A wonderful night of gentle sex followed and by the end of it he'd promised to help Miss McCreadie do anything she could.

Next morning he began preparations while she slept on. Nipping over to Dornoch and buying a single sized bed. No way was he going to leave her lying on an old straw one again. This was taken straight to Claggan and installed, pleased the place was exactly as found. More food and water, plus the bucket were placed where they'd been before. Returning home to see Heather in the yard dressed as normal, playing with the sheepdog. She beamed on seeing him and they kissed and hugged. The girl pleased to hear what he'd done up at Claggan. "OK then, we'll go up there tomorrow. I'm feeling good again today so we'll do some work, if you want?"

The pair did so, Heather able to drive the tractor again, though once past lunchtime the girl said she was tiring rapidly and could she go in. He took her back to the house, leaving her in the lounge on the sofa wrapped in blankets. James amazed at how quickly she'd deteriorated. "See, that's how annoying it is for me too," she murmured as a coffee cup was handed over. James looked into her eyes and saw how dull they'd become and he was appalled.

He said little else, except a gentle scold at the fact this could have happened yesterday during her walk to get here. She did have a SOS pendant given to her by the hospital. If she'd collapsed anywhere in the UK all Heather had to do was to press the red button on the front. This would activate a GPS alarm and somehow the emergency people could find her. "It's designed for pensioners," she shrugged sadly, "but I don't think I'm going to get that old." So now told her off for being morbid, the girl nodding ruefully, getting a hug and kiss at the end as an apology.

They didn't make love that night, though she did 'borrow' Jen's nightie and the couple faded away together. Next day she was tired first thing, though she cooked their meals and did some housework, remaining inside until it was time for them to go to the castle. She didn't ask to be bound, nor did he insist and before long they were there. Seeing Heather's eyes light up as she stepped through the doorway, a pat of the stonework as they went downstairs.

He said little as he helped Heather dress, then securing the collar and manacles till she was done. They had a long kiss then he left, doing the doors, quietly sealing the hatch up and leaving Miss McCreadie to the ghosts, the guy praying they'd do something to help her.

Chapter 3.

Arriving back to Heather's room the next afternoon it only took one look at her eyes to know it HAD worked. They were gleaming in the candlelight, not the tired dull glint from last night but proper life showing there. She was standing by the edge of the bed, waiting for him and he hurried over. Giving the girl a very gentle hug and kiss, their hands clasping and he was relieved. But on producing the keys she shied back a moment, asking him to wait. Saying yes, the ghosts had visited her, and she felt... a little better. But she would prefer a second night 'just to be sure'. He paused then agreed, asking her if she wanted to go upstairs for a brief walk around before he left.

Heather agreed and he unlocked her collar, then undid the ankle cuffs but she refused to let him do her wrists. "No, I have to keep wearing some of my bonds and the dress too. To keep the spirits assured that... well I just want to," she replied to his unasked question. He led the girl upstairs; starting with the room containing the manacles so her sight could stabilise. After that they proceeded up the tower and outside so she could watch the sun go down. She sighed and smiled, not flinching as he wrapped his arms round her waist, resting his head on her shoulder for a while. 

Remembering what she'd said James had brought the ankle cuffs up. Offering to secure her leg to a ring on the roof so he could unlock her wrists and allow the girl to hug him properly. This was done to her left ankle. "There, you're plugged in and charging," he joked reaching for her hands, hoping to see her... Only for Heather to snatch her arms back with a scowl, saying he should not be making fun of her like that. James paused and realised he'd gone too far as she turned away, leaning on the ramparts. 

She began to cry softly now, facing the sun, ignoring him till he slid his arms around her waist again and apologised. "I'm sorry... love. Guess this is hard for both of us," and she nodded, saying sorry in reply then allowing him to free her wrists, turning to get the embrace he wanted and they remained there, holding and stroking each other till only a faint light was glowing to their west.

They said little else until Heather turned and asked him the one question he feared might come. "James, it's time to be realistic honey. If this does work and I do feel better, then we both know it'll only be a while before I need to return here. And it will surely get worse. That's how my luck is. I might have to spend a week or more downstairs, or at least secured within the walls of the castle. Would you promise to stand by me, and if things really got bad..."

"Would you be prepared to keep me here... forever?" 

His eyes blurred with tears at the thought of her incarcerated in Claggan, his fault that she was there and for a moment he wanted to say no chance. But he thought long and hard, knowing she was right. The medics couldn't do a thing for her. Maybe the castle was her only hope. He'd have to work out how to plan visits to keep her fed and watered, it was going to be tough to keep it a secret from his parents too. Heather looked at him, her eyes again with silent pleading for him to do the right thing.

"OK. I'll pray it works tonight but should you need to come back, then I promise you now Heather that I'll do it." He replied, getting a slobbery kiss and hug as reward before Heather said she was getting cold. He did the wrists and made to lead her away... until the ankle cuff tugged her back. "You forgot to... unplug me," she chuckled and this time they both smiled. "Touché love," he said and got a poke for his trouble. 

Taking her downstairs carefully, the girl hitching her dress up so she wouldn't trip over on it. "How women got anything done in the old days I don't know," she grumbled a faint sigh as they reached the bottom and she could let go. They entered the room and she headed for the bed, sitting down and flexing her legs, having stood for most of the last two hours. James came over with the collar and she prepared her hair. The lock was engaged with that 'clunk' and the couple stared at each other... and then she laughed. 

"Plugged in again," they chorused and she slapped his leg as he reached for the ankle cuffs again. Once she was secure he helped her lie down. "Thanks, love," she whispered and got a kiss. James asking if she had enough food and water. She wriggled up onto an elbow and told him to open the biscuit box and help himself to one then close it. He looked quizzically until she told him why. 

"First time I pigged out on a few, then when I opened it up again, it'd refilled itself. So I tested it this morning. Whatever is eaten, gets replaced after I close the lid. Same for my drinking bottles... it must be... them doing it. The candles don't go down either," she added, James knowing she meant the ghosts were doing this for her.

He selected a lump of shortbread, handing her 'the usual choccy?' as she blushed, then closed the lid. Waiting a few minutes then opening it again... to see it was full to the top. "So I won't starve, OK?"

James agreed and then said he had to go, kissing Heather goodnight before closing the door. Bolting it then the others, the hatch last, before he went home hoping she'd be sitting alongside him tomorrow. Once in his room he stared at Jenna's nightdress hanging where Heather had left it. He picked it up, the faint smell of Miss McCreadie's scent still on the silky material. Stuffing a couple of pillows into the body James went to bed cradling it in his arms and crying like never before.

The longest day of his life followed as he worked tirelessly cutting peat up the track. Way more than expected and would save him a lot of time over the next few weeks. A week to dry out then he could bag it up. Finally as it was getting towards sunset he returned to Claggan, hurrying down and getting the hatch open, doors unlocked and into her room to find... her waiting, arms out in front. Those eyes sparkling in the light and he couldn't help himself, unlocking one wrist then rushing into her arms. "Same again tonight?" he asked, trying not to show relief when she said no, she was fine now. For the first time in ages her stomach didn't ache, nor was she short of breath. "Except when you snog me!" she grinned.

He couldn't stop smiling as she helped him close up the castle then drove home, Heather assuring him that if she took things easier now then she'd manage. "Maybe no more distance walking, the odd stroll instead." Arriving back to Braemore she went inside while he went to feed the dogs and do his checks. She was waiting for him when he returned; leading James into the bedroom and pointing to Jen's pillow stuffed nightie with a questioning glance. 

The lad blushed. Admitting that he'd taken it to bed last night, pretending it was her. Heather came close and the pair broke down in tears, only drying up a long while later. "Well I'll be in it the rest of this holiday, alright?"

Chapter 4.

And she would, as for the next week Heather remained at Braemore, alongside James as much as she could get away with. The only time when he was high up on the hillside doing some drystone walling in scorching hot October sunshine. Leaving her naked in the barn except Jen's high heels and tied to the pillar... because she'd asked to be! He came back four hours later and found a hot sweaty mess. Heather wheezing behind her first ever gag, blindfolded too and she squealed when he'd touched her. "Anything to say before punishment is handed out?" he joked undoing the gag and giving her a drink. 

"Yeah, one of your bloody dogs is a lesbian," she gasped once able to talk properly. Explaining that she'd been dripping a bit because of the excitement of being so tightly bound and the animal had taken advantage of her for at least two hours! "Read a story once about that. Never assumed..." Heather grinned before he untied her, saying it was time she went inside and made their tea. 

They made love most nights though he made sure she wasn't getting too tired with the exertion. But she was fine, doing her best to help him where possible. Only during the second week did he seem a bit worried when one afternoon Heather said she 'was getting a little weary' thus spending the rest of the day on the sofa. So the next day found them back at Claggan where he'd planned a bagging up session of last week's cuttings. 

James arranged for Miss McCreadie to stay at the castle up in the tower. Getting a long cable secured to a roof ring, the other end on her ankle. A deckchair so she could sit outside but if it rained, the chain would allow her to go one level down. That was more than enough and she'd agreed. Heather enjoyed her day there, only slightly concerned when a jet flew low over the place. She hoped it didn't have on-board cameras or the Air Force might have got some interesting pictures. But she had a little tanning session because she'd stripped before he'd secured her, though she did hide her legs so the band of the manacle wouldn't show up!

Coming back to free her after work he found Heather happy. The 'top-up' had done her good, the pair having a kiss and grope after coming downstairs. But before leaving she wanted him to experience the ghosts for himself. She'd 'talked' to them while alone and they'd seemed happy with the way James was looking after her. He didn't have the nerve to say he didn't believe it and went along with what she wanted. "Got the other keys for the manacle room?" she'd asked, smiling when he said they were on a bench downstairs. Fetching them and returning to see her in there... ready and waiting in position. 

James soon had her locked into position, blindfolded and gagged, his hands 'warming her up' as they called foreplay. Then he slid into her body, feeling her shuddering as he began rocking back and forth. His rod hard and true, really starting to pace himself to give her the best experience as she gripped him. Her hands opening and closing as he stoked her fires. 

He'd never felt this energetic after a long day's work and he kept going until Heather exploded into the most intense orgasm she'd ever had with a real human. Even his efforts during the week were not this good. He kept pounding and finally he too came, the guy almost seeing stars as he unloaded himself into her. Finally they disengaged, the girl hanging in her bonds and it took a while for him to recover enough to free her. Easing Heather gently to the floor and wrapping her up till she came round and smiled at him. "See, that's what I mean." She said and he nodded.

The holiday was soon over and he drove Heather to Ullapool to catch her coach south. A last hug and emotional kiss by the vehicles' door before getting a toot from the impatient driver! He hoped she'd not need another session at Claggan as she gently waved to him.

Chapter 5.

In fact the next time they met was at Christmas. James having accepted an invite to spend the festive period in Ft William while his parents and Wally looked after the farm. "You need a break laddie, see folks your own age rather than us old fogies," Kelvin said when he'd first spoken about the invitation and he'd have a wonderful time there. 

Introduced to Heather's housemates who all thanked him for however he'd got the girl healthy again. "Its our clean country air, not like you townies!" he retorted to much laughter when the subject was raised one night as they sat on the sofa. Heather nestling under his shoulder and so content. Her room had a double bed too and the others didn't mind when she'd taken his bags in there on arrival. "Cannot have you drooling over him," she chuckled as Sarah and Janice had been eyeing him up, Marcia, the engaged one doing her best not to stare either. One night when they were alone together he produced some cord and tied her to the bedframe, the lovemaking that followed producing squeals that would have woken her flatmates had they been at home!

Christmas morning Heather took him for a walk alone, her chunky boots making short work as it had snowed a little. Down by the waterfront they had a kiss then Miss McCreadie said she had a gift for him. Opening a little box and producing two rings and he stared. "These belonged to my parents, the only things of theirs I ever kept when I sold the house. James, it's been great what you've done for me. I want you to have Robert's wedding ring. This isn't going to be an engagement or anything daft. I know I'll not have the strength to get married and all that, but I'd still like you to have it, alright?"

His eyes blurred but he nodded, slipping the ring onto the correct finger. Heather doing the same and they clasped hands, the metal touching and jumped as a little spark gave them both a shock. "There, even the ghosts approve love," he chuckled and she smiled before they had a long smooch.

The rest of the holiday passed peacefully enough. Lots of short walks and she showed James where she worked, meeting Janice's dad Kyle, who owned the place. Getting thanks from the guy and several free pairs of workboots for 'taking care of missy for us'. 

He returned in high spirits and his parents guessed something unusual had happened. James explained and showed them the ring. "Wow," June exclaimed but thankfully didn't wonder if Heather was about to move here as a prospective daughter-in-law. She assumed it was more a token of friendship between the youngsters, not knowing the rings were real silver and worth a fortune. The boy did however break the news that Heather had been very ill during the year and that the medics didn't have a clue what to do with her. "She may make it, she may not. Missy and I know this and that's maybe why she wants to stay in Ft William with the others. It's nothing against us but she knows what's' right for her." The elders accepted that and they didn't mention her again.

Chapter 6.

Unfortunately she didn't and James was alone at the farm when a letter arrived in late April, the others away in Aberdeen for the imminent arrival next week of Jenna's first baby. The news was shattering and for him what he'd always feared. It was from Janice's father saying the medical people had finally diagnosed Heather had a very rare form of cancer, the first time this had been detected in a European, no wonder they'd not worked it out.

But sadly it had also spread to her organs and she possibly only had a month if that, left, and wanted to see him. A phone call to Wally was all it took and James raced the miles to Ft William and arrived at dusk. The lad a little hurt that she'd not been in contact herself. Only finding out that like last time she'd been perfectly fit, then one night three weeks ago the others heard a dreadful screaming coming from her room, broke the door down and found their friend collapsed on the floor in agony. 

She'd been in intensive care for most of the time since then and it'd taken this long for Janice's father to track down James' farm at Braemore. But now, having been 'written off' by the medics she'd been placed in a hospice by the authorities, as Kyle put it. 'Till she pops off and stops costing them money'. The old lad also telling James that the place she was in was up for sale by its owners and basically she was 'holding them up'. "There's only one guy there most of the time, the last nurse was sacked a week ago, we, that's Jan myself and the other two have to do the scutwork. It's outrageous what's occurring, probably illegal too," he'd stormed.

James too was furious, not with Kyle, but the attitude of the medics. He wondered whether to try and get her back to Claggan, but first he had to see her. Janice warned him it wasn't a pretty sight and went in alone first to let Heather he was here. Coming out a few minutes later amazed. "She really sparked up when I said you'd arrived. Heather even smiled at me, a bit crookedly mind but she did, honest. So go in buddy, and work your 'country' magic on her." He grinned, gave Jan a hug then went in.

He was glad of the warnings as Heather did look terrible at first glance, pale, thin with sunken eyes, shaking slightly as she reached out and their fingers touched. No spark this time because she wasn't wearing her ring, but she felt his there and smiled as he sat down. "I'm so sorry," she whispered over the rumble of the traffic outside. "I'd hoped we'd got over this love... and I think we're too late." The explanations that the aches and tiredness had returned just after New Year but she'd hidden it. "I didn't want to be a pest or burden to the others anymore, or have the damn doctors prodding and poking me."

James nodded but was amazed when she asked him to do something special. She wanted him to help her escape and take her to Claggan. He shook his head and she frowned. "But you promised me James, you promised," she said accusingly, her voice rasping as those lungs tried to kill her a little more.

He couldn't break that promise. He'd been taught by Kelvin to honour his word so he called Janice in, asking her to get the others and Kyle here as well to hear what he was planning. Only if there were total agreement amongst her friends would he go through with it, mainly because it meant falsifying official documents and concealing Heather's death.

They arrived and he laid it out. Tomorrow night he would return and collect her. Taking the girl away to a place only he and her knew where. He needed Kyle to help him cover the move. The old lad was right up for it. "Aye laddie. My doctor knows what's going on here. Lucy'll sort out your... well sorry lassie, your death certificate," he said as Heather sat up in bed, a slight grin on her painfully thin face as her friends planned to break more laws in one night than she'd achieved in her lifetime so far. It shook her a little and she needed a hug from Janice before the plotting continued.

He knew an undertaker who owed him favours so her funeral would be sorted; the hospice would pay for it under the threat of being exposed for the way they'd treated her. "Wow, I'm impressed," Heather said and the others agreed, trying not to wince when she coughed. Then telling her friends to dispose of her clothing as they saw fit. She'd never been one for fashion unlike themselves. "Keep what you want and junk the rest. OK?" more nods of agreement. James said he'd bring something 'nice' from home for her to wear for the journey to Braemore, as she was to spend the next couple of days there while he 'made preparations.'

That too was all right and they filed outside for a moment, leaving Heather and James alone. "Thanks love, now I need to go. Seven PM tomorrow, understand. Now don't 'pop off' before I get back," and she smiled wryly at that, a kiss and she was asleep before the door was closed.

Kyle met him outside, shaking James hand and giving him an envelope. It was obviously money and for a moment he wanted to refuse. "It ain't much. But I know you farmer types need it more than I do," he said, forcing the lad to take it, gripping James' fingers around it. "It'll more than cover your fuel back home, and, well if miracles happen and she does live on, it'll keep her in chocolate biscuits for a while!" and they both grinned. A man-hug followed then James left. 

Chapter 7.

Somehow he made it home, had a sleep then after breakfast went to Claggan and spent an hour there in the workshop. Then he drove back to Ft William arriving at six, going to Heather's former home to see the others. It appeared she wanted to be brought here briefly by Kyle and Janice to privately say her goodbyes to them, then James would take over and they'd go direct to Braemore.

The wait was endless but at 7:15 he heard the door open and his heart trembled, knowing she was here. Coming in to see the dressing gown clad figure with Janice holding her tightly as she was hardly able to stand. Taking Heather into the girl's old room, already clear of any sign she'd lived there for the last two years. Jan re-emerged saying she wanted the clothes and James handed over a bag. It had been the skirt-suit and boots Jenna had worn in her mid-teens to go to church. Smaller than her current stuff it fitted Miss McCreadie perfectly, the lad pleased his sister was a horder and never threw old gear away. 

Janice did a fine job and Heather looked almost normal as she stared at her reflection. Jenna's suit was great and the pair was pleased. "James once said it was a shame I didn't glam-up. This'll please him," she said, for once strong enough to brush her own hair. Wanting to prove to the others 'I've not lost my marbles yet' Miss Lafferty almost wept as they held hands before leading Heather in to see the others who'd now arrived home.

It was an hour of tears; hugs and tender kisses all round and so on as Heather bid her lifelong friends' farewell. "Please remember our good times, even the bickering if you must Sarah," she chuckled, the girl going red as the others smiled and more hugs were doled out. "When I walk out of the door, I only want you to think of the wonderful parties we had together, alright?" she said and the others agreed to do that as she assured them James knew what to do.

But time was always ticking and finally she headed for the door, a last blown kiss and Kyle led her out. Trying to ignore the sobbing coming from the others once they were in the corridor. James was there, greeting the girl with a hug as Mr Lafferty had his last say. Telling James everything had gone to plan, taking his phone number, as he'd have to be 'contacted' about the arrangements. Kyle gave Heather a kiss and wished them well. The girl to the end thinking about her friends, asking Mr Lafferty to take care of them all.

James got the jeep a few miles out of town before stopping, saying he had something for the journey if she wanted it. She nodded, surprised when he pulled out a pair of wristcuffs from the glovebox. Telling her they were fresh from Claggan's workshop, hoping that... and she nodded. "Yeah, it might 'top me up' for a couple of days I guess," she said with a pale grin. He showed her these were padded as he'd worked out how to do them, same as a new collar and leg cuffs, still at the castle. She held them for a moment, then asked him to put them on, also showing him she was once more wearing her mother's wedding ring. The clunks made her jump and she settled back in her seat as he covered Heather up with a blanket. "Yeah," she whispered, tugging her arms as he kissed her, "Feels' fine to me." 

They made it home well after midnight and he took her straight to bed, dressing her in Jen's nightie and they cuddled all night. The girl trembling a little at what was to come, but no longer scared. Telling this to James and also confirmed she'd be staying at least a couple of days before... leaving. That making the lad grip a little tighter, trying not to cry.

The next day she was able to walk around unaided, somehow finding reserves of strength that amazed James. She couldn't do much but was relieved to be somewhere quiet and a sense of normality, playing with the dogs when they came in for food. "Wonder which one it was who 'had' me," she'd chuckled to him remembering that day last year. Eating wise Heather could only manage soup and soft foods, but loving her breakfast porridge so much she'd even started to put some weight back on. James did a decent omelette on the day for both of them when the girl reluctantly said it was 'time'.

Chapter 8.

She was happy as they came down the track that evening, five days after the escape from the hospice. Heather bound and blindfolded as before. To her it was fitting she'd not see daylight again when he'd said it was time they left. Now he knew why she'd asked him to wait until darkness had fallen. James not believing she'd go through with it. 

But the girl had been adamant and he'd reluctantly agreed after a great and wonderful session in bed that afternoon, amazed that somehow she'd had the stamina. They'd had lunch and he'd left Heather in the lounge when she'd called him in. Asking him to make love to her, assuring James she'd be fine. They'd done so, he'd been gentle enough and she'd smiled right through it. Now he listened to her raspy breathing, the soft rattling of her diseased lungs as the girl sat there with the faintest of smiles on those kissable lips.

Having had her bath he'd left her alone in his room to dry off while he did some office work, missing her secret trip to her 'old' one. Then she'd come into the kitchen dressed in Jen's former Sunday best suit and boots again, carrying the cords and blindfold. Patting the dog's head as the animal wondered what was going on. Saying she wanted her last memories of modern life to be of a happy place where someone had really cared for her. 

He almost broke down at that, giving a long hug and kiss before doing her bidding, having again asked her did she want to be bound for the journey. Not too tight please but said it was what she wanted him to do. James carefully tied both wrists and then did the waist loops. Showing Heather to a mirror with another from behind so she could check the knotwork for herself. "You're right honey, it does look fashionable," she chuckled, managing not to cough. Then he'd come close with the blindfold, Heather looking around then smiling and nodding. He wrapped her eyes, feeling her tremble as he did the last knot. "That's lovely," she'd whispered and got a kiss. "OK James, it's... time for us to go," Heather said and he'd led her carefully to the jeep. 

This time he brought Heather all the way downstairs, his hands clamped round her waist for support. Gently talking her through each step all the way to her room. He was still assuming this was some sort of mistake. But she'd muttered, 'thank you' on sniffing the air and knowing she was now 'here' as he removed the blindfold then untied her. The girl smiled seeing where they were then stripped off and bagged the suit, taking her dress where it had been placed and getting into it. Heather sighing as the last of the hooks-and-eyes had been fastened, the girl trying not to be upset that this last time she'd had to ask James to help her do the final ones behind her shoulders.

Now was the moment as she stood, clad in the dress and awaiting the thick collar and the rest of her restraints, inspecting the new padding. James nodded and she stepped forward, trembling as it was clicked tight around her throat, the twist of the key and Miss McCreadie knew she was at last safely bound to the castle. He saw her face brightening once he'd snipped the end off the key, then use his soldering iron to weld the little stub into the rest of the collar. She arranged her hair, looking so angelic now, despite shadows under her eyes that she'd done her best to disguise with Jen's make-up.

"Thank you honey," she said quietly, holding her hands out, James walking into her embrace and this time it was him who broke down. Her arms holding his torso, rubbing him gently till he'd stopped. Murmuring into his ear that she'd be fine, that he was doing the only thing they could think of, and so on. She made James promise not to mourn her, though he knew that could never happen. He wore that 'wedding' ring, so swore to her he'd never lose it. But this was only postponing the inevitable.

He stepped away and took the wrist cuffs from her bed. Applying them then doing the same procedure with his iron. Lastly her legs received the treatment; she didn't flinch when he'd rubbed her thighs, coming up to see that gentle smile he was going to miss so badly. "There, all... done," he said and she said nothing, a faint nod all she could come out with. 

Coming up he saw Heather's eyes closing as another bout of pain tore through her. The girl wincing for a moment before she touched his arm, now opening hers again, the faint signs of tears as they came together for the last hugely emotional kiss and rub. Now both youngsters in floods, James wishing he could persuade Heather not to continue as he held her shuddering body. He had bolt-cutters in the jeep. With a few snips he could free her, but the guy knew deep down it was only Claggan that might save her life now.

There was nothing else to do except help Heather onto the bed and swing both legs across. Easing her around till she was sitting up, allowing the girl to adjust her collar while he brushed her hair to a fine gloss. Then he helped Heather lie back, tidying her dress then laying a blanket over her body. Their hands briefly clasped, the rings touching then James knew it was time. 

"Goodbye Heather, God bless you honey," he said, eyes prickling when she didn't reply, hers already closed. Those manacled hands together in front of her waist as if she was praying. 

Unlike the first time he didn't slam the door to torment her anymore. Instead the freshly oiled bolts were quietly slid across, the big old key turning in the lock with a solid 'clunk' then he did the two in the corridor before going upstairs to secure the hatch. This chain had been lubricated same as the bolts and he carefully got the thing running. The lump of metal coming down, sealing a beautiful girl below it for all time, the last 'thump' sending a shudder of pain through James' body now...as he wondered if he could do the final bit as she'd requested.

Emerging into the darkness it took a while for him to find it, the little metal pipe way out in the field. Nearly fifty feet away from the wall, and directly above where his beloved Heather now lay, waiting for him to drop all the door keys down the vent. Only then could Miss McCreadie know she was safe. 

Lying there, her ears listening for the screech, smiling as it came when he unscrewed the weathered top. Then it came, bump, bump, tinkle tinkle... whoosh thump. The three keys on their ring, landing on the cushion placed below the vent. Now she knew things would be all right for her. Heather fingered the ring and wished James the best luck in the world.

She was locked deep underground, behind several inches of metal, fifty feet of earth, oh and she wore three sets of permanent restraints binding her to the place and its spirits. 

If this didn't... save her life then nothing would.

Heather McCreadie was now the Guardian of Claggan Castle.

story continued in part three

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