This is set after series 7 Monarch and follows on at the end of Dave’s The Highland Invasion as the family get ready to celebrate the freedom of Glenbogle.
(I initially thought I’d write a short story but decided it would be interesting to turn it into a shared Fan fiction. We haven’t done one for a few years so here goes…feel free to use your imagination and add to it)
A Likely Story!
Iona parked her quad bike some distance from the driveway of Glenbogle House and made her way quietly along the bush clad periphery, until she could see him. A shiver went down her spine and her stomach felt unsettled, she actually hated herself for what she was doing, spying on the man she loved and who she thought, had loved her. Paul Bowman-MacDonald, how could he treat her this way? She felt foolish but she had to find out…
Earlier that day she’d eagerly driven over towards the Estate to surprise him…a hamper on the back of her bike and inside, a fine bottle of merlot. It was then that she’d spotted him ... running, hand in hand with another woman, along the track and up towards a wooded area. The woman was tall, dark skinned and very beautiful, slim like a model and young...
Hidden from view, she still waited, she could hear Paul's voice in the distance coming nearer and nearer so she made a dash for it. She ran out into the lawned open space fairly near to house. A thought crossed her mind that she usually would see Golly or Duncan working around the area but today there was no soul about!
Not wanting to look a fool she jumped on to her quad bike and went around the other side of the house for a few minutes and stayed behind the severely thick stone walls. After a while she went around the front again and parked the bike, just as if she had then arrived. It seemed all the family were gathered inside the porch of the big house, laughing and joking, and there was that woman - so smart.
Iona looked down at herself, she was smelly from handling the sheep, her hair was dishevelled. No way could she meet strangers like this.
Luckily nobody noticed her drive off away from the house.
On her return back to the croft, Iona couldn't believe that she hadn't even been informed about a party. In fact Paul had said he was going to be 'very busy' over the next few days and now she understood why...he obviously wanted her out of the picture so he could introduce his new lady love to the family!
Soon after they'd met, Paul had pulled out of his wallet, a picture of a woman called Isobel that he'd been in love with, but this wasn't her! She thought about how she was going to handle it. Should she just ignore him or confront him?...decisions, decisions...
Iona did not call Paul on the phone that evening, instead she decided to visit him the next day.
She sat on the step of the big house and pulled off her extremely muddy boots and then went into the hallway. Although it seemed most of the time like any other visit she had made to the big house, today it felt different. For everyone she bumped into, on her way through the house, had a strange secretive smirk on their face! Duncan even had a large grin - spreading from ear to ear! Golly knocked into her in one of the doorways with a rifle in his hand. He looked this way, saying 'Can't be too careful, y'know' before proceeding with haste through the main door. Iona stood dumbfounded before she went into the indoor office where she knew she'd find Paul.
Post by Donald MacDonald on Mar 31, 2009 12:56:39 GMT
Iona bumped into Molly who was just coming out of Paul's office. "Iona, you're safe!" cried Molly in delight. "I was so worried about you! I was just saying to Paul..." "Safe? Of course I'm safe, Molly," replied Iona in a state of confusion. "Why wouldn't I be safe?" "Well because of the..." started Molly but before she could finish she was interupted by Paul shouting "Molly!" very loudly. It was then that Molly remembered that Paul had made them swear to keep their recent adventure a secret. No one would believe them, Paul had said, they would think they were mad and that could lead to all sorts of problems. "Oh nothing dear," said Molly with a smile and a twinkle in her eye and she hurried off. Iona thought she was mad. Taking a deep breath, Iona entered Paul's office...
"So you're just going to sit there and deny it then?" she asked feeling an increasing anger.
"Er...deny what...there's nothing to deny," replied Paul awkwardly with a half smile. He had a feeling something bad was about to happen!
"Well Paul, unless my eyes were deceiving me, then you're a liar who hasn't the decency to tell me the truth....so when were you planning on telling me, or were you hoping I'd just fade into the flock? she retorted, feeling tears well up...
Post by Donald MacDonald on Apr 1, 2009 10:18:02 GMT
"Iona, I don't know what you're talking about," said Paul although he knew he was on very shaky ground here. Iona was on a mission and she normally got what she wanted, especially where Paul was concerned. Iona decided to come right out with it: "I saw you Paul! I came to surprise you, and instead I got the surprise of my life!" Paul's face displayed no emotion. "I saw you, Paul, running hand in hand with another woman!" finished Iona. "Another woman?" said Paul playing for time. "Well I say woman, she didn't look much more than a girl!" "I ordered the estate to be evacuated," said Paul puzzled although he knew that Iona would never be evacuated, she would want to be in the thick of the action. "Evacuated?" said Iona. "From what, Paul? First I see you holding hands with that girl, then later on your having some sort of mystery party." "Am I not allowed to host parties at Glenbogle?" said Paul defensively but Iona was in full flow now. "And then last night I saw soldiers driving off the estate!" she continued. "United Nations Intelligence Tasksforce, what's that?" "I don't really know," replied Paul thruthfully. They were old friends of the Doctor, or so he said, that had come to remove the body of the alien Cyberman. What they were going to do with it Paul had no idea. Iona hadn't finished yet: "And now this morning you're all acting very suspiciously, like there's some big joke that no one will let me in on!" "Well..." started Paul but he had no idea where to start. "What's going on Paul?" said Iona finally. "What are you not telling me?"
Post by Donald MacDonald on Apr 1, 2009 13:34:02 GMT
Iona didn't look covinced. "There's all sorts of things in the cellars of Glenbogle, Iona," said Paul feeling more confident about his story now. "A couple of years ago there was even an unexploded bomb, which thanks to Duncan didn't stay unexploded for long!" "Aye, I remember Golly telling me," said Iona starting to smile at last. Encouraged by Iona's smile, Paul ploughed on. "So anyway, yesterday Donald found all these ancient gas canisters in the cellar while he was looking for whisky. We called an inspector, a Doctor he was, and he told us to evacuate the estate while he dealt with it. With Donald about evacuation was our only option!" "And what about the soldiers, the UNIT people?" asked Iona. "Erm, well there were a lot of canisters!" laughed Paul. "And the girl?" asked Iona who still had a lot of questions. "Assistant to the Doctor," said Paul truthfully, he was starting to feel like he was going to get away with it. "And you were holding her hand because...?" "Because I could smell gas and I thought the whole house was going to explode, we were just running for cover," replied Paul. "And did they explode?" asked Iona looking around at Glenbogle House which looked to still be standing. "Er, no. Turns out the smell was just Donald," laughed Paul. "And the party?" "Inpromptu, inspired when we realised how close to death we had come. It's amazing how happy you feel when you survive a near-death experience!" replied Paul. "So why didn't you invite me, your fiancee, to this party?" asked Iona, miffed to have been left out. "Err..." hesitated Paul as his imagination let him down. "You wouldn't be lieing to me, would you Paul?" said Iona leaning forward and looking Paul directly in the eye. She didn't buy his story, not for one second.
"Cup of tea anyone?" asked Molly popping her head around the corner. Paul jumped up thankfully. "Oh yes, Molly, perfect! It's cold today... don't you think so Iona?" And he proceeded to lead Iona ought of the office.
Post by Donald MacDonald on Apr 15, 2009 15:17:52 GMT
"You should have seen me!" cried Duncan waving an imaginary sword above his head. "I was amazing!" "Amazing at what?" asked Iona. She was getting increasingly baffled but might finally be about to get to the bottom of it. "I've told the story a thousand times," said Duncan grinning, "but I'll never get bored of it!" "Why don't you tell me, Duncan," said Iona smiling sweetly and putting her arm around Duncan's shoulder. Duncan's eyes grew wider as Iona led him from the house and into the garden, away from prying eyes...
Duncan ran head long into Jess who was fixing a fence...they both fell to the ground. "Ouch, Duncan watch where yer going eh," she cried. "Aw sorry Jess, but I had to get away from Iona...I remembered just in time...I saw Rabbi...well not really, I just pretended!" he chuckled.
"Aye, thank goodness for that," replied Jess rolling her eyes "now how about helping me with this fence?"
Meanwhile Iona was as confused as ever..."I think they've all gone stark raving" she whispered to herself, hugging Sally.
"Ah Iona, there you are," called Paul appearing from the garden, "did you enjoy tea?"
"Cut the polite act Paul and tell me what's going on here," she replied in an icy voice...
Post by Donald MacDonald on Apr 16, 2009 11:33:07 GMT
Paul ran after her. He was in the dog house. Again. Actually he always seemed to be in the dog house. It was time to do something about it. "Iona!" Paul called after her. She turned around, a face like thunder. "Do you believe in aliens?" he asked her.
"What like little green men do you mean?" she said sarcastically, "yeh right, now you're going tell me that you've had visitors from outer space or something. Just pull the other one Paul, it's got bells on it".
"Just listen to what I've got to say before you go into one" he replied, "you've got to believe me, I wouldn't lie to you Iona".
Paul turned to the others who had gathered and were watching intently.
"Come on you guys" he stuttered, "someone help me here, Donald, you can explain to Iona, you know how you love to talk".
"Oh no dear boy, just leave me out of this" he replied turning to walk back inside sharply. "You made your bed as they say, so it's all up to you now", and he was gone.
"Well Paul, I'm waiting" Iona said looking him straight in the eyes, are you ready to tell me the truth or shall I go home"?
"I will tell you everything" he promised, "if you could just give me a while to collect my thoughts, I'll come over to yours in an hour, but you must understand this is a very difficult situation and I'm doing my best, so you'll have to just bear with me for a little while longer".
She just looked at him and shrugged her shoulders and said, "If that's what you want, I'll wait for you, but I'm warning you you'd better come clean this time or it's you last chance".
Then she strode off without a backward glance, leaving Paul to ponder what he should tell her.
Post by Donald MacDonald on Apr 17, 2009 13:46:13 GMT
Paul had gathered everyone around the dining room table. Molly, Golly, Jess, Duncan and Ewan all sat looking expectently at Paul. "So what is it Paul?" asked Ewan. "Iona's been asking questions, about yesterday," said Paul. "Iona?" said Golly. "I thought you evacuated the estate, how did she find out?" "You know Iona," smiled Paul, "she's not one to do as she's told! She came up to the house yesterday afternoon and apparently saw me running hand-in-hand with Martha." Five sets of eyebrows raised in unison. Donald whispered something to Ewan who laughed. "Not you lot too!" said Paul exasperated. "Look, nothing happened! We were running to the Doctor's ship thing, and she grabbed my hand, that's all!" He shrugged. "You old fox, boss!" laughed Ewan. "Nothing happened! Look, the point is," continued Paul, "we need to get our story straight as some people have been giving her conflicting reports." Paul looked directly at Donald as he said the last bit. Donald held his arms up theatrically in mock-outrage. Molly patted him on the arm. "Naturally that's made her suspicious." "Naturally," agreed Molly. "So what do you propose?" asked Jess. "I think you should always be honest in a relationship," said Molly firmly. "Were you always honest with Hector?" Paul asked her. Molly shot a look at Donald. "Not always," she admitted, "but then your father wasn't always honest with me was he!" Paul knew she was referring to his own birth. "It's because of that that I think honesty is the best course." "So you think Paul should tell Iona that we were visited by an alien robot who wanted to kill us, and an alien guy who travels in a phone box?" queried Ewan. "Welllll," started Molly shifting uncomfortably on her seat, but she couldn't finish that sentence. "The options are 1) tell her the truth," said Paul. "Bad move," said Ewan. "Or 2) tell her, and anyone else that asks questions, a plausible cover-story." finished Paul. "What shall we do?" "It's obvious, Paul," started Golly...
..."it has to be a plausible truth, we'll back you up but it has to come from you son," he continued.
"Er, thanks Golly, you're right...any more untruths and I'll loose her for good, if I haven't already," said Paul sadly, "I'll be down by the loch if anyone needs me."
Paul sat silently staring into the loch thinking about 'a plausible truth'. He decided that he'd give Iona a skeleton outline of what happened and just hope that she'd accept it. He knew that she was a skeptical sort and recalled the water horse incident, so why would she believe this! The silence was broken by a speedboat heading towards the jetty.
"I say 'ol chap, quite a commotion coming from your place yesterday...you weren't blowing up pike again were you?" shouted Kilwillie...
Post by Donald MacDonald on Apr 21, 2009 21:42:48 GMT
"Blowing up Pike?" laughed Paul. "I like to think I've got a bit more sense than my father!" "You certainly have, dear boy," laughed old Kilwillie. "But where's the fun in that, eh?" "Fun? Yes I think I remember the concept," said Paul ruefully. "How's that Duncan chap," asked Kilwillie. "He was in quite a rush to leave my house yesterday." "Oh he's ok," replied Paul, "in fact I think he's feeling on top of the world today." "Oh good," smiled Kilwillie and he patted Paul on the arm. "So you got that alien chappy sorted then did you? Used some of that famous MacDonald Culloden fighting spirit on him did you?" "You what?" said Paul surprised that Kilwillie knew what had gone on, and that he believed it too. "Molly said yesterday that you'd had a bit of trouble with UFOs, alien invaders, and something about Mulder and Scully!" "Ah..." started Paul. "Didn't believe a word of it of course!" laughed Kilwillie loudly. "Such a ridiculous story means that you MacDonalds are up to something. That's what I'm here to find out." "Up to something?" repeated Paul trying to look innocent. "Yes, no doubt you've come up with some ridiculous scheme to save your estate, probably at the expense of my own!" "Well..." started Paul. He was trying to think fast, Kilwillie had a very suspicious mind. "I saw those soldiers leaving your estate last night, and I've been talking to Iona," stated Kilwillie. Paul wasn't sure what to say, so he stayed silent. "It's obvious what you're up to," continued Kilwillie. "Is it?" asked Paul. "You've called in some of your old army contacts, and you're going to lease some of your estate to the MOD as a firing range!" "I am?" "There will be explosions going off at all hours, I can see it now!" "You can?" "You wouldn't be the first estate to do that," stated Kilwillie, and Paul knew that the MOD used some land to the north of Scotland as a firing range. This gave Paul an idea. "You've seen straight through me, Kilwillie," said Paul looking crestfallen. "I knew it!" cried the old man triumphantly. "We were only in intitial negotiations though," said Paul. "Well I won't allow it!" said Kilwillie trying to look menacing and failing completely. "I'm sorry to hear that," lied Paul. "It would be completely detrimental to my estate," continued Kilwillie. "I'm on the council, and I have some very powerful friends. I will stop it, believe me old boy!" "I'm sorry Kilwillie, obviously I was going to consult you before any final plans were made." "You were?" said Kilwillie. "Of course! I don't want any bad feeling between our two estates, Glenbogle has always prided itself on its close relationship with the Kilwillie estate." "It has?" "Oh yes," confirmed Paul. "I can see now that an MOD firing range at Glenbogle would be a very bad move, I shall abandon it and we shall say no more about it," he said trying to look sincere. "Oh jolly good show, dear boy!" cried Kilwillie beaming. "You've definitely made the right decision there." "Well I'm glad we've cleared that up," said Paul, pleased that he had successfully steered Kilwillie away from the truth and strengthened their ties at the same time. "So am I. You're a good laird, Paul," said Kilwillie sincerely, "much better than your father!" Paul took the compliment gratefully. "Now where's Molly?" asked Kilwillie. "She owes me a cup of tea and a slice of cake!"
He went into the house and nearly got knocked down by Duncan racing as usual towards the door "Whoa, Duncan, I need to speak to you and Molly about a story for Iona... have you seen Molly as I would like to talk to the pair of you together?" "Oh she's out boss... gone to the village but don't know when she will be back..." A car drew up outside and they heard Molly's voice "Oh thank you Jess for the ride... I'll see you again soon and continue our talk... must run now as I have so much to doooo... " thinking vaguely what that was... She then went into the house to be met by Paul and Duncan "Oh good Molly... I was just looking for you and Duncan to discuss my plan to tell Iona which I have just thought up to explain all the soldiers... let us go into the drawing room and I will explain..." They went into the drawing room and sat down in some of the comfy chairs and poured out a shot of whisky... Paul started to speak "I am going to say that I had a few members of staff down from the MOD to discuss the possibility of using part of the Estate as a firing range - this has apparently already been done at some other estates to help finance the property so I thought that I might look into the possibility of doing the same here - just looking into the idea... that's all" "But what about the shots that were heard?" queried Molly "Well we can say that some of the men got overenthusiastic and started trying to shoot down some birds!!" "... and the young woman that you were walking that you were walking with?" asked Duncan "... well I'll say that she was the wife of their leader and I was simply escorting her along whilst showing them around the Estate..." They both agreed that this sounded a plausible story except "What about the celebration at the end?" asked Duncan "Well..." Paul replied...
Paul sat there scratching his head, then he had an idea...
"Molly... if I was an insecure type, and there were lots of young, handsome, able-bodied MOD men on my property staying for drinks, why wouldn't I invite my gorgeous fiancee to join me?" asked Paul.
"Because you might be frightened that she'd fancy one of them... more than you?" she suggested.
"Exactly," smiled Paul "now all I've got to do is convince Iona that's the reason I didn't invite her..."
"Well it's worth a try, I mean you were a teeny bit jealous of Malcolm, weren't you?" suggested Molly.
"Ah, I wouldn't say jealous Molly, more concerned," replied Paul.
"Och, I knew you were jealous boss," chuckled Duncan.
"Haven't you got a fence to fix Duncan," replied Paul, walking towards the door... "and Molly, no more talking to Kilwillie about aliens...I'll inform the others about our meeting and then invite Iona over for dinner tonight...I'd like to get this settled once and for all."
"Right you are Paul but do take care dear," she replied.
Paul arrived at Iona's croft and stood outside trying pluck up courage and calm his nerves. He knew he was not a good liar and hoped she would accept his story or it could affect his whole future with the woman he loved. He gulped and knocked on the door looking heavenwards for a little devine intervention.
Iona opened the door, not with her usual loving expression but more a sceptical look on her face.
"Right" she said, "sit down and lets get on with this".
"No messing about here then" thought Paul, "this is not looking good".
He launched into his elaborate explanation, while she sat oposite him with her chin resting on her hands.
"God she looks beautiful" he thought, then trying to drag his thoughts back to the problem in question.
When he had finished speaking, she just sat and looked at him for a few moments then spoke.
"Well, I can see why you would want to keep that quiet", she stated flatly, "you'd have had a mutiny on your hands when the locals heard that there was going to be a MOD firing range in the vacinity, what on earth were you thinking about Paul?"
"I know it was a stupid idea" he replied, taking hold of her hands. Forgive me for not letting you in on it, but like you said, I was frightened it would get out causing me no end of problems".
"Honestly Paul I thought you had more sense, but like they say, least said, soonest mended I suppose".
He took one of her hands and kissed it gently saying, "thank you Iona for being so understanding, I promise I'll never keep anything from you in future".
"Just you make sure of it my lad" she said, giving him a big hug, "and we'll just forget it for now shall we".
Paul couldn't believe his luck that she fell for it, but deep inside he felt really guilty for deceiving her but knew it was for the best of reasons as there was no way she would have believed the truth anyway.