DEREK Jenkins left work early the day the package was scheduled to arrive from Scotland. He had checked the tracking information, and the web site indicated delivery was set for two o’clock that afternoon. Derek didn’t care if he was there when the package arrived. He just wanted to get home before Bram Fraser, his lover for the past three years, got there.
The box was larger than Derek expected when he picked it up from the concierge in the apartment building he and Bram had moved into earlier in the year. Derek waited impatiently for the elevator to take him up to his floor so he could examine his purchases in person instead of on the Internet. He carried the box inside to their bedroom, tearing into the packing to pull out the contents. With each additional item he withdrew, his smile grew. Bram was going to look so good!
“Derek? Are you home already?”
Bram’s voice carried down the hall to their bedroom. “I’m here,” Derek called back. “Wait for me out there. I don’t want to ruin your surprise. I’ll be right out.”
“Surprise?” Bram sounded puzzled, but he stayed where he was.
Derek put everything back in the box minus the Styrofoam packing chips and carried it back out to the living room.
Derek grinned. “Open it and see.”
Bram raised an eyebrow at Derek but opened the box, pulling out the sporran first. “Is this what I think it is?”
“Keep going,” Derek said, not even trying to smother his grin any longer.
Excited now, Bram dug into the box, pulling out item after item until he got to the bottom and found the red and green kilt folded neatly. “Is this really…?”
“I hope you appreciate it,” Derek teased. “It took me forever to figure out which was the right one. I called your father, who told me that your grandparents were part of the main branch of the Fraser clan. That helped narrow it down, but even so, I found fourteen different patterns. Dress tartans and hunting tartans and a dozen other variations.”
“But this is a real Fraser kilt?” Bram verified.
“It is,” Derek confirmed. “I spent hours online trying to figure out the differences between them all. I finally found contact information for the woman who is in charge of the tartans for the Fraser Gathering. She helped me pick this one out, along with everything else you’d need for a full outfit. Happy anniversary, love.”
“It’s not our anniversary,” Bram said automatically, though his gaze stayed fixed on the kilt, his fingers tracing the pattern of the plaid.
“Not our commitment anniversary,” Derek agreed. “It’s the anniversary of the night we met.”
Bram looked up. “You are so sentimental.”
Derek shrugged. “Are you complaining?”
Bram shook his head. “You bought me a kilt, and not just a kilt, but the traditional kilt of my ancestors in Scotland. I’m not complaining about anything!”
Derek leaned over and kissed Bram lightly. “You’ve been saying for as long as I’ve known you that you wished you had a kilt in your family’s colors. It seemed like the thing to do.”
Bram pulled Derek back into a deeper kiss, taking his time with the connection, lips meeting, parting, meeting again, licking at Derek’s lips until they opened and he could work his way inside. Derek let Bram control the kiss until his lover started pulling at his clothes. “Uh-uh,” he said with a shake of his head. “I’ve been dreaming about seeing you in this since I ordered it. Go get dressed. You can thank me when we get back from dinner.”
“Dinner?” Bram repeated, stopping his attempt to pull Derek back into his arms.
“We have reservations at Le Cirque,” Derek explained. “What’s the point of getting dressed up if I don’t take you out and show you off?”
“So what are you wearing?” Bram teased. “You aren’t Scottish and there isn’t a second kilt in here anyway.”
“You figure the kilt out. I’ll take care of myself,” Derek said.
“If you say so,” Bram said. “This will take a few minutes.”
“Take your time. I’ll get dressed in the guest room. I don’t want to see you until you’re all ready,” Derek said.