“Back Where He Belongs” By Isobel Starling


“Back Where He Belongs” By Isobel Starling

Out on 3rd November 2017

FYI: This M/M Romance story contains gay sex and Puppy Play

Nostalgia had made Kier choose this particular route through the Highlands.  He’d been away from home for far too long, and on driving north from Edinburgh Airport, a strange feeling of longing crept into his heart to travel down his old favorite route.

Kier recalled the pleasure of being surrounded by the stunning mountainous, remote scenery, and his love of driving down empty Highland roads where he could just play his favorite music loudly and then put his foot down on the accelerator and let go—at one with his place in the world.

As he’d driven from the airport, Kier found he was lost in fond memories of when he’d been given his first car for his eighteenth birthday.  Douglas had joined him, and they’d enjoyed a summer road trip driving around Scotland with the view to seeing the country—and finding secluded places where they could fuck.

Kier had been away from Scotland for five years, and Douglas—who knew where the hell he was now?  That wistful memory had departed with the final shudders and gasps of the car engine.

Kier popped the hood and took a look at the engine.  He let out an exasperated sigh, having no idea what to do with a Hybrid.  He couldn’t immediately see the root of the problem.  Nothing had leaked or appeared broken; there was no steam cloud rising to tell him the engine had overheated.  He needed help—fast.

Kier already knew that passing traffic on this Highland route would be scarce, more so because it was Christmas Eve.  Highlanders were a well-prepared, hardy people and they would not venture out in bad weather like this, especially so close to Christmas.  Everything they needed to settle in for the holidays would have been prepared weeks in advance as no one wanted to get stuck in deep snow without supplies to see them through the harsh weather.

Kier slammed the bonnet closed, leaned on the car, and waved the smartphone around hoping to pick up a signal so he could at least send a message to his father to say that he was in trouble, but still, he couldn’t pick up a bar of signal.  He frustratedly kicked the wheel of his rented car and roared as a darting pain ran up his right leg.

The Campbell Clan had been crofters for three generations, and Kier carried on the family’s sheep farming traditions, but on the other side of the world.  He lived at a sheep station in Queensland, Australia, where he co-managed pastoral lands of over three-hundred-thousand acres and several thousand Merino sheep.

Kier was heading up to his family’s Inverness farm for Christmas.  Making such a mammoth sixteen-thousand-mile journey to eat a turkey dinner with his folks was something he’d been reluctant to do.  As far as Kier was concerned, when he’d left Scotland behind, he’d left all of his secrets and uncomfortable memories behind too.  However, this time it was different.  Kier’s sister Agnes had just given birth to her first baby, and on seeing his nephew via a Skype chat, his heart-strings had well and truly been tugged.  Kier knew that he wouldn’t be the best of uncle’s living so far away, but he could at least make an effort and be there for Baby Callum’s first Christmas.

The wild winter wind swirled, groped, clawed, and reached in through every nook in Kier’s clothing sending its icy tendrils to prick at his skin.  He pulled his parka zip up ever higher, dragged his wooly Reindeer hat down as far as he could around his ears, and clapped his hands together for warmth.  The wind was becoming so fierce that at times it nearly knocked him off his feet.

Central Queensland had a sub-tropical climate, so the farm Kier managed had never seen a flake of snow.  Had he been away for so long that he’d forgotten how cruel a Scots winter could be?  Kier glanced up to the ominous distant mountains and saw the purplish tinge to the fast moving clouds billowing wave-like over the snow-caps.  More snow was on the way.

He shuddered and turned in a full circle to take in the wilderness, covered with a thin icy crust from the first snow of the season.  He scolded himself for just how unprepared he had been for the journey.  He should have known better.  If he remained in his hire car overnight, Kier was worried that he would freeze to death.  The next village was Inchmabreck, and he’d known it well in his youth.

Inchmabreck had a pub named ‘The Forge Inn,’ and the elderly barman had never once asked him to show his ID, even though he and Douglas had been underage when they first started going there.

The village lay only seven miles hike up and down the long winding road.  It would take a couple of hours to walk, and if he kept going at a steady pace, Kier would be there before nightfall.  Then, he could call his da to come and pick him up if the weather wasn’t too bad, and deal with the hire car after Christmas.

Kier strode around to the boot of the car, opened it, and rifled through his rucksack.  His suitcase held the most expensive, fragile Christmas gifts, but he had stored a few Aussie themed gifts and toys for Wee Callum in his duffle bag.  He unpacked those, ensuring he had the bare essentials for an overnight stay.  Then he locked the car, hitched his rucksack over his shoulders, and started walking.



Isobel Starling spent most of her twenty-year professional career making art in Ireland.  She relocated to the UK and, faced with the dreaded artist’s creative block, Isobel started to write and found she loved writing more than making art.

Isobel is currently working on her sixteenth book.

The Shatterproof Bond series is an Amazon Gay Romance bestseller and is being translated into French with Juno Publications, German with Deadsoft Verlag, and Italian with Quixote Edizioni.  The series is also available as audiobooks, narrated by Gary Furlong.

Already in audio, narrated by Gomez Pugh, “Silken” will be available in German, Italian and French in 2018.

“Fall Together” and “Sweet Thing” will be translated into French by Reines- Beaux Publishing.


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