Scottish Crofts and Cottages with Vonda Sinclair
|Cottage at Culloden Battlefield|
|Cottage at Culloden Battlefield|
|Inside a cottage at Culloden Battlefield|
My Fierce Highlander
By Vonda Sinclair
vengeance. Dare she trust the enemy more than her own family?
Laird Alasdair MacGrath is driven to end two-hundred years of feuding with the MacIrwins. But by taking in and protecting Lady Gwyneth and her son, he provokes more attacks from his mortal enemy. As the danger and conflict surrounding them escalate, Alasdair and Gwyneth discover an explosive passion neither of them expected. With the arrival of a powerful man from her past, a horrible decision confronts her--give up her son or the man she loves.
My Fierce Highlander ©2011, Vonda Sinclair
Breathing hard, Gwyneth burst through the door, the bitter scent of peat smoke and tangy drying herbs replacing that of fresh air. “Mora, did you hear the battle?”
“Aye, I reckon they were fighting the MacGrath. ’Tis always a blood feud betwixt them.” Her friend and fellow healer bent over her knitting, her gray head wrapped in a white kerch. The fire smoldering in the center of the room provided little light.
“One man still lives. He’s been knocked out, but his breathing is strong. We must bring him here and see to his injuries.”
“Who is he?” Suspicion laced through Mora’s thick brogue.
“I know not.”
“One of the enemy?”
“Mmph. I won’t be helping the MacGraths.”
“A dozen men are dead. For what purpose? All this fighting is madness!”
“Easy for you to say, English. Lived here nigh on six years, you have, and still you ken naught of our Highland ways.”
She knew enough about their violent way of life and hated it. Gwyneth glanced at her five-year-old son sleeping in the box bed on the other side of the room and lowered her voice. “I would die before I’d let Rory become one of them, giving up his precious life over a senseless dispute.” She had to find a way to take him out of the Highlands before Laird Donald MacIrwin forced him into the ranks of his fighting men. “And you’re right, I cannot understand so much bloodshed over nothing.”
“’Tis not for naught. The MacGraths killed Donald’s brother ten years past. Then there was the time the MacGraths claimed a goodly portion of MacIrwin land. We don’t take the stealing of land lightly.”
How could her friend be so cold? “This man who yet lives is carrying a peace treaty. He wears a seal ring and appears to be the chief. Aside from that, he’s human and we’re healers. If I can save a life, I will, whether he is friend, foe or beast.”
“Aye, you with your gentle lady’s heart. You’ll get us killed. What if Donald finds out?”
A chill raced through her at that thought. “He rarely comes here.” Though the clan chief was her second cousin on her father’s side, no fondness existed between them.
“’Tis a bad feeling I have about this. You’ll regret it.”
“Do you not think the MacGraths will exact a severe revenge against us all if the MacIrwins kill their chief? He wants peace, as we do.”
“Well, this is not the way to go about it. I’ve been around a few years longer than you have, Sassenach.”
“I will drag the big brute up here myself, then.” She yanked a blanket off the bed, left the cottage and strode down the hill once again toward the glen. The stones slid and rolled beneath her slippers and bit into her feet. If Mora wouldn’t help her, she’d do what she could for the man.
Something all-consuming rose up from her soul and railed, refusing to allow him to lie there and die. Though his body looked powerful, he was helpless now. As helpless as a child, helpless as little Rory. All this man’s fearsomeness at her mercy, she was awed by the power she held over him, to help him reclaim his strength and his life…or let it drain away. That would be a sin far worse than any she’d ever committed, of which she had many. The peace treaty and something deep within her proclaimed his life was worth saving a hundred times over.
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