A Highlander Bound By Oath – Extended Epilogue
A few months later…
Charlotte was exhausted and excited. Today had been an eventful day, and it still wasn’t over. She smiled as she looked at her husband. It filled her with excitement that she could now call him that. Charlotte had been so nervous about the ceremony, scared that she might do something wrong, but Margaret quickly reassured her that everything would go smoothly. True to her promise, the ceremony had gone by in a blur, and Charlotte had been too focused on Owen to let her nerves get the best of her.
The hand-fasting ceremony had been one of her favorite parts of the wedding. As she moved around in a circle with her hands tied to his, Charlotte felt like she had been given the opportunity to start anew and create for herself the life she had always wanted to have. The other thing she had loved was the vows. She could not contain herself when Owen spoke his. Her eyes watered as he promised to love her and cherish her because she knew he meant it. Throughout the time they had known each other, he had proven to her over and over, the reason she could trust that he meant every word of his vows, and when it was her turn to speak her vows, she said it with all sincerity and truth because she meant it.
Charlotte was happy. His family had cheered them on when they said their vows and whistled when they kissed. Charlotte was glad that she met them. She could not have wished for a better family. She was happy that she could now call them her family as well. The past months before the wedding had been wonderful. Charlotte had spent the time getting to know every member of the Elliott family. Her mother-in-law had been so welcoming.
After they had returned from the battle at William’s, Charlotte had locked herself away to weep for the family that she had lost. With the death of her uncle, she believed she owed it to herself to let out the grief that she had bottled up. Charlotte had refused to let anyone in, not even Owen, but when his mom knocked, she had been forced to let her in.
It was the best decision Charlotte could have made. Her mother-in-law had wrapped her hands around her as she told her it was all right to cry. To mourn.
“I ken that ye have been through a lot, and I ken that I can nae replace yer maither. Nor me family can nae replace the one ye have lost. But I hope ye ken that we will always be here for ye if ye let us be. Ye are part of us now and we take care of our own.”
Charlotte had cleaned her eyes and looked up at the woman. Unlike the others she had spoken to before she ran off, she had interacted with the reserved woman only in passing. Yet here she was, treating her as if they were friends. Charlotte choked back a sob. Her uncle had tried, but in the end, he had failed to take everything away from her. She had a place with these wonderful people who were strangers to her only a few days ago.
“Thank you. I do not know how to repay you for the kindness you and your family have shown me,” she said, but her mother-in-law shushed her and smiled before rising to her feet.
“Ye dae nae have tae thank me. It is like I said earlier, ye are one of us now. I will leave ye alone now, but when ye feel like ye can join us, please dae. I am sure me son misses ye already and will only spend the time paving until he wears a hole into the ground.” She winked at her before she left the room, closing the door behind her.
Charlotte felt hands wrap around her from behind, and her smile blossomed when she looked back to see Isla. She had come to love the woman as much as she loved her own mother, and she knew that Isla loved her just as much. She had ensured that Charlotte knew that every day, both with her words and her action.
“Ye are now officially part of us, although ye have been one of us for a while now. How dae ye feel?” she asked her suddenly.
“I am happier than I have ever been,” Charlotte beamed, and she knew she meant all of it. She hugged her mother-in-law just as Owen came up to them.
Their wedding feast was filled with laughter and happiness. Charlotte danced with Rory and Margaret before she was carried off on Owen’s shoulders amidst the hoots and loud whistles. Embarrassed, her face went completely red, but she allowed herself to be carried off.
It was their first night as a married couple. Charlotte was quite nervous. After Owen asked her to marry him, he informed her that he wanted to do things the right way and that for him to do that, they would have to abstain from intimate practices while he courted her. Charlotte had been a little disappointed, but also quite excited. It was the first time she was going to be courted the right way, as opposed to the terrible experiences she’d had before. In the days that had followed, Owen had brought her flowers and asked her to accompany him on evening strolls around town. They went for picnics and even a swim in the lake at the back of their property. They followed the proper rules of engagement with a chaperone, and Charlotte felt pride and love for their new beginning.
Charlotte had not known how much she would enjoy the process, and she was glad that Owen had chosen to court her. The tension between them had been thick enough to cut through with a knife, but they had settled for the occasional kisses, never allowing themselves to go past that. Charlotte had counted the days until she could be in his arms again, the way she had been the night before the incident. She wanted to experience the intimacy she’d shared with him that night. She could still remember how gentle he had been with her and the whispered words in her ear that had made her feel safe and happy, content to be with him in that moment.
Charlotte giggled when Owen kissed her, and suddenly her hand came up to cover her mouth in shock. She had never been the sort to giggle. It was such a strange sound, but she did not much mind it. She was happy, that much she knew, and he was happy also, that much she cared about.
“Where’s your mind at? Why did you suddenly go quiet on me?” Owen asked her. Charlotte debated whether to tell him as he climbed the stairs with her still on his shoulders.
“I was thinking about how perfect the last few months have been,” she said. She bit her lip before adding, “I was also thinking about being with you again.”
Charlotte blushed when Owen chuckled. He opened the door to their room and gently placed her on her feet.
“Feel this,” He took her hand and traced a path down his body from his chest to the waistband of his trousers and a little lower until she was cupping him in her hands. Charlotte gasped in shock and he held her there, squeezing tightly before he let go.
“Trust me, love, ye are nae the only one who has been thinking about it. It is all I have been able tae think about since the minute we agreed tae nae be intimate,” he said, looking pained. Charlotte laughed suddenly. She knew he wanted to be with her, but she had not known how much until she saw his expression. Her face morphed into confusion when he suddenly looked serious. She noticed he seemed to look at something near and Charlotte froze in worry.
“What is it?” she asked worriedly. She turned around, but he shook his head at her.
“Nay, dae nae move, me love. Ye have got a spider on ye.” Charlotte froze for a second as his words registered in her mind before quickly removing her clothes. She could not get it off her quick enough. Charlotte flung pieces of fabric around as she jumped up and down in fear, her mind returning to the spider that had climbed into her dress in the monastery.
“Get it off! Oh, please get it off, Owen,” she screamed, still taking off her clothes. She continued to undress until she was naked before him, jumping as she shook her hair to make sure that it had not tangled itself in her hair. Her hair had grown slightly longer since her uncle cut it, though it was still a long way off from what it had once been, but she found she did not much mind it. Charlotte had begun to love her hair as it was, although she still intended to grow it out. Now, however, the strands tickling her neck felt like the legs of a spider, making her even more scared.
Charlotte stopped when she heard Owen laugh. She stopped and glared at him playfully when she realized there had been no spider.
“You need to stop doing this, Owen. If you wanted to get me out of my clothes so bad, then all you have to do is ask.” She watched his eyebrows shoot up and a grin form on his lips.
“Oh, is that so?” he teased. Charlotte’s heart raced as Owen slowly advanced toward her. He undid his shirt as he got closer and took it off, taking off the rest of his clothes until he was completely naked before her. “There. Now we are even.”
Owen wove his fingers into Charlotte’s hair and pulled her into him, kissing her deeply. She gasped when he pressed fully against her. She could feel the hardness of him. Owen pulled his lips from hers and took her by the hand, leading her to the bed. She felt the heat pool in her core when he groaned above her, his eyes closing as he sniffed her neck. “I love the smell of yer skin. It does things to me that ye can nae understand,” he murmured.
She quivered when he bit her neck, licking the sensitive bite mark. Charlotte wrapped her hands around him and pulled on his hair, kissing him hard on the lips. She moaned into his mouth and lifted herself until her breasts were pressed against his chest, making sure that her unspoken request was understood. She gasped when he lined himself with her center and pushed into her gently. Charlotte moaned softly when she felt the fullness of his sheath completely inside. Something about it made her feel whole, like they were meant to be.
She gasped and then moaned with pleasure when he began to move inside her with a rhythmic dance of their hips. Her hands wrapped around his hard bottom as she moved with him, chasing her pleasure. Charlotte could feel the tightening in her core increasing rapidly. His deep grunts filled her with excitement. Her legs shook when he thrust deep and slow inside her, grazing at a spot that sent sweet sensations racing through her body. Charlotte bit his shoulder when he did it repeatedly, the same feeling running through her body repeatedly. She moaned his name and tightened her grip around him. Her legs wrapped around his waist to better accommodate him. She let out a low-pitched scream when the pleasure overtook her, just as Owen jerked above her and collapsed on her.
Charlotte played with the short strands of hair at his nape, feeling complete. Her life had taken a turn for the better and she could not be more grateful.
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