A Highlander Forged in Fire – Extended Epilogue
Fraser could not have been happier, though marriage was not the end of the happy tale between Isla and himself. After the excitement of their wedding day, there came many more feasts and celebrations, and Fraser found himself the center of attention. It was quite overwhelming, and the humble blacksmith was amazed at how he was now feted by those around him.
“Hail to thee, Laird apparent,” they said, filing past him and bowing, much to Fraser’s embarrassment.
“Ye have much to live up to in the footsteps of yer father,” others said, but Fraser was content to find happiness in the present, at Isla’s side.
In his own mind, he was still the lowly village blacksmith, to whom people brought their horses for shodding and soldiers their swords for mending. It mattered not to Fraser whether he held title or not, so long as Isla was at his side.
He had many plans for the future and set about rebuilding the croft and being a faithful husband to Isla, whom he loved more than anything in the world.
“I shall see to it that ye are always taken care of, lass,” he told her as they walked hand in hand a few days after the feast.
“Ye have already taken care of me, Fraser,” she replied. “We shall care for one another,” and he smiled at her and kissed her.
Isla was happy at the croft, which had once belonged to her grandparents. Fraser had repaired it and made it strong and sturdy, and it was a happy place in which to raise a family. It was not long after their marriage that she gave birth to their first son and they named him Rory. He was a bonnie bairn and doted over by his grandparents and those around him, including his Godfather Sweeney, who was a regular visitor to the croft.
“Ye cannae keep away, can ye, Sweeney?” Isla said one day when Sweeney appeared at the door, bearing a sprig of heather in his hand.
“Well, ye made me Godfather, and I have responsibilities,” he replied, but Isla was more than happy to see him.
Over the years, he had been a good friend to them all, and she welcomed him inside, just as Fraser was returning from his work.
He was busy working on the ruined castle below, which, along with helpers from the village, he was working hard to restore.
“How goes the work?” Sweeney asked as Fraser settled himself at the table, bouncing baby Rory on his knee.
“Aye, it goes well, though it will be a few more winters before we move from this place to there,” he replied, as the child began to cry.
“Why we have to move to a drafty old castle when we have this lovely croft is quite beyond me,” Isla replied, for she was quite happy in her grandparents’ croft.
“Ye will nae say that when the English have regrouped and regained their strength,” Fraser said. “What news dae ye have from Kirklinton, Sweeney?”
“Much the same. Yer father and Lena are happy enough together. They seem closer by the day,” he replied.
“It would be nice if they were to marry? Dae ye nae think?” Isla said, smiling, as she took the bairn from Fraser.
“They are certainly close,” Sweeney replied.
Isla wanted her father to be happy, and since Lena’s arrival, the two had seemed to grow ever closer. He was getting older though and would not see many more winters on the borders. Lena had also had a hard life, and Isla wondered just how long it would be before her husband became Laird of Kirklinton.
“If it makes them happy,” Fraser said.
Isla was about to reply when suddenly she felt a twinge in her stomach. It happened several times before, and she rushed from the room to be sick.
“Are ye alright, Lena?” Fraser said, rushing after her as the bairn began to cry.
“Aye,” she said, smiling at him, “but I think I might be with child.”
Isla was with child, and some months later, she gave birth to another boy, who they named Owen. The croft now seemed very crowded, and Isla was more in favor of the renovated castle than she had been before. With two children, and perhaps more on the way, she knew that her growing family would soon outgrow her grandparents’ croft.
“‘Tis nearly finished,” Fraser told her, two years after she had given birth to Owen.
“How long, Fraser?” she asked. For now that Duncan was three years old and Owen two, they were becoming boisterous, and the croft was far from adequate
“By the winter, lass,” he replied, smiling at her as she rolled her eyes.
They were expecting a visit from Duncan, and as she looked out of the window across the heathers, she could see him ambling across the moor.
“Yer brother is here,” she said, scooping up the bairns in her arms.
Together, the family walked out to meet him, and the children were delighted to see their uncle, who always came bearing little gifts, He was dressed in his monks’ habit, and he embraced them all in turn, blessing the children as he always did.
“How was yer journey, brother?” Fraser asked,
“Aye, it was uneventful, which is how I always pray it to be,” he replied, laughing, for Duncan always laughed a lot.
Isla had noticed that in him recently. He seemed entirely happy and contented in his vocation, and she was glad that he too had found the happiness which they enjoyed themselves.
“What news dae ye have?” Duncan asked. “Are yer father and mother well?”
“Aye, they get along very well,” Fraser replied, laughing.
“They should be married. That is the proper thing,” Duncan replied, raising his eyebrow.
“Well, I shall leave ye to suggest that,” Fraser replied, as they walked up towards the croft.
“And ye, Isla, what happy news dae ye have for me?” Duncan said.
Isla was surprised by his words, for she had told no one except Fraser that she was expecting a bairn. She had realized only a few weeks ago, and it was far from apparent yet, except to herself.
“I … how?” she said, as she and Fraser turned to him in surprise.
“Oh, intuition, I suppose,” he replied and tapped his nose.
Isla was pleased when Lena announced she had given birth to a baby girl. Not that she would have minded either way, but a girl would be good company for her in later years, and she held the baby close to her breast and kissed her.
“What will ye call her?” Lena asked, for she had been present each time Isla had given birth and asked the same question.
“Evie,” Isla replied, for it was a name she had always loved.
Lena called her son into the room, and Fraser hurried in, stooping by the bed and smiling at Isla, who lay back in exhaustion.
“Well done,” he said, and Lena handed him the baby.
“A beautiful little girl for our family,” she said, as Fraser took the child gently in his arms.
“Hello there, ye are beautiful just as yer mother,” Fraser said, holding the baby close to him and placing a delicate kiss upon her forehead.
Isla knew that now her family was complete, and she delighted in seeing them grow. They were each so different. Rory took after his grandfather and was always getting into scrapes; Owen was like his father, quiet and ponderous; and Evie took after her mother, a brave little lass with a determined will.
Isla could not have been happier, and it was not long before the family moved into the castle, which had once belonged to her parents. It brought back many memories for Isla, and she often found herself sitting quietly in the Great Hall, remembering the Armstrongs and the family she had lost.
“What were they like, mother?” little Owen asked her one day.
“Well, why dinnae the three of ye sit down, and I shall tell ye the whole story,” she replied, as they settled by the fire.
It was now ten years after their wedding, and Fraser and Isla were walking on the heathers between Kirklinton and the Armstrong castle. They held hands, and above them, a hawk was circling. Just as it so often did when they walked together in this way, as though it were always keeping watch over them. In the distance, the three children were running and playing together on the moorlands, happy and carefree
“We have much to be thankful for, ye and I,” Fraser said, as they came to the ridge and looked down upon the castle.
“Aye, a great deal,” she replied, turning to him and resting her head upon his shoulder.
“I have never ceased to love ye, Isla, and day by day, my love for ye grows,” he said, and he turned and kissed her.
“And I feel the same for ye, my darling husband. I love ye so very much, and I couldnae imagine my life to be any other way,” she replied, and together they looked over the heathers as the hawk circled above.
“What dae ye think the future will hold for our bairns?” she asked, looking over at the children, who were holding hands as they ran across the moorlands.
“I dinnae know, but all I hope is that they will be as happy as we have become,” Fraser replied, and he turned again and kissed her, the future stretching on ahead, as a new generation came to the fore.
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I loved your book! I let was exciting and ended well! It was clean. At the beginning it was sad but ended in happiness.
I’m delighted to hear that it was worthy of your time my dear Pamela! <3
Loved this book. A true fairy take where love and goodness conquer.
Thank you my dear Rhonda! <3
What a sweet love story. Oh, to be sure there was plenty of suspense, intrigue and the usual fightin’ but the love of the brothers for each other, Sweeney for Isla, hers for him, for her stern father and his for her but the special love she and Fraser found in one another was beautiful. Their love story was every bit as strong and powerful without the graphic sex scenes. I find them a bit too much at times to be quite honest. So lovely to see the reunion of the players and that all came together. Thanks for a very entertaining story!
Thank you my dear Kim! I’m so glad that you enjoyed it!
Enjoyable and delightful stories not only of lovers, but of brothers, parents, family and friendships set under difficult and trying situations. Worth the read!
I’m thrilled to hear that the book was worthy of your time my dear Kate! Thank you! 🙂
OMG, what a beautiful story, about defiance, war, love and family! A must read!!
Thank you ever so my dear Della <3
This book was exceptional. The way the story bit by bit connected all the characters was inspired. The characters were all believable and kept the reader’s interest. Quite a good read!
I’m so happy that you liked it my dear Bonita! What a lovely name <3
I loved this story. Oh how it proves that love can endure all. Sometimes brothers are created not birthed. They all connected to say other like a delicate jigsaw puzzle as having a special place in the picture.
Thank you very much my dear Wilma <3
Beautiful and very romantic story! Really loved it! Looking forward for the next book! Congratulations, another fantastic book! Highly recommend it! Many blessings! ??
Many blessings to you my dear Nilda! Thank you for all the support! <3
Thank you very much my dear Barbara!
Enjoyed the love story between Isla and Fraser and the tale surrounding it.
Thank you my sweet Ann <3
Loved the story & how true love conquered all! Love how all the relationships turned out!
Glad you enjoyed it! Thank you, my dear! <3
Very nice story! Fraser and Isla found their happiness finally with family and their children. War is a sad thing when life is taken so freely. Glad this story ended with peace.
I’m so happy that you enjoyed it my dear Dot! <3
Captures your attention from beginning to the very end (Thank you for the short additional ending). Proving Love truly does conquer All. Through the fighting of the Scots and the English, The suspense and intrigue of what happens next for Isla and the growing love between her & Fraser. You will not want to put this book down as you go through each twist, turn, and at last read the beautiful ending.
Thank you very much my dear Beth! Your comment really warmed my heart.
Loved the story. Only one thing really bothered me – there is no such word as shodding. The act of putting shoes on a horse is called shoeing. A horse wearing shoes is shod.
Hello my dear Janice, I’m so very glad that you enjoyed the story! About “shodding”, you are quite right about your observations. I took a little artistic license with this. 🙂
Dear Kenna, I must say I enjoyed this book very much. For me it was a page turner. I just could not put the book down.
To anyone reading my blurb get the book,a drink sit back and enjoy this story. You won’t be disappointed.
P.S. don’t forget to read the epilogue.
Thank you so much my dear Marie! I’m forever grateful! <3
I really like the plot of the story and had trouble putting this book down. I can’t wait for the next book!
I’m delighted to hear it my dear Karen!
Very interesting story of Fraser and Isla. I am a big fan of stories about the Scots.
I’m delighted to hear it my dear Ann! It’s not the last we’ve seen of the Elliots. 😉
These characters were so interesting and had special qualities to admire. I really cared about them and was glad to read about positive outcomes for many of them. Look forward to read the next adventure.
Thank you my sweet Jeanette! <3
Enjoyed this book and it’s interesting storyline and characters. Lovely love story. The Extended Epilogue was great. It really filled in lots of questions and left me feeling quite happy. Is there another book coming?
The next book “A Highlander Born from Chaos” is already out my dear Ann! I’m so happy you enjoyed it 🙂
Thoroughly enjoyed the story. Can hardly wait for future books. Keep them coming.
Thank you so much my dear Jan! <3
COULDN’T PUT THE BOOK DOWN FINISHED READING IT IN ONE DAY. CAN’T WAIT FOR THE FOLLOW UP. BEST BOOK EVER
I’m so happy that you loved it, my dear Linda! The next one “A Highlander Born from Chaos” is out already 😉
Beautiful book. I enjoyed reading this lovely story and look forward to more.
Thank you my dear Jean! The next book “A Highlander Born from Chaos” is already out <3
A very enjoyable read. I look forward to what happens next.
Thank you my dear Elaine 😀
I loved this book!!
Thank you so much my dear Judy! <3
Absolutely loved reading the story of Fraser and Ilsa’s journey to love!
Thank you my dear Rena! 😀
Enjoyed the book tremendously! Action and intrigue, a page turner. I liked the wedding night scene it was perfect and tender, it fit and felt right!
Another good read! Thanks
I’m so glad that you enjoyed it my dear Sue! <3
I love this book I had a hard time putting it down till could finish it.
Thank you my lovely Mary <3
Enjoyed the story line. Loved the characters.Sweeney was fun. Keep it up.
Thank you, my dearest Becky! ?
Great story but names seemed to get mixed up in the epilogue
Thank you for pointing that out, my dear Josie! ?
Oh what a story. It had love and suspense and mystery. Couldn’t put it down for anything. Read it traveling to my vacation spot. Kept me company and made me smile. Loved it
This makes my very happy, my lovely Pat! What more an author could ask for? ?
Loved it! Sequel?
Yes, my beloved Linda, “A Highlander Born from Chaos” had been already published ?
Thank you for a beautiful and exciting love story.
I am so glad you enjoyed it, my dearest Susan! ?
Wonderful book! Fate wins! I hope that Lena finds peace and love.
I am so glad you enjoyed it, my dear Ellen! ?
Lots of challenges for these strong characters. Very satisfying results with happy ending.
I’m very happy that you enjoyed their journey my dear Jeanette <3
This was an excellent story. I enjoyed it very much.
That’s amazing to hear my dear Charlyne! <3
This was a very well written story about the unhappy and the greatest love story of two lovely people who are doing wonderful in the end.
Exactly, my dear! I’m so glad that you enjoyed my novel❤️.
A wonderful story.
Thank you my dear Gloria 😀
Very different from most of your books I’ve read. A simple story of love and relationships with war added to add to the adventure.
Thank you my dear Carol. Hope that you liked it 🙂
Enjoyed the story very much a pleasure reading your books kept me entertained from first to last loved it. Action intrigue war scenes love forgiveness happiness had it All my Applause to you.
Thank you so much my dear Maria. I am delighted that you liked the story 🙂
I really enjoyed this book. Thank you for writing it. Just a little bit more of my heritage. Thanks again
Thank you my dear Bonnie. I am glad that you liked it. 🙂
Very interesting.. a few places name is wrong for the content.. but easily figured out .. great story ..
Thank you, my dear Donna. 🙂
I certainly enjoyed this story. Looking forward to the next one.
Excellent characters, the circle of life.
Thank you so much, my dear Nancy. Stay tuned for more. ?
A very good read
Thank you for your feedback, dear Janet! I’m glad you enjoyed the story! ❤️
What a wonderful story. There was much going on in this one. You crossed off the feels. I truly love a highland story. There was was love strife and thing unexpected. Loved it.
Thank you so much, my dear Gari! I’m so glad you enjoyed the story! ❤️
A good read
Thank you so much for your kind words, my dear Gwen! I’m so glad you enjoyed the story! ❤️
What a wonderful story. Filled with the usual Scottish/English battles which kept the story interesting. Isla was such a a sweet character. Fraser and his brother Duncan had such fine characters with Duncan wanting to go to the monastery and Fraser sure his days would be filled as the smithy.
Thank you so much for your kind words, my dear Donna! I’m so glad you enjoyed the story! ❤️
Enjoyed how Isla and Fraser met and sweetly fell in love. This storyline contained danger and bravery, which developed further and included a second chance for Fraser’s parents. Extended rounded things out nicely.
Thank you so much for your kind words, my dear R! ❤️
Hi Kenna. I liked the characters in this story very much; Fraser, Isla, Leno, Sweeney, etc. But if I am honest, I didn’t enjoy this story as much as others of yours. I found many comments and thoughts repeated to often. And the many typos increased as the story came to an end. The romance part lacked the intensity of your other stories.. I hope my comments help in your writing. Your story was good.
Thank you so much for your honest feedback, my dear Debbie! You help me become better! ❤️
Just loved it as I do ALL your books.
Thank you so much for your kind words, my dear Melba! I’m so happy you liked the story! ❤️