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Chosen by a Highland Beast – Extended Epilogue

 

Even a character, a scene, or anything. You could say no if nothing bothered you.
Even a character, a scene, or anything that you enjoyed.

One month later…

Cathleen stared at her reflection in the looking glass. For the second time in the span of only a few weeks, she was dressed in fine fabrics and jewels, gold and precious stones adorning her neck and wrists. Her dress was a deep blue, not unlike the last one she had worn.

There really was only one thing that made a difference—this time, she couldn’t stop smiling at the thought that she would soon be marrying Macauley. The only tears she had shed since waking up that morning were tears of joy.

“Ye look very bonnie, me lady,” Morven said from where she stood behind her. Next to her, Bonnie was beaming with pride, her eyes misty with happy tears.

“She truly does,” Bonnie said as she stepped forward to help the maids with Cathleen’s hair, braiding it like she used to do when they were young girls. “I think it’s because she’s so happy.”

Cathleen couldn’t deny that. Though she was nervous, her heart beating fast and her chest seizing with every breath, her joy was as undeniable as it was all-consuming.

All this time, she hadn’t allowed herself to hope for a future with Macauley. At first, she had lost herself in the romance of it all, but then with everything Faolan had done, she had resigned to a life without Macauley, with nothing but the memory of him and their time together to help her keep going forward. Now, though, that future was entirely real and it was hers. There was no one to threaten the clan. There was no one to tear the two of them apart.

“Dae ye think Macauley will like it?” Cathleen asked. She wanted to look good for him. She wanted him to have no other thought in his mind other than their wedding night upon seeing her.

“I think he will love it,” Bonnie said. “He loves ye so, ye could show up tae the chapel in armor an’ he would still like it. Perhaps he’d even like the armor more.”

Cathleen couldn’t help but chuckle. If there was one thing that never failed to impress Macauley, it was that she knew her way around a blade and was not afraid to use it, but she wouldn’t go as far as to claim that he would prefer her in armor over these silky fabrics.

Bonnie and the maids pinned her hair back in an intricate updo before securing the veil over her face. Then, they led her to the door and out of the room, the two sisters heading to the chapel.

Cathleen knew Castle MacLaren like the back of her hand, and so even veiled as she was, she could easily maneuver around the corridors. Her gait was fast, her feet eager to take her to the chapel, where she would see Macauley again after being separated from him for an entire day before the wedding.

It was a bright, though chilly day, the wind whipping her dress and threatening to sweep her hair out of the delicate updo the maids and Bonnie had taken so much time and care to construct. Around her, the birds chirped and the leaves rustled in the wind, but she heard none of it.

Her heart leapt to her throat when she and Bonnie stood right outside the chapel a few minutes later, her sister waiting for her to take the step inside. Cathleen looked at the doors of the little church, her palms sweating and her stomach filled with butterflies, and it was only when Bonnie gave her a gentle push that she finally found the courage to walk inside.

All eyes turned on her instantly. Everyone from Clans Drummond, Hay, and Murray seemed to be there, some familiar faces for Cathleen and some she had only heard of until then. Kian and Deirdre were there, of course, Deirdre smiling at her as she wiped the tears off her eyes before they could truly shed.

Macauley stood by the priest’s side, freezing on the spot when his gaze fell on her, his mouth hanging open. His hand flew to his chest as though he was trying to calm his racing heart, and Cathleen was glad to know she wasn’t the only one so affected by what was happening. Slowly, she approached, and when she reached Macauley, he tentatively touched his fingers to hers, not quite taking her hand.

He couldn’t see her through the veil and she had a hard time seeing him, obscured as he was by the fabric. Still, there was no mistaking the smile on his lips or the love in his gaze, which never strayed from her.

The ceremony began but Cathleen listened to little of it over the sound of her heartbeat and the blood rushing to her ears. It all seemed to pass by in a blur, so fast that by the time she stood outside next to Macauley as the priest brought the rite o an end, she didn’t even know it had all come to pass and the two of them were married. Suddenly, everyone was congratulating her, wishing her and Macauley the best before heading back inside for the feast.

The great hall had been decorated with fresh flowers and tapestries and banners, the council sparing no expense for her wedding. It wasn’t just a matter of pleasing her, though, Cathleen knew, though that was certainly a part of it after everything that had happened with Faolan. It was also a matter of showing the other clans that they still had power and wealth, and that with Macauley as the new laird, there would be an era of prosperity.

The tables were piled with food and drink, platters of roasted meat and vegetables, bannocks, cheeses, and fruit resting atop them along with pitchers of wine and ale, all of it prepared for the grand feast. A band was already posted up in the corner of the room and they began to play as the first guests arrived, clansmen and women filling up the tables.

Macauley and Cathleen didn’t even have time to sit before Deirdre found them. “Come!” she said excitedly. “Macauley, ye will never guess who just arrived.”

With a small frown, Macauley turned to Cathleen, shrugging at her curious expression, before he took her hand and the two of them followed Deirdre around the room. Just as they reached the doors of the great hall, his expression shifted into one of recognition when he saw who was there, but Cathleen was still none the wiser.

“Tate!” Lana!” he called, rushing to meet the two new arrivals and tugging Cathleen along with him. “Ye made it, I thought ye couldnae come.”

“Well, so did we, but we couldnae miss it in the end,” said the man Macauley had identified as Tate. He was a big man, tall and muscular, with bright features—blonde hair and icy blue eyes that made him look cold until he smiled. The woman next to him, Lana, was strikingly beautiful, with fiery red hair and hazel eyes, small save for the belly that bulged under her clothes.

“Cathleen, these are Tate an’ Lana Hay,” Macauley said. “Tate’s a good friend. He lived with us in Castle Drummond fer… how many years exactly?”

“Too many tae count,” said Tate. “But we will visit again once Lana has the bairn.”

Cathleen looked between her and Deirdre, noting the similarities in their features and the way they held themselves, and gasped, her hand coming up to cover her mouth. “Ye’re Deirdre’s sister!”

“I am,” said Lana with a small smile and a tilt of her head. “Has she spoken about me?”

“Often,” said Cathleen, nodding enthusiastically. “I thought ye wouldnae manage tae come. It must be difficult fer ye tae travel now.”

For the first time, she imagined what it would be like when she would be pregnant with her and Macauley’s children. Would Macauley want a big family? Cathleen had never had anyone but her sister, but they and their parents were so close that she never felt she needed anyone else.

“Och aye,” said Lana. She had a soft, melodious voice and a warm smile that was very much unlike the kind of woman she had expected to see after Deirdre’s descriptions of her. Then again, Deirdre had mentioned that Lana looked deceptively meek, to the point where people thought of her as a fool until she showed her fangs. “But we wanted tae be here fer Macauley. An’ fer ye, o’ course. Welcome tae the family, Cathleen. I’m sure we’ll be great friends if ye can be around me sister.”

“Lana!” Deirdre protested, giving her shoulder a push with barely any force behind the gesture.

Cathleen laughed, shaking her head. “Deirdre is an angel. Truly.”

She still couldn’t believe how much Deirdre had helped her, how kindly she had treated her. Anyone else would have asked for Cathleen to hang, but Deirdre only wanted to make sure that she was safe and happy.

Suddenly, Kian appeared next to them and Macauley paled as he saw him, swallowing drily. Cathleen had never seen such terror in his eyes, especially not when Kian approached him, and she couldn’t help but stare in confusion.

“What is it?” she asked in a low voice, only for Macauley to shake his head fervently.

“Ye have been avoidin’ me,” Kian said, striding menacingly towards Macauley. Had they fought, Cathleen wondered? But no, it couldn’t be. Just at the ceremony, they seemed fine. “Did ye think ye could get away from me fer the whole feast?”

“I wasnae avoidin’ ye,” Macauley said quickly, taking a few steps back. “I simply… had to greet Tate an’ Lana.”

Kian hummed, seemingly not believing Macauley’s words. Something rattled in his hand and Cathleen looked down to see a pair of cuffs there, heavy iron joined by a long chain.

“We had a bet, Macauley,” Kian said. “I ken ye havenae forgotten.”

“A bet?” Cathleen asked. “What kind o’ bet?”

“It’s silly,” said Macauley.

“A very important bet,” said Kian at the same time.

“Ach, nae this!” Deirdre said, throwing her hands up in the air in exasperation. “I thought ye would have forgotten about this foolishness.”

“A bet is a bet, Deirdre,” Kian said. “An’ Macauley took the bet.”

It was then that Macauley seemed to relent, sighing as he presented his wrists to Kian. Kian was almost gleeful as he snapped the cuffs around Macauley’s wrists, binding his hands together.

“These stay fer the rest o’ the night,” Kian said. “I’ll remove them in the morn.”

“What?” Macauley shouted, indignant. “How dae ye expect me tae… tae dae me duty with these on?”

For a few moments, Kian regarded him, then he turned his gaze on Cathleen. “Ye may yet enjoy them,” he said, and turned on his heel, walking away.

Cathleen’s cheeks heated wildly at the implication. With a weary sigh, Deirdre followed her husband as Lana and Tate rushed after them, leaving Macauley and Cathleen alone. She looked pointedly at the cuffs and to his credit, Macauley blushed, a wash of color spreading over his cheeks.

“I made a bet with him that I would never wed,” he mumbled. “I have tae wear these cuffs.”

For a few moments, Cathleen looked at him in disbelief, before she burst out laughing. It was such a silly thing but Macauley seemed incensed about it, fuming with anger and embarrassment.

“Well, perhaps he’s right,” Cathleen said, leaning close to whisper in Macauley’s ear. “Perhaps ye will come tae enjoy them.”

She, too, turned around to walk away, smirking as she left a bewildered and undoubtedly aroused Macauley behind her.

The rest of the feast was spent with Cathleen and Macauley pulled in different directions, each of them dragged away to talk to people they already knew and meet those they didn’t. It was only later in the evening when they managed to find their way back to their table, but the moment Cathleen sat down, the Toiseach stood and raised his cup in a toast.

“Tae Macauley Sinclair, new Laird o’ Clan MacLaren, an’ his wife, the Lady MacLaren,” he said, announcing Macauley’s new role officially to the guests, who raised their own cups and echoed his toast. Cathleen didn’t miss the way the Toiseach stared at his bound hands in disapproval, though the man had said nothing all night about it.

Next to Macauley, Kian grinned and gave him an encouraging slap on the shoulder. Cathleen watched it all—Macauley’s small, bashful smile, Kian’s and Deirdre’s pride for their friend, the joy that erupted in the room, and she couldn’t help but think she was the luckiest woman in the world that day.

Now that they had greeted everyone in the room, Macauley and Cathleen could finally enjoy the feast, but it wasn’t long after that Macauley took her hand and subtly pulled her away through the back door of the great hall. By then, everyone was either too intoxicated to notice or too focused in their own conversations or dance to see them slip out. Cathleen followed him hurriedly, a giggle bubbling up inside her, until they reached a secluded corner of the castle in one of the more deserted hallways. The moment Macauley knew they were alone, he pushed her against the wall and claimed her lips in a searing kiss, Cathleen arching up to meet him.

“I couldnae wait tae get ye out o’ there,” he said, mumbling against her neck as he kissed the heated skin there. “I’ve been thinkin’ about ye all day. I was thinkin’ about ye all day yesterday, too. I cannae spend another moment away from ye.”

Cathleen laughed at the frenzied way Macauley’s hands pawed at her, as though he would truly explode if he didn’t touch her right that instant. The chains rattled between them and she had half a mind to grab them right there and then, just to see what he would do. Still, Cathleen ran a soothing hand over his shoulder and cupped his cheek, stilling him for a second. Before anything else, she had to say this.

“I love ye,” she whispered against his lips, brushing her own softly over them.

Macauley sighed, eyes fluttering shut as he pressed their foreheads together. Though the urgency hadn’t left him, she could tell, he was holding it back, content to enjoy that small moment between them first.

“I love ye,” he echoed back to her. “I love ye more than anythin’. Ye’re the brightest thing in me life.”

Cathleen huffed out a soft laugh, fearing that if she didn’t, she would start crying instead. She had already spent too much time crying, though. Even happy tears seemed too much now. She would rather laugh and smile for the rest of her life.

And with Macauley by her side, it seemed like such a simple thing.

The End.

If you haven’t already, please leave your review on Amazon



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Scot of Devotion – Extended Epilogue

 

Even a character, a scene, or anything. You could say no if nothing bothered you.
Even a character, a scene, or anything that you enjoyed.

Ten years later…

Evander looked around the Great Hall. It was the celebration of the anniversary of Alec’s lairdship, and the whole clan had gathered. His heart filled with joy as he looked around at the full hall, the quiet discussions of adults punctuated by the happy shrieks of children as they played.

There were several children, and Evander let his eyes follow each one in turn.

Alec and Kira had two sons – twin boys who, at eight summers, were already bidding fair to inherit their father’s height and their mother’s mannerisms. Kieran was quieter than his brother Devon, but both were full of trouble when they took it into their heads to cause mischief. He’d had to fish them out of ponds and various other scrapes more than once.

Catreena and Tad had a son as well, only a season younger than Alec and Kira’s boys. Ian was very much his mother’s son, a matter Tad often bemoaned, even as he beamed with pride. When he and Alec’s sons were together, the kitchens had learned to watch any pastries that might be cooling, lest they wander off.

Bran and Ilyssa had one child, a daughter named Kathleen, who had been a spitfire since the moment of her birth, seven years ago. She was active and boisterous, and just as inclined to play with the lads as she was with the lasses. She was also the apple of her father’s eye, and Bran bid fair to spoil her, though Evander pitied whatever man came to court the child when she grew up. She was as mischievous as her mother.

Not that he could talk, when his pride in his son was matched by his protectiveness toward his daughter. Conrad was the same age as Kathleen, older by a month, and the two alternated between getting along, and quarreling in a manner that drove all the adults to distraction.

Evander and May’s daughter Eileen was much younger – only four years old, and content to sit in corner and play quietly. She had her mother’s quiet spirit, but she could be just as stubborn as Evander when she wanted something. She had also inherited May’s protective nature, and a fondness for cats. Her joy in the creatures had actually helped May begin to heal from her fears. She would never be easy around dogs of any type, but she had a small cat she’d tamed, which often sat on her lap when she read or embroidered.

The last child Evander looked for was Dunn and Elayne’s child – five-year-old Diana. She seemed to alternate between trying to keep up with her older cousins, and keeping her younger cousin company. She was good-natured and friendly, and already showed signs of being a healer when she grew older.

And soon, she’d have a brother or sister of her own to look after, which was doubtless why she was spending the majority of her time with Eileen this evening. Evander’s eyes went to where Elayne was sitting, her belly softly rounded to show the growing life within.

May nudged his side. “What are ye thinking about?”

“How nice it is tae be here, with friends and family. How good it is tae see everyone happy and healthy, after all we’ve been through.” Evander looped an arm around her, and leaned closer to whisper in her ear. “And how nice it would be tae give Eileen a sibling tae play with.”

“Och! Is that right?” May shoved at him, laughing.

Evander laughed too, knowing well that what he had just suggested was not just in jest. The sound of their laughter echoed off the stone walls, and Evander laughed louder, just to hear the sound.

Alec then rose to make a speech and the hall fell silent.

“Dear family, friends, clansmen, and women. Welcome to this celebration, a feast nae just fer me anniversary but fer us all, a strong, united, and proud clan.”

Murmurs of approval supported his words.

“I am naething without yer support and help and I am grateful fer the presence of each and every one of ye, fer ye are what makes me a laird. I am proud tae be yer chosen leader, but may ye all ken, that ye often lead me. After so many years, and so many trials, today Clan Mackintosh is full of laughter, joy once more. So let us raise a glass to our beloved Clan! Slàinte Mhath!”.

All the guests, who had stood during the speech, raised their cups and cheered “Slàinte Mhath! Long live our laird!”

After a long drink from his mead, Evander leaned towards his beloved wife and whispered again “Why dinnae we go work on that sibling right now? I have a pressing need tae retire tae our chambers this instant.” And with that he quickly flicked his tongue into her ear.

May giggled like a young girl and took him by the hand. “As yer wife I must cater tae yer ever need, me dear husband, especially the more pressing ones.”

“Never was there anything better said or a more wonderful wife!”

The End.

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Seduced by the Highlander’s Kiss – Extended Epilogue

 

Even a character, a scene, or anything. You could say no if nothing bothered you.
Even a character, a scene, or anything that you enjoyed.

Three months later…

Étaín was excited as she stared out the window of the carriage as it bustled through the Highlands. It had been three long months of preparations, but finally she and Bhaltair were on their way to MacThomas lands before they traveled on to Baird lands in the Lowlands. They were to go to see his brother Tristan first, after he had sent a letter asking for a visit. He had heard that Bhaltair was to become Laird Baird, and he wanted to see him, and Étaín knew that Bhaltair was nervous. He was to be the Laird of Clan Baird, and she was to be his lady. Sometimes at night she repeated it to herself, and sometimes she had to say it to Elspeth to really believe that it was true.

“Ye deserve it, lass,” Elspeth had told her, tears in her eyes at their departure.

Étaín had invited her to come, asking if she would, but Elspeth and Angus were to be wed. There was a tearful goodbye that created an ache in Étaín’s chest. But it was a pleasant ache of love and friendship. She would return home from time to time, and she was so very glad for Elspeth’s happiness. She gasped lightly at the sight of the beauty of the rolling hills. As Lady Baird, she would miss her Highland home, and she wanted to soak in every last bit of it before it left. She finally felt as if her life was going somewhere. There was some direction, a plan. She was no longer sitting around feeling sad and sorry for herself, acting as her brother’s hostess. She now had a new home to go to, a home that she would lead.

“Tell me what ye are thinkin’ of, Étaín,” Bhaltair said from across the way in the carriage.

She turned to look at him and he was sitting, his hands folded on his lap, smiling at her. Grinning back at him, she turned to face him fully.

She said, “I was just thinking that ye look more handsome every day that passes.”

“Is that so?” he asked, leaning forward, a mischievous look on his face.

She leaned forward to touch a hand to his cheek and feel the harshness of his beard under her palm. She had not been lying; it was true. It was not simply every day, but every time she turned back to look at him. The sight of him grew more and more welcome, and it made her happier and happier each time.

“Aye.” She grinned as she looked into his eyes and then down at his mouth.

His hair had grown longer as well, but he kept it firmly tied back. He, Marcus and Kaden had been training for the past three months, and Bhaltair was like a different person. He no longer remembered his old injuries or his old fatigue, and that weight she’d first seen on his shoulders when he had come back into their lives was gone now. There was only clear happiness in his eyes.

“Well, then I should say the same fer ye, Étaín. Ye are like me bright star, and ye guide me home.”

Étaín felt a tightness in her chest. It was strange. How did some people not find such a love? She felt so happy, so grateful, and she now fully understood Líadan’s happiness with her husband. She wished it for everyone.

“Dae I now?” She asked with a mischievous look on her own face.

And even as the carriage rumbled along, she pulled up her skirts and moved across the carriage until she straddled him, her knees on either side of his hips.

She put her hands on his shoulders, and he turned his face up to her, looking a little surprised but pleased as well, and his smile widened.

“Aye,” he said, his hands sliding up her skirts and gripping her backside, roughly pulling a gasp out of her mouth.

Her smile faded, and she leaned down to kiss him. Their kiss was instantly deep and passionate, and it made her wet far faster than she’d expected. But he pulled away roughly, and he stared at her.

In a hoarse voice, he said, “Get those lovely breasts out fer me.”

He held her skirts up while she pulled at the ties of her bodice, her eyes not leaving his. She watched the hungry look in his gaze once her breasts were bare to him with eagerness. Even though he gripped her buttocks painfully hard, pressing his length against her, he nestled his face in between her breasts gently before he kissed along one and then pulled a nipple into his mouth.

“Bhaltair,” she breathed as he suckled against her, and her hands moved into his hair.

She leaned her head back, forgetting where they were for the moment, as her body was lost in pleasure.

“God in Heaven,” he said, turning to the other breast and giving it the same treatment, his tongue swirling around the hardened nipple. “I never am satisfied, me love, whenever I am with ye, I want more.”

She whimpered at the feel of the ache between her thighs, and when he rubbed his length against her, moving his hips upward, she cried out.

“Please,” she begged him, and he smiled against her mouth as he kissed her.

It only took a few moments for him to free himself, and then he was pressing into her, his hands on her hips, his eyes looking into hers. She was breathing hard, staring down at him. Every time they made love, it was better. There was something new to discover, some new realization, some new feeling, but every time the same feeling of gratitude and happiness washed over her. This was what she had desired for so long, and now they were one in every sense of the word.

She moved up and down his length, but he set the rhythm, his hands tight on her hips as he moved her body the way he wished. Her hands traveled from his shoulders and up his neck to his face again. And then as the pleasure grew, she threw her head back once more, crying out into the carriage, knowing she could be as loud as she wished.

Bhaltair started grunting as his thrusts grew harder. “Come fer me, love,” he told her roughly, and then he moved a hand between them, licking his thumb before he rubbed it against her. And then she came, loudly and quickly, shocked at her release. It shot warmth through her veins and every muscle relaxed. She shook on top of him, leaning forward, her forehead on his shoulders. It was as if she could not control her own body anymore. He thrust into her three more times before he held her tight, shaking and cursing aloud.

They sat like that for a little while, and then, when she pulled back, they were both smiling. “I love ye,” she told him.

“I love ye, and I cannae believe I married a woman who would let me bed her inside a carriage.”

“I would let ye bed me anywhere, Bhaltair.”

He winked at her. “I will remember that.”

***

Bhaltair, of course, loved making love to his wife at any moment in the day, but he was especially glad in that moment for there was a lot of nervous tension in his body. He was about to see his brother after five long years, and whom he knew did not care for him. It was rather out of politeness than anything else. And he was grateful for Étaín’s company as they rumbled along, closer and closer to MacThomas lands, lands he had once called home.

But now there was no home there for him any longer. It had not been home for many long years. He wondered what he would say to his brother, what he would ask him, what he would tell him. He wondered what his brother would say back to him. Why on earth did his brother wish to see him?

The closer they got, the more tension he felt in his body, and Étaín brushed a hand against his arm. “All will be well,” she told him, and then she leaned against his shoulder.

When the carriage finally stopped, he took a deep breath, ready to face what lay ahead. But he barely had enough time to help his wife out of the carriage before he turned and was tightly embraced by Tristan himself. He hadn’t even seen or heard the man coming towards him, and he held his hands out to the side, shocked at what was happening. But eventually, he hugged him back, and it felt like a final weight that had encumbered him had now disappeared.

“What is this?” Bhaltair finally asked, curious, as Tristan pulled back and stared at him, still holding his hands on his shoulders.

“Dear God, braither, it has been five long years,” Tristan said.

“Aye, I ken it,” Bhaltair replied with a nod, still confused at his brother’s odd behavior.

He had no idea what to say, and so he began with the obvious, sliding his hand to Étaín’s back.

“This is me wife, Étaín Stuart.”

With a smile, Tristan turned to Étaín, and he took her hand and laid a kiss upon it. Bhaltair took the time to study his brother. He looked a little bit older. And they looked far more similar than he knew Tristan probably would have liked. He did, however, look tired.

“It is so good tae meet ye. I ken that ye are likely tired from yer journey, but there is somethin’ I must say afore ye go in.”

“Very well,” Bhaltair said slowly, unsure of what he was about to hear.

Tristan looked uncomfortable, clearing his throat before he began. “Fergive me, Bhaltair, I beg ye.”

Bhaltair blinked, and his mouth opened, but nothing came out.

“Forgive me. I was terrible tae ye, and I was angry about maither’s death, but ye didnae deserve what ye received, tae be traded fer me in Sloan Baird’s dungeons. I heard Baird died, and that his son tortured ye fer five years past.”

“Four, really,” Bhaltair corrected, trying strangely to sound cheerful. “I escaped after four, and I have been on the run since. But Euan is dead now.”

His voice was steady and calm, but he had no idea what to do with Tristan’s apology.

“Aye, true enough. I tried fer a long time tae get ye from Euan, but he never allowed it. He even killed a few of me men who went in search of ye.”

Étaín gasped and then took Bhaltair’s hand, threading her fingers through his. He knew what she wanted him to do.

“Ye did that?” Bhaltair asked.

Tristan nodded, and then he said, “But when ye ran away, I couldnae find ye, until I heard about the news of yer new lairdship. Forgive me, Bhaltair. Let us be braithers again in truth. I want tae be part of yer family.”

Bhaltair hesitated for a moment, but Étaín squeezed his hand. “Ye dae ken that we are only half-braithers now?”

“Aye.” Tristan smiled and patted him on the shoulder. “Perhaps it is the reason we had such difficulty growin’ up. But what dae ye say? Braithers in truth?” He held out a hand and looked at Bhaltair eagerly.

Bhaltair turned to Étaín, who nodded smilingly at him. He was yet again on the precipice of something new and better. He knew he would regret it if he did not take this chance, and so he took his brother’s hand and shook it.

“Aye, Tristan. Braithers in truth.”

The End.

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Bride of the Viking Laird – Extended Epilogue

 

Even a character, a scene, or anything. You could say no if nothing bothered you.
Even a character, a scene, or anything that you enjoyed.

Two months later…

The rain was clearing as the little group left the chapel and wended their way across the cobblestones to the castle. Grey clouds gave way to blue skies and rays of morning sunshine beamed down on them.

Although tears had been shed during Father Padraig’s Mass and the long service that followed, it was a happy occasion.

Haldor looked around at his family. The annual memorial service held for the memories of their sadly missed brother Thor and their much-loved parents, the Laird Ulf, and his wife, Ingrid, although similar in many details to the other years, was very different this year.

In the past, the celebration of lives well-lived had been tempered by bitterness and the knowledge that Thor’s killer had never been brought to justice. It was an unhealed wound on Haldor’s conscience that his brother’s murder was unavenged. The ongoing hostilities wrought by the MacKinnons had weighed heavily, standing between himself, his brothers and sister and the sense of peace and acceptance they craved, which, until now, even the holy service failed to provide.

But today, instead of the heavy pall of grief hanging over them, there was a lightness, a burgeoning sense of optimism at what the future might hold. With the death of James MacKinnon, the dues owed to their brother had at last been paid, justice was done and their enemies vanquished. At last, Haldor could hold his head up without the nagging aggravation of unfinished business that, for years, had dogged his heart.

There was, at last, an end to the long feud between Haldor’s people and Clan MacKinnon. Following the strange disappearance of Bairre MacKinnon from the ship, and with no knowledge of whether he lived or died, his clan had appointed a distant cousin to lead them. Arran MacKinnon was now the laird. He’d met with Haldor weeks ago and although both Arne and Ivar voiced their suspicions of this new leader, the encounter had gone well. On meeting and talking with him, even they were well satisfied. The man sought peace and a settling of all the affronts and offences between. The MacKinnons had suffered, as had the MacLeods, from the years of hatred and fighting and he’d made a pledge to Haldor to settle their differences and live in harmony, united with their King against a common foe.

Being able to put the past in its place meant they could move on, dealing with the more pressing issues at home and now more able to contribute their support to King Robert the Bruce.

Breathing in the crisp autumn air, Haldor waved to a small group of villagers who stood nearby to wish them well. He walked arm-in-arm with his beloved wife, the Lady Sofia who, only last night, had given him the news that their longed-for babe might well become a reality in the coming months.

Dahlia was laughing, chatting with Arne and Ivar. No longer was she forced to look over her shoulder and jump at shadows. The man she’d feared for so long would never haunt her nightmares again. Today, even Ivar had exchanged his glum expression for an occasional smile. His perpetual scowl had eased, and there had been times when his mood lifted and there were glimpses of the lad he’d been before he’d lost his twin brother.

Haldor knew it would take time for them all to completely put the years of hatred behind them, but today, for the first time, there was a thrum of optimism in the air.

He squeezed Sofia’s arm and she looked up, beaming. Would he ever become tired of gazing into her shining eyes?

The afternoon wore on with feasting and entertaining the guests who had arrived to share the celebration with them.

Laird Payton MacDonnell was there with his wife Kayla, Sofia’s sister, and their new baby, a wee boy.

Laird Mackenzie had also arrived last night for the day’s festivities. He’d sought out Haldor in his study to ask, privately, after his daughter’s wellbeing. It felt good to be able to reassure him that his marriage to Sofia was bringing them both great happiness, far beyond what he could have ever dreamed. As each day passed, he loved her more.

“I’m am glad tae hear of yer mutual happiness, Haldor. Ye ken I was gravely afeared fer me daughter’s wellbeing when we first attended here. I kent how timid and afraid she was, scarred by her abduction and the time she’d spent as a captive of those terrible men.”

Sofia had never told her father about the role Haldor had played in calming her fears, or of the fact that he’d offered all his gold to purchase her freedom. That was their secret, and it was one that strengthened the bond between them.

“Me daughter assures me she is happy, Haldor. I see a different Sofia nowadays. She is stronger, a confident lass in charge of the castle doings, fulfilling her wifely duties with a smile. Nae longer the fearful wee lass that journeyed here with me those months past, greatly afeared of yer choosing tae wed her.”

Haldor smiled at this. “Och, she is everything I could hope fer as me life’s partner.”

The older man took his hand and shook it. “I am proud tae have ye as me son-in-law Haldor and I owe ye everything fer making me daughter so happy. If ye are in need, if it should be in me power, I will only be too happy tae offer whatever ye may require.”

Haldor dipped his head in gratitude. “I thank thee. It was yer soldiers that added tae our strength and enabled us tae at last defeat the MacKinnons.”

They left the study and headed for the great hall where the minstrels were adding to the merriment and the assembled guests were raising their tankards in thanksgiving.

Haldor took his place at the high table beside his wife, his heart swelling with joy and pride as he looked around the assembled company.

Raising his goblet of wine, he rose to his feet. “Slàinte Mhath tae ye all. Me dear friends and family, ye are close tae me heart. Our future is assured.” He glanced down at Sofia who met his gaze with her own clear eyes. “And may our days be long and happy together.”

The End.

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Claimed by a Highland Beast – Extended Epilogue

 

Even a character, a scene, or anything. You could say no if nothing bothered you.
Even a character, a scene, or anything that you enjoyed.
I'll be forever grateful if you mention even one.

One month later

The feast to welcome Kenna and Eleanor into the Drummond Clan had been a success. Deirdre and Kian, however, had other things on their mind than the feast, though, and she had soon dragged Kian to their chambers while everyone else was too busy chatting or dancing to care.

Ripping off their clothes had been a matter of seconds, and Deirdre was now kissing him, the two of them lying in bed, rocking slowly against each other. She no longer had to remove his mask, which he had stopped wearing more and more in the past weeks, to the surprise and joy of all those who surrounded them .

Ever since Kian had mentioned children, Deirdre had been thinking about it all the time and now that she had some wine in her, she found it much easier and much less embarrassing to apply everything Kenna had taught her.

Flipping her hair aside, Deirdre pushed Kian onto his back and straddled his thighs. She was already eager, wetness gathering between her legs, her body craving him more than it craved air. Kian’s hands were everywhere, gripping her thighs, caressing her breasts, pinching her nipples to hardness as she threw her head back in pleasure, moaning his name.

“Ye’re feisty today,” Kian said, sounding amused, but also already out of breath, just as eager as Deirdre was.

“I want ye,” Deirdre said as she reached between them and took his length in her hand, stroking him slowly. “I simply couldnae wait anymore.”

Kian groaned as Deirdre pleasured him, her movements torturously slow, her thumb swiping over the head with every pump of her hand. Every time Kian thought she was about to take him inside her, Deirdre slowed down, smirking at him until he couldn’t take it any longer.

“Then let me have ye, lass,” he said. “Please.”

It was what Deirdre had been waiting for. Shifting her hips, she finally pressed the tip of his length against her, sinking down and taking Kian deep inside her. This new angle to her was intoxicating, and so was the fact that Deirdre was now in control. She planted her hands on Kian’s chest and rolled her hips slowly, taking him deeper and deeper until he was all the way inside her, so deep that Deirdre was certain she would still feel him the following day.

She wanted it. She wanted the sensation to linger for as long as possible, reminding her of the nights they spent together.

Curses tumbled out of Kian’s lips when she settled on top of him, followed by her name, spoken again and again. Deirdre began to roll her hips just like Kenna had shown her, her ample breasts swaying with every move. She drew her bottom lip between her teeth, small, breathy moans escaping her as she rode Kian, taking her pleasure from him greedily. Soon, she was bouncing on Kian’s lap, their moans intertwining and filling the room.

It didn’t take long for that familiar sensation to crawl down her spine, her sensitive flesh twitching around him. Kian, unable to control himself anymore, bucked his hips, pushing himself even deeper inside her, one of his hands reaching for her breast as the other curled around her hip, warm and solid against her. Then, the hand on her breast trailed down, his fingers leaving a scorching path on her skin until they settled over her most sensitive spot, his thumb teasing her in maddening circles.

It was all it took for Deirdre to scream Kian’s name and curl over him, his hand ripping her orgasm out of her. She was still shaking and moaning when Kian flipped them over, driving himself again and again into her as he chased his own peak, their foreheads pressed together as he whispered sweet nothings in her ear.

She opened up for him as he took her, her legs falling open, letting him thrust deeply inside her. Her hands found his hair, her fingers tangling in the golden strands, and she gave them a pull, just hard enough to sting.

“Deirdre!” Kian shouted as he stilled, emptying himself inside her. “I love ye.”

Deirdre stilled, too. It was the first time Kian had spoken those words to her and her chest was flooded with warmth. Kian kissed her lips, her cheeks, her forehead, scattering soft, tender, loving kisses anywhere he could reach.

Deirdre felt loved. She felt more loved than she ever had before, cradled safely in Kian’s arms. He had risked everything for her. He had put his life in danger for her, and Deirdre could hardly believe she was so lucky as to have a man like him by her side.

Kian peeled herself off her but he didn’t go far. He only settled next to her on the bed, gathering her in his arms once more and pressing a kiss to the top of her head. Deirdre curled up against him, letting him pet her shoulders, her back, the swell of her breasts. Soon, they would both be ready for a second round, but for now Deirdre was happy to bask in the moment, letting her eyes fall shut as she nuzzled Kian’s neck.

“I love ye too, Kian,” she said, smiling to herself. “I love ye so much.”

Though they had both been through a lot, Deirdre liked to think it had all been worth it. Without Shane and Balfour, the two of them would have never married. Besides, all that was in the past now and she had no reason to fear as long as Kian was with her.

For the entirety of her life, she had been used to living in the nunnery and had taken her role as a nun seriously. But now she thought this had always been the life she was meant to have with her friends and her family, with Kian and the children they would have.

Deirdre opened her eyes and looked at him, peaceful as he was in that moment, his mask long gone from his face, and she knew it was going to be a good life.

The End.

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