Highlander’s Lady of the Lake – Extended Epilogue
It had been so long since Nimue had last seen Guinevere. With the MacLellan clan having returned to their lands, Guinevere had been in the Lowlands for months, but now she had returned for a visit, and Nimue couldn’t be happier.
She had missed her terribly, and she wanted nothing more than to see her and talk to her once more. Besides, she had a surprise for her.
Gazing out of the window of Chrisdean’s study, Nimue impatiently waited for her, knowing that she was bound to show up at any moment. Chrisdean was sitting at his desk, and she could tell that he was watching her instead of working and that he had a small smile on his lips. He was happy, too, she knew. How could he not be?
And then, just as Nimue was getting too restless to sit still, she saw the gates open and her sister ride into the castle grounds.
“She’s here!” Nimue exclaimed, rushing out of the chair and the study before Chrisdean could even say anything. She heard his voice, shouting at her to be careful as she ran, but she ignored him in her excitement.
Nimue made it to the courtyard just as Guinevere was dismounting her horse, and she immediately threw herself at her, wrapping her tightly in her arms.
“Guinevere!” she said, all but squealing like a child in her ear. “Ach, how I’ve missed ye! I canna believe ye’re finally here!”
“I’ve missed ye, too,” Guinevere told her, but she seemed more preoccupied with something else. It was nothing that Nimue hadn’t expected, and when Guinevere pulled back to look at her, she could only smile. “Ye’re pregnant!”
Nimue had told her father, but she had begged him to not tell Guinevere, knowing that she would be visiting just as her bump began to show. Now, with some of the delays that had come their way, her bump was truly showing, and there was no way for Guinevere to miss it.
“Ach, I’m so happy for ye, Nimue,” Guinevere said, gently laying her hand on Nimue’s belly. “And for me! I’ll be an aunt! I hope it’s a wee lassie.”
Nimue knew that Chrisdean wanted a boy, but she didn’t mind. All she wanted was for the child to be healthy and happy. And if she had a small preference for a girl, well, that was for her to know.
“Guinevere, welcome,” came Chrisdean’s voice from behind them, and Nimue wrapped an arm around him once he was close enough to them. “How were yer travels?”
“Absolutely terrible,” Guinevere said, with that usual air of hers. “But I’m here noo, and I couldna be happier. Faither says he wishes he could visit, too, but he’s too busy with the clan. Does he ken about the bairn?”
“Aye, I wrote to him,” Nimue admitted. “But I wanted it to be a surprise for ye.”
“I hope she gets Nimue’s looks,” Guinevere said.
“I hope he gets his faither’s strength and bravery and—”
“Weel, shall we go inside?” Guinevere asked, promptly interrupting Chrisdean and pulling a laugh out of Nimue.
The two of them spent the rest of the day talking, mostly about the baby and the MacLellan clan. A part of Nimue felt guilty for not being there as they finished rebuilding their homes, but she knew that her place was in the Highlands now, and she couldn’t risk traveling that far while she was pregnant. She had made a promise to her father to visit as soon as she could, though, and she intended to keep that promise. As much as she loved the Highlands, the MacLellan clan would always be her home, too.
It was around the evening that Nimue noticed there was something wrong with Guinevere, a nervous energy that she seemed unable to expel. At first, Nimue didn’t want to push Guinevere, thinking that she would tell her what was wrong whenever she wished, but her curiosity grew and grew until she wasn’t able to contain it anymore. As the two of them were having supper—alone, as Chrisdean, Brock, and everyone else who could have joined them were too busy with war tactics and plans—Nimue took Guinevere’s hand in hers, grabbing her attention.
“Ye dinna look weel,” she said. “What’s wrong, Guinevere? Did somethin’ happen?”
“I’m fine,” Guinevere replied, but it was clearly a lie.
“We grew up together,” Nimue reminded her. “I can tell when somethin’ is wrong. What is it?”
Guinevere hesitated, drawing her bottom lip between her teeth. Nimue worried that she wouldn’t tell her at all, that she would continue to dodge the question, but when Guinevere spoke, she knew she was telling the truth.
“I’m thinkin’ about Tristan,” she said.
Nimue wasn’t surprised. She had been thinking about Tristan, too, all day long, ever since she had seen Guinevere. She had been thinking about how he would have loved to be there and how much she wanted him there, too, the three of them reunited. She could only imagine how much worse it was for Guinevere, as the two of them were twins and always inseparable.
“I think about him, too,” Nimue said. “I’ve been thinkin’ about him all day.”
“Aye, but . . . but I keep thinkin’ that he’s out there somewhere,” Guinevere said. Her confession drew a sigh out of Nimue. It wasn’t the first time that she had heard those words from Guinevere, but she wished that her sister would simply stop thinking like that. It had been so long since his death, and yet she still believed that he was alive.
“Guinevere . . . we’ve had this talk before,” Nimue reminded her. “Tristan is gone. I miss him, too, I miss him terribly, but there is na a thing that we can do about it.”
Guinevere shook her head. “He’s alive, Nimue. I ken it,” she said. “First of all, they never found his body. Why? Where is it? They found everyone else’s bodies, but na his own. And I ken it in me heart, as I ken that the sun rises in the mornin’ and sets at night. I can feel it. I ken that he’s still out there somewhere.”
Nimue didn’t know what to say to her sister anymore. Both she and their father had tried to talk some sense into her, to make her see that just because there was no body, it didn’t mean that Tristan was alive. If he were, Nimue was certain that he would have returned. There was no explanation about him not being in their lives other than the fact that he was dead.
“I dinna want ye to spend the rest of yer life lookin’ for a dead man,” Nimue said, and her words sounded harsh to her ears, but perhaps it was what Guinevere needed to hear, she thought. They had tried being gentle with her; and it hadn’t worked. Perhaps making her face reality was the best option for them all. “Ye’re wastin’ yer life like this, Guinevere. Ye have this obsession, and it will na get ye anywhere. Ye must move on. Ye must.”
“How can ye tell me to move on?” Guinevere asked, and Nimue could hear the trembling in her voice, even though she tried to seem unaffected. “I dinna understand how ye have moved on. I canna simply forget about him.”
“I havena forgotten about him,” Nimue said, and there was an edge to her words. As much as she loved Guinevere, she didn’t like what she was implying. Tristan was her own brother, too, and she loved him just as dearly. “I simply ken that he’s na with us anymore. I have accepted it. I wish there were somethin’ I could do to bring him back, but there isna. Lookin’ for a dead man will get ye nowhere.”
There was a long silence between them. Neither of them seemed to know what to say, and Nimue didn’t want to argue with Guinevere anymore. But then, before she could say anything else, she saw tears streaming down her sister’s face.
“Forgive me,” she said. “for what I’ve said. But I canna lose hope, Nimue. I canna. If he’s out there, if he’s still alive, then I want him to have a chance of returnin’ home. I will never stop lookin’ for him.”
With a sigh, Nimue gave Guinevere a small nod. With time, she thought, she would come to see that her efforts were in vain, but she wanted to avoid that subject from then on as much as she could while her sister was there. She wanted them both to enjoy the visit without any fights.
“Weel . . . how is everyone back home?” Nimue asked, quickly changing the subject. “Is Faither doin’ weel?”
The two of them talked for the rest of the evening and well into the night, and when Nimue retired to her chambers after ensuring that Guinevere was comfortable in her own, she found Chrisdean already in bed. Taking off her clothes, Nimue slid next to him under the covers, letting his embrace warm her up.
“Forgive me for na bein’ there with ye today,” Chrisdean said, but Nimue waved a hand dismissively.
“It was good to have some time alone with her,” she said. “We can all spend some time together when ye can, but ye dinna need to fash yerself. I have plenty to talk about with her.”
With a soft sigh, Nimue turned to face Chrisdean. Her brow was pleated with worry, and she considered for a moment not telling him the truth. She thought that perhaps Guinevere wouldn’t want everyone to know about her wild theories, but then again, Guinevere herself didn’t see them as wild.
“Guinevere is convinced that Tristan is alive,” she said. “I try to tell her that he’s dead, but she willna listen. She says that there was na body and that she kens it in her heart.”
Chrisdean’s sigh mimicked her own. “It’s strange that there was na body,” he said, and of course, he was right. Nimue had also been surprised, and it was something that she thought about often. “But he would have come home, wherever he was if he were alive. Ye ken that, do ye na?”
“I do,” Nimue said. “But Guinevere doesna. I wish that she would put an end to this silly thing, but she says that as long as she lives, she will continue to look for him.”
Chrisdean carded a hand through Nimue’s hair before it came to rest on her belly. It was something that he did a lot those days, touching her stomach and waiting for the baby to move, and it always put a smile on Nimue’s lips.
“Weel . . . perhaps it’s better to na think about such things right noo,” Chrisdean said. “Ye must remain calm and happy while ye’re carryin’ the bairn.”
“Ach, Chrisdean, I’m fine,” Nimue assured him. He had always been protective of her, but now it was verging on overprotective, and she had had enough of him following her around whenever it wasn’t absolutely necessary for him to be in his study or with his men, making sure that she was always calm and comfortable. As much as she appreciated the sentiment, she wanted fewer of the actions.
“Alright, alright . . . I willna tell ye what to do,” Chrisdean said. “But I will tell ye that I have an idea for the name.”
‘Is that so?” Nimue asked, the conversation suddenly turning very interesting for her. She also had a name in mind, or rather, two: the names of their Mothers.
“Aye . . . I think we should call him Tristan.”
Nimue couldn’t help but smile at that, even as a few tears threatened to spill from her eyes. Chrisdean had never met Tristan, but there he was, suggesting that they name their child after him just because he knew how much Nimue loved him.
She couldn’t even bring herself to argue that it could be a girl. And well, if her slight preference had just changed; well, that was for her to know.
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A very charming adventure of two people whose goal was to defend their country and end up with their hearts bound to each other.
Thank you so much dear Anita! I’m so glad that you enjoyed the book so much.
What a terrific love story, Ms. Kendrick! I loved the push and pull with the characters and how their antics led to their HEA.
Oh thank you so much my lovely friend! I’m so happy that you did love Nimue & Chrisdean’s story. <3
Wonderful story. Loved the interactions with Chrisdean and Nimue from the very beginning. Quite bold of Chrisdean to decide to kidnap her with the purpose of marriage. Turned into a great romance quickly. Just a little bit too much In the bedroom scenes. Recommend this book.
Thank you so much Mary for all the love! 😀
I enjoyed yet another of your novels. You are one of my favorite authors of this genre. Just so you know, the detailed romance parts are much appreciated! I know I always can count on you. What disappointed me is that the extended epilogue left one wondering if Tristan is still alive (I am hoping) and if Chrisdean and Nimue had a boy or a girl… hoping for a boy. It also left one hanging if Chrisdean will survive the oncoming war…I hope so – he is a real treasure! Set up for a sequel?
Thank you so much for all the love! 😀 Well… Let’s just say that a certain sister will have her own story soon… 😉
I enjoyed the interaction between our enemy/lovebirds , Nimue and Christian. The kidnapping scene was nerve-wracking, however it left a few unanswered questions on outcomes of some of the characters. But all in all it was entertaining for my rainy afternoon.
Thank you so much for your kind words my dear Judy! This isn’t the last we see of them ?
I loved this book although at the end Guinevere had me hoping triste was alive.but all was great and will there be a story for tristen I hope so.very good book excellent job.looking forward to reading more will leave a review as soon as Amazon let’s me.
Thank you my dear Sharon! <3
Couldn’t put this book down
Bedroom antics fantastic
The love between Chrisdean and Nimue was so beautiful
Thank you for such and awesome story
Thank you so much my dear Anne! More to come from this family 😉
Loved the book.
Thank you my dear Phyllis! <3
I loved your story! It is sad that the English and Scottish could not get along. War has it’s sad consequences. This was a lovely tale of the hot love between Chrisdean and Nimue. It was nice that Nimue and her father could finally be in agreement also. The epilogue was a nice touch ending with a child on the way but we don’t know the sex of the child. Could this lead to a continuation of this story? I hope so.
Well my dear Dot, more from this family is coming! 😉
I liked the book, but Chisdean seemed just a little to unsure of himself.
Thank you my dear Karen! Glad that you liked the book 🙂 Always good to hear an opinion 😉
I enjoyed the story….but was a bit confused on the Wentworth wedding night? Did he rape her or attempt to? If so, she had no time to process/discuss it with Chrisdean. Can’t wait for the sequel……hoping Tristan is well.
Thank you my dear Tee. He did not rape her. I am really glad that you liked the story 🙂 Stay tuned for more 😉
I’d loved this book, but I would have loved that Tristán appeared at the end as the boy that took Chrisdean to save Nimuen.
Thank you so much my dear Gudalupe. I am really happy that you enjoyed the book 🙂
Loved the book. Will be looking for a sequel with Tristan in it.
Thank you my dear Joan. You never know 😉
Loved the book can’t wait for the follow-up
Thank you Joan. I am glad. 🙂
As this is the first book I have ever read written by you I have to say I was impressed. With over 3000 historical romance from Amazon I am putting you up there with my favourite authours. Keep them coming can’t wait for the next book in the series.
Thank you so much my dear Gwen. I am really happy that you liked it that much.
Loved this book and the EE. Can’t wait to read about Tristan and find out if the baby is a boy or girl.
Thank you my dear Mary. I am glad that you liked it. 🙂
Fascinating story filled with lots of adventure! A love story for the ages filled with chivalry, fully charged with emotion! A captivating read and one not soon forgotten!
What a lovely comment my dear Jenny! I appreciate you !
will Tristan appear? I loved What will baby be? can’t wait for next book. I loved this one of Chrisdean and Nimue.
Huge surprises are awaiting! Keep reading my stories sweet Diane!
I loved this book very much ,I can’t wait to find out more of what happens to this family and the rest of scotland. Thank you.
Thank you, my dear Elaine! ?
Wonderful story and storyline was a fantastic one.Extended Epilogue was a nice ending.
Thank you so much, my dear Pauline! ❤️