In the Arms of a Highland Brute – 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

Four entire weeks had passed without Alba realizing it. Everything went by so fast, the preparations for the wedding taking up all her time, much to Magnus’ chagrin. But Alba had to make sure that everything would be perfect. Everyone would be there, after all; the Murray Clan, the Menzies Clan, and all their combined allies. She couldn’t possibly allow anything to go wrong on the day of her own wedding.

Thankfully, everything went smoothly throughout the ceremony, and before Alba knew it, she and Magnus were married. She had once thought that it would feel very different after exchanging vows, but with Magnus, it was still the same. It was easy to be around him like they were always meant to be together.

Now the two of them sat at their table, and Magnus’ gaze kept drifting to her, full of want and heat. Earlier that day, right before they got married, he told her he loved the baby blue dress she had chosen for the occasion and couldn’t wait to rip it off her later that night.

And then Alba had forbidden him from touching it. The dress was too beautiful for Magnus to destroy it in his haste. She feared his wandering hands would destroy the delicate lace that lined the sleeves and the hem.

She only hoped Magnus would listen, unlikely as that was.

The feast she and Evelyn had prepared was already in full swing. The clansmen and women were eating, drinking, and dancing to the music, the great hall filled with their laughter and conversation. Alba couldn’t help but smile the entire time, her happiness bursting out of her and seeping into the room.

For the first time in her life, she could say that she was truly happy. She wasn’t thinking about anything else. She wished her mother could have been a part of this day too, but she no longer felt the intense sorrow she used to when she thought about her, and she felt excitement for her new life. It was what she had always wanted, to remember her mother fondly without having to remember the awful event that took her life.

When she felt a hand on her shoulder, she looked up to see Tate there, who looked just as cheerful and youthful as he always did. Alba was certain that plenty of ladies would try to capture his attention that night, popular as he was with women, but Tate seemed oblivious to it all.

“Congratulations, Alba,” he said but then frowned a little. “Well, I dinnae ken if that’s the right thing tae say, considerin’ ye married my brother.”

Alba laughed as Magnus slapped Tate’s shoulder. A part of her feared they would start roughhousing, but thankfully, they both behaved.

“What’s wrong with marryin’ me?” Magnus asked. “Am I that bad?”

“Ach, stop it,” Tate said. He pulled Magnus into a tight hug, one that he reciprocated immediately. “Always complainin’ about somethin’.”

As Tate hugged Magnus, Alba couldn’t help but notice that he had a birthmark on his hand that she had never spotted before. It was rather faint, a splotch of darker skin over his hand that was easy to miss.

Ever since Lana had told her about the man who had helped her, Alba had gotten into the habit of looking at men’s hands. She wondered if fate would have it that the man was none other than Tate, although it seemed unlikely. She didn’t know what the birthmark Lana was looking for was like, and she doubted it would be something as easy to miss as this.

Still, once she returned from her trip to the town, where she had gone with the Clan’s healer to help deliver a baby, Alba would introduce her to Tate and to let her know that she should look at his hands. If they hadn’t met already, that is.

“It really is a wonder ye two ended up married,” Tate said, resting his weight on Magnus’ chair as he leaned against it. “I never thought I’d see the day ye’d speak tae each other without shoutin’, let alone the day ye’d be a married couple.”

“We had tae hate each other first so our love could be even stronger,” Magnus said, reaching over to take Alba’s hand and press a soft kiss on her knuckles. “I think it was fate.”

“I used tae tell ye that she’s a good lass, remember?” Tate asked. “And ye kept sayin’ nay, nay, she’s a beast.”

“A beast?” Alba asked, gaping at Magnus as she snatched her hand back from him. “Magnus! Ye called me a beast?”

“Well, ye were a wee beast,” Magnus teased. “Ye were always so cold, and ye certainly thought ye were better than me.”

“Ye were actin’ so lecherously!” Alba said. She supposed Magnus still did, but only with her now, and she couldn’t deny that she enjoyed it. “What was I supposed tae dae? Ye even tried tae kiss me!”

At that, Tate and Magnus exchanged a knowing glance, one that filled Alba with suspicion. She narrowed her eyes at them and tapped her fingers on the table impatiently, unsure whether or not she wanted to hear the truth.

“What is it?” she asked. “Why are ye lookin’ at each other like that?”

“Dae ye wish tae tell her?” Magnus asked Tate.

“Nay,” Tate said. “She’s yer wife.”

With a sigh, Magnus turned to look at Alba and once again took her hand. For the moment, Alba let him hold it.

“Mo ghràidh…”

“Dinnae try tae placate me,” Alba said.

“Well, ye see, when I tried tae kiss ye, it was because Tate and I had a bet,” he said.

“A bet,” Alba said, her tone flat and unimpressed. “A bet.”

“Aye,” Magnus said, flashing her his charming smile. It didn’t work, not one bit. “I said that if I could prove that ye were a tiny beast, then Tate would stay longer. And, well, ye slapped me. Very hard.”

For a few moments, Alba stared at the two brothers in silence. Then she rolled her eyes at them and flicked Magnus on the forehead as a punishment.

“Neither o’ ye has a single proper thought in yer mind,” she said. To think that Magnus would have tried to kiss her for a mere bet. And not just that, but that it was a bet to prove she was a beast! Alba could hardly believe it. But as always, she loved him too much to stay annoyed with him for long. In the end, everything had worked out, after all.

“Forgive me, mo ghràidh,” Magnus said. “I adore ye. Yer the love o’ my life. My bonnie wife. The light o’ me eyes.”

“All right,” Alba said with a fond yet exasperated smile as she waved a dismissive hand at Magnus. “Ye can stop now. I forgive ye.”

“Dae ye forgive me, too?” Tate asked.

“Och, I’m sure ye didnae dae anythin’,” Alba said, reaching up to pat Tate’s cheek gently like a mother would comfort a little child. “This barbarian makes ye dae all these things, does he nae?”

“Alba!” Magnus explained in mock offense, clutching his chest. “I would never dae that! How can ye put all the blame on me?”

“Tate is young. He doesnae ken any better,” Alba laughed. “But ye dae.”

“I’ll spend the rest o’ me days makin’ it up tae ye, will I nae?” Magnus asked with a miserable sigh, letting his head fall against the table. It made such a loud noise and rattled so many of the plates and the cups that half the room turned to look at him.

“Och aye,” Alba said. But Magnus didn’t have to worry. She already knew a few ways in which he could make it up to her, and she was certain he would enjoy it, too.

Eventually, Alba allowed him to take her to the dance floor. The two of them glided around the room, and this time, now that all her injuries had healed, it was much easier for Alba to follow his lead.

Even though it had only been a little over a month since they had left Steward Castle, the events of those days seemed distant to Alba, as if they had happened to a different person in another lifetime. Ever since they had returned, she was surrounded by so much love and joy that she had almost forgotten about it.

The only thing that lingered were the nightmares, which Alba still had every now and then. While she still saw her mother and the fire in some of them, other times, she relived her kidnapping, while others yet, she saw Magnus being set on fire by Fletcher and Laird MacNab. Each time, she woke up screaming and covered in sweat, but Magnus was always there to calm her, whispering sweet, soothing words into her ear and holding her until she fell back asleep.

He never seemed to tire, no matter how many times it happened or how long it took for her to calm down. Magnus was always there for as long as it took, and each time, he promised her that he would always be there.

The rest of the feast went by in a blur as the maids kept refilling Alba’s cup. By the end of the night, when most of the clansmen and women had already gone to bed, she was giddy with love and alcohol, and she had to lean against Magnus for support when they made their way up to the chambers that they now shared.

Once they were behind their closed door, Magnus helped her out of her dress with such gentle movements that her breath caught her throat. His fingers seemed to touch every inch of her, brushing over her neck, her shoulders, and her arms, following the curves of her breasts and her hips. Then, once he had thrown his own clothes into a pile by the vanity, he took Alba to bed and helped her settle under the covers and into his arms.

Alba loved being in his warm embrace. Magnus was comfortable, safe, so incredibly loving, and familiar. It didn’t take Alba long to drift into a slumber. But then Magnus’ hushed voice pulled her out of it, and so did the hand that crept lower and lower until, much to her disappointment, stopped at her belly and refused to move, no matter how much she squirmed and tried to tilt her hips.

“Alba…” Magnus said, his fingers splaying open over her skin. “What dae ye think about havin’ a bairn?”

Babies were something Alba had never thought about, just like marriage. But the thought was appealing to her. She loved children and would love to have some of her own. Besides, she thought it would be a matter of time before she was pregnant, especially since she and Magnus couldn’t keep their hands off each other.

“Ye want tae have a bairn?” Alba asked with a small smile, her own hand coming to rest over Magnus’. “Ye never ken… we may already have one.”

“Are ye tryin’ tae tell me somethin’?” Magnus asked, suddenly sounding completely alert. Alba laughed and shook her head, reaching behind her to push him back down onto the bed when she felt him move.

“Nay,” she said. “I’m only sayin’ that there’s a possibility since we… are together so often. But I dinnae think so. Not yet.”

For a few moments, Magnus stayed silent, considering Alba’s words. “I’d like tae have many bairns,” he said once he finally spoke again. “Many wee ones, lookin’ like ye and me, runnin’ around the castle.”

It was a nice thought, and Alba let herself imagine it. She thought fatherhood would suit Magnus. For all he tried to stay away from people, to keep his distance from them, he was a very caring man with so much love to give. Alba couldn’t imagine a better father for her children.

“Robert will have someone tae play with, too,” she said. “Though I’m sure my sister will have plenty more bairns. We’re nae the only ones who cannae stay away from each other.”

It was the only reason Alba didn’t feel too guilty for spending so much time with Magnus. When Evelyn and Scott first married, they did the same thing. Alba could only hope that soon enough, her and Magnus’ desire for each other would settle into something calmer, less urgent.

They could hardly spend their whole lives in bed, after all.

Magnus laughed softly at that, and Alba felt him nod against her shoulder. “Aye, that’s true,” he said. “I cannae wait fer it. I never thought I’d want tae marry a lass, let alone have any bairns, but I cannae stop thinkin’ about it now. I want us tae have a family o’ our own.”

With a smile, Alba turned around in Magnus’ arms. She pressed a gentle hand over his cheek as she threw a leg over his hip, settling against him. “Yer so sweet sometimes, Magnus,” she said. Alba would have never thought this Magnus was the same person as the one she had met all that time ago, when their paths first crossed. Then again, the Magnus she knew back then was nothing more than a mask. Alba knew that now. It was how Magnus used to protect himself.

Alba kissed him slowly and tenderly, pouring all her love for him into the kiss. Magnus spoke her name reverently, like it was a prayer, his hands holding her like she was the most precious thing in the world.

Alba had never considered herself particularly lucky. If anything, only a few months ago, she would have called herself unlucky after the loss she had experienced and the grief that followed it. But now she felt as though fate was trying to make up for all that sorrow through Magnus. She finally had everything she wanted. She was finally loved, cared for, and safe.

She knew that hard times were still to come. Every life has its ups and downs, good moments and bad ones. But as long as she had Magnus and her family on her side, there was nothing that could hurt Alba anymore.

With a sigh, Alba closed her eyes once more, and this time, she let sleep wash over her. The smile on her face never faded, and she couldn’t wait to greet her first morning as a married woman.

The End.

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If you want to know what lies ahead in our story, you may want to get the sequel…

The Sins of a Highland Beast

Tate’s innocent favor for a friend spirals into an intricate web of deception as he reluctantly steps into his shoes. Before he knows it, Tate ends up taking his friend’s place as laird, abducting a lass and… marrying her. When love blossoms unexpectedly between the two, Tate faces the dire consequences that certain choices carry. Yet not all Sins of a Highland Beast can be atoned for…

  • I love Magnus and Alba’s story. Although they started out enemies and had a difficult journey fraught with many perils, their story was poignant and moving. Strong character development, good plot, and some beautiful scenic description. I felt a couple of abrupt jumps in plot line, and a few typos and word miscues. Nothing that dramatically impacted the understanding or development of the story. Overall, a great read.

    • Thank you so much for your comment, my dear Susan! They’re story will be out in a few months so stay tuned! ❤️

  • I thoroughly enjoyed the entertaining banter between Alba and Mangus. Alba was quite the spunky lass and Mangus was a “stand up ” guy. Terrific tale, Kenna!

  • Loved everything about it from beginning to end. I do enjoy all the books I’ve read so far from you. Can’t wait to read about Tate and Lana since I’m sure they met before

  • I liked their story and the ending.I did feel that Alba was out of character as she went from extremely shy and naive to wild and wanton very quickly. Just didn’t seem to fit her character. Needed a little more time for her to become comfortable with the physical side of her relationship with Magnus.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words, my dear Barbara! Your support means the world! I’m so glad you enjoyed my books! ❤️

  • I have become an avid fan of your writing, since I discovered your books! You give everyone so much passion in your stories, thank you for the awesome entertainment!

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