Married to a Highland Brute – Extended Epilogue
There had been no sign of rebuttal from Lords Bennett and Turner for more than six weeks.
The only news that had reached the keep was Bennett’s return to England. The tale went that he had suffered heartbreak at the hands of Turner’s daughters and sought a new start in his father’s old manor in York.
Life was peaceful in the Highlands, and Nora relished every moment of it. She spent most of her days with her family and most of her nights in Jonan’s bed.
That morning, however, Jonan had gotten out of bed early to head to a council meeting.
I should not be tired, Nora worried, before summoning all her strength and getting out of bed. Her neck and back hurt, but she forced herself to get out of bed.
I must have slept the wrong way.
After changing into fresh clothes, she headed downstairs.
“I did not want to wake you. You looked like you needed the sleep,” Amelia said with care.
Nora gave her sister a friendly smile. Amelia had decided to stay in the keep and become a permanent member of the clan. The villagers had accepted her because of their love for Nora, whom they had been quick to forgive.
Amelia let go of Leah and dashed into the arms of Nora.
“Are you alright?” Amelia asked her sister when she saw Nora almost lose her footing. “Are you late to bleed this month, sister?” she added quietly.
“No, I feel tired,” Nora said, holding back a yawn. Her mind struggled to make sense of her sister’s words.
“Hmm, are you certain it is tiredness?” Amelia asked with a suspicious look.
Why is she worrying over me so? “Yes,” Nora answered defensively.
“Then I must be mistaken,” Amelia apologized.
Nora went into her garden, as had become her habit, and picked up some new cucumbers and onions for breakfast with Leah’s help.
“Good morniin’, milady,” Callan said as Nora entered the keep.
“Good day, Callan” Nora said as she placed a basket of fresh produce in the center of the kitchen counter.
“Lady Amelia,” Callan said next, smiling proudly as he stole glances at her.
“Would ye like to accompany me on a ride, Lady Amelia?” Callan inquired, as he had done every morning for the previous two weeks.
“Certainly,” Amelia replied gleefully.
Amelia had a knowing look on her face that caught Nora’s eye that morning. She could tell her sister wanted to send her a message without saying anything in front of Callan.
When Leah arrived, Nora immediately asked, “Is there something wrong with my face?”
“Nae,” the youngster replied with an exaggerated shrug.
Nora was still bothered by her sister’s worry. “Are you late to bleed?”
When was the last time I bled?
Nora suddenly felt alarmed for she couldn’t recall.
Where is Jonan? Since Callan was here…Jonan could not have gone for a council meeting.
She began to worry.
“Would you lie to me, Mae, if I asked you a question you might feel odd answering?” Nora asked.
Mae’s brow furrowed immediately. She looked at her knowingly. “Would you accompany me, milady?”
“Where to?” she asked.
“To see a physician in the village…” Mae responded. She clearly did not want to say anything that she was unsure of. “I wonder if… maybe…” Mae let her words trail off and returned her attention to Nora’s stomach.
Nora’s hand moved over her stomach as she pondered the meaning. Am I with child?
She and Jonan had discussed having a child together. Nonetheless, the thought caught her off guard.
“How long has it been since I bled?” Nora inquired, hoping Mae would remember. “Do you remember?”
“Not exactly, milady. But I have nae heard ye speak of it in near two moons.”
“Nora!” she suddenly heard her name called from outside.
Jonan! She dashed out to meet him, who was galloping his horse towards her.
Nora was in his arms faster than she expected, he was panting for air and seemed restless; something made him happy, she could tell.
She drew back and nervously placed a hand on her stomach.
“What’s the matter?” he asked, placing his hand on hers. “Are you still feeling unwell?”
“Well… Mae suggested I go see the physician,” she told him, not knowing what to say.
“I have just ridden from the physician’s. I asked whether he would ride up later, to check on ye,” he told her, sheepishly. He then lowered his gaze. “But he wonders…”
Jonan smiled. “He asked me the last time that ye bled.”
Nora sucked in a breath. “Could it mean…?”
Nora’s eyes widened as she raised her gaze to meet his.
Jonan wrapped his arms around her again, lifting her off the ground. Looking down at his face, she could tell he was overjoyed that she was carrying his child.
“You will make such a wonderful father again, much better than mine ever was,” she told him, and he responded with a deep kiss.
“Ye will make the best mother to our child,” he said to her before easing her back onto her feet.
“Should we tell Leah and Amelia now?” she inquired as Jonan led her back into the keep.
“Nae, let us check with the physician first, to be sure. But from now on, just in case, I shall do all ye need,” Jonan said, and Nora laughed.
He would go to any length for her.
He’d proven it time and time again.
Later that evening, Nora noticed a familiar path rush past the moving carriage.
“Jonan,” Nora inquired suspiciously from the carriage. She wondered if he still had the same devilish smile he had earlier when he had asked her to accompany him somewhere.
Jonan jumped down from the carriage to hold the door open for his wife. The chilly night breeze caressed Nora’s cheeks. She immediately melted into Jonan for warmth, and he had plenty to offer her.
They walked together along the loch’s shore. Nora smiled as she remembered their first kiss and felt her skin tingle.
“This is where it all started,” Jonan said, staring into the darkness beyond the loch. “This is where I first loved ye,” he breathed and Nora’s heart warmed.
“I will always love ye and our child as long as the loch exists,” he assured her. “And my love shall be as vast and endless as the loch’s water,” he promised.
He loves me.
“I love you ‘till the end,” Nora breathed.
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