Seduction in the Highlands – Extended Epilogue
10 years later
“Thomas!” “Celine!” Elizabeth called for her two children as they rushed out of the carriage on the shore of the Sound of Mull, chasing after each other in the woods. It had been a strange experience to have given birth to twins, but she was glad that the two children loved each other dearly, even though they were a boy and a girl.
“Yes, Mama! We are coming!” Thomas ran up to her breathless, his eyes shining with delight. “But you know that we must explore the woods before we are taken over to the Isle. It is our tradition!”
Elizabeth smiled down at her young son and daughter. “Is that so? Celine? When did you make this agreement?”
Celine said, “Well, since we cannot come as often as we used to, we must make the most of our time here when we can visit! It is the best place on earth.” Elizabeth took a deep breath and stared out to the waters of the Sound, its blue just as brilliant as ever.
“Dear daughter, I quite agree. I am sorry that your father’s employment has kept us away for so long.”
“Father!” The two of them cried and rushed forward to clasp Liam as he heaved them up easily into his arms despite their eight years of age.
“What is it, ye two? I was preparing us for transport.”
“Father, we have so much to tell you!” Thomas said. “You know there are ghosts in the woods. I saw them myself, just now!”
Celine frowned. “It is daytime, Thomas! You cannot see ghosts in daytime. But I did see fairies!”
Thomas and Celine had begun to argue, and Liam laughed, putting them down. “I shall come back tae ye two once ye have made yer decision about what ye wish to share with me.” They ran off, and Liam kissed Elizabeth lightly.
“We are home, me dear. Do ye wish tae stay longer this time?”
“Oh, could we? I would very much like to, although I know you are enjoying your profession in London. A shipping businessman. Quite distinguished.” She kissed him again, wrapping her arms about his neck.
“Och, so I do. But I enjoy seeing me homeland with me family just a bit more than business logs and accounting books.”
“I should hope so. And I hope that Charlotte will be very excited to see us!”
“Let us go then. I have sorted our transport, and the boatman should be here soon.”
In an hour or so, the small family arrived at the shores of Mull. It seemed an army of children and adults rushed towards them with arms open.
“Elizabeth! Liam!” Charlotte ran to them and crushed them into an embrace. “We had no idea you were coming! What a lovely surprise!”
“We hope it is not an inconvenience.”
“Of course not! Your house is always ready for you to return.” Charlotte smiled, and Elizabeth greeted Julia, Angus, and Calum warmly and the rest of their brood of little boys and girls.
“I see I must congratulate you again, Julia!” Elizabeth kissed Julia’s blooming cheek, for she was heavily pregnant with her third child.
“Thank you, my dear! You are most welcome!” Angus, Calum, and Liam were laughing together as they strode up to the castle. The large group of children had run off to the woods on the shoreline, and Elizabeth waved to them.
“It appears we are quite an army now,” she said to Charlotte.
“So we are. A delightful one.”
“And how is your father? Please, may we ask him to join us?”
Charlotte grinned and looked at Julia. “My father is now the happiest of men, thanks to dear Mildred. Did you not write to her that you were coming?”
“No, I wanted it to be a complete and utter surprise, and so we must ask them to sail over for dinner.”
“A celebration more like!” Calum said. “I know that we have spoken of it before, Elizabeth, but I am amazed at the union between your aunt and the General. Why, even after a few years of marriage, they look like young newlyweds, always smiling and happy. They have come to visit you often in London?”
“Yes, very often. We are most grateful for them. They dote upon the children, you see.”
They all filed into the hall, and Julia sent a servant to alert the cook to make a fine meal.
Mrs. MacLean entered the room to greet the guests, and Elizabeth pulled her into an embrace. “Mrs. MacLean, so good to see you again.” The woman was now much older and slightly stooped with age, but she was still sharp and smiled brightly.
“I cannae wait tae see yer little young ones, my Lady, once they return from all that playing in the woods. Liam, my boy!” She saw Liam, and he rushed to her to wrap his arms about her.
“Mrs. MacLean. I have missed ye so.”
“And I ye,” she whispered.
“Lady MacLean, donnae worry yerself. We shall have a fine celebration tae enjoy the return of Liam and Elizabeth. It will be a fine thing, indeed.”
“Thank you, Mrs. MacLean!” Julia called as the woman left to complete her duties in preparation.
Fergus then appeared in the doorway and hugged both Liam and Elizabeth in turn. “I see that ye still havenae left the man, lass.”
“Certainly not. How else would I be able to return to such a beautiful castle.”
Fergus winked. “Och, but ye’ve got yer wits about ye.”
The group of happy reunited friends spoke for hours of what had happened in the many months of their celebration, but soon after, Elizabeth and Liam begged leave to prepare for the evening in their home.
As soon as they were first married, the clan built them a home, just as they had done for Angus and Charlotte, so they could use it whenever they wish to come to Mull and stay for as long as they wished to stay. Liam’s old family home had not been large enough to occupy them all with their hopes for a growing family. It had been Elizabeth’s delight, for her times on Mull were always the happiest in her life.
Once they were dressed and ready, Liam and Elizabeth held hands as they walked back towards the castle, the breeze rushing past them. “Are ye happy, me love?”
“Very. You know that I am always happy to return to Mull. When we can all be together. You are all my family now.”
Liam’s face was lined with concern. “I am sorry that I have kept us so long away.”
“Not at all!” Elizabeth paused and kissed him on the cheek. “You have done just what you have set out to do. You have become a learned and very skilled man. I am proud of you.”
Liam hugged her. Thomas and Celine were skipping along in front of them. “And I ye, lass. Ye have been through much trouble, and yet ye carry strength. Ye have given it tae me, and ye have given it tae them.” He nodded to the children.
Elizabeth smiled, her eyes filling with tears. “Oh, come now, we must not have tears before a party to celebrate our return.” She clasped his hand again, and they kept walking. “I am glad you have worn your kilt, Liam. It suits you for dancing.”
“Aye, ye will try and have tae keep up with the Scottish steps. I have had far too many English dances now over the past years.”
Laughing, they continued on their way.
At the gathering, it was much busier than expected. Nearly all of Mull had been invited, and so the room was filled nearly to the brim with laughter, drinking, and food. Elizabeth smiled to see a happy, younger-looking Aunt Mildred pull her step-grandchildren and her grand-niece and nephew to her, kissing them each soundly. “I can never get enough of you, my sweets.”
Elizabeth walked up to her, kissing her on the cheek. “Dear Aunt, I hope you are not cross that we did not warn you of our arrival.”
“Not at all! We do love a good surprise to we not, General?”
An older, yet more distinguished General came into view, smiling next to his wife. “Why, yes, we do, Mildred.” Clasping Elizabeth’s hand, he said, “Welcome back, dear girl. I thank you for coming, for we have been searching for weeks for a good excuse to have a party.”
Angus laughed, “And so we have a good one now. I say we drink heartily for the occasion.”
Charlotte smiled. “I could not agree more and music, of course!” At her instruction, the bagpipers began to play, and soon the hall was filled with warm merriment, the children scuttling about, having their own adventures, and the adults clasping hands, kissing cheeks, and laughing over old times.
After a few hours, Elizabeth found herself on the edge of the room, savoring the scene as she sipped her wine. Julia and Charlotte sidled next to her. “I see we have all left our lives behind and come to this merry place. Do you have any regrets, my friends?” Julia asked.
“Not at all.”
“Then, we have done better than many of our friends stuck back in London, I should think. Stuck married to old men, dull men, or evil men.”
“Or ugly men,” Charlotte snickered.
Julia rolled her eyes, and Elizabeth laughed, looking back at the three, strong Scottish men each of them had chosen. “Yes, Charlotte, I do believe you are right. An ugly man would have been a great trial, indeed.”
Elizabeth strung her arm through Charlotte’s, and Charlotte did the same with Julia. “So here we are, three Sassenachs, having charmed three Highlanders into matrimony who are not ugly, old, evil, or dull. What luck we have struck, ladies.”
Tears filled Elizabeth’s eyes, and Charlotte turned to her. “My dear, what makes you cry? Is this not a happy occasion?”
“No, of course it is.” Elizabeth dabbed at her eyes with her handkerchief. “It is just that even after all this time, I can still say I am the happiest I have ever been. Each new day brings more happiness. I could never have imagined it.”
Charlotte grinned. “Well, imagine it. We have been given a fortunate life. I think there must be something magical about Scotland or the Isle of Mull in particular.”
The three men, seeing their wives in quiet conversation, approached them. Calum said to Julia, “My love, I would ask ye tae dance, but perhaps ye donnae wish tae?” He was smiling widely, and Julia said, “On my life, I will not be assumed to be without physical capabilities simply because I am with child. Besides, I have felt much better than the last two!”
She grasped onto his hand, and in tune with the music, they pulled out onto the dance floor. Angus lifted his brows to Charlotte, who leaped forward into his arms, kissing him on the cheek. “You know, Angus MacLean, that even though we have had four children together, and it has been many years, I see you as I did that first night alone together, here in the hall.”
“Is that so? When ye backed me up against a wall and forced me intae a kiss?” Angus was grinning, and Charlotte rolled her eyes back at Elizabeth. “Forced. What a terrible time for you.”
“Come, lass,” Angus said, laughing and pulled her away into his arms. Liam turned to Elizabeth with a smile. They could hear the children laughing and playing in the corner and moving through the dancing couples. Elizabeth could see Fergus taking a young maid in his arms around the hall.
“Now, I have been threatened with dancing this evening by ye. Will ye dance, bonny lass?”
She slid her hand into his. “So I will, handsome lad.”
“Good.” He wrapped his arms around her waist, and they twirled and swayed to the sound of the bagpipes. Elizabeth was amazed at how handsome Liam MacLean still was to her. And over the years, he had grown in confidence and strength, and she was still surprised at how good and kind he was.
“I see I am to tutor you, Sir. I think your Scottish steps are slacking.”
“Me? What about you with your tutored dance? I was about to say that Sassenachs have more rhythm than I expected.” He winked, and Elizabeth laughed, drawing his mouth to hers.
“I think you should know that well enough by now, and I do not mean rhythm on the dance floor.”
Watching his surprised, pleased face, Liam pulled her closer. “Mrs. MacLean, I do believe you are verging on becoming quite a vixen after all these years of marriage. I am looking even more forward to the years to come.”
“As am I, Liam. As am I.”
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Love this series and the MacLean clan fantastic how Elizabeth and Liam found love
Oh, thank you so very much my dear Sarah! <3
A very good book. Enjoyed reading about Elizabeth and Liam.
I’m so happy to hear it my dear Jeanette! <3
A good read enjoyed the story! I wonder if your going to have a Fergus story? Since he was escorting a young lady in extra chapter. Wonder what became of John Campbell?
We might learn soon enough… 😉
Thank you my dear Donna! <3
Thank you for the epilogue and the wonderful adventure Liam and Elizabeth share
I’m so happy that you enjoyed it my dear Anita! <3
As usual, I definitely read every word with excitement and anticipation. I am never disappointed. Thank you, again, for an excellent read!!!
Thank you so much for all the love Lynn <3
Loved the extended epilogue! So happy that the English Roses found their HEA!
Thank you my sweet Maria 😀
Would be interested to know what happened to John Campbell, he seemed very sincere and likeable, hope he finds his happiness too!
Everyone gets a happy ending in my worlds my dear Maria 😉
Great story about Liam and Elizabeth.Love how your story’s follow through from our reads before.And thank you for the Extended Epilogue.Look forward to read about John next I hope ? .
John will find his happiness as well my dear Pauline! <3
Enjoyed the romance between Liam and Elizabeth, but felt sorry for John Campbell…there were parts during their pre-courtship that were a little bothersome. Enjoyable Extended Epilogue. Hope we find out what happened to John and Ferguson!
We will visit them again for sure. 😉
Loved the happiness each found and hopefully you will find such for John Campbell!
He deserves it, and he shall find it! 😉
Thank you for the beautiful Epilogue! The story of Liam and Elizabeth was lovely! Looking forward to hear about John Campbell. He seems to be quite a gentleman.
I’m delighted that you enjoyed Elizabeth & Liam’s story my dear Margaret! 😉
I enjoy this story very much.
That’s wonderful to hear my dear Sheila! 😀
Loved this story although I did feel sorry for John Campbell. Also I think Fergus would have a good story. Love how these books follow on so we still get to hear about Julia and Charlotte.
John will get his happy ending eventually 😉
Well done liked how it tied everything together. Happy Ending. But I do wonder what happened with John?
We will find out soon my dear Becky! 😀
I loves the story. The people feel so real. I couldn’t put it down. I hope there is a follow-up. PLEASE!
I’m so happy that you enjoyed it so much dear Linda Mae <3! Well... we just have to wait and see ?
Thoroughly enjoyed reading the series- as well as the extended epilogues.
Looking forward to a possible Campbell series 🙂
Thank you so much my dear Jan <3
Wow, loved this book! One of your best.
Thank you so much my dear Carol! Your kind words move me 🙂
Great book. Those highland men certainly know how to create a love story. Was leaning toward John in the beginning because he was much more a match for Elizabeth. Liam was more a rogue but love won his heart and Elizabeth followed her heart as well. Recommend.
Thank you so much my dear Mary. They indeed know 😉 I am glad that you liked it 🙂
Loved this story! Elizabeth starts out a she and weak female who comes into her own. She becomes strong and decisive in what she wants by making decisions by following her heart. Two handsome men are vying for her attention. Of course, only one can win out. So sad for the other. Loved all the trials and tribulations getting to the happily ever after.
Thank you so much my dear Rosemary. I am delighted that you liked the story. 🙂