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The Highlander’s Lady of Pleasure – Extended Epilogue

 

Two years later…

In two years, a lot had happened. Not the least of which was Allison and Keir finally realizing what everyone else had known for a long time—that they were in love with each other. In fact, their wedding was to be celebrated with a large feast that afternoon.

Allison looked beautiful in her gown, and Keir looked as dashing as ever. But Duncan couldn’t stop himself after the toasts were finished.

“So, when can we expect wee bairns o’ yers running about then?” He asked as the family all sat at the top table of the Great Hall.

“Duncan,” Elaine gasped. “Ye cannae ask such a question on their wedding day.”

Duncan shrugged, looking bewildered. “Why nae?”

Keir only laughed, shaking his head at his brother. “We’re nae all like ye, Duncan, with the ability tae produce two at the same time.”

“I think ye’ll find that was Elaine’s miracle, nae Duncan’s,” Allison cut in with a grin.

“Hey,” Duncan replied, pretending to look deeply offended. “Are ye trying tae say I had nae input in the creation of my own children?”

“Och, ye likely had some input, all right,” Keir chuckled.

Elaine has given birth to twins. A boy and a girl. While they were now just under a year old, at the time of their arrival, Duncan had been more than surprised. Elaine had told him all the way through the pregnancy that something did not feel right. She was growing far bigger than she thought she ought to be. It was only later that Allison had discovered she were to have twins and the had decided to keep it from him in case anything went wrong. But as always, Elaine had been amazing and strong and had given him two beautiful children.

Having discussed names during the pregnancy, they had decided they would name a boy after Elaine’s brother, Angus. If it was a girl, Duncan wanted to honor his mother by naming her Catriona. In the end, the children were christened with both names. Duncan had been overjoyed by their arrival. However, one evening after the children had been settled by a maid, Elaine revealed a long-held fear.

“I need tae talk tae ye about something that has been bothering me, Duncan,” she said, as they sat by the fire in the library, enjoying a needed moment of peace and quiet.

Before their wedding day, Elaine had relayed that she would never keep anything from him again. The lies and deceit that had been forced upon her by Finn Stewart had caused so much damage and had been more than dangerous. She never wanted either of them to be in that position again.

“Whatever is it, my darling?” Duncan asked, seeing by her expression that she was deeply troubled.

“Well, it has been on my mind since the babies were born,” she began tentatively, “but I havenae found the right time tae talk tae ye about it. Before me, there was Cora. And before Angus and Catriona, there was Eoin.”

Her words made him sit up and pay even more attention, for he could never have imagined this was where the conversation was going to go.

“I adore our children with every inch of my heart, but I dinnae ever want ye tae think that ye cannae talk about Eoin. Or that our children should be more important tae ye, than he was.”

Strangely, Eoin had been on his mind since their children were born. But he hadn’t told Elaine about it. Perhaps he didn’t mean to upset her, but she clearly knew him better than he thought. He should not have been surprised.

He couldn’t love her any more in that moment—love her pure and wonderful heart. “I will admit tae ye, Elaine. Eoin has been on my mind.”

“I couldnae imagine he hasnae, Duncan. He is yer firstborn son.”

“Ye are right. He is and always will be. Yet I want ye tae ken that Catriona and Angus’s arrival has only brought me such great joy. They will never replace Eoin, but then, the arrival of a child in any circumstances, doesnae replace the existence of another. The twins only add tae our family, and when they are old enough, I will tell them they once had a brother.”

***

The wedding had been magical, and Elaine was overjoyed for Allison who had taken quite a while to admit to herself that she loved Keir. And Elaine believed she had a hand in it. Elaine had made a point of quietly making small comments to Allison over the six months since she and Duncan had married. Allison eventually gave her a response that shocked her. “Ye have been right all along,” she had said.

The revelation came when Elaine had told her how well Allison and Keir complimented each other while they were in the castle gardens collecting herbs for Allison’s tonics. It had gotten so bad that they were even finishing each other’s sentences.

“What dae ye mean, I have been right all along?” Elaine asked to make sure.

“I am in love with Keir,” Allison said simply. “I have been since a little before yer wedding.”

“Then why has it taken ye this long tae admit it tae me?”

Allison shrugged. “I’ve been scared,” she replied. “What man wants tae spend his life beside a woman with my past?”

Elaine understood her concerns, but watching the way Keir was with her, she certainly did not share them. “I cannae put yer mind at rest, Allison, I can only tell ye what I see. When Keir is with ye, he is really with ye. Dae ye ken what I mean?”

Allison nodded. “I think so.”

“He hangs on yer every word, he gazes at ye when ye talk tae him, he watches ye when ye leave the room. That is nae a man who is bothered by yer past, Allison. This is a man who is likely contemplating his future. But I think ye need tae talk tae him and tell him how ye feel.”

Allison had initially dismissed the idea. But here they were now, enjoying a joyous wedding feast, celebrating their union and their new life together.

Later that evening, Duncan found Elaine sitting quietly by herself in the library. The raucous celebrations had worn her down, and being a sleep-deprived mother didn’t always help.

“This is where ye are hiding,” Duncan said, coming to sit beside her in the chair. “Are ye well?”

Elaine smiled warmly toward him. “I am more than well, my love. I just needed a quieter place.”

“Aye, it is getting a little mad down there. The men are now singing clan songs, badly, I might add.”

He reached over and took her hand in his, and Elaine looked down, noticing the ring that had caused all that trouble so long ago.

“Dae ye think it really has any powers?” she asked, gazing at it.

“Och, nae. It is folktales, passed down from father tae son. That is all.”

“I disagree,” Elaine said, shaking her head. “If it had nae been for this ring, ye and I would never have found each other.”

Duncan shrugged. “Well, when ye put it that way, then perhaps yer right.”

“And we wouldnae have two wonderful children together.”

“Indeed, we wouldnae,” he agreed again.

“Nor would I be able tae happily tell ye that there is a third on the way,” she said, beaming a delighted grin.

Duncan suddenly stood and grabbed her hands, pulling Elaine to her feet. He wrapped his arms around her and held her close to his body. “I have said it before, my dear wife. Yet, I will say it again. I dinnae ken what I did tae deserve ye, but I am glad I did it, all the same.”

He then hooked his finger under her chin and kissed her tenderly. Elaine let herself sink into his embrace, delight and desire sloshing around her like they always did beneath his tender kiss. Neither of them knew what the future held, but from where they stood at the time, it seemed happy, full of love, and brimming with joy.

The End.

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  • What a great read. deaths and destruction were the main theme and seemed to be the worst outcome. However strong women and heart felt love of family would always win. The heart knows what it wants and each beat of it growing stronger and nearer to its fulfilment. Definitely recommend this book.

  • What a tale of trials and tribulations for Elaine and Duncan to weave through! They were so right for each other, but sure had to struggle to get their happily ever after! You have a talent for pulling and restoring heart-strings, Kenna!

  • Elaine and Duncan had to endure quite a lot before reaching their HEA, which they richly deserved. An engaging story ! Thank you.

  • I haven’t read such a nail biter for quite awhile. The suspense of the whole story was awesome. For anyone not having read it run get a copy. There is absolutely no way you will not enjoy ever minute of this book. Thank you Kenna ?

  • Thank you Kenna for this refreshing and unique story. And you did the romance without all of the overly done sex scenes so many seem to fall back on when the actual storytelling talent is missing. Thank you for sharing your talent and letting it shine.

  • Thoroughly enjoyed your story of tender love complicated by family loss, blackmail, lust for power, and threatened trust. What a joy to read how love wins out and trust is rebuilt.

  • This was a very good story line. It kept me interested the entire time that I was reading .I actually hate that the story ended.

  • The story of Elaine and Duncan was wonderful, full of trials, mystery, forgiveness, and most important love. I loved all the characters and their stories. I could not put it down. Such a great great book.

  • I so enjoyed this story. Loved the characters. It was filled with love sadness and mystery that made it such an enjoyable read. I have never been disappointed in your books

  • A well written passionate lovestory. I enjoyed every page, kidnapping, blackmail, intrigue and treachery. Grateful for Extended epilogue which almost completed the story I wanted to know how the murderous half brother was dealt with. Elaine and Duncan found their happiness in their marriage and their beautiful twins after all their loss.

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