The Wrong Highland Bride – Extended Epilogue
Eight months later…
“Will ye calm down?” Magnus pleaded with Scott as he paced the corridor outside their bedroom.
“How can I be calm?” Scott demanded, his heart in his throat. “My own wife is risking her life tae bring our child into the world!”
“Or ye could think that she is doing what women have done for years!” his brother countered. “Ye ken that anyone as strong as Evelyn can do anything!”
“Aye, ye should go drink something, brother!” Tate said, not moving from his position guarding the door even as Evelyn moaned and battled behind it. They had all decided, especially Evelyn, that it would be too much for Scott to witness the birth of another child. His wife had decided that she would face the challenge with her womenfolk, and Scott was very displeased about it. He had tried to tackle Tate three times already.
“I dinnae ken why ye came back home, ye are a pain in the behind,” Scott snapped.
“Well, ye must get used to it, I’m nae going anywhere,” the youngest brother said easily. That stopped Scott in his tracks and Magnus too, who turned to stare at their younger brother.
“Yer staying?” They asked in surprise.
“Aye, well, I have a wee nephew tae corrupt, dinnae I?” Tate said cheekily, winking at Magnus.
“Ye willnae corrupt my son!” Scott snarled, resuming his pacing and wincing when he heard Evelyn groan in the room beyond.
“Aye, and what if they have a wee lass?” Magnus demanded.
“Then I will dote on her till she is spoiled as a princess!” Tate laughed, but his laugh was cut short by a long, guttural scream, unlike anything they had ever heard. All three men stood and stared at the door, thinking of the woman they all loved suffering beyond.
“I cannae bear it when she screams so,” Magnus said, surprisingly heartbroken for such an even-tempered man.
“’Tis an agony worse than the battlefield,” Scott moaned hoarsely. “Tae ken that she fights so fiercely and I cannae fight for her.”
“Evelyn has never wanted anyone tae fight her battles, brother,” Tate said sternly, folding his arms and resuming his position as guard lest Scott think of taking another run at the door.
“Aye, this is Evelyn’s fight, and ye must ready yersel,” his other brother said, clapping his hand on Scott’s shoulder.
“Why?” Scott asked distractedly.
“For the bairn,” Magnus continued softly. “Ye will fight every day of yer life for him, will ye nae?”
“Aye, I shall,” Scott nodded. After all, there was nothing he wanted more than to protect his small family.
“Or for her,” Tate said, reasonably. “Shall we take bets?”
“I should toss ye out on yer arse, ye rake!” Scott threatened.
“Ach, yer sense of humor isnae better, brother,” Tate chuckled, rolling his eyes. Suddenly, a small, thin wail sounded through the door and Tate.
“Is that—” he asked in a hushed voice.
“Aye,” Scott stared at the door. “’Tis.”
“A wee bairn.” Magnus’ voice was utterly broken with relief, and he gripped Scott’s arm so hard it hurt. “Alive.”
The door opened slowly and all of them held their breath. Then, Alba came out holding a bundle wrapped in her arms, a beatific expression on her face. She looked up at Scott with pure joy as she stepped in front of him and passed the impossibly small bundle into his arms.
“Scott,” she said joyfully. “Yer a da.”
Scott stared down into the wizened face, the startling blue eyes that looked like a seal pup’s and fell endlessly in love. He choked when he saw the thatch of reddish hair, aware that tears of joy had started to fall.
“A healthy wee lad,” Alba said, wiping her own tears. “And Evelyn is well, praise God!”
“Praise God,” Magnus muttered, still clutching Scott’s arm. Scott stared down at his newborn son.
“Hello lad,” he crooned. “I’m yer da.”
“And I’m yer uncle,” Magnus murmured, looking over his shoulder, his tears dripping on Scott’s sleeve.
“And I’m yer other uncle,” Tate said, popping up over his brother’s other shoulder. “Yer better uncle.”
“Yer idiot uncle,” Magnus snapped.
“Yer a fool,” Alba sniffed, giving Magnus a distasteful glare.
“Dinnae start with me, Alba Menzies, my nephew is here!” Magnus snapped back and Scott rolled his eyes, too in love with his son to even consider why his sister-in-law and brother were always at odds.
“He’s got yer nose, Scott,” Tate whispered, pressing a finger to the baby’s cheek in a soft stroking motion. “And Evelyn’s hair.”
“Aye, he does,” Magnus whispered. “A little firecracker.”
“He’s grand.” Tate said, clapping his hands with delight. “We must celebrate! Drams for everyone!”
“Ye go ahead, brothers,” Scott said, moving to the door. He opened it and peered around. Evelyn lay in the bed on her side, utterly exhausted, as Lana gently wiped her face.
“Love,” he said, kissing her forehead with heartfelt of emotion in his throat. “Ye did so well. I am so proud of yer courageous battle.”
“Aye, ’twas a battle,” she sighed, her eyes closed as she gratefully grasped her husband’s hand. “Ye’ve seen him?”
“Aye, here he is,” Scott said, gently laying the small bairn next to his mother, turning his face to root for her breast, and seeing him latch immediately. Scott felt a burst of pride for his son’s achievement, and Evelyn let out a soft moan of motherly love.
“Yer refreshed, my lady,” Anne the healer said, spreading a fresh blanket over Evelyn. She carefully made space for Scott to climb into the bed beside her, holding the bairn against her breast. Evelyn gave a contented sigh and leaned her head on Scott’s chest, both of them staring at their suckling babe as Lana quietly left the room.
“He is brawny, like ye,” Evelyn whispered.
“Aye, a big lad,” Scott said, his eyes shining with pride and joy.
“He will be tall—a great fighter like ye,” Evelyn stroked their son’s small thatch of red hair in amazement.
“And ye, my love,” Scott kissed the top of his wife’s red hair and marvelled at her strength.
“Ach, well, when he has a sister, he will have tae teach her how tae hold a dirk,” Evelyn joked.
“Ye’d do it again?” he asked in a whisper. “Even after the pain?”
“Aye, just to look at it,” Evelyn smiled so broadly that Scott was amazed. For he’d never seen her smile that way before. “What could be better?”
“He’ll need a name,” Scott pointed out.
“Aye, what do ye think?” Evelyn stroked her son’s soft cheek as her husband stroked her own.
“Robert,” Scott said instantly as the thought popped into his head.
“Aye, ’tis good for the cause, young Robert,” Evelyn agreed.
“Nae, love,” Scott turned her face up to him and gave her a kiss. “’tis the name of the man who brought us together, who made all of this happen.”
“I suppose it is,” Evelyn laughed and then looked down at their son. “Robert Murray. Welcome tae the family, son.”
“Welcome, son,” Scott repeated, and did not think he could ever be happier.
“Eve, Eve, darling…”
Evelyn was pulled out of sleep by the sensation of a warm tongue exploring her, licking her center. She sighed heavily, joyful to be woken in such a way by her husband. He had not become less ravenous for her body and touch since the babe was born. He often woke her this way, either gently thrusting inside of her or softly licking and exploring her cleft to bring her to a gentle, teasing climax before she went to care for their son.
This time Scott brought her to a slow, gentle climax as the dawn rose. Then, when she was still in spasms, he slid inside her to bring himself to a quick, satisfying finish before he kissed her eyelids, her cheeks, her chin, and her nose before returning to her lips. Evelyn returned his kiss passionately, her hands tangled in his hair, pulling his head closer. Her hands explored the muscles of his chest and through his shirt, delighting in their firmness.
“Have I ever told ye how much I love yer strength?” she whispered as her husband wilted with his finish and slowly withdrew from her.
“Nay, but I have always suspected,” Scott laughed against her lips, kissing them chastely. “Shall we go again, aye?”
“Nay, get away,” Evelyn laughed, even as Scott’s mouth moved to find her nipple. “Ye may have already made another bairn this morn!”
“Aye, God willing,” Scott grinned. He was eager for another child and so was Evelyn, eager to have as many as she could whilst she was still fit and well enough to bear them. Scott had been clear that as soon as the healer said Evelyn was not fit enough, they would stop. He would not risk her life for anything. Evelyn felt loved and treasured by her husband.
“I must tend tae our Robbie,” Evelyn smiled, swinging her legs out of bed and going to the crib where the baby was mewling softly. “Good morning, my little laird.”
She picked him up and instantly, he nuzzled at her breasts and Evelyn sighed, adjusting to make room for him.
“How is my bonny lad today?” Scott asked, pulling on his trews and watching appreciatively as his wife fed their child.
“Well and hungry,” Evelyn said, holding her son’s foot in her hands. “I dinnae ken how he grows so fast.”
“Aye.” Scott dragged on his shirt and looked at her with wonder in his eyes.
“What?” Evelyn demanded, rocking the babe from side to side.
“I love ye,” Scott said simply. “All the time, but especially when yer so…” he gestured at her, standing naked in the dawn light with her chestnut curls tumbling down her back and the babe at her breast. “Ye look like a goddess. I could watch ye like this all day and never tire.”
When he spoke like that, so reverent and eager, Evelyn had to fight the urge to force him back to bed. That he loved her so much, that he wanted her so desperately, was always miraculous to her.
“Aye, ye may never tire but Magnus would,” Evelyn said, laughing drily. “Ye have work tae do, my laird, and yer son must feed!”
“Am I distracting ye?” Scott said, wiggling his eyebrows.
“Aye, with yer lewd thoughts,” Evelyn laughed. “Get away!”
Scott smiled and walked across to her, kissing her tenderly. “Have a good day, love,” he whispered, before leaving the room, and Evelyn sighed, looking down at her baby.
“Arenae we lucky?” she whispered, believing it with her whole heart.
“My lady?” Lana knocked and peeked through the door. “Are ye roused?”
“Aye, Lana,” Evelyn called her in, not concerned for her bareness. “Will ye fetch my shift?”
“Aye, my lady,” Evelyn switched Robert to the other breast and let Lana drape the shift over her, covering her nakedness. She noticed, suddenly, that her maid’s eyes were very red.
“Are ye well, lass?” she asked, jiggling the babe. Lana gave her a desperate look, staring between Evelyn and her child before tears spilled down her cheeks.
“I dinnae want tae scare ye, my lady,” Lana said, choking on tears.
“Then ye must tell me,” Evelyn said firmly
“Me father,” Lana gasped. “I think he kens where I am.”
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If you want to know what lies ahead in our story, you may want to get the sequel…
When Alba Menzies is pressured into an unwanted betrothal, she refuses to surrender to fate’s cruel hand. In a daring gambit, she enlists Magnus Murray, the very man she despises, to play the role of her false husband. Amidst the tangled webs of their fake union, an intoxicating connection takes root. As they journey through perilous lands and situations, they discover that the true danger is buried deep in their own hearts. Will their charade lead to salvation or plunge them further into the abyss of desire and deception?