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.He bragged on her behalf, telling them all how she’d taken her stand atop a mighty boulder.She didn’t want to be reminded.“Aye,” Hunter boasted.“I heard her taunt him.If I had no’ gotten there when I had, ’tis sure Beag Curaidh would ha’ slain the knave herself.”“’Twould ha’ been her second kill this day,” said one of the other soldiers, flashing her a grin.“She saved your life this morn, my lord.Did she no’, lads?”A round of ayes and nods were directed at her.She wanted to hide.“Meghan.” Tieren leaned over his pile of belongings and pulled something out.He approached with her sword and scabbard in his hands.“I found your scabbard with the packhorses and your sword on the ground.”“Oh, thank you.” She blinked hard, took them from him and buckled the belt of her scabbard across her chest.“I had hoped someone would pick them up.”“Come.Sit by the fire.” Tieren’s gaze went to the bruise at her temple and then to her knees.“You look as if you could use a good rest, lass.Whilst we awaited your return, the lads and I did some fishing.Have some supper.”At the mention of rest, she yawned.She nodded and made her way to the campfire.Hunter handed his horse off to George and followed behind her.“Were you able to rout the remaining MacKenzies, Tieren?”The deep timbre of his voice brought a fresh ache to her chest.They hadn’t spoken at all since they’d set out for camp.“Aye, all but their commander.” Tieren grunted.“I thought it best to let him escape.We want him to return to his master with news of their defeat, aye? I dinna think we will see more MacKenzies between here and Castle Inverness.I’ve seen no sign of the two we sent ahead.I fear they were slain.”“I thought the same during the battle.The MacKenzies will pay dearly,” Hunter decreed.“For every man we lose, they shall lose ten.”The men shouted with bloodthirsty approval and pumped their fists in the air.She sighed and rolled her eyes.“Did anyone think to bring my horse along?”“For certes, my lady,” a burly redheaded soldier said, his expression incredulous.“Think you we’d leave something as valuable as a well-trained destrier behind?”The others laughed, and she rose to move somewhere else.She wanted privacy.She was sick of men, especially kilted, bloodthirsty warrior types.A path led down a slight hill to the lake.She took it, wanting nothing more than to be alone.Meghan found a secluded spot overlooking the lake.She sank to the ground, her bruised knees protesting the movement.Leaning back against the trunk of a pine, she closed her eyes and listened to the sound of the breeze whispering through the trees.Birds trilled from tree to tree, and their chittering sounds soothed her raw nerves.Letting her mind wander, she relaxed each one of her sore muscles.She no longer wondered why she’d been brought to fifteenth-century Scotland.Her task had been to save Hunter’s life.She’d done it, and now.Now she’d leave this place.So much had happened since the day Hunter had pulled her through Madame Giselle’s tent.She rubbed her face.Good Lord, she’d killed two men!She’d lost her virginity.No regrets.Hunter had said she owned his heart.He’d suffered so much loss as a child.She understood why he took the stance he did when it came to her, but that didn’t make it hurt any less.He had things all wrong, of course, but it wasn’t her job to straighten him out.“Meg,” Tieren said, appearing beside her.“I’ve brought you some supper.” He lowered himself beside her, placing a large leaf holding a steaming piece of fish and some berries on her lap.“Thanks.” She fiddled with the edge of the leaf.“I’m not really hungry.”“What troubles you, lass?” He reached for her hand and took it between his.“Tell me, so that I might vanquish the sadness I see in your lovely eyes.”“Just tired.” She took her hand back and broke off a piece of the fish.“It’s been a busy day, what with getting conked on the head and kidnapped and all.” She huffed out a breath.“Rather than going after you myself, I sent Hunter.Because of his fae abilities, I kent he had the greater chance of finding you.” His earnest gaze sought hers.“I wanted to be the one who came to your aid, Meg.You ken that, aye?”She nodded.“’Twas your safety I thought of first, lass.Never doubt that your safety comes first.”“Yeah.I get that.Both you and Hunter always put my safety first.” Her tone sounded bitter, even to herself.Tieren’s eyes narrowed as he scrutinized her.“Something happened that has caused you grief.Tell me.”“Well, let’s see.” She canted her head.“We were ambushed this morning.Cecil, the bowlegged weasel, carried me off with the intention of forcing me to marry him so that I could make him powerful with my witchy or fae abilities.” She popped a piece of fish into her mouth and took a minute to chew and swallow.“I killed a man.Again.” She sighed.“That makes zero people I’ve killed in my own time and two in yours.My head aches.My knees hurt.” She turned her palm over to show him the scrape at the base of her thumb.“This stings too.I’m exhausted.” And heartsick.“Och, you’ve had a time of it, my lady.” He took her hand again, brought it to his lips and kissed the scrape she’d shown him.“We’ll reach Castle Inverness on the morrow.You can rest there until you have recovered.”She grunted.“Meg, I ken we have discussed this already, but.I fear the faerie will no’ send you home.Doing so is no’ how Giselle has acted in the past.’Twas Haldor who returned Lady Erin to her century, no’ Giselle.”Her heart raced.This was not the time for this conversation.She opened her mouth to ask him to stop, but he plowed on.“I ken well where your heart lies, and I ken why you refused me [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]