“Sorry to burst your bubble, but Duncan, your brother, sure knows how to kiss. I’ve never been so tempted to…” Tara stopped. Sex simply wasn’t thought of the same way in this time as it was in her time. Telling Myra how tempted she was might give her the wrong ideas. Proper women in this age didn’t lose their virginity until they were married.
Especially when the woman was one of privilege and stature, as was Myra’s case.
“…to what?” Myra asked.
“To keep on kissing him.” That was lame, even to her. Myra didn’t buy it either.
“Come on, Tara. Tell me more.”
“All we did was kiss. I swear.” Tara held up her right hand.
“But you wanted to do more, right?”
Would it hurt to tell the truth? “Yes, I did. For the first time ever in my life, I considered…more.”
Was that too much information?
“You know what more is, don’t you?” Myra asked.
“I do. But…”
“My ma won’t tell me the details. Only that it shouldn’t happen unless you are promised or married to the man.”
Sighing with relief, Tara agreed. “She is so right.” Her valley girl was coming out. “All men will want to. They can’t help themselves. So make sure the one is…The One!” Tara wrinkled her nose at her words. She sounded like a prude.
“Tell me what the more is, Tara.”
Shit! Shit! Shit! Myra wasn’t about to let her off the hook. It wasn’t her place. Or was it? Didn’t she have a similar conversation with her sister growing up? “Tell me what you think ‘it’ is.”
“Well…” Myra blushed. Shyness crept over her, which hadn’t been present before. “I’ve seen animals.
Last year Durk was bred to one of the stable mares.
I wasn’t supposed to watch, but I snuck down and took a glimpse. The sheep in the fields have similar ways of mating.”
The image of two rutting animals had Tara squeezing her eyes shut. “Well…the basics are the same from what I’ve heard. Remember I haven’t…
You know… But I do know many women who have made love and weren’t afraid to tell me what they knew.” Tara took Myra’s hand and made sure she had her full attention. “It’s supposed to be more magical, more special between people. Animals simply fill a need.” She stopped and frowned. “I suppose some men fall in that category. To be fair some women do as well.” She thought of her sister and her years of peril raising a child on her own.
“Every time can mean you will…well, become with child. So you want to be with someone worthy of being a father to your children.”
Myra squeezed her hand, and acknowledged her advice. “But, when you wanted more, it was wonderful? Right?”
Smiling, Tara flopped back on her bed. “Honey, you have no idea.”
They were finishing up the first meal of the day. Cian had already left the table, anxious to train with the men. Amber went to see if one of the expectant cats had given birth during the night.
“Well, brother,” Fin said. “What will you do with this day since you have to rest your injuries?” He slid a smirk in Tara’s direction.
“My injuries are not so great I can’t join you. It seems I owe you.” In more ways than one.
“Are you sure you wouldn’t want to rest?” Fin tilted his head toward Tara.
Duncan debated his answer.
Ian saved him the trouble. “I have need of you for another task, Duncan,” Ian told him. “It seems the widow and Haggart are once again fighting.”
“Not again,” Myra said. “Seldom has a day gone by where they don’t have trouble. I’ve noticed their rife increasing since her daughter married.”
“I’m told Haggart’s dog trampled her garden, destroying her food supply. I need you to see if she has any claim. If so, see he compensates her accordingly.”
Disappointed about not spending the day with Tara, Duncan sighed. “I’ll see it done.”
He was ready to leave the table when his father’s next comment stopped him.
“Take Tara with you,” Ian said and turned his focus to Tara. “I don’t believe you’ve been to the village, lass. You’re sure to enjoy the experience.
Take Myra’s mare. The ride will do you good.”
“Oh,” Tara said in alarm. “I—I don’t know how to ride.”
Looks of disbelief came at her from all directions. “Other than riding along with Duncan, I have never been on a horse.”
“Then today will be a wonderful adventure for you. Myra’s is the most gentle among our mares.
Duncan is an excellent horseman. He can teach you.”
“What a lovely idea, Ian. I can’t wait to see more of Scotland.”
Ian took her hand. “You’ll love our land.”
“I’m sure I will and Myra, you won’t mind me taking your horse?”
Myra waved away her concern. “Nay, Meg will treat you well.”
Tara turned to Duncan, “And you, you’re sure you won’t mind me tagging along?”
“’Tis my pleasure.”
How much pleasure? Tara wondered with a secret smile.
“You’ll need a cloak,” Myra said. “In case the weather turns before your return. Come with me.
We’ll find you one.” Myra tugged on her arm, laughing.
Within the hour Tara stood in front of Myra’s horse. The massive animal had a beautiful chestnut coat with a tuft of white on her nose. She was calm, quiet, and huge. One of the stable hands tossed a small saddle over the blanket placed across her broad back as Tara watched.
Myra did the introductions. “Meg, this is my friend, Tara. Now, I have told her of your sweet disposition, so don’t make me a liar.” Myra turned to Tara. “She really is quite calm. I’m sure you’ll be able to handle her well enough.”
Tara wasn’t so sure. Maybe she should ride with Duncan on Durk. It would be easier than riding Meg alone.
“Horses can sense when you’re afraid.” Duncan led his mount toward the women. “Let the horse know who you are, and that you are the master.”
“I don’t feel much like a master.” Tara sent him a wry look. “And I’m scared to death.”
He handed his reins to a squire who stood by.
“Here,” he took Tara’s hand, and placed her palm on Meg’s nose. “This way she can smell you and become familiar with you.” He leaned in, sniffed her hair and sent a shot of awareness through her body.