Myra suggested they practice for a set time daily, and Tara enthusiastically agreed.
When the lesson was finished, and the giggling over, what one of the knights decided to wear started to dominate the conversation, Lora took her leave. “They were too tight,” Tara went on. “It’s like he was asking every maid and lady to look at his package.”
“And not very impressive from what I could tell,”
Myra said, rolling her eyes.
Tara squealed. “Oh, you saucy wench. I can tell we’ll have lots to talk about once you pick a husband.”
Wistful, Myra glanced up at the sky, “Maybe someone will come to the wedding and catch my eye.” “It’s coming so fast, at times I want to pinch myself. I want to remember every detail.”
“The celebration will last for a week,” Myra explained. “So I doubt you will remember everything. It can be quite exhausting.”
“Why so long?”
“Traveling takes time. Knights from surrounding villages will bring their Lords and Ladies. Weddings are where many find future husbands and wives.”
“Are there any knights invited who you have considered?”
“I wish! The Lancaster’s will bring their son, Matthew and daughter, Regina. Regina has her eyes on Finlay, but in truth, I don’t think he cares much for her. Matthew is too short, too shy, and unless he is talking about birds, he has nothing to say. The man can’t stand up for himself if you ask me. He’s the butt of every jest amongst his peers. I’d feel sorry for him, if they weren’t so true.”
“Why don’t you tell me what you really think?”
“He is all that and more. You’ll see. There are others, but none whom I fancy. Da promised he would give me a choice. I pray he keeps his word.
Being un-married at twenty and one raises questions among the men.”
“And if none are worth choosing?”
Myra watched the clouds part. “Someone will come. I’ll know when he does.”
Brother Malloy made his life’s work joining together sinners in matrimony. His arrival to the MacCoinnich Keep and the surrounding village was much anticipated and welcomed. His arrival also brought changes in sleeping arraignments, at least for Duncan and Tara.
He made it very clear the good book did not give excuse for lustful behavior in any form. A marital bed was only to be used for the sake of creating life.
Therefore, the unmarried couple were to abstain from inappropriate behavior until after the nuptials.
Then the life they would create would be right with God. Duncan pissed and moaned to the point Brother Malloy threatened to leave without performing any service.
“Think of all the trouble Lora has gone through.
Guests have already started to arrive,” Tara pleaded with him.
“But we are already married.” Duncan argued in hushed tones away from the meddling clergy and his parents who were trying to convince the priest to stay. “Handfasting is not the same, and you know it.
He even said there have been brides and grooms who have called off the actual marriage after being handfasted.”
“Most of those are due to a woman being barren.”
“Maybe so, but that doesn’t make it right.”
He knew the injustice of this fact. “I agree.” He glared at the priest and looked back down at his bride.
They read each other’s internal thoughts with ease.
Her brow had turned in. “Would you think differently about me if I were unable to have children?”
He was being foolish. His selfishness was concerning his wife. “Nay, my love.” He cupped her face in his hands, brushed his lips over hers. “We are joined as few are, even without his vows.”
“Good,” she said a bit louder. “Than a few days in separate beds won’t be such big a deal.”
“This is what you want?” He searched her eyes.
“I want to be your wife. And if Brother Malloy leaves, it could take months before another will come in his place.”
He hated her logic. “My bed will be lonely without you,” he whispered against her parted lips.
“As will mine. Send me a warm thought or two.”
He can’t stop us from this. I can say completely inappropriate things in my mind. “Besides, it will make the wedding night all the more exciting. Don’t you think?”
He growled, placed his forehead against hers.
Your words make me so stiff I cannot move. Days of such talk will drive me mad.
It’ll be worth the pain. I promise to make it up.
We will take to our bed after the wedding and stay there for a week. I’ll put a white flag on the door when someone needs to bring us food.
“Tsk, tsk, tsk.” Brother Malloy said, giving them a look of stern disapproval.
Duncan left with Fin on an errand before the guests started to arrive. He needed a diversion from his bride. Not that he didn’t love how she taunted him with her secret words. He did. However, not being able to touch her was maddening. No one would say they were growing apart by not sharing a bed. In fact, to the contrary, they grew closer every day. He didn’t know exactly when he fell in love with her, but there was no denying he had.
He wondered now, as he often did, if she felt the same love for him. Was it only their Druid vows binding them so closely together? Would the deeper words of love bring them closer still?
He couldn’t think of her without joy piercing his heart. Even now sitting on his horse with his brother at his side, his mind was on Tara and what she was doing. The farther away from the Keep they rode, the harder it was for him to hear her. But he felt her, and the happiness emanating from her.
Fin slowed his horse, peered at his brother, then rolled his eyes. “Good lord, get that blasted look off your face. Someone would think you daft if they saw it.” “Jealous, Brother?”
“Of how she has turned your brain to mush? I think not.”
“You would be lucky to find a woman like mine.”
Duncan liked putting possession behind how he referred to Tara.
She was his!
“One as beautiful, I would agree. But her tongue can cut like a knife.”
“But never undeservingly so.”
Fin shifted his reins in his hands. “Still, I want my bride to be more subdued.”
“Like Alyssa, from the village?”
Fin looked away. “She may be subdued in voice, but not in bed. There she has too many desires, which don’t always require the same bed mate.”