Binding Vows (Page 47)

Binding Vows (MacCoinnich Time Travel Trilogy #1)(47)
Author: Catherine Bybee

Duncan’s brow creased with the weight of his brother’s words. “’Tis unfortunate. She has Druid blood as well. I thought you two made a good match.”

“As did I.”

They rode in silence for a while, enjoying the quiet and opportunity to think.

“Have you spoken with Tara about the vows you took in California?”

“The subject hasn’t come up.”

“Are you content with leaving it?”

He shook his head. “Nay, but what am I to say? I tell her constantly we are already wed. She knows we are connected with our thoughts.”

“You are hoping she will come to the conclusion on her own?”


“I hope you know what you are doing, brother. I wouldn’t want to get on Tara’s bad side. Something tells me she could bring down the Ancients themselves to fight for her if she pleased.”

“I’ll wait for the right time. Tara is a reasonable lass, she’ll understand.”

Fin kicked his horse to a faster pace. “I hope so.”

Chapter 17

A few days, turned into five. Five long, painfully slow days, and even longer nights.

If not for the many guests distracting them, Duncan and Tara would never have been able to make good on their promise to stay away from each other.

Two nights before the ceremony, Tara sat opposite Duncan at the other end of the huge table set in the center of the main hall. She was surrounded by strangers who made polite conversation during supper.

Celeste and Haggart had married that day, along with several other couples from the village. All were asked to join the MacCoinnich’s in celebration.

Knights surrounded the table, their pages and squires sat at another.

Some of the men were none too happy about sharing their meal with commoners from the village, but none voiced this opinion to Ian or Lora. They wouldn’t dare. Laird Ian ran his home as he saw fit and defied any to question him. He raised his sons to do the same. When Duncan’s time came to rule, Tara knew the villagers and all their children would pledge their loyalty to him.

She listened to the daunting conversation between Myra and Matthew of Lancaster. He was attempting to impress Myra with his knowledge of the migrating birds near his home. He ignored the quips from some of the men and took advantage of the fact his father was seated several feet away and wasn’t able to silence him.

Myra had been right about him, Tara mused. He was not at all her type. In fact, he was a chore to listen to and if the subject moved away from birds, he had nothing to say. Those around him, moved the discussion away from birds as often as possible. He was enthusiastic about his subject, and determined to return to it.

I’m going crazy down here. Tara sent a silent plea to Duncan.

Duncan glanced her way, looked around her, and smiled. Ahh…Lancaster. Boring you to tears is he? It’s Myra I worry about. If she could, she would spike his drink with arsenic just to shut him up.

Duncan choked on the ale he placed to his lips, drawing concern from those around him.

Tara hid a smile behind a napkin. Sorry!

You are not! He wiped liquid off his shirt.

Okay, you’re right. I’m not sorry. She waited until he brought food to his mouth. Guess what I am wearing underneath my dress.

His eyes darted across the table. What?

Nothing at all.

Again, Duncan had difficulty with the food he tried to eat.

No one noticed when Duncan and Tara stopped engaging in conversation with anyone at the table.

Except for Ian and Lora, who engaged in a full discussion as they speculated about what was going on between their son and daughter-in-law.

Once the meal was finished, and at the first opportunity, Tara begged Myra for assistance to get away from the others.

They both fell into chairs in the solar after closing and locking the door. “He’s worse than you said.”

“I told you. And did you see Regina? She was falling all over Fin.”

“Do you think the two of them have ever…” Tara let Myra finish her sentence.

“Nay. Even Finlay has better sense than that.

The Lancaster’s may not be the brightest in the bunch, but even they would see that as a strike against their honor and force a marriage between the two of them.”

“For his sake, I hope he keeps it in his pants.”

Myra’s laughter bubbled out. “You say the funniest things. How are you and Duncan handling sleeping separately?”

“It’s awful,” Tara sighed. “I thought it would be easy. I did sleep alone for the last twenty-five years, how hard can five days be?” She shook her head.

“They feel like five hundred.”

“I would guess they are even more difficult for him.” Myra took lightly to her feet and poured them both some wine.

“Don’t kid yourself. It isn’t easier for me because I’m a woman.”

Myra sipped. “I wouldn’t know.”

“Someday you will.” Tara set her glass down, slipped her shoes off and crossed her legs under her.

“I didn’t think it was possible to love a man so much.

I’ve tried telling him, but I can’t get the words out.”

“That you love him? Why?”

She shrugged her shoulders. “Fear, I guess. Fear he doesn’t feel the same way. What if I tell him, and he chokes on a reply?”

“He calls you love all the time.” Myra defended.

“He says the same to every child and woman in the village.” She shifted in her chair. “I know he cares, and I think he loves me. But until he says those three small words, I will simply have to guess.

And worry.”

“Ludicrous. I’ve never seen my brother so enthralled with anyone until you. He loves you beyond measure.”

“You think so?”

“I know so!” Myra took her hand in assurance.

“You have nothing to fear.”

“I hope you’re right. I would hate to think he’s doing all of this because his father forced him.”

“Duncan would never allow that. He does nothing he’s not in agreement with, no matter what the consequences.”

Tara measured her words and found the truth in them. “I have been meaning to ask you something.”

Suddenly serious Myra gave her a puzzled look.

“What is it?”

“Will you stand up with me, during the ceremony?”

Moisture sprang up in Myra’s eyes. “Oh, Tara, I would be honored. I know how you wish your own sister were here to stand with you.” The women embraced, both brushing fallen tears from their cheeks.