Silent Vows (Page 56)

Silent Vows (MacCoinnich Time Travel Trilogy #2)(56)
Author: Catherine Bybee

“The lad needs male guidance.”

“I couldn’t agree more, but it’s Lizzy’s place to choose who that man will be. If you choose Simon without Lizzy, or Lizzy without Simon, either way you’re doomed. And if Lizzy doesn’t choose you, you stand no chance.”

“Women here stop raising their sons by Simon’s age.” “You keep forgetting that she isn’t from this time, and if you back her in a corner she will find a way to leave.”

“Where would she go?” Myra asked nervous of how Lizzy would survive without them.

Tara glanced at Myra. “Anywhere. It wouldn’t matter to her if she had to bunk down in a shack.

She won’t stay where she feels threatened.”

“She would risk her life and that of her son’s for her pride?”

“You make that sound like a fault, Fin. Isn’t honor and pride what every knight lives by?” When he didn’t answer Tara went on. “Besides, Lizzy has always found a way to support herself and Simon.

Granted, it’s done a little easier in our time, but it isn’t impossible now.”

Myra spoke when no one else did. “Widows in our time live in relative poverty. If the truth were known about Simon’s birth being out of wedlock, they would both be outcasts even amongst the poor.”

Fin stormed away in the opposite direction of Liz. Myra held Todd’s hand under the table her worried expression met Tara’s. “Would she really leave?”

“Yeah, yeah she would.”

“Simon, open the door.” Liz stood outside his room pleading. His sobs had tapered down to an occasional choking breath. Liz knew he listened, but she didn’t want to yell at him to get him to let her in.

“I’m going to sit here in the hall until you open up.”

Nothing.

“It’s cold out here in the hall.” She tried a slight laugh to lighten the mood. “And dark.” He knew she had a slight fear of the dark.

Beyond the door, she heard a rustling of feet and Simon’s grunts as he moved furniture. His footsteps retreated and were followed by a plop of a hundred pound boy flopping on a bed.

Liz slowly turned the handle and found the resistance she had met before gone. The heavy door creaked slightly when she pushed it open. She eased herself into the room and quietly closed the door behind her.

Simon lay on his side facing the wall, she would be talking to his back, but at least she was in the room where they would have some privacy.

She took her time lighting a few candles and stoking the fire set by one of the servants. With the shadows chased away, she took a seat in the room’s only chair. “Do you want to tell me why you ran away?”

Simon took a deep breath before he spoke. “I didn’t want you fighting over me. Either of you.”

“We weren’t fighting over you.”

“Oh, yeah, you were.”

“I know it seems that way, but—”

“You don’t want me running the horses and Fin thinks it’s fine. He trusts me.”

Shit! His words cut close to her heart. “I trust you, Simon. I don’t trust the horses.”

He turned slightly. “But I’m good with them.

They don’t want to hurt me.”

“You can’t know that. Horses are unpredictable.”

“Not for me they’re not. I know when they are tired or hungry. I don’t push them where they don’t want to go.”

He spoke with absolute conviction. Liz had to keep from smiling at him and giving away her disbelief in his words. “How can you tell if they are tired?” she quizzed.

“Well.” He tucked his legs under him and sat up.

“Meg pulls to the side when she’s tired, and bites her bit more when she’s hungry. I’ve never ridden Durk, but he shifts his eyes right before he takes off. And Auntie Tara’s horse shakes her head when she isn’t happy with what you ask her to do.”

“You’re very observant to notice those details.”

“It’s more than that, Mom. It’s like they talk to me. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s true.

Sometimes I think they understand what I’m thinking. Right before I kick one into a run, they tense up and sometimes they run before I do anything.”

Simon’s sincerity was difficult to ignore. “I don’t know, Simon.”

“Fin believes me.” He lowered his eyes to the blankets he sat on and started picking at the balls of lint. “You told him this?”

“Yeah.”

“And he believes you talk to the animals?”

He nodded.

Liz closed her eyes and shook her head.

“See I knew you wouldn’t believe me.”

“People don’t talk to animals.”

“Some Druids do. Fin told me. Maybe that’s my gift. Remember the falcon at Renaissance Times?”

She did remember, but she was stuck on how many times her son referred to Fin. They had already formed a bond, a bond she should have stopped.

“Don’t you think talking to animals could be my gift?” he interrupted her thoughts.

“Maybe. All this magic and power stuff has me a little confused.” She stood and moved over to the window. The sun had set and she couldn’t see a thing. The cool air that found its way through the cracks helped clear her head.

“Mom?”

“Yeah?”

“I don’t want to leave. Even when we find the stones, I don’t want to go back.”

“Simon, our place isn’t here.”

“Yes it is. Laird Ian said we could stay forever.”

“That doesn’t mean we should.”

“Why not? It isn’t like this house isn’t big enough.” His big blue eyes melted her heart.

“What about your friends? Remember your skateboard? What about a toilet that flushes?”

He bit his lower lip. “I have new friends and a whole new family. Horses are better than any piece of plywood with wheels. Besides, Fin has almost finished the bathroom. It won’t be like our old one but it should work.” Singing Fin’s praises wasn’t something Liz wanted to hear from the mouth of her son. A knot formed in the back of her throat, she worried for the day she would have to remove her son from this life. This was Tara’s life, not hers. The knot thickened when her thoughts drifted to Fin and his future. When Fin went on to marry and have sons of his own, he would push Simon aside. It was only natural.