Silent Vows (Page 57)

Silent Vows (MacCoinnich Time Travel Trilogy #2)(57)
Author: Catherine Bybee

“Will you at least think about it?”

She gave him a half smile and pushed her rebuttal aside for now. “Yeah, I’ll think about it.”

He pushed further as any teenage boy did when they thought they could. “And the horses, can I ride them like Cian does?”

Liz’s eyes narrowed. “Don’t push it, buddy.”

“But…”

“No buts. Let me get used to all of this. It isn’t like there’s an E.R. around the corner when you break your neck. You’re all I’ve got.” She headed to the door.

“Hey, mom?”

She turned; he shifted his gaze to the floor, uncomfortable.

“If you and Fin wanted to…you know. Get married or anything, I’d think that was kinda cool.”

Her hand flew to her mouth to keep the ache inside when the magnitude of his words hit her. “Oh, Simon, I don’t think that’s going to happen.”

“Why not? You like him and he likes you.”

“It’s complicated,” she told him.

“Grown-ups make everything complicated,” he declared.

She turned away so he wouldn’t see the tears.

Chapter Twenty

Michael stumbled upon her during his routine surveillance. He had stopped searching for more Druids, let alone virginal ones, for Grainna to rape them of their powers and youth.

He was busy talking with a merchant when he skimmed over the young woman with little more than a glance.

His fair hair and muscular build caught many eyes from the women he passed, from the innocent to the more knowledgeable. The girl took notice of him when they accidentally bumped into each other.

“Forgive me. I wasn’t watching where I walked.”

In an instant, he felt her power. A slight prickle of awareness one feels when in the presence of something familiar. His head ached slightly, a sure sign someone looked inside of it. He quickly shut the girl out, but not before she sensed his interest in her.

Silly chit, she didn’t know what drove his curiosity.

Are you a virgin?

Michael flashed white teeth, and the dimple he had been born with, and always knew when to use.

“’Twas my fault. I was so taken in by yer lovely eyes I let ye run right into me so that I might learn yer name.”

She wasn’t particularly pretty, and her body didn’t have the curves he preferred on a woman, but her eyes were a deep shade of blue that had a piercing effect which caught his attention. She was well-spoken for a village girl, and even if her outfit was made of muslin and wool, it smelled clean.

She hid her grin. The scarlet of her cheeks spoke volumes about her virginal status. “They call me Margaret,” she giggled.

“’Tis a pleasure.” He captured her hand, brought it to his lips. He didn’t think her face could turn a brighter shade unless it was on fire. Margret wasn’t used to this kind of attention, even though she wanted it. That innocent desire would give him what he wanted.

Michael kept hold of her hand once he removed it from his lips. He studied their clasped hands, gave a gentle squeeze, then released her.

“I am sure yer husband must be looking for ye.”

“I have no husband.”

“A fiancé then?” he smiled.

“No man has spoken for me.”

“Well then.” He took her elbow and led her out of the merchant’s store. “Allow me to escort ye home.

The hour is growing late and yer beauty might attract the wrong sort.”

Margaret’s smile showed slightly crooked teeth.

“That is not necessary, sir. I have been in this village the whole of my life. I am verra safe here.”

He sent her a pout. “Ye wound me, Margaret, for I only want to spend a few more minutes in yer company.”

“What is yer name?” she boldly asked.

He offered her his arm and walked her down the relatively deserted street. “Jones. Michael Jones,” he lied. Even though he was in the village of Lancaster’s domain, he didn’t need his real name returning to the neighboring MacCoinnichs.

He toyed with what he should do with the girl.

He knew he would pay dearly if Grainna knew he found a virgin and didn’t return with her immediately, but it wouldn’t serve his purpose for Grainna to regain complete power yet. If anything, his continued concern with Grainna’s sporadic behavior made him question if he should show the Druid woman to her at all. Maybe if she knew her salvation was only a breath away, she would concede and give him the eternal life he craved. Either way, he wouldn’t force Margaret to go away with him now. Perhaps with some time she would go willingly.

Then no alarm would be raised.

“Are ye a knight? Are ye Sir Jones to the Lancasters?”

His lies came easy. “A knight, aye, but not to the Laird of Lancaster. I am only traveling through.”

Her eyebrow rose. “Then ye are not staying?”

“That depends.”

“On what?”

He placed a hand over hers that rested in his arm. “On if ye are asking me to stay—for a time.”

She stumbled. Michael caught her.

“How could I ask such a thing? I do not know ye.” “But ye want to. I think.”

She warmed under his touch and his words. “I would entertain the idea of getting to know ye, properly supervised of course.”

A virgin, no doubt. “Of course.”

She stopped in front of a cottage where smoke rose from the stack. “Perhaps tomorrow ye could come for our midday meal. My mother would enjoy having a knight at her table.”

“Until tomorrow.” He bowed over her hand and locked her eyes with his when he kissed it again. He heard her pull in a sharp breath and felt the tremor in her hand. He smiled at how easy she was.

How very easy she would be.

They waited until the hour grew late and the servants had retired for the evening. Her father placed an extra guard at the gates and another on the highest tower to sound an alarm if needed.

Every family member made his or her way to Liz’s room. A few chairs were brought in for extra seating, and despite the size of the room, it was crowded.

Myra and the rest of them were apprehensive about showing the men what they did. Until now, they had this to themselves, a complete no-testosterone zone is how Tara referred to it. Now it would be what Lizzy called a co-ed experience.

Once everyone arrived, Lizzy took the cord and book from her hiding spot, and placed the cord around the handle of the door. Ian glanced at the oversized string, then darted his eyes to his daughter and Todd.