In the dark castle stood their Laird—fierce, unyielding, and threatening as he talked amongst his clan devising plans in battle. Laird Callum never once showed his clan his vulnerabilities because he doesn’t have any. In order for a man to fight well he has to have no distraction. Women are a distraction. They are a vulnerability to him. Love is also a distraction and he vowed to never marry a woman or to ever fall in love because of it. Many clans fear him because of his power and his invincibility. Other clans have asked to be allies with him and pledged their loyalty to him in order to stop Callum from attacking them.
Callum went back to devising his plans in battle when his squire came running in. He kneeled on the ground and waited for Callum to ask him to rise.
“Speak.” Callum ordered. The young squire to stand and when he did he did not dare look his Laird in the eyes.
“There is a woman on the edge of the border. She is hiding in the forest, my lord.” The young squire spoke.
“A woman?” Callum raised an eyebrow.
His commander came to his side. “I say, that is a pleasant surprise. Do you know who it is?”
“She is Laird MacKay’s daughter.”
“Laird MacKay’s daughter? That insolent coward of a man?” Callum asked.
“Aye, my lord.”
“Laird, I think this is an excellent opportunity to find an outlet into Laird MacKay’s castle. We will use his daughter as ransom.” Gordon, his commander spoke again.
“Aye, it is.” His second commander, Ian spoke.
Callum wondered why in thunder hills did Laird MacKay’s daughter cross their land without escort and alone. It’s quite unusual and he wouldn’t waste another minute of it. He’s going to get the rest of the story out of her. “Roger, prepare my horse. Gordon, prepare the soldiers.”
“Aye, Callum.” Gordon answered and hurried out with Ian.
Callum hurried to dress in his battle outfit and hurried down the steps of his castle to his horse. He’s going to go find her and bring her back to his holding, aye, he’s going to hold her captive and ask her what is her true motive in crossing his land without escorts. She knows this is Murray’s land and crossing his land without escorts could only mean one thing. It’s a plan of battle and deceit. Her father must have sent her to weaken him but he is going to turn the tables on that coward.
He hurried outside to where his horse was prepared and his men waiting behind him. His two commanders on their horses standing aside his horse waiting for his command. When everyone was ready he set his horse into a gallop as he hurried down the hill to the edge of the forest.
Christine cursed herself for not looking at where she was going. She accidentally stepped on a tree branch which ripped her peasant dress deeply causing a deep cut exposing her skin. She also noticed her skin was slightly scratched. She sighed in defeat. Her father has forced her to marry that awful Laird Mclean and that is the last thing she ever wanted to do. She had to get away but quietly passing through lands. So far, she hasn’t been caught yet but now she’s exhausted and hungry. She didn’t want to move no more. Falling to the ground she thought to herself, could it get worse?
As if God has not heard her prayer she heard horses pounding feet on the ground and she began to feel it. Oh god, it seems there are hundreds of them. She quickly stood up only to find that a bunch of soldiers burst through the woods to look at her. She pulled back a little and began walking backwards. One of the soldiers who apparently looked like the Laird moved his horse forward.
Her breath caught in her throat as he neared her and she caught how beautiful he looked. His eyes were bluish gray and his hair was dark black by his cheek was a scar that marred his face but Christine could only see how that scar has made him look even more fierce and deadly.
“Who are you?” The man spoke.
“I am Christine MacKay.” She whispered.
The man sheathed his sword and got off his horse as he walked towards her. She felt the urge to run but her feet refused to move. “Do you know, you have crossed forbidden grounds?”
“I was just passing by.” Her voice thinned even more.
“Once you pass into my ground, you are mine to own. Do you fear me?” His face mere inches from her. Now that he’s closer to her she could not think but only stare at his exquisitely beautiful eyes. It darkened slightly.
“N-no.” She announced.
As if satisfied with the answer he nodded. Then before she knew it he wrapped his arms swiftly around her waist and lifted her up over his head as he carried her over to the horse and plopped her on top of him as he came up behind her on the horse. She straightened her back immediately to avoid touching him. He grunted and pulled her harshly against his chest.
Oh dear lord, she’s in deep trouble now. She should have taken off when she should but she decided to stop and mourn over her ripped gown. This man is dangerous and she feared that she has brought onto herself more trouble than she thought of.