Chapter 29

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He thought long and hard of what he was going to say to her. They had a quiet supper and enjoyed their evening.
They retired early to their room. He watched as she did her nightly routine of washing up and removing her gown to put on her chemise.
When she finished, she walked slowly towards the bed and smiled sweetly at him.
His chest tightened at the view of her.
He leaned back above his pillows and looked at her.

Gently, he pulled her over to sit straddling him. She looked so beautiful, his train of thought easily could be lost staring into her eyes.
She knew something was wrong because she held his somber look.

He lowered his eyes and playfully entwined his fingers with hers. He swallowed hard thinking of where to begin.

"Tara I need to speak to you.." He spoke softly.
Looking down at their joined hands he began.
She patiently waited for him to speak.

"Many years ago when my father was Lord of Chaswick, there was a lot of feuds. Many of them had to do with sieges, and the taking of lands. Territory.
My father saw that because of this there was a lot of bloodshed.

There were two lands in particular that gained most notoriety for these quarrels, that was my father's and Lord Maulardes.
So to protect the lands they made an agreement and decided to become allies and murge the two families."

He paused...

"To do this my father and Maularde made a pact that they would unite through a bethrotal of their first born children which would be myself and Maulardes daughter Erica.

Upon this pact they agreed that on her 18th birthday she would marry me.

"Years have passed and since then the feud  over our lands have stopped. My fathers end, due to his illness the agreement was forgotten....but... Maularde has not. Today a messenger brought the missive saying that in three days time Erica his daughter will be 18."

He looked up at her. She quietly sat above him, he was not sure whether to stop or continue.
" I was not aware of this arrangement," he emphasized.

He squeezed her hand gently as to bring her back from her thoughts. Their eyes connected.

"I dont plan to go through with the agreement." He paused.
Tara, I want you to be my wife." He said.
"Marry me, Tara,"

She looked down into his eyes saw he really was serious. Her heart skipped a beat at his words. But the truth is she couldn't do it.


She gently caressed his chest, her eyes slowly gleamed with tears.

Then she looked at him.

"Oh Duncan! As much as I would like to say yes. We can't," she slowly shook her head.

"Why?" His eyes searched hers.

She looked away.

"We simply can't, Duncan," she shrugged her shoulder s in defeat.

He sat up. He raised his hand slowly to caress her cheek.

"I want you to be my wife," he repeated again.

She closed her eyes, trying to pull away but he would not let her. In a swift soft motion he turned with her on to the bed. He layed above her looking down at her.

She was silent for a while.

"You have to marry her, Duncan," she gazed up into scowling eyes.

"I will not," he frowned.

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