Chapter 58

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Chapter 58

Rohesia swung her head back to the boy, Scottie, as he sat silent for a moment. Taking in everything with a keen eye, an almost frightened look upon his face. With a frown, she went to ask the lad what was wrong, when Artair swung from the horse behind her, jumping to the ground and striding forward. Her hand shot out to grab a large chunk of the coarse mane before her, as the large beast shifted its weight beneath her as one of its riders was currently pulling a silent and petrified boy down from his own mount.

She was now stuck on this horse, for she was not risking breaking her neck dismounting herself, whilst she could ride a horse fairly well, had ridden from her childhood home to Edinburgh before they had had to sell the horses for the money they needed more. She still could not mount or dismount by herself. It was a shame she had to bear, but one she was willing to do for most part, but right now it had her itching to gain her feet and helping with the obviously traumatised boy.

His gaze was locked on her and his eyes seemed to be getting larger and larger as he did. Something about her was affecting him in an adverse way. Slipping back on the saddle, settling where Artair had been, she wondered if it would be better for the lad if she moved off a safe distance. Was it women in general he was tentative about? Or was it just her? Looking over at her father who pulled up beside them, made her wonder what he was thinking as with a furrowed brow, he did not look in her direction but watched the highlander with the young boy before them.

From the positioning they were in she could see very clearly what the little lad was saying, though she could not see Artair, so only half a conversation was gained for her. However, she did begin to wonder exactly who this lad belonged too. As the conversation progressed, the lad never took his eyes from her, his entire being focused upon her in an unnerving and unstoppable force which locked on her very soul.

Artair knelt before his nephew, trying to gain his attention, but the bairn was having none of it and now was not a good time for the lad to have one of his moments. Something was obviously wrong for him to be so far from home, and on his own, for him to travel so far, Aonghus at the least had to be somewhere close. Yet he was nowhere to be seen, which had Artair biting at the bit in order to find out what had happened. But he needed to go at a pace his nephew was comfortable with. For nothing else would help. In fact, to rush him could have him clamped up for longer, and having strangers about was not going to help the situation none.

"Scottie, I need you to look at me lad." Nothing, no response, other than wide eyes staring Rohesia down.

"Scottie, come on lad, I need you to tell me what wrong. Is it your da?" Still nothing, fine what else could it be? "Is it your ma?" He knew from a recent missive, and by recent he was talking before the winter snows had set in, that his nephew had taken to calling his brother and sister-in-law mother and father. Socttie's eyes flickered. It was not much but for this special little lad it was everything. "What's wrong with your ma?"

The boy took a shuddering breath, flickering his eyes to Artair, before returning them to Rohesia. With a wave of his hand, Artair leant in a little closer to the lad, his whispered words showed the whole issue he had with the strangers present. "Why does she look like my mother?"

Glancing over his shoulder, he could see the war Rohesia was having on whether to come help or give them space. For now he was glad they had space, he did not know how to explain Scotties unique personality just yet. But he could have no one that did not accept him, for as special as he was, he was still an asset to the clan. And would be an excellent warrior when he was fully trained, Aonghus had boasted of his prowess with his training sword. With a small smile, he let the boy look his fill of the woman who did look so much like his mother. Artair knew that Scottie had already picked up the differences between them, he was an expert at the little details.

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