Chapter 39

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England, 1245

"Burn it all to the bloody ground. Not one stone, brick or wood is to be left untouched. " he shouted furiously.

"I want his head on a pike." he hissed between clenched teeth. Blood red eyes held those of his brothers. Enraged he gave the order as he stood trembling with fury and grief while he held Tara in his arm.

He swore with every fiber of his being that Marlaude would die this very day.

With the arrows removed from her back. He wrapped her gently in his cloak and mounted his horse with her.

He held her tight to him with one last glance towards his men ridding out to do what was commanded. The screams and cries of the people from afar could be heard as many of them ran from the keep. Soon flames from the stone structure licked at the skies. Smoke and ash filled the air around them as his men lit fire to everything in their path.

Numb and in denial he held her close and rode with her home in his arms. He would not stop until he reached his keep.

He spoke to her and rubbed his cheek against the softness of her hair. He rubbed her arm and told her all be o.k. as if she would respond.

By nearly nightfall he rode through the gates as those that awaited him stood by in silence. The sorrowful glances toward him werent seen as he slid from his horse gently cradling her body.

He carried her slowly towards the entrance of the greathall where Moira and his father stood with reddened eyes. This tragic moment had the whole keep in silence. Onlookers stared with pitty, sadness and shock as the lord of the keep disappeared into the greathall with Tara limp in his arms.

He took the long ascent up the steps until he reached their chamber shutting him in with his love and the world out. He placed her on the bed and climbed in beside her. His gaze swept over her paled feature.

He couldn't assimilate the loss. He refused to. His fingers shook as he raised them to her cheek and flinched at her cold skin. It was at that moment he broke down and lowered his face to hers and wept like he never had in his life.

"What am I supposed to do without you love?" he sobbed wrapping his arms around her petite form.

He burried his face in her hair and inhailed its floral scent that still lingered there. She faded away from him but her scent was there. But for how long he wondered.
He settled in at her side and closed his eyes. Grief and heartache would lull him and help him drift off into restless sleep.


It wasn't until the darkened ours of the night he awoke to the soft knock on the door and the saddened voice of Aidan begging him to open up.

They were coming for her and he refused to let them take her.

"Brother please open up. We must lay her to rest." Aidan pleaded.

He turned his head away and sobbed more as they continued to tap on the door.

It seemed they would not stop as the tapping continued and the voices on the other side gently begged him to let them in.

He finally stood and on shaking legs he walked to the door and lifted the latch. He stood back and let Aidan enter slowly.

He watched as his father and Moira entered with 4 of his men. His eyes followed them then landed sadly on Moira as she approached him.
Soft warm hands cupped his cheek and held his gaze.

"We will miss her dearly but know that she is in a good place lad." she let him pull her close for a tight embrace.

He slowly pulled away and watched his father lean over and place a kiss on Tara's forehead. His chest constricted in pain as he saw his men bow to her before lifting the sheets to wrap her up.

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