Chapter 20

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"Chamomile, Ivy and Willow Bark," I whisper to the clerk, eyes flickering through the assortments of healing remedies. Since Lachlan didn't have another residential healer hired after MacCallan, I've taken the pleasure of riding out to the village every couple of months to stock up on remedies.

I've always loved doing it. It's given me time to call upon Greer and her husband- keep in touch.

"Here ye are, milady," the man with a head full of red, curly hair exclaims exuberantly. I smile and nod.

"Thank you."

Turning, I step out into the street, rather empty today due to the scattered storms. I clutch my basket tight to my body and press on my hair, hoping to maintain the frizz.

To focused on making it around a large puddle, I bump into someone, falling straight into the water, ungracefully. Arms grasp mine tightly. I look up and my heart stops immediately.

"Oh, I'm... s-sorry," MacCallan breathes, looking up from the ground. Someone behind him collides with his back and he moves towards me once more.

"I'm sorry- laddie... Ma'am," the gentleman apologizes, slapping MacCallan's back warmly. I still haven't been able to tear my eyes from his. He swallows, mortified and looks away first, backing up immediately.

"I'm sorry," he utters, holding out his hand to help me out of the water. I take it, chuckling awkwardly.

"No... I'm sorry. I wasn't looking where I was going."

He holds up a book, nodding. His hair is pulled back into a dull blue ribbon. "Aye, as was I."

I smile, unable to help myself. "What-what are you doing here? I heard the men were out on a hunt?"

"Aye, I had some things to pick up from town before we set off."

"Oh..." I wish I were brave enough to ask him about the girl, but I know I'm not brave enough to hear the answer.

He nods, looking down. "I- should be gettin' on. It will be nightfall soon."

My heart beats a thump faster suddenly. "Well, I'm headed that way- I'll- we could catch u-"

He looks down, uncomfortably and I feel a pain sharp in my ribs. "Aye, well, it wouldn't be proper... Anyway, there's a man watching us rather closely behind the building a couple feet away."

I turn, finding one of Lachlan's closest friends watching us. Seeing me glare, he looks down. I gape at him, fuming.

"I'm sorry- I didn't know he'd have me... followed."

"It's fine," he murmurs, detachedly, looking anywhere but at my face. "I'll be leavin' ye now."

And he does, headed for the place I just exited. I drop my head, closing my eyes in regret. I'm not even able to convince myself that experience went anyway but south.


"You had me followed?!" I bellow, entering the study. Lachlan looks up from the papers scattered all over his desk, pressing his lips together.

"I don't like ye goin' out in storms on your own."

"Bullshit!" I snap, shutting the door. "You did it so I wouldn't speak with MacCallan!"

"Yet ye did."

"Not on purpose! Jesus! Nothing is enough for you!"

His brows curve into each other and he leans back in his seat. "What do ye mean by that?"

"Exactly what I said! Nothing is ever enough with you. You are never satisfied!"

"The man entertained your thoughts for years, Gillian! Of course I'm going to have someone watching you!"

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