Chapter 30

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The man across the room from me has been staring at the ground for hours. I've not been able to think of a single word to say to him, my brain too overcome with what I've been told.

My life can either go two ways.

I go to Lachlan, do as she says, and free him- knowing I'd spend my life with him... Or I do nothing, free to remain like this with MacCallan.

But, who knows how long Callan will even want to keep sneaking around with me. I doubt he wants to go the rest of his life, sleeping with a married woman.

And what if I got pregnant? Everyone would find out.

"Please, say something," I get out, painfully. I turn, looking at him, hoping for guidance. He looks up, resting his knuckles against his chin.

"I'm waitin' for ye to tell me what you'd like to do."

"I want to know what you want."

"That's not the way this works... I willnae force ye to choose me."

"But I would, Callan. I would choose you in a heart beat!"

"And leave him in that cell? Would ye be able to live with it? I ken I would but ye... I'm not sure."

"I don't see another way for us... to continue this."

"I dinnae want this," he says, sharply. My eyes blink in shock. "I dinnae want to hide when someone knocks on the door. I dinnae want to watch ye cry when a man dies and not be able to comfort ye. I dinnae want to be the other man in your world!"

"What are you saying?" I choke out, shaking my head. "Because the only way I can be with you like that is if he dies, which isn't going to happen! You can either be with me like this or-or-"

"Or we can do what we planned to do two years ago."

His words make every hair on my body stand on edge. It takes me a moment to breathe again. He hasn't looked away from my face, he hasn't even blinked.

"Wh-what?"

He stands and walks to me, grabbing my arms tightly. "I willnae live without ye, Gillian. The man has had his years with ye and I've had mine with women who could never compare to ye- damn the consequences! Damn what's right and what's wrong! I love ye and you are mine!"

I stare up at him, dazed. "Callan-"

"Say ye want the same," he whispers fiercely, tucking his hand into my hair. I feel the desperation. "Say ye need me too."

"I do need you too," I reply, nervously. He catches the tension, stilling. I wait until he's looking into my eyes to speak again. "You were right though... I can't let him rot in prison. I wouldn't be able to live with that."

He backs away, detangling from my body in silent horror. I step forward and he holds his arm up, turning. I know not to go near him.

"Gillian." My name comes out sounding like a curse.

"I'm sorry-"

"SORRY?! You've torn my life to shreds in a matter of mere moments and all ye can produce is sorry?" he shouts, turning back to me in anger. I swallow, shaking my head but he continues. "You'd rather save him- go to him and live with the bastard- share his goddamn bed night after night than leave this place with me?"

"You know I don't want that! You know who I want and you know that I would go-"

"If ye could?"

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