Chapter 1

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AN - Thanks everyone for coming on to read the fourth book in the series. And this is for all who have waited so patiently for Artair's story. Especially for my mother who asks everytime I ring her when I will start Artair's book. Well, I've started it...enjoy!

Az x

Chapter 1

                The cobbled streets congested with people jostling things here and there. It was making him feel particularly sick in the stomach as he tried to navigate the streets back to the small house he and Kendrick had taken possession of. It was moments like this that he began to wonder exactly why he had wished to leave the stark beauty of the Highlands for the congestion of Edinburgh. Nearly a year and a half since he had left the comforts of a home fire, he was a changed man. His twin would be unable to recognise the male he had become, with as close as they had always been, over the time he had been away there had only been a few messages between them since.

                It was difficult during the winter months, with the passages completely covered in snow, he knew there was no way any information would come out of the Mackay Keep to find him, and there was no way he could find his way back with the snow on the ground. But a part of his soul would always call to the highlands. The snow on the ground there a pristine white and filled with sparkling crystals of light. Here, well the snow was more sludge kicked to the side as if trying to scurry out of the way of the busy people, bustling around.

                It was more overwhelming than he had ever believed before he had arrived here just under a year ago. Having helped Kendrick to set up trade routes with some of the Lowland Laird’s before making their way to Edinburgh and using some of Kendrick’s contacts to set up meetings with the borderland English. But the bloody English were stubborn fools, and they were dragging their heels over everything. Meaning he was away from his beloved highlands for longer than even he had planned.

                Yet the gnawing sensation in his stomach would not let up. It was telling him something was here and he had to search for it. But where to begin, or what he was actually looking for was beyond his comprehension. Though he knew that no matter his longing for home, he could not until this gnawing was appeased. Otherwise he could not survive the rest of his life being this uncomfortable.

                Sighing heavily, as he was jostled once more, his kilt trying to fly in the swift cold breeze and his boots now splattered with muck and sludged up snow. He wanted to scream to the Lord above. But he knew that he was most definitely never going to leave Mackay land again once he set foot on it once more. It was aggravating to be so confined in a space he knew was so large. There were too many people in this blasted place. Give him the open air and solitary land of the MacKay’s. Even the air up there was so different. It was clean. The stench around him still had him wanting to gag at times. And he had known some pigs in his life. Had these people never heard of water?

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