“So you have heard of me and my brother’s antics. Though I am sure Aonghus could come up with some more embarrassing ones when it comes to me…” She could not help the smile that overtook her. “Oh, I am sure he could, but you have managed to so cleverly forget them?” she raised her eyebrows and he laughed once more. “Ah, it does seem you have the measure of me already, does it not?”


                “What is it you want then, Artair MacKay?”


                He grinned at her, the sound of her soft voice tripping a little over the pronunciation of his name made his heart squeeze a little. She tried so hard, but her Englishness was, for lack of a better word, cute. He also had a whole host of ideas of what it was that he wanted from her. But he also knew that the majority of them would scare her off. So he went with something simple. “How about I give you an embarrassing tale…that just happens to magically come back to me, if you give me one of your own?” He raised an eyebrow, mimicking her earlier expression, and her face went slack a moment. Her brow furrowing in a perplexed frown. He wanted to know what the issue was but the words when she spoke were light and held a teasing note to them.


                “You talk as if I have done something embarrassing. Why would you think such a thing?” The innocence about her expression at complete odds with her tone, and he loved it. It was obvious she did not have much to smile about in her life, but this teasing quality to her was something he just could not let go of.


                Placing his hand over his heart in a dramatic swoop, he gave her a grave look. “You wound me m’lady, that you would think, I would even think about that you had done anything other than be the perfect English lady.” By the end of his speech his lips had begun to twitch at the corners and he could not stop it from forming a full blown smile by the time a few seconds had passed and her expression still stayed the same innocence that he could feel about her. Even as he had seen the glimpse of the sprite within.


                “But of course, why would you think anything else?” Her eyes so wide, it was wonderful to feel so light with someone once more. The last time had been well before he had left the clan and before he and his brother had had a rocky time over Sheena. But the less said about that the better, as looking at Rohesia before him, he could tell that there was no way he would have felt this way with Sheena. He respected her and her love for his twin, but what he had thought he felt for her was shadowed by the emotions running through his system when he only looked upon Rohesia and her trusting wide eyes beside him.


                “Come, Rohesia, there must be a story you can tell?” He could only watch as if spell bound as she flipped her braid over her shoulder and the light from the open shutter in the other room hit her perfectly through the open door. Her smile gleaming and eyes shining. She leaned forward as if imparting a secret. “Well, there was, one young lady that I knew…I may have a tale about her?”


                “Aye, and what would her name have been?”


                Rohesia pulled her bottom lip between her teeth. His body tightened as he watched and he wanted to pull it from her grip and take over the action himself, but it was too soon, he knew that. He could practically feel her mind working trying to come up with a name. “Rose.” She sounded so proud of herself, he could not stop the chuckle that rocked through his body. Her frown had him trying to back track and failing miserably as the laughter still held him in its grip.


                “Alright, aye I will accept it, Rose was it? Aye, what did she do then?” Her sly little smile had him eager to know a little more about her, even if she wanted to do so under an alias. He did not care how he received the information, only that he did receive it. “Well, she liked to spend a lot of time in the stables. She thought she was helping out of course.” The tilt of her head as she said that, especially with the little sniff spoke volumes as to what those in the stables thought of her ‘help’.


                “I am sure she was a great help.”


                “Aye, she was, why do you doubt it?”


                “Who said I doubted such a thing?” He tried to look innocent, but according to Isla, the resident grandmother for all back at the clan, he had never been overly good at the expression.


                The humming sound she made, made him think she would very much get on with Isla when they met. For there was no other outcome now that he was convinced she was the one who could complete him. “Well, I do not know if I want to tell you the rest now.” She crossed her arms, but that only aided in pushing her breasts up, his gaze caught upon them, before he tore them away. He needed to get his mind clear or he was not going to be able to last as long as he needed to.


                “What do you wish in payment for me to hear this tale you want to withhold?” The smile in his voice was undeniable, and he could not hold in the humour around her. She brought out the better male he had kept locked up for so long. Reaching out, unable not to keep from touching her. He tugged her hand into his and squeezed her fingers within his own.


                “Well, I do not know? What treasures do you have which will be worth my tale?” Her teasing was like a fresh breeze on the hottest of summer days. He was about to respond when the footsteps in the other room made him freeze. The heavy tread told him exactly who it was. Spinning around to face him head on, he still held Rohesia’s hand firmly in his behind his back.


                The rummaging in the other room would not last long, and as Alfred came into view of the open door his face went bright red to match his hair. He had obviously seen him, and he was very much going to make sure that he was not going to end up how he did after the last time they had met face to face. After taking one humiliating defeat, he was never going to be in that position again. “Alfred, I wish I could say it was good to see you again.”

Highland Bear (Book 4)Read this story for FREE!