Chapter 16

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When Kat awoke the next morning, the sheets had been pulled back and an imprint left on the right side of the bed where Eric had slept. She was a little dissapointed that he was not there to greet her in the morning but she supposed if she hadn't slept in she would have seen him.

A maid came in with a tray of breakfast and placed it on the coffee table in one of the corners of the room and left. Kat didn't really have an appetite but forced herself to have a sip of tea and grabbed one of the slices of toast. She wrapped her heaviest dressing gown around her waist tightly and put on her boots. She walked down the servant access stairs and out the back door. She ate the toast as she walked through the paddocks of the great Scottish country side. Although she had slept in somewhat,bit was not late in the morning as there was still the frost on the grass and the sun had only just risen. Kat did not know how long she walked for, but she soon found a nice place to settle down and enjoy the surroundings.

It was a nice glade with the softest grass and the sunlight hitting that exact spot. A large tree provided a place to lean against but did not stop the sunlight pouring through as most of the leaves had fallen. The remaining leaves were few and they were all red or yellow coloured due to the autumn season. Kat placed herself there and watched the countryside. Although she was still quite cold, the sun provided enough warmth for her to be comfortable and eventually she began to doze off...
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"Good girl."
Eric pat the sides of his horse and swung down by small running stream. The autumn weather was so cold that there bits of ice in the water that had been swept away by the running water. He let his horse drink from the stream as he sat a little away and ate an apple.

He had woken up earlier that morning as Katherine lay asleep, he had to admit she looked funny as she slept with her small mouth open and her braided hair beginning to come undone due to restless moving. He was not used to having a woman in his bed, especially Katherine, and to think they also shared a name. Every time he addressed her, he went to call her Lady Ainsworth and now her name was Lady Hartford but he did not need to call her that. Now they were married he had free will try call her by her christian name and it was all very exciting.

The sun was still below the horizon as he saddled up and galloped across the fields on his horse. He travelled so far that the house was tiny when he looked back on it. Eventually the sun rose and he decided to head back as his horse seemed a bit out of breath. That was how he ended up busy the stream and that was how he ended up noticing a figure leant up against one of the trees in the distance towards the house.

He decided to go closer to make sure that whoever it was, wasn't injured or needed assistance but when he saw who it was he laughed out loud. Katherine leant up against the tree,  her hair messier than ever and her mouth open as she snoozed in the midday sun. He laughed again when she stirred and the suddenly shot up with wide eyes and a groggy look on her face.

"Huh?!"
She adjusted to her surroundings and seemed to remember where she was and quickly brushed down her skirt and re-braided her hair. She glared up at Eric in a menacing way and he chuckled at her once again.

"You woke me up!"
She crossed her arms. Eric had no words to say to this as he was too busy admiring her, she was adorable when she was frustrated, she always exaggerated it and then teased him and it was very endearing indeed.

She rolled her eyes and turned towards the tree, pulling herself with her arms onto the lowest branch.
"Well if you have nothing to say then good day, I am going to be up here if anyone needs me. "
She continued to try and climb up the tree.

"Can you even climb a tree?"
Eric asked her, crossing his arms in a challenging way.
"That does not seem like a thing your mother would have allowed you to do."

Katherine paused and looked down at him, steadying herself by holding onto the branch above her. She was at least three branches higher than the lowest one and halfway up the tree.
"Just because my mother said I could not did not mean I did not."
She pulled herself onto the next branch.

"Yes well I don't imagine your mother let a troublemaking daughter like you out of her sight."
Eric knew his face was smug because Katherine narrowed her eyes at him mocked him.

She placed two hands on the branch above her, ready to pull herself up but then changed her mind and turned to face Eric.
"Just accept the fact that I know how to climb a tree and stop arguing with me about i-"
Her arms were apparently to heavy for the branch to cope as it snapped causing her to lose her balance and fall towards Eric. He tried to catch her but she ended up falling on top of him  as he landed on his back with a shriek.

His back was hurting a bit but it did not matter as they both burst into laughter.
"Of my arm hurts!"
Cried Katherine through laughter, it seemed that her arm did not hurt that much as she did not move and instead propped her head up on Erics chest with her hands. Their laughter settled down and Eric found his heartbeat quickening as Katherine inched her face forward until her lips were an inch away, they both had their eyes closed.

"Excuse me My lord and lady but there's a letter here for you."

They quickly pulled away and sat up to see a young maid blushing at the sight she had just witnessed.

Eric stood up and nodded curtly before striding quickly over to his horse, He could feel his face was warm and he knew a blush was on his face. He reminded himself of a teenage boy with a crush.

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