by Ashley York
“The Bruised Thistle” – part of the Eggcerpt Exchange Fun.
Iseabail MacNaughton, the orphaned daughter of a Scottish laird, is forced to flee her home and seek assistance against her lecherous uncle, who has usurped her family’s land. When she meets Seumas, a strong and valiant mercenary, she cannot help wondering if he could be the one to stand with her against her uncle. But with a price on her head and enemies on all sides, her trust is not something she can afford to give lightly…
Seumas MacDonell is a man wounded in body and soul, driven by guilt. When he rescues Iseabail from one of his men, he cannot deny the attraction he feels for her, despite the wound that left him unable to act on it. In the hope of finding redemption for his sins, he agrees to help Iseabail…but will his feelings for her prove to be the ultimate obstacle to his salvation?
Now the Eggcerpt
“It was quite an adventure,” Calum chirped. “Then they called after me ’thief, theif’ and chased me when I took off on Seumas’s horse.”
Seumas smiled at Calum. “You did fine, lad.”
Calum came to stand beside the man, rubbing the long ears of his pet. ” Did you give her the herbs?”
“Nae, I didn’t need them.” Seumas pierced Iseabail with his look. “I was able to get the fever down by other means.”
Calum frowned and looked between them. “How?”
“I took her to the river.”
“Oh.” Calum nodded, satisfied with the answer. “I will go out and find some food for my rabbit, if you think it safe.”
“Do not go far, lad. There is plenty near here that vermin can eat.”
Iseabail shifted in his arms. “Can you put me down now?”
He did not answer, nor did he comply. Instead, he inched his hand up her neck and started working little circles into her skin. She fought the desire to close her eyes. It felt so good.”
“Do ye not want to know how I got your fever down?”
“You said you brought me to the river.”
He held her gaze then pulled her toward him, and she knew he was going to kiss her. His lips were warm, and the lightening surged through her again. He kissed her lightly at first then more urgently. She wrapped her arms around his neck to pull him closer.
He straightened abruptly then placed her on her cloak. “Ye should get some sleep.”
Seumas pushed past Calum as he was coming back in.
“Told you he was mad,” Calum said.
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