Authors: Harriet Schultz
Tags: #romance, #suspense, #scotland, #highlands
LEGACY OF THE HIGHLANDS
LEGACY OF THE HIGHLANDS
Copyright © 2011 by Harriet Schultz
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment
only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people.
If you would like to share this book with another person, please
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own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places,
and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or
are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons,
living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is
To Ed, for always believing
With thanks to Martha Ives, Judith S. Hellenbrand,
Marlene Bloom, Sandra Curcio, Sukey Rosenbaum and Maxine Durst for
their advice and constant support.
I’m also grateful to several participants on
Scotland’s Grampian Life forum, who provided invaluable assistance
in the early stages of the book.
Should he tell her? Maybe, but Will Cameron knew that
his wife would worry and that was the last thing he wanted. She
looked so comfortable, curled up in an overstuffed chair near the
fireplace, as she paged through a prestigious gallery’s auction
catalog in the fading light of the late winter afternoon.
Will watched her for a few minutes, then
forced his attention back to the stack of architectural plans he’d
been scrutinizing as he lay sprawled on the living room’s hardwood
floor, but it was no use. How was he supposed to concentrate when
his mind was consumed by an ill-defined uneasiness? Besides, he was
probably imagining that someone was tailing him. Yet if that were
so, why was he suddenly unable to sleep through the night? And why
was he on edge every time he left the house? Will knew that he had
to tell Alexandra the reason for his anxiety, but it could wait
For now, he’d blame his mood on work. He
shoved the pile of blueprints aside with a muttered curse.
“Something’s wrong with the specifications for Diego’s zillion
dollar project, but I can’t figure out what it is and it’s driving
me nuts. I’m tempted to run these through the shredder,” Will
grumbled as he flipped onto his back. “I shouldn’t care if that
arrogant S.O.B. loses a few million, but I do.” He rubbed his eyes
and ran a hand through his shaggy, dark brown hair.
“Diego will understand if you need another
day or two,” Alex said as she turned toward him. “You may not be
friends anymore, but he trusts your expertise, especially if you
tell him you have some doubts about this.” She was worried about
him. He’d seemed so stressed recently, and work couldn’t be the
only cause. But she knew this man well enough to accept that he
wouldn’t tell her what was really bothering him until he was good
“Why don’t you take a break? I’ll start
dinner, we can have some wine, and you can look at the plans again
later,” Alex suggested.
“Yeah, you’re right.” Will yawned as he eased
his strapping body into the down-stuffed cushion of his favorite
chair, the mate to the one Alex had just vacated. Food, followed by
sex, was just the distraction he needed. “I am kind of hungry,” he
said with a grin.
“Me too,” Alex whispered. She hadn’t missed
the twinkle in her husband’s eyes and guessed that his hunger
didn’t only involve food. She paused beside him and ran the tip of
her tongue up the side of his neck until he shivered. When he
reached for her she darted away, but the smile and raised brows she
directed at him spoke volumes.
He followed her to the kitchen, pressed his
body against her back, and wrapped his arms around her waist. She
leaned her head against his solid chest and sighed. “We’re not
having dinner now, are we?”
“No, we’re not,” he assured her.
Alex sighed as Will nudged her hair out of
the way so that his lips could find the curve between her neck and
her shoulder, while his fingers slid under her sweater. His stroke
was gentle, but insistent, and when his palms reached her nipples,
they were already hard under the bit of lace still covering her
skin. With one smooth motion he flicked the obstacle’s clasp open
and she raised her arms to help him tug the sweater over her head.
Alex wanted to feel his warm skin against hers and reached back to
strip off his sweatshirt, but his firm grip held her where she was.
She understood then that he was intent on taking the lead this
time. She closed her eyes and willingly surrendered, eager for the
Will dipped his fingers into the glass Alex
had set on the counter. She flinched as he slowly ran a bitingly
cold piece of ice around the center of each breast until he turned
her toward him and lowered his mouth. The change in temperature as
his tongue licked the moisture from her reddened nipples made her
gasp, and her hands dug into his hair to keep him precisely where
she wanted him to be. When he pulled away, she watched his eyes
shimmer with lust as his gaze lingered on her body, now only
covered by low-slung jeans. She reached for her zipper, but he
quickly covered her hand with his. “No. This is way sexier than
being totally naked. Stay like this, at least for a while,” he
murmured. She reached for his crotch, but he took a step back.
“We’ll get to that, but for now I want to look at you.” Will’s
voice was hoarse with passion.
“You’re torturing me. Let me touch you,” she
“Not yet,” he whispered as a lascivious grin
lit his flushed face.
“Okay, if you’d rather be a voyeur…” she
challenged as her hands rose to her breasts and she caressed
herself. Her light green eyes never left his and a minute later his
self-control shattered. He scooped her into his arms and headed for
Hours later, completely sated, they napped.
They woke around 11 p.m. craving something sweet and decadent and
zeroed in on their favorite ice cream’s sticky sweet mix of
chocolate, marshmallow and caramel. “Neither of us is going to be
able to sleep if we don’t have a Ben & Jerry’s fix,” Will said.
“You stay warm in our bed and I’ll go to the store. Don’t worry
about me freezing my ass off in the middle of the night.”
“I feel no guilt,
the best husband ever. What would I do without you?”
“You’d have to get your own freakin’ ice
cream,” he tossed back and winked. Their lovemaking had relaxed him
so well that he’d stopped thinking about the sense of dread that
had become his companion.
Alex leaned against the pillows and watched her
husband stumble naked around a room that reeked of sex as he tried
to find where he’d carelessly tossed his threadbare jeans. She
lazily admired the body that she never tired of — broad shoulders,
firm butt, long, muscular legs, and a chest sprinkled with silky
dark curls that she loved to run her fingers through. Thick lashes
framed gold-flecked eyes tinged with blue and green. Those eyes,
those eyes. From the moment they met, she knew she’d want to stay
lost forever in those eyes.
Alex groaned as the sound of the doorbell yanked her
out of the depths of sleep. When it rang again and again, she
forced one eye open to squint at the green glow of the bedside
clock. It was 3:00 a.m. Will had to have heard the maddening sound
too so why didn’t he wake up and send whoever it was away? She
rolled toward her husband’s side of the bed, but instead of the
expected warmth of his slumbering body, there was emptiness. “What
the…” she mumbled. Her heart began to race in confusion as she sat
up and grabbed a robe to cover her nakedness.
She shouted her husband’s name as she flicked
on lights on her way to the door. Where could he be? Of course! She
smiled as she remembered that Will had gallantly offered to walk
the few short blocks to their neighborhood’s all-night market to
satisfy their post-sex craving for ice cream. But he’d left around
eleven. He should have been back hours ago. Where the hell was he?
Her thoughts were muddled as she raced barefoot across the living
room’s cold hardwood. Will must have forgotten his key. That had to
His name was on her lips as she opened the
door, but her eyes widened when instead of her 6 foot 4 inch
husband, she found a uniformed cop who looked about sixteen and a
paunchy older man in a dark suit.
“Mrs. Cameron?” the suit asked.
Her mouth refused to form words so she just
nodded. She put a hand on the door to steady herself as fear took
hold and her stomach did a flip-flop.
“Your husband is William Cameron?”
“Yes,” she whispered, then pulled the short
silk robe more tightly around her body when she noticed the younger
cop checking her out. Something must have happened to Will if the
police were there at three in the morning. Her mind raced to come
up with an explanation, while she tried to convince herself that
she was in the midst of a particularly vivid and terrifying
The older man flashed a badge. “I’m Pete
O’Shea, a homicide detective with the Boston Police and this young
man is Officer Jim Warren. Is it all right if we come in?”
“My husband isn’t here…I’m not sure,” Alex
mumbled, but O’Shea hadn’t really been asking her permission, and
she stepped back as the two men strode into the apartment. The
detective grasped her arm and steered her into a chair.
“Find a blanket and a glass of water,” he
growled at his young partner, then added in a voice that was barely
audible, “whiskey would be better.”
Alex pulled her body as far as possible into
the gray cushions of Will’s favorite chair and drew her legs under
her. Her heart was pounding and she couldn’t expand her lungs to
take the deep breath she desperately needed. She lowered her eyes
and waited until she could make her voice work. Then her words
tumbled out. “Where is Will? Is he hurt? Is that what you came to
tell me? What’s happened to my husband?”
O’Shea recognized the woman’s imminent
hysteria and knew it was best to keep this kind of news short and
simple. “I’m very sorry to have to say this Mrs. Cameron, but your
husband is dead. He was murdered tonight.”
“What? What did you say?” Alex’s brain
couldn’t immediately decipher the detective’s words and she stared
at his deeply lined face. It was a kind face, yet this man with the
warm brown eyes had just allowed his mouth to say something
monstrous. Her lips parted as she attempted to speak, to question,
but her tongue seemed to have been ripped from its roots and she
remained silent until a shudder wracked her body and she began to
wail, “noooooooo, nooooooo.”
“Please go away,” she begged as tears
streamed down a face that was deathly pale. “He went out for ice
cream. I’m sure he’ll be home soon. You need to leave.”
“I wish that was the case Mrs. Cameron, but
I’ve seen the body,” the detective said. The young cop handed
O’Shea the plaid blanket he’d found in the bedroom and the older
man threw it over Alex’s bare legs, then wrapped her quivering
shoulders in a navy blue throw that he’d grabbed from a nearby
chair, but she continued to tremble uncontrollably. She tried to
take a sip from the glass of water that the rookie put into her
hand, but she couldn’t swallow. Was she paralyzed like in a dream
when you can’t run from danger?
“You’re lying! Why are you lying?” she
shrieked as she pounded the arm of the chair with her fist. She
grasped O’Shea’s hand and raised her pleading eyes to his weary
face, then recoiled as she saw the detective’s own sorrow there. “I
want Will. I want him to come home.” Her words were barely