Read Passion and Plaid - Her Highland Hero (Scottish Historical Romance) Online

Authors: Anya Karin

Tags: #historical romance, #highland romance, #eighteenth century fiction, #scotsman romance, #scottish romance, #scottish historical romance, #scottish historical, #Historical Fantasy, #highlander story, #scotland historical romance, #highlander romance

Passion and Plaid - Her Highland Hero (Scottish Historical Romance)

BOOK: Passion and Plaid - Her Highland Hero (Scottish Historical Romance)
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Her Highland Hero: Passion and Plaid

A Scottish Historical Romance

By Anya Karin

Also by Anya Karin

Her Highland Hero

Passion and Plaid

The Unmasked Series

Unmasked (New Adult Romance)

Standalone

Thistle and Flame - Her Highland Hero

Table of Contents

Title Page

One

Two

Three

Four

Five

Six

Seven

Eight

Nine

Ten

Eleven

Twelve

Thirteen

Fourteen

Fifteen

Sixteen

Seventeen

Eighteen

Nineteen

Twenty

One

E
dinburgh

August 15, 1747

––––––––

“W
hen I say to you ‘wedding’, Kenna, what is it
you see?” Gavin looked across the top of the saddled horse, smiling at his
bride-to-be, who couldn’t be more pleased. He walked around to the wagon they
were pulling and looked in on Sheriff Alan, who the two of them were taking to
Glasgow so he could stand trial. After that, they were going to Fort Mary, the
place the both of them called home, where they were to be married.

Gavin very much liked that idea.

“Oh, I dinna know,” Kenna said smiling. “Just
something small, supposing my Da and Ma would want to go. Your father too.”

In the back of her mind, she had images of a
tremendous royal affair, a hall decked in white sheets and colorful plaids to
mark the mixing of their families, and a drum, fife and pipe band to play as
they danced. She imagined a big, swirling, poofy-skirted gown, and on Gavin, a
fine Macgregor great-kilt with a huge sash, brooch, and a beautiful sporran
that she’d make for him before the wedding. With their friends all around, John
and Lynne, Red Ben and Alice, Rodrigo, Elena and of course Olga, the minister
would say solemn words in front of the entire kirk congregation; they’d both
take very solemn vows. Then, when it was all finished, Gavin would lean in and
kiss her, and suddenly the whole place would explode into music and dancing and
drinking and fun.

“You’re sure about that, wee li’l lass?” Gavin
said with a smile. “Looks like you’ve something else in mind, aye?”

“No,” she said and laughed. “No, just a small
ceremony. I canna imagine a big to-do.”

Behind them, in the wagon into which they’d packed
a few supplies – and one very angry Sheriff Alan, who just wouldn’t stop
sputtering and swearing – a crash interrupted their tender chatting.

“I better go see what he’s done,” Gavin said, but
couldn’t tear himself away from Kenna and her big, semi-tamed mop of red hair,
or the tiny freckles that dotted her cheeks and the bridge of her nose, or her
big pale-blue eyes. “You know, actually, he’s probably just fallen over again
and is making his best at a big scene to get attention.”

He stepped closer to her, she took his hand in
hers and squeezed. “I canna believe this is all happening, Gavin. As a wee
girl, I dreamed about it, but I didn’t even know you then. Not really, anyway.
And now, here we are, about to go home and...”

“Aye,” he said sliding his arm about her waist and
pulled her to his chest that was bare, save for the sash of his kilt. A few
drops of water remained from the bath he’d just taken and she smelled the
tiniest hint of cologne that Alice Black gave him to use, saying that it would
make him seem more rugged and manly. She wasn’t quite sure how he could be any
more attractive than he already was, but the scent was nice anyway. Curling her
fingers against Gavin’s chest, Kenna purred softly and kissed his collarbone.
He slid his hands up her back, and his thumbs along either side of her face.

“I canna believe it’s really happening either,”
Gavin said. He stared straight into her eyes, straight into her soul, Kenna
thought. His gaze warmed her and the two thumbs brushing along her cheeks made
a grin creep across her face. Suddenly, she began to blink, fighting back tears
she didn’t want to ruin the moment. “I canna believe it, but now I think I have
to, because you’re right here and so am I. Nothing better has ever happened so
long as I’ve lived, Kenna Moore.”

With that, she couldn’t hold it anymore, not for
one second longer. Kenna threw her arms around Gavin’s waist and hugged him so
tight that a moment afterward he began to act like he couldn’t breathe. The
Sheriff made another whining noise and another crash, but they both ignored
him, lost in their own little world.

“I’m choking you am I, Gavin? A wee girl like me
keeping big, strong Gavin Macgregor who stole and stole from the English, from
breathing? Gavin Macgregor, who every single Scot in Edinburgh sees as a
mythical hero is being smothered by a tiny girl?”

“Ach! You’re no tiny girl! I’ve seen you fight!”

They held each other for a moment longer before
Gavin bent his head to hers and kissed Kenna first behind the ear, and then on
the jaw. As he ran his fingers up the back of her head to hold her close, Kenna
felt his lips part around hers, and gently caress her full bottom lip. When he
pulled away and gave her a gentle, playful little nibble, she let out a giggle
and then squeezed him again before she let him go.

“I’ll check Alan,” he said. “And then we’re to be
off. It’ll take us three days to Glasgow and then another couple to Fort Mary
since Glasgow’s a wee bit out of the crow’s path. I dinna think you’d mind, but
I should tell you now – after you fell asleep last night, I invited John and
Lynne and all the rest of them to come up in a week or so and stay until the
wedding.”

“Good!” She said, smiling broadly. “I wouldna have
it any other way.”

––––––––

M
orning turned to noon, and a quick lunch of bread
and cheese turned into a long lounging on a blanket, with a lot of hand
holding, and smiling and sweet nothings whispered into ears. By the time they
got back on the road north, Alan had become so irritated that even bound up,
he’d managed to start the wagon rocking quite dangerously back and forth by
throwing himself against the walls. Gavin went to make sure he wasn’t actually
hurt before they kept on the road.

“Did he do anything bad?” Kenna asked as Gavin
threw his leg over his horse and they began to trot.

“Bad? To hisself, you’re meaning? No nothing of
the sort, just his normal complaining. He did try to make me stop off and buy
him another square of chew.”

Kenna looked at him in disbelief and laughed. “The
man we’re taking to court, he presumed to have you stop off to buy him
tobacco?”

Gavin nodded. “He had a little tiny bit of a plug
left with him so I gave him that and told him if he deigned not use the cup I
gave him as a spittoon, that he’d go to the Glasgow magistrate without any more
of his stuff. I expect that’ll keep him from drooling all over our things.”

“You, Gavin, are a very wise man, I’ll have you
know.”

With a somber, almost alarmingly serious glance to
the horizon, Gavin nodded slowly and said that he knew he was before breaking
out into one of his infectious, easy grins that made Kenna punch him in the
arm.

“He’s handsome and witty, this one,” she said. “I
wonder if he’s got any other secrets he keeps?” She turned to him with an impish
look on her face.

“Aye, he does, but those are secrets to be kept
until we’re wed.”

For a moment, Kenna did not register what he’d
said, but as soon as she did, and turned back to him to feign offense and maybe
hit him on the arm again, Gavin had already sped his horse to a trot, bumping
the poor sheriff over a couple of humps in the road. Kenna just shouted that he
had a naughty mind, then kicked her horse, took a deep breath and let it out in
a contented sigh.

––––––––

“H
ow’s this one look?” Gavin said as he and Kenna
came to a stop in front of a small inn on the Edinburgh side of the tiny town
of Mornay’s Cleft. It was a village which sat between two hills. A tiny place,
it was used as not much more than a gathering spot for the surrounding farmers,
and the seat of the mayor who administered them. The sign on the inn had a pair
of what seemed to be silhouetted legs on it, which made Gavin laugh, though
Kenna seemed not to know why. The sign indicated that it shared a name with the
town. Probably, Kenna thought rightly, it was the only place anywhere within
four or five hours’ ride with a bed to let.

“Not much choice, aye?” she said. “Anyway, it
looks fine to stay for a night.”

Dusk had by then set in, and though the two of
them planned to ride on further, their slow pace and long lunch kept them from
getting to Duncraig, the next town along the road. This one suited Gavin just
fine, because aside from the naughty sign out front, he’d always heard good
things from John about the ale and sausages.

“Right, good,” he said. “You go on in and get us a
room and I’ll get the-”


One
room? Bit forward, aren’t you, Gavin
Macgregor?” Kenna chuckled as she spoke.

“I’ve been thinking that it’s probably best we
travel as a married couple. You know, just to keep from having anyone know us.
I’m sure there’s not much of a danger, but it’s better to do it this way, I
think.”

Kenna studied his face. He seemed very serious,
but then, he was very good at playing jokes.

“And by that, you mean that’s the easiest way for
us to have to sleep together?”

He pursed his lips.

“I canna say I mind,” Kenna said and then laughed
at Gavin’s shocked expression as she turned and pushed open the door to the inn
which creaked with age and rust on the hinges.

“Halloo!” Shouted the innkeeper, “lonely road for
a lovely lass as yourself to travel alone. Needing a room?”

“I’m not alone,” Kenna tisked. “My...my husband,
he’s stabling the horses.” Just saying that made her cheeks flush.

“Fine,” he said. “I’m Duggan. You are?”

“I am Ken – sorry, long day on the road. Mary
Macintyre. My husband is Hamish, he’s sta-”

“Aye, stabling the horses you said. Good to meet
you, Mary Macintyre. You’ll be needing a room? Food? Drink?”

“A room, aye, food for me. We’re famished and I’m
tired out, though Hamish might drink with you a while.”

“My pleasure. Specialty is sausage and wee heavy
ale. And by specialty I mean that’s all what I’ve got.” The burly innkeeper had
an honest smile, a tremendous red beard, and laugh lines in the corner of each
eye that went on and on. Something about his look made Kenna relax her guard. By
the time Gavin came in from the stables and told her everything was fine, and
that he’d paid the stable hand extra to keep their guest quiet, Duggan was busy
clanking away in the kitchen and shortly reappeared with two plates and two
mugs.

“Here we are,” he said. “You must be Hamish,
then?”

For a moment Gavin stared blankly until Kenna
nudged him in the ribs. “He’s a mite clouded sometimes,” she said.

 “Oh, yes, yes, very sorry. Long day on the road,
you know. Hamish, that’s me. Nice to meet you...”

“Duggan.” He stuck his hand out, and Gavin shook
it.

“Duggan,” Gavin said as he bit into a sausage.
“I’ve heard good things about this sausage and this beer.” He tipped his mug
and took a long swallow. “My friend dinna lie, this is excellent.”

The barrel-chested innkeeper smiled and slapped
his bar. “Good to hear!”

“Did my...er, my wife pay you for the room?”

“Not yet, but – wait, wait, pay me when you
leave.”

“Are you sure?”

“Aye, she reminds me of someone dear, though I
imagine my daughter’s got a few years on your lady there. You’ll pay in the
morning if you pay at all.”

Gavin smiled and tucked his purse back in his
sporran.

“Oh, Hamish?” Kenna said. “We should give some food
to the...er...prisoner.”

“Prisoner?” Duggan said with a cocked eyebrow.

“Aye, it’s a bit of a strange mess we’ve got
ourselves in. We were hired to transport a rather wretched beast to Glasgow. Could
I bring him in? I canna possibly let him go.”

“You’re wanting to house a prisoner in my inn? I’d
think that being chained in the stables would be more appropriate.”

“But your stable boy, no matter what he says, and
how large he might be, he
is
just a boy. And this prisoner can be very
persuasive.”

“He’s shackled, I assume? Or you’ve got some say
to do so?”

“That’s another issue. There was such haste in our
leaving that we were given only ropes to bind him.”

“Ropes? This isn’t some kind of trick is it? You
two aren’t the criminals?” Duggan squinted, studying the two people standing
opposite him.

“In truth, our prisoner is the sheriff – the
former sheriff – from Edinburgh. He’s a cunning man, no matter how foul his
manners and his appearance may be. Cunning
and
dangerous. He’ll take the
boy’s life to escape.”

“Ha! Rory, aye, he can take care of himself. Don’t
you worry on that count. And, aye, I’ll take some food. Is he to have beer as
well?”

“Duggan, I think he’ll be fine for a night without
a meal or drink. He hasn’t missed many in his life,” Gavin said.

Kenna clicked her tongue, “Now Hamish, we mustn’t
be cruel. We’re after justice, not revenge.”

“Ach, if you’re putting it that way. Fine, let him
eat. No beer though – only water.”

Kenna smiled and patted Gavin’s hand. “Fine then,
no beer. Thank you Duggan, you’re a wonderful help.”

“Think nothing of it. I’ll make sure he’s nice and
secure as well. Do what I can for the law, and all.”

“I dinna mean to question you, Duggan, but this
still doesn’t sit easy with me. If he escapes-”

“Think nothing of it, Hamish. I gave you my word.
He’ll be secure.”

“The man gave his word,” Kenna said. “Leave it be,
dinna worry.”

After studying Kenna’s face for a moment, Gavin
nodded and thanked the inn keeper.

Gavin and Kenna inhaled the meat and drank their
beer as Duggan sipped at a cup of his own. When they stood up, he tossed Gavin
a key.

“I canna get in there if you lock it from the
inside, Mr. Macintyre. See you in the morning?”

“Aye, thanks Duggan. Maybe the morning next if I
sleep as long as I feel like I want to.”

Up the stairs and to the right, Kenna and Gavin
found their room. It was small, but certainly ample, though the bed was a bit
on the small side.

“Cozy,” Gavin said as he held the door open for
her to enter. “Shall I sleep on the floor to preserve milady’s dignity?”

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