Never Seduce a Scot(133)By: Maya Banks
Then she felt an intense vibration blow through her ears. She knew he’d spoken, nay—he must have thundered it for her to feel it so keenly.
He lifted her hands and pressed them to his chest and then the words rumbled out of his chest again, fluttering through her ears until it caused an itching sensation deep within. It was almost musical, though she hadn’t heard him exactly. But it was soft and soothing, the closest she’d come to actually hearing in three long years.
And suddenly she knew what it was he said. Nay, she hadn’t heard the words, but she’d felt them. In her heart. In her very soul.
Her eyes flew open and she saw the evidence in his eyes. There for the world to see. The entire hall was silent and gaping at the hulking warrior on his knees before her.
“You love me,” she said in wonder.
He smiled. “Was there ever any doubt?”
She turned to her father who was standing a few feet away, his arm around her mother. “He loves me!”
Her father’s shoulders shook with laughter. “Aye, I think the whole of Scotland now knows it, lass. Do you not have anything to say back to the lad?”
Eveline turned to her husband, her hands leaving his to frame his face. The stubble of his beard rasped over her palms, but she cradled his beloved face in her hands, her thumbs smoothing over the hard lines of his cheekbones.
“I LOVE YOU!” she roared, determined to yell it every bit as loudly as he had.
There were winces throughout the hall. Others openly laughed. Still others applauded. There were wide smiles, but none as wide as her husband’s. He grinned so broadly that his cheeks looked ready to split. Overwhelming joy danced in his dark eyes. He reached up to touch her face, his fingers trailing down her jaw.
“Aye, I know it, wife. And the whole of Scotland likely knows it now, too.”
Eveline rode before Graeme on his horse, turned sideways so she was nestled firmly against his chest. One arm was wrapped solidly about her body, while the other held the reins and guided the horse up the rise that overlooked the Montgomery holding below.
He pulled up, pausing as they stared down over Montgomery land. He turned to look at Eveline so she would see all he had to say.
“Can you be happy here, lass?”
She smiled and turned her gaze to the beautiful land covered in green and budding flowers. “I am happy wherever you are, husband.”
He touched her cheek so she’d look at him once more. “Those who betrayed you will no longer threaten you.”
Eveline’s expression saddened, her heart growing heavy. “What will be done to them?”
“The men were executed. Kierstan has been banished from the clan.”
Eveline winced even though she knew there had been no choice. They had brought great danger, not only to her, but to the entire Montgomery clan. Many lives could have been lost. Kierstan had also threatened the safety of Eveline’s own kin, the Armstrongs.
“Where will she go?” Eveline asked softly.
“I care not. She was given provision enough to make her way. ’Tis more than should have been done, but I’d not turn a woman out of my clan to die a certain death. What she makes of her life from now on is solely up to her.”
“ ’Tis as we all will do,” Eveline said.
Graeme smiled down at her. “Aye, lass, ’tis a true enough statement. From this day forward, our lives and a new beginning in our clans’ history will be what we make it.”
Eveline smiled back, and then her gaze sought the beautiful vista before her. The great expanse of Montgomery land her own children would one day roam and lay claim to as their own.
“I think what will be made is greatness never to be rivaled by another clan in all of Scotland.”
“Bold words, befitting the mistress of the Montgomery clan,” Graeme said in approval. “Come, wife. Let’s go home. I have a need to show my lass just how much her laird loves her.”