While waiting for her to recover, MacInness discovers a woman he can love, one who can replace the woman he can never have, his overlord's wife. But marriage to Genvieve isn't part of his plan until he discovers her life is still in danger and the only way to protect her is to marry her. But will he survive the attempts on his life? Is Genvieve de Chauret behind those attempts?
“Hang on lass,” MacInness urged. “‘Tis just through the wood.”
Shards of pain splintered throughout his bruised and battered body and his grip slackened. Ruthlessly pushing the pain aside, he focused on the woman in his arms and tightened his hold.
Ebony tresses lay plastered against her ghastly pale face. His throat closed. Was he too late? “Almost there,” he rasped.
Refusing to give in to his body’s clamoring need to stop and rest, Winslow MacInness clenched his jaw and his resolve. If he stopped now, he’d drop from sheer exhaustion. He’d not give the bastards the satisfaction of dying, not now when sanctuary lay just across the open field.
He’d been gone for months, he thought crossing toward the Saxon holding. Though he wished he’d stayed on in the Highlands, fate had brought him home and had him rescuing the woman he carried.
Would she make it? Duncan hadn’t. He must be losing his mind as well as his life’s blood if he was thinking about his dead horse.
MacInness’s mind drifted and he wasn’t paying attention. He slipped on the wet grass, going down hard on one knee. The jagged edge of a rock tore into his flesh. Pain. Thank God he felt something other than the numbness creeping slowly up his shins.
“Hold!” a voice commanded through the mist.
Ignoring it, he placed one quivering leg in front of the other. If he stopped now, he’d never make it. He glanced down; she was still unconscious.
The gash on his forehead began to throb in earnest, accompanied by the warm trickle of his own blood sliding down the side of his face.
The first arrow surprised him. He braced for the second one. The tip of the second arrow sliced through the bottom edge of his plaid before plunging into the soft earth between his feet.
The feathered knock brushed against the very top of his thigh and his manly pride.
“Bollocks,” he swore.
The lads are gettin’ better. He shifted his handhold freeing his right hand, prepared to give the signal Garrick had taught him when he swore allegiance and became vassal to the Lord of Merewood Keep. Raising his fist in the air, he waited a heartbeat then touched it to his heart.
The third arrow sailed wildly over his head. A voice called out, “MacInness?”
“We thought you dead.” Garrick’s shout was echoed by the grating of wood against stone as the gate opened.
“I canna imagine that I’m far from it,” he replied. His vision grayed as the blood oozing from a dozen places reached a crucial level. Darkness danced at the edge of his sight.
His legs wobbled, forcing him to his knees. The impact jarred the deep wound in his thigh. Razor sharp pain lanced through him as the healing wound re-opened. He gasped for breath.
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