Highland Stone

Highland Stone by Sloan McBride

Book: Highland Stone by Sloan McBride Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sloan McBride
Cuilén's face.
    When the ceremony ended, cheers rocked the countryside. Kara floated along with the crowd to Dunvegan castle for the celebrations which would go on well into the night.
    An upbeat Highland tune played and the festivities raged on. Long wooden tables loaded with food sat along the wall. The men were more interested in the wine and ale which flowed freely. Highlanders, though primitive by Kara's standards, sure knew how to throw a party. The colorfully decorated hall rumbled with conversation and a huge fire roared in the hearth. Occasionally, a drunken warrior stumbled past the blaze and Kara felt sure one would fall in and be lit up before the night was done.
    The two clans put aside petty differences and embraced each other. This wedding signaled the beginning of a new life not only for Cuilén and Ilysse, but for the MacLeods and MacKinzies as well. If she didn't find a way to return the damn stone soon, it could be her new life.
    Sighing, Kara turned her attention to a group of men who were chugging ale and boasting of their prowess. Bets were waged on who would win as two thoroughly foxed MacLeods went at each other on the floor. As one gouged his opponent's eye, the other howled and gave him an uppercut to the chin. Naturally, the bystanders cheered for their favorites and higher bids were placed. "I think the one bleeding the most will win," Kara said to the clansman standing next to her. His semi-toothless grin flashed and he upped his bet. Laughing, she walked away.
    Kara wandered the hall, letting the excitement and high energy carry her until she reached the castle doors. They were open wide making it easy for people to pass through. She welcomed the fresh air.
    Moving outside, she paused as a brisk wind touched her face. The sun sank lower in the sky giving the night air a chill. Wrapping her arms around her waist, she watched the clouds pillow the sun laying it to rest.
    Though he'd been doing his best to avoid Kara, Alaxandar couldn't keep his thoughts in line. His will weakened. The desire to touch overrode common sense.
    Grabbing a tankard of ale, he slowly made his way through the masses, stopping to talk with clansmen and their families, all the while moving closer to Kara.
    She stood outside watching the sun set. Strolling up quietly, Alaxandar encircled her with his arms and pulled her against his chest. He planted light kisses along her neck.
    Kara laid her head on his shoulder which provided better access to her neck and a full view of her breasts. She turned and put hands on his chest. He claimed her mouth, tickling, teasing, devouring. This is what he'd been fighting, the need to touch, to see desire flare, to succumb.
    Regretfully, he released her. "We should be getting inside."
    She nodded.
    Alaxandar clasped fingers and tugged her alongside him. The revelers danced and drank. At one point, everyone halted their merriment and circled Cuilén and Ilysse.
    "It be time!" Drummond yelled to the crowd.
    Boisterous laughter and catcalls were thrown about before a group of men and women descended on the bride and groom.
    "What are they doing?" Kara said.
    "It be the custom to strip them down to their nothing." He laughed along with the others.
    "What?" she exclaimed. "They're going to take their clothes?"
    "Aye, come on." He dragged her with him to follow the group as they carried a naked Cuilén and his wife to their bedchambers.
    They were thrown into the marriage bed. Cuilén did his best to hide his new wife from the onlookers with no care that they saw all of him. Kara turned her eyes away. "Good Lord."
    Iain and Jamie ushered everyone out. Alaxandar leaned against the door laughing.
    Kara shook her head.
    "What be the custom where ye come from?" he said.
    He moved closer to hear over the well-wishers. "Generally, the bride and groom attend the reception until around midnight and then go off by themselves and spend the night together."
    "Hmmmm, alone. I be liking this custom." He grabbed

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