Tangled (Handfasting)

Tangled (Handfasting) by Becca St. John Page A

Book: Tangled (Handfasting) by Becca St. John Read Free Book Online
Authors: Becca St. John
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you see, but he is determined to sacrifice himself for his people just as he
did with his first marriage. It saddens my heart to know that I keep the two of
them apart. She is ever so full of emotion when she sees me.
    There
is talk that he murdered his late wife.
    But
I am fine. Give my love to our Laird, my father, and, to all the others. It was
good to see the brothers. As you have taught me, I do not let on that my heart
is broken with missing my own. Nor do I allow the brothers to witness the odd
way the MacKays treat me. (Do you think it is because of this Seonaid woman?) 
I will keep my silence so our men will not fret. They do not have the strength
in such things that we women have.
    Please,
if there is ever any problem at home, write. I will come to you as swift as a
sparrow. If not, I fear Glen Toric is my judgment.
    With
all my heart,
    Your
Loving daughter
    Maggie
MacBede
    It
was a fair bending of the truth, but she was that desperate.
    With
quick movements she sanded, blotted and folded the letter, top to bottom and
side to middle, then sealed it with the mark of her broach. The MacBede marking.
    With
a deep breath, she stood, stuffed the letter in the cross of her plaid and
headed to the front of the keep where her brothers prepared to leave. With this
missive, she would wish them God Speed and hope they returned quickly, before
the snow.
    She
got to the top of the stairs and stopped. If she was writing letters, it meant
her brothers were truly leaving. She would miss them, terribly. But they would
be back soon. Jamie had, after all, taken a fancy to Lizbeth.
    They
would be back.
    She
hated goodbyes. Hated leave takings with all that standing about, watching,
trying to find just the right parting words when none would do.
    She
dawdled, as if that would keep them there longer or give her the strength she
needed not to cry with their departure. She went to the kitchen to ask Eilinor
for something special to send with them.
    Then
she stopped in the great hall, to have a chat with Eba.
    When
she finally reached the great doors, she saw Mary move toward Douglas with
yearning eyes. Too shy, she turned away, hurried up the steps, her head bowed. She
had a piece of MacKay Plaid made into a small packet. She nearly ran into
Maggie.
    "Oh." 
She whispered.
    Maggie
nodded toward her hand.
    "For
your brothers. I thought they might want a parcel with MacKay soil and heather.
They can keep the two together, MacKay and MacBede, for added strength."
    Gently,
Maggie took the packet, rubbed the weave of it. "They're very fine, so
soft. Did you weave it yourself?" Mary was one of the girls assigned to
the weaving room.
    "Aye,
spun the wool as well."
    "It
must be the wool from a kid. It's too soft for anything else."
     Mary
looked uncertain. "Is that not what you do?"
    Maggie
laughed, "I'm no dab hand at spinning and weaving. Mine were just scraps
of cloth, not so fine as this. They will be honored, Mary. They will gladly
carry this with them."  She had to fight to get the words past her throat.
She would have to have a word with Douglas. Tell him to look at the obvious. He
could do worse than Mary, and probably no better.
    When
she finally made it down the keep steps, the MacBede men were already mounted. Her
delay was meant to make them stay longer, perhaps another day. Instead, she
realized they would have left without any good bye at all.
    "Where've
you been, Maggie girl?"  Jamie called out.
    "Do
you care?  You are ready to ride out without so much as a farewell."
    "Thought
it was you, not wanting to say your good-byes, you took so long."
    She
tilted her head up, held her tears back. "That's what you know of things. I've
been so long because I went to get sweet cakes for the journey."
    "Aye,
so did Lizbeth."  Jamie smiled down at the woman who stood by his horse. "You
women will get us fat."
    "You're
certain you won't stay for the winter?" Talorc offered, as he'd done the
night before.
    Maggie
frowned. If they stayed

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