Unwanted

Unwanted by Kerrigan Byrne

Book: Unwanted by Kerrigan Byrne Read Free Book Online
Authors: Kerrigan Byrne
cruel fire.   Beside him, in memoriam, hung the likeness of a beautiful, dark-haired woman.  
    Evelyn’s words had silenced everyone as they each studied the implausible resemblance.
    Family?
    Heart pounding in his ears, Finn stared at Roderick, then Connor, their faces close to his as they held him captive.   The same strong angles.   The same sharp lines.  
    The same green eyes filled with similar suspicions, doubts, and boundless questions.  
    “Holy Christ,” Roderick whispered.  
    Connor let out a breath, his jaw clenching and working on a decision.   “Where do ye hie from, Northman?”
    “Kirk Eden-by-the-Sea,” Finn answered honestly, seeing no reason to do otherwise.   “The temple of Freya.”
    “How old are ye?”
    “Nine and fifty.”
    The women gasped.  
    “Nay,” Lindsay argued.   “Nay, you must mean nine and twenty.”
    Connor shook his head.   “The years make sense, as I am two and sixty and Roderick is only four and fifty.”
    “Fifty and…Upon my word,” Evelyn breathed, one hand leaving the baby to clutch at her belly.   “I just assumed you were—well— younger.   I never really thought to ask.”
    “Jamie, take the women to the hall,” Roderick ordered, his concern for his mate obviously warring with his need to keep her safe should Finn take it in his mind to attack.   “See that my wife rests and puts her feet up by the fire.”
    Finn’s eyes sought Rhona .   She stood ashen-faced, with her arms at her sides, hands fisted in her kirtle.   Though her garb was certainly dowdy and threadbare, and her one unruly braid couldn’t compete with the splendid coifs of the noble ladies, neither of them could hold a candle to her beauty.  
    A longing to be back in her cramped, cold stable, held into her soft body, gripped him with such ferocity it felt like one of the brothers had punched him in the gut.   His soul felt as though it wanted to rip from his body and reach out to her.   To touch her face and soothe the uncertainty lurking in the shadows of her eyes.
    Family?   What did that word mean to him?   Was it blood?   Was it duty?  
    Or love?
    Breaking their eye contact, she cast her gaze to the floor and allowed the guard, Jamie, to shepherd her along with the other ladies to a large door at the side of the stairs.  
    Finn didn’t take his eyes from her until she disappeared.  
    He was released once the heavy door closed behind Jamie, but his weapons were not returned.  
    Not that he expected them to be.
    “Regardless of what happens here, I want your word she won’t be harmed,” he insisted.   “She had nothing to do with this.”
    Connor nodded and crossed his arms over his chest while Roderick stood at the ready, not willing to let his guard down just yet.  
    “I’ll have yer name,” the Laird demanded.
    “ Fionngall .”  
    “A Gaelic name.   Fionngall of what?”
    Finn’s face tightened as he fought to keep his impassivity.   “I have no surname.”      
    Connor nodded.   Luckily for him, the Berserker Laird showed no sign of mocking judgment.   No contempt for the bastard who stood before him.  
    Connor locked eyes with Roderick, who cryptically nodded.   “Sixty years ago our father left the Highlands in search of the Temple of Freya.”   The Laird’s face was grave as he imparted the tale.   “He wanted to find out about his ancestors and force the other Berserkers at the temple to induct him into their ranks.”  
    Finn stared at the floor, unable to meet eyes so like his own.
    “He returned, three years later, furious that he’d been dubbed Fionnley the Black, and denied entrance to the temple because of his impure Gael blood.”
    “ Fionnley ?”   The evidence mounted, but Finn dared not accept it.  
    “It means Fair-haired warrior,” Roderick explained, his eyes flicking to Finn’s own pale locks.  
    Finn’s notice returned to the portrait, which was almost painful to look at.   Connor and Roderick had

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