The Warning

Its early 1600 and Erica a young girl living in scotland is being forced into a marriage she thinks she doesnt want. At least thats until she meets her fiance Blair Commyn, she is falling in love fast and so is he. But there is a problem, Erica has discovered she has a gift that could lead to her death by the kings order. Her fiance a loyal man of the king is now torn by his love for Erica and his law abbiding behaviour. the question that has to be answered; does he love her. His answer comes when she is taken in a raid by the MacDonald’s to get her back he will have to fight for her. But trouble is looming visions begin to plague Erica of the gun powder plot. Blair a loyal supporter of the king must step up and warn the king stopping him from following his quest for revenge. How can Blair convince the king without implicating himself or setting his lover up for being accused a witch?

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2. A Visit

“Elspeth, Danny, Cameron will ye slow down?” Erica called out in a last effort to forestall the ensuing days

“Nay Erica ye must ride faster. What’s the matter? Are ye, a highland lass, cowering?” her brother called over his shoulder being rather unsympathetic to her plight.

“I am no’ cowering, I am just tiered after a long day in the saddle” she almost pouted through her answer but refrained knowing that would get her nowhere.

“A good reason to get to the castle sooner” her cousin Cameron called over his shoulder he seemed to be enjoying her discomfort.

Erica sped up to join her brother and their cousins but remained sullen and irate annoyed at the lack of understanding or assistance in her plight.

“Looks good and warm, I’m sure ma and da must be there already” Danny cheerfully called out over his shoulder, again ignoring her clearly etched frown.

 

In truth it looked spectacular the white stone that made up the castle shimmered against the dark mountain at its back. The windows shielded by glass sent a beacon of glimmering orange warmth into the surroundings. It looked all in all most welcoming and Erica was sure it would look even better in the day. But this beautiful house would not sway her she told herself as she quickly squashed the impulse to imagine herself running such a house.  They trotted up to the gates which were opened wide to permit the guests entrance onto a clean and spectacular courtyard surrounded by high walls decorated with beautiful stonework that intrigued and impressed Erica despite herself.  She was more than a little pleased to hear the gasp of awe come from her Frazer cousins at least it wasn’t only her

 

The castle on the inside continued the general splendour. It was warm and homely fresh rushes spread with herbs were on the floor. A blazing fire in the hearth and the multiple sconces, of medieval style, which lined the walls, cast a warm glow round the room that was reflected in the large glass mirror, illuminating the vast tapestries and trapped by the heavy velvet curtains that stopped it escaping into the black night from which they had come. Despite her desire to dislike this place Erica found herself admiring the beautiful colours of the tapestries and the curtains and enjoying the general hustle and bustle of life around her. There was very little ornamental silver everything was functional right down to the intricately woven tapestries and yet there was a clear show of undisputable wealth that was apparent in the craftsmanship of the goods that were present.

 

Clan pride was everywhere the women, children and men all wore their colours whether in the style of the highland kilt the lowland brocade or the woman’s fashionable plaid skirt or wrapped shawls. She caught herself casting furtive glance at the men, wondering which of them was to be her intended and picking out what she like and disliked about each, she mentally scolded herself at her behaviour, how foolish and childish of her.

 

It wasn’t long before a shortish woman bustled up to her and her cousins and ushered them up the stairs to their prospective rooms. She was pleased to feel the warmth of the room and see a fire in the grate. Her stuff was already in the room the stuff had obviously been ironed and was lying out on her bed for her to make a choice.

 

 She gladly began to shuck her damp plaid kilt and the just as damp undershirt and trews. Deciding tonight was important she selected a chemise, corset, close fitting white woollen shirt. Her brushed woollen plaid over her normal black velvet skirt in such a fashion it replicated a gown over a kirtle and with the plaid she formed a shawl she decided against the wide hoops as she detested the fashion which made it almost impossible to move. Instead she chose to wear many underskirts to give it a slight flair from her hips. After slipping her chemise on she realised she didn’t have a maid to pull her corset strings tight. Almost as the thought occurred to her there came a knock at the door, there stood Elspeth carrying her corset but otherwise loosely dressed. “Ahh I dinae have a maid.” Elspeth spoke

“Come in we will all have to do each other’s corsets as I dinae have a maid either. I was just about to go to yer room Elspeth since I had discovered the same hitch.”

Soon they stood fully dressed corsets and all. “Arghh I hate corsets I canae bloody breathe in this thing.” Erica said along with a few choice epithets to vent her frustration about the clothing.

“Erica yer language” Interposed Elspeth as a knock rang in the room.

Erica swiftly moved to open it “My lady McRae dinner is served and I have come to escort ye lovely ladies down to the hall if ye desire.”

“That would be most appreciated. May we enquire yer name?” she asked casting him a slight smile. Now why couldn’t she be marrying him, his slightly unruly dark hair brushed his shoulders. His muscles were clear beneath the cut of his shirt and pride infused every line sinew and muscle of his body but yet no trace of arrogance lingered in his frame. His smile when he returned hers was genuine and full and wonderful.

“Lord Andrew Commyn.”

“I’m so sorry my lord I did no’ know” she said flabbergasted as a hand went to cover the shocked gasp escaping her lips

“It is alright my lady. Are ye ready to head down?” His walk, as she followed slightly behind, was sure and swift but obviously tapered to their pace.

 

Andrew Commyn had been somewhat forced into this by his brother who was doing his damn best to avoid this marriage. He didn’t want to come here and he didn’t want to have to deal with these women. He paused a moment before knocking, he listened curious to see what his future sister in law would be like. He almost stumbled into the door in shock when he heard the curses uttered by one of the women and if he heard them right this was to be his sister in law. He almost laughed out loud she sounded like a regular hellcat. His brother would have more than just his hands full with her.

 

He knocked firmly on the door and waited for the door to be opened. He almost smiled as the annoyance on her face dropped away into a mask of civility that hid the shock echoing in her eyes. He couldn’t help but smile at the small smile she gave him and then his veneer cracked further at the shocked gasp she gave at his name. He had already decided he liked her as he turned away and walked away careful to slow his pace enough that they could keep up. She was without pretence and clearly knew nothing about their family. It was clear she wasn’t in it for the money as when he had observed her earlier her surprise at their wealth had been genuine, she had hadn’t known about it before arriving. She was perfect for his older brother, he was sure she wouldn’t be a push over and his brother wouldn’t get bored with her. He led them to the dining hall showing Elspeth her place before escorting Erica to the top of the table and introducing her to his brother. He was careful to stand slightly behind her during introductions and he clearly showed his brother that to upset this girl would be to upset him as well.

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