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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16. The Consequences

The next morning Erica lay abed Blair wasn’t around he hadn’t responded when she had told him what she had seen and he hadn’t spoken a word to her since. He had simply turned over gone back to sleep and then left early in the morning and hadn’t returned. She almost gasped as the door opened slowly and to her surprise it was Blair who entered and he was carrying a large copper bath. He lined it with thick towels and behind him filtered in a line of servant who began to fill the bath. While they did that Blair walked over to the window and threw open the shutters then pulled the heavy drapes closed. When the bath was full Blair dismissed the servants. He picked up her bottle of mint oil and poured a small amount into the bath. Then he walked over and gently began to undress her “Blair stop it this is absurd the servants will talk” she protested but her voice was weak and strained.

“Let them talk ye need a bath to help ye feel better, being cooped up in this stuffy room isnae helping yer sickness” he said stubbornly knowing she was in no state to refuse.

She laughed weakly as he picked her up and carried her over to the bath. She was thin he could feel how much weight she had lost. He couldn’t help but smile when he felt the evidence of the child growing in her belly, the slight bump was emphasised by her weight loss. He gently placed her into the warm water careful not to jostle her then to her delighted surprise he picked up a cloth and washed her down rubbing the mint oil into her skin and wiping away the sticky sweat that clung to her skin. He then lovingly washed her hair running his s through to remove the tangles and massage her scalp to release the tension. Then he washed it then brushing it through and lightly scenting it. Her whole body relaxed and began to feel better under her husband’s tender ministrations.

After just sitting there quietly for a while Erica spoke her voice filled with sleepy worry and concern “Blair please stay with me I need ye here. Please dinae chase the McDonnell’s “

“Ok my love I will stay with ye” and even as he said the words he found the hurt the anger and the self-loathing fade away, she needed him and she wanted him it was in her words but more importantly it was in her tone.

When the water began to cool Blair lifted her out the bath “Here brush yer teeth with some chalk and then chew some mint leaves that should also help ye feel better” He handed her the chalk then the mint leaves. Then he unwrapped the towel from around her body and gentle rubbing in circle he warmed her skin to rosy glow, before allowing her to dress in a warm cotton night dress. Once she was dressed he handed her some supple leather shoes and heavy silk nightgown.  “Thank ye Blair”

“Yer welcome” He said giving her a lingering kiss. “Do ye have enough strength for a short walk or do ye want me to carry ye?”

“Where are we going?”

“Just to the gardens”

“Aye I have enough strength to walk but I will ne yer help and ye may need to carry me so get one of the maids to bring a blanket down to the gardens” She had barely finished the instruction when Blair called out for a couple maids. He instructed them to bring a blanket and a couple of cushions down to the gardens. Then he led Erica out the room, he took it slowly never rushing her or trying to pick her up so they could get down quicker, he allowed her plenty of rest so that she didn’t get tiered and he had endless patience as she leaned heavily on his arm as they walked. The servant brought cushions which they used to pad the bench the blanket they left folded on a stool next to the bench and they placed a bucket just in front of the shrubbery for in case their mistress felt ill again.

 

He lay down reclining against the one trellis wall of the summer house and he sat her on his lap her back to his chest and her legs laid out on top of his. Then he covered them both with a blanket. Erica lay feeling clean and relaxed and for the first time in the last few weeks she felt secure and at peace. She began to fall asleep but before she closed her eyes she asked in a muffled voice “Blair where were ye this morning and why dinae ye respond last night?”

“I’m sorry if that scared or upset ye lass but fer an irrational moment last night I felt as though ye dinae trust me as though ye were accusing me of treason or at the very least betraying ye…”

“Blair I dinae mean…”

“I know lass, I know that now. I went to go find out if there is anything the spy network may know about any treason plot.”

“What did they say?”

“There are rumours of a plot by unhappy Catholics but there are no ideas of when and where ye may have been given the answers. Can ye draw the room ye see were the gunpowder is?”

“Aye I can. Do ye want me to?”

“Aye if ye can.”

“Bring me my charcoal I will try to do it this afternoon”

“First ye will relax out here in the gardens with me”

“Och alright but sooner started sooner finished”

“Yer health and the health of our child is more important”

Erica’s lips curved in a smile of contentment and love before her eyes closed and she fell into an easy sleep. Her breathing was even and she lay still with no tossing and turning. Blair thought his heart would split with joy and love for his wife who despite her condition still wanted to do anything to help him.

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