The Druid's Daughter

My name is Ailey, daughter of Conner, the druid of the Sevenwaters family. I had thought that my life would consist of getting married and moving away. Niamh has messed that up for me. Her affair with Ciaran brought back questions to my forgotten feelings for him. It brings chaos to our family.

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1. Chapter 1

Chapter 1

                2 years ago:

I returned to our house in a good mood. It slightly confused me that Ciaran had chosen now to express any type of feeling s for me. My lips still tingled from the kiss. I was so certain that Father would be okay with it. Ciaran was his best student. It wouldn’t be the most ideal marriage to my uncle but Father would never force me to marry simply for the furthering of alliances. The memory of tonight reeled through my mind.

                “Ailey.” Father called from his study. I complied, walking into the room. He seemed distressed. “Have a seat. When did this happen?” He referred to the kiss. I silently sat down. “Answer me.”

                “Today, I—”

                “Only a kiss? No more?” He questioned. He never spoke to me this way. And I’d never been accused of such actions before.

                “No, I—” Again, I had no chance to explain myself or ask why I was being alienated like this.

                “Ailey, this is serious. I need you to tell me if anything else happened.” Father said. I can’t imagine how scared I must look.

                “No, Father. It was only a kiss. I didn’t mean to cause such anger from you.” I replied. Father’s features softened.

                “I did not intend to frighten you, but nonetheless, this can go no further. You are not to see Ciaran again.” I furrowed my brow in confusion.

                “But—”

                “It cannot be. Best not to let you into false hope.”

                “But why?” My voice only came softly.

                “I will explain it to you someday. For now, you are not to see him.” Father said. I sat quietly. I knew he could feel what confusion and frustration that I felt. I couldn’t understand. “Ailey.”

                “Yes, Father.” I forced out. I kept my eyes glued to the floor. I had no idea why this made such a difference.

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Present:

                I sat in that same chair, listening to my cousin tell off Niamh’s affair with Ciaran. I hadn’t had any real contact with Ciaran in two years. Only exchanges of polite greetings when we’d pass one another. I spent a lot of time at Sevenwaters with my Uncle Cormack. Ciaran submersed himself in his studies. I feel he is still bitter towards me. I had chosen to put my faith in Father’s judgment. Since being at Sevenwaters, I had found a new young man, who was not only the perfect match, but also gave Uncle Liam a new alliance in the south.

                “Come Ailey. We must ride to Sevenwaters immediately.” Father said. I had not expected to be invited. You must come because you are a part of this. He spoke to my mind but I had no doubt that Sean had heard it as well.

                The ride was shorter than normal at the speed Sean chose. My horse had been recently injured so I had no choice but to ride with my cousin.  I could feel the anger radiating off his body. If only he knew. I’m sure he remembered me mentioning Ciaran but hadn’t made the connection yet. At the time, he only knew the name, not the face.

                I would have rather just gone to bed once we arrived. I did not want to be included in this. Niamh and I were not the closest. To be honest, we rarely got along. We just saw the world differently. I sat on the bench seat by the window between Father and Uncle Cormack. The conversation between Liam and Iubdan quickly turned into an argument.

                “Are you alright? Normally you have an opinion.” Cormack asked, nudging me. I drew my legs up, hugging them to my chest and resting my head on my knees.

                “Let her be, brother.” Father instructed. Niamh entered the room with Liadan. She held her head high, like she had done nothing wrong. That is where we would have differed. I knew when I did something wrong and would admit to it. I would not have this self-righteous behavior.

                “She’s you’re daughter. Perhaps you’d better speak first.” Liam said. I halfway listened to them attack her with their questions and judgment, but I felt Niamh’s pain fully. I had once thought that I had feelings for Ciaran but they had not been allowed to develop.

                Liam and Cormack knew of the kiss. Both had seemed relieved that I had listened to my father. They, too, said it was for the best. I still had not been told why, nor did I really care anymore. This whole ordeal brought up buried questions. I listened to Niamh argue her love for him. I had known Ciaran for as long as I could remember but I had never loved him. I was not allowed to.

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