In Bed with a Highlander (McCabe Trilogy #1)(Three) read online free by Maya Banks

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In Bed with a Highlander (McCabe Trilogy #1)(3) read online free by Maya Banks

Mairin struggled to place the name, but there were so many clans she had no skill of. Her home was in the highlands, but she hadn&rsquo,t seen God&rsquo,s country in ten long years.

&ldquo,So you went to meet your uncle. Then what happened?&rdquo,

&ldquo,I got lost,&rdquo, he said mournfully. &ldquo,Then a McDonald soldier found me and intended to take me to his laird to ransom, but I couldn&rsquo,t let that happen. It would dishonor my papa, and he can&rsquo,t afford to ransom me. It would cripple our clan.&rdquo,

Mairin drained his hair as his warm breath blew over her breast. He sounded so much older than his tender years. And so proud.

&ldquo,I escaped and hid in the cart of a traveling merchant. I railed for a day before he discovered me.&rdquo, He tilted his head up, bumping her sore jaw again. &ldquo,Where are we, Mairin?&rdquo, he cooed. &ldquo,Are we very far from home?&rdquo,

&ldquo,I&rsquo,m not sure where your home is,&rdquo, she said ruefully. &ldquo,But we are in the lowlands, and I would wager we&rsquo,re at least a two days&rsquo, rail from your keep.&rdquo,

&ldquo,The lowlands,&rdquo, he spat. &ldquo,Are you a lowlander?&rdquo,

She smiled at his vehemence. &ldquo,Nay, Crispen. I&rsquo,m a highlander.&rdquo,

&ldquo,Then what are you doing here?&rdquo, he persisted. &ldquo,Did they steal you from your home?&rdquo,

She sighed. &ldquo, &rsquo,Tis a long story. One that began before you were born.&rdquo,

When he tensed for another question, she hushed him with a gentle squeeze. &ldquo,Go to sleep now, Crispen. We must keep our strength up if we are to escape.&rdquo,

&ldquo,We&rsquo,re going to escape?&rdquo, he murmured.x201Div height=",0em",>,

&ldquo,Aye, of course. That&rsquo,s what prisoners do,&rdquo, she said in a cheerful tone. The fear in his voice made her ache for him. How horrifying it must be for him to be so far from home and the ones who love him.

&ldquo,Will you take me back home to my papa? I&rsquo,ll make him protect you from Laird Cameron.&rdquo,

She smiled at the fierceness in his voice. &ldquo,Of course, I&rsquo,ll see to it that you get home.&rdquo,

Ewan McCabe&rsquo,s roar could be heard over the entire courtyard. His fellows all stood at attention, their expressions solemn. Some were creased in sympathy. They believed Crispen to be dead, tho’ no one dared to utter that possibility to Ewan.

It wasn&rsquo,t something Ewan hadn&rsquo,t contemplated himself, but he would not rest until his son was found&mdash,dead or alive.

Ewan turned to his brothers, Alaric and Caelen. &ldquo,I cannot afford to send every man in search of Crispen,&rdquo, he said in a low voice. &ldquo,To do so would leave us vulnerable. I trust you two with my life&mdash,with my son&rsquo,s life. I want you each to take a contingent of dudes and rail in different directions. Bring him home to me.&rdquo,

Alaric, the 2nd oldest of the McCabe brothers, nodded. &ldquo,You know we won&rsquo,t rest until he is found.&rdquo,

Ewan observed as the two strode off, shouting orders to their fellows. He closed his eyes and curled his fingers into knuckles of rage. Who dared take his son? For three days he&rsquo,d waited for a ransom request, only none had been forthcoming. For three days he&rsquo,d scoured every inch of McCabe land and beyond.

Was this a precursor to an attack? Were his enemies plotting to hit him when he was feeble? When every available soldier would be involved in the search?

His jaw hardened as he gazed around his crumbling keep. For eight years he&rsquo,d struggled to keep his clan alive and strong. The McCabe name had always been synonymous with power and pride. Eight years ago they&rsquo,d withstood a crippling attack. Betrayed by the woman Caelen loved. Ewan&rsquo,s father and youthfull wifey had been killed, their child surviving only because he&rsquo,d been hidden by one of the servants.

Almost nothing had been left when he and his brothers had returned. Just a hulking mass of ruins, his people scattered to the winds, his army almost decimated.

There had been nothing for Ewan to take over when he became laird.

It had taken this long to rebuild. His soldiers were the best trained in the highlands. He and his brothers worked brutal hours to make sure there was food for the oldting ork, the women, and the children. Many times the dudes went without. And silently they grew, adding to their numbers until, eventually, Ewan had begun to turn their fighting clan around.

Soon, his thoughts could turn to vengeance. Nay, that wasn&rsquo,t accurate. Vengeance had been all that sustained him for these past eight years. There wasn&rsquo,t a day he hadn&rsquo,t thought about it.

&ldquo,Laird, I bring news of your son.&rdquo,

Ewan whipped around to see one of his soldiers hurrying up to him, his tunic dusty as however he&rsquo,d just gotten off his pony.

&ldquo,One of the McDonalds came upon your son three days ago along the northern border of your land. He took him, intending to supply him to their laird so he could ransom the boy. Only, the boy escaped. No one has seen him since.&rdquo,

Ewan trembled with rage. &ldquo,Take eight soldiers and rail to McDonald. Supply him this message. He will present the soldier who took my son to the entrance of my keep or he signs his own death warrant. If he doesn&rsquo,t obey, I will come for him myself. I will kill him. And it won&rsquo,t be quick. Do not leave a word out of my message.&rdquo,

The soldier bowed. &ldquo,Aye, Laird.&rdquo,

He turned and hurried off, leaving Ewan with a mix of ease and rage. Crispen was alive, or at least he had been. McDonald was a idiot for breaching their tacit peace agreement. Tho’ the two clans could hardly be considered allies, McDonald wasn&rsquo,t stupid enough to incite the fury of Ewan McCabe. His keep might be crumbling, and his people might not be the best-fed clan, but his might had been restored twofold.

His soldiers were a deadly fighting force to be reckoned with, and those close enough to Ewan&rsquo,s holdings realized it. But Ewan&rsquo,s glances weren&rsquo,t on his neighbors. They were on Duncan Cameron. Ewan wouldn&rsquo,t be glad until the entire of Scotland dripped with Cameron&rsquo,s blood.

Mairin gazed wearily at the looming keep as they railed through the final stone skirt and into the courtyard. Thoughts of escape deteriorated as she stared vulnerably at the massive holding. It was impenetrable.

Guys were everywhere, most of them training, some tending to repairs on portions of the inward wall, others taking a rest and drinking water from a pail close to the steps of the keep.

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