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I may just have a talk with Him about you. I think you just earned an extra century in Purgatory. Alera drew her brows together as worry plagued her. Why would Papa want to send his precious baby to such an awful place? I thought you were glad I am all right, Papa. Is your gullet griping you again? Arriving on the third level, Robert toted his daughter down the corridor. He balled his fist and struck open the solar door, slamming the wood against the inner stone wall.

Lady Bradana, sitting near the window, looked up from her tapestry frame. Her irate husband stomped into the chamber, carrying their dirty disheveled daughter. Her poor baby looked contrite and confused. Bradana compressed her lips to contain her chuckle at the sight of the pair.

What had her wee precious been up to this time? Robert gritted his teeth. You can wipe the amusement from your eyes, woman, and come tend to your heathen daughter. Robert, set her down, and since when is she just my daughter?

Spotlight & Giveaway: Highland Captive by Alyson McLayne

As I recall, on the night she was created —. Robert set Alera down and placed his hands on his hips. I am in no mood for humor. Bradana closed her eyes, thanking her Maker that Alera still lived. She would have a talk with her daughter later. Right now she needed to placate her man. She offered Robert a tentative smile. Well she obviously did not lose. Alera placed her hands on her hips and scrunched her face into an angry scowl, imitating her papa.

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I wanted to win, but the closer the bull got, the punier my dagger looked. Mayhap we should oughta get me a real sword. Robert balled his fists. Her mouth competes with my meanest foot soldier, she dresses like the lowest serf, she fights like a barbarian against boys twice her size, she plays with killer birds, and her manners are worse than your heathen sister Hope. Hold it right there, sirrah. You will leave Hope out of this. How in the hell are we supposed to do that? Robert asked with a touch of sarcasm.

The Highlander's Conquest. The Stolen Bride audiobook

Baron Robert closed his eyes and drew in a deep breath. He counted to ten. He counted to twenty then shook his head. He made it to fifty before he decided it was safe to release his breath. Bradana, he gritted out. We will be lucky if the beast still knows what his coilles are for when next he meets a cow. And she got the idea from those ridiculous stories you make up about your sister.

He wiped a hand over his face, trying to rein in his temper. I still have some small fragment of hope left that you will accomplish what appears more and more an impossible task-cursed heathen that she has become. I am sorry I am a cursed heathen, Papa. Bradana pulled Alera into a maternal embrace and glared at her husband. I will thank you not to be calling Alera cursed anymore.

She is beginning to believe you. Our daughter is blessedly gifted. Her value to the MacKays if they knew she possessed the gift would be beyond your imagination, and they would steal her. We live in England, not on some savage Highland hill! Robert sucked in a breath to calm himself.

Gifted or cursed, you will cease filling her head with nonsense. You mind what I say, Bradana.

Highland Captive by Mary McCall - Read Online

Quit spoiling the girl. I will return in six weeks. Robert kissed his wife and stormed out of the chamber. The door banged shut behind him. Ah, precious, of course he loves you. Bradana guided Alera toward her chair. Come sit on my lap. Bradana resumed her seat and held out her arms. There now, Bradana said in Gaelic. She decided long ago that her daughter would learn her Highland tongue. She was proud of Alera, too. Her wee precious was developing quite a lilting burr. Are you feeling better? I know, Alera. Your papa is more upset about the danger you were in than anything else.

But Henry will not let nothing happen to me. Alera sat up and raised a confused countenance toward her mother. Henry is perhaps the best angel guardian Almighty God ever created, but he is probably getting disgusted from having to rescue you all the time.

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Both Papa and Henry love you very much and neither of them will ever leave you forever. But what if Almighty God calls a meeting of all the angel guardians like the king calls baron meetings? Henry may be away and not able to save you. From now on if you want to do something, then you should think on it. If there is a chance that Henry will have to rescue you, then you should not do it. You do not want him to get irritated.

After all, someday something really bad could happen and Henry might be too exhausted or put out with you to help. I will try not to pester Henry no more, Alera said solemnly. I do not want him to ever leave me—Papa, either. Bradana settled Alera against her chest and kissed the top of her head. Aye, you will. Bradana nodded. You also deserve a sound thrashing for tearing up the outer bailey. When you dry your eyes, you will apologize to Elfrid and all who were present, then you will go confess to Father Lawrence. When your father comes home, you will beg his forgiveness too.

They both had the crystalline blue eyes of Highland heathens. Alera sure wished she could go to the Highlands where little girls could play fun games. Mama, do you miss the Highlands and Aunt Hope? The Highlands will always be a part of me, Alera, and I have wonderful memories, but my home is here now. Home is where your heart tells you that you belong. Mine tells me that I belong at Arundrydge with your father. Could you tell me Aunt Hope stories in secret once in a while if I promise not to tell Papa?

Alera pushed her lower lip out into her best little girl pout. Bradana arched a brow at her audacious daughter. Do you honestly expect me to disobey your father?