New Short Fiction – Bonus story for Andra & Kendrick from Finding My Highlander #TimeTravel #ShortFiction

New Short Fiction – Bonus story for Andra & Kendrick from Finding My Highlander #TimeTravel #ShortFiction

Hi Readers,

Thanks for visiting my blog. The following short story came about because when I originally finished Finding My Highlander, it was entirely too long. I deleted many chapters and rewrote the ending as a result. But I saved those chapters because they provided an important bridge to both sequels. Most specifically for book three, My Colonial Highlander, which will be released later this year.

SPOILER ALERT!!!!! If you haven’t read Finding My Highlander already, this short fiction may spoil the ending. Reader beware!

The following story is Part I of the lost material and will set up a lot of what you will find in book three.

Thank you for all your support of the Finding My Highlander Series. The only reason writers work so hard at their craft is because of their readers.

Weddings and an Escape for Kendrick & Andra ~ Part 1

By ~ Aleigha Siron

Copyright, 2018

Beatrice swirled into Andra’s room, Edana on her arm with Isabel following close behind. “Ladies, we must get busy planning weddings. Lorne and Edana have already deferred their joining too long. Besides, Andra, the clan wishes to celebrate the marriage of their laird, as well. It is time to celebrate the living with no further delays.”

Edana dropped her eyes shyly then turned to Andra, “We were thinking that mayhap ye and Kendrick would be willing to share our wedding day? We could stand up together. Of course, I’d understand completely if you wish to wed first, as Kendrick is laird.”

Andra took hold of her hands. “That’s a grand idea. I’m certain Kendrick would have no objection. Then we will finally be family.”

“Ye are already family, dear.” Beatrice chided good-naturedly. “Kendrick told me ye are handfasted, but the clan could use a celebration and what better occasion than weddings and perhaps soon a few new bairns underfoot.” Her eyes sparkled with joy over the possibility of grandchildren.

Two days before the weddings, several members of the family gathered around the large hearth discussing whether the recent snow might further delay Edana’s father, Laird Keith’s arrival. Suddenly, a blast of cold air followed one of the guards into the hall. “M’Laird,” he called to Kendrick, “a large party approaches under the Keith’s banner.”

Kendrick rose from his seat, “Ah, good. Lorne let us greet yer future father-in-law and his men.”

Beatrice, Andra, and Edana rose to join them. When they arrived at the top of the steps, Andra saw Lucas, the Sassenach dragoon who had helped her and the girls escape from their captors nearly two months ago. He appeared unconscious and slumped over his horse beside The Keith. “Oh Lord, what has happened to bring him back to us?” she gasped.

Kendrick, Lorne, and Andra all stepped down the stairs at the same moment. Kendrick turned to Andra, “Mayhap ’tis best ye wait here.”

“The suspense will eat me alive, but of course, I will wait. Should I have a fire set in your library?”

Kendrick chucked under her chin. “You’re always a thought ahead of me. ‘Tis unlikely Lucas is here in this weather unless something is amiss.”

Beatrice touched Kendrick’s arm, “I will tend to the task. Andra should stay with Edana to greet her father.”

Keith dismounted his destrier along with a bevy of warriors, servants, and a priest.

“Welcome, Laird Keith. We were concerned the heavy snow might delay ye. And I see ye have brought an unexpected guest.” Kendrick swept his hand toward Lucas.

“This snow is nae so bad tae prevent me from attending me own daughter’s wedding. As for the lad, we found him near frozen to his horse, struggling through the pass. He begged us to bring him to ye insisting he has grave news to report, but wouldna’ tell me more. He’s been unconscious for the past hour, ’tis why he’s tied to his mount to prevent him from falling off.”

One of Keith’s men pulled the lad from his horse, waking him in the process. “Laird Kendrick?” he squeaked, “I must speak with ye immediately, ’tis urgent news I bring.” When he tried to stand, he passed out.

Keith’s man picked him up, grunting under the dead weight, and asked where he should take him.

“Follow me to my library; I’ll have refreshments brought to us there.”

Kendrick, Lorne, Laird Keith, Lucas, Rabbie, and Struan assembled in the library. A fire roared in the hearth while Andra busily directed kitchen help in setting a long table with refreshments. Lucas, conscious again, sat near the fire bundled in plaids with a cup of uisge beatha in his hand.

When the servants departed, Laird Keith turned, looking down his long nose at Andra. Was he suggesting she should leave?

She turned to Kendrick, her eyes wide and pleading, “I beg your indulgence M’Laird,” using his title to show respect in front of the Keith, “but I wish to stay and hear what news he brings.”

Before he could answer, Lucas coughed and said, “What I have to tell involves Lady Andra, sir.”

“First, drink up and have a bite to eat. Ye need to regain yer strength.” Lucas sat in the chair next to Kendrick while Andra handed him a mug of broth.

Turning to the other men, Kendrick suggested they take their repast as well. The snap of a crackling fire, quiet conversation, and tension so thick it nearly sucked the air from her lungs hummed through the room.

Andra sat opposite the two men. “Are you well, Lucas, other than near freezing to death on your trip to us?”

“Yes, My Lady, I am well enough, but will require time to regain my full strength. Due to my injuries I can no longer handle my sword, so the dragoons have released me from duty. But do not worry for it, I am improving steadily.” Lucas offered a weak smile.

After a few sips of broth and a large chug of whiskey, Lucas cautiously assessed the other men in the room as he leaned toward Kendrick.

“No offense Laird but are you confident of their loyalty?” he asked, tipping his head toward the other men. “What I have to tell you is sensitive information that should be restricted to as few ears as possible.”

“Aye, these are all loyal men. Laird Keith will soon be my brother’s father-in-law and has long been a trusted clan ally. Of course, yer already acquainted with Struan and Rabbie.”

“Yes, I remember them. The information I bring involves Struan as well. He should definitely stay. I believe I am sufficiently recovered for our discussion now.”

“Then let us hear what ye have to say.” The men moved forward, bringing chairs or stools, or leaned against the mantle creating a tight circle, as if their closeness could contain any trouble the messenger carried.

Lucas stared into the fire for a few moments. “If it is ever revealed that I have told you this information I would be hanged for treason. Can I trust that each of you will keep my name out of any further discussions concerning this matter?”

Kendrick appeared relaxed, but Andra could see the muscle in his jaw flex ever so slightly, indicating coiled tension beneath his calm demeanor.

“Aye, Lad, these men are completely trustworthy.”

“As you may recall…” Lucas folded his hands and dropped his head for a moment. “That night…after the battle, several men escaped and returned to England. At the time, they thought I had died on the battlefield.

“Wait. First, let me thank you again for the assistance you gave during my recovery and for the assistance of your man who transported me to my mother’s widowed sister. When we arrived in England, I told everyone the story we’d discussed and stuck to it.”

A cold finger of trepidation snaked across Andra’s neck. “What story would that be?” There had been no mention of any special discussions between Kendrick and the lad.

“Oh, forgive me; you may not know the details. When I returned to my aunt’s home, I told everyone that I’d been left for dead after the skirmish. I said a tinker found me, Kendrick’s man, and offered to return me to England as he was going in that direction.” Lucas paused and sipped his broth before continuing.

“I sent word to my commander, on my return. Eventually, he came to my aunt’s home and grilled me extensively. My aunt easily supported my story because of your man’s appearance as a tinker. It was a stroke of genius to fill his cart with wares to sell in the southlands. The extent of my wounds and lingering health problems provided sufficient credibility to my tale.

“I told them that the battle in which I received my injuries occurred between our troop and Cormag Cameron’s men. Of course, the men who escaped that day gave a different accounting and blamed my confusion on my injuries.”

“Following my commander’s interrogation, I received my discharge. Shortly thereafter, a friend of mine from another troop came to visit. He told me that the army, under either the Queen’s or her council’s orders, had posted a bounty for the capture of specific Highlanders from that skirmish.”

Kendrick’s brow creased. “Who was named?”

“You, M’Laird, Struan, and Lady Andra. It seems the men who escaped fabricated a lie about the skirmish and say you murdered the Colonel and the dragoons without provocation and abducted an English woman in their care.”

“What!” Struan yelled, threw back his chair, and blustered around the room.

“Did ye not tell them aboot the kidnapping and abuse of our women? Aboot the despicable doings of Colonel Richardson and Cormag Cameron? Did ye not tell them of the havoc they had wreaked in the Highlands, raping, pillaging, and murdering of innocents? Not that the Sassenach would care,” he continued, throwing up his hands. “They ha’ been doing such for hundreds of years.” His face was beet red and veins throbbed prominently at his temples.

“I did sir; I told them every vile act I witnessed. Of course, but they chose to dismiss my comments concerning the event. I’m ashamed to say you have the right of it; they do not care how many innocents they ruin or destroy, as I have witnessed first-hand.

“The matter grows even worse. One of Cormag’s cousins is hoping to establish a connection with the English and take over as Laird of Cormag’s clan. He seems to have acquainted himself with the new Captain of the troop, the few men who escaped, and their new recruits. I fear that nothing will change in your favor once this alliance is forged, and things could certainly get a lot worse for those of you who have been specifically singled out for capture and retribution.”

Kendrick studied the young man while keeping his expression blank. The tension in the room had ratcheted up several notches. “I thank ye for the risk ye have taken to bring us this news. Do ye ken whether messengers have been sent north yet?”

“I can’t say for certain. There have been very heavy snows in the lowlands. That may delay information making it to the north for many weeks. I barely made it through alive.”

“Why have ye endangered yerself to bring this news to us, Lad?” Laird Keith asked.

Glancing at Kendrick, he continued. “I owe the Laird and Lady Andra my life. As you recall, he brought me from the battlefield and permitted your healers to tend me. He allowed me to return to my aunt, the last family I have in England. He trusted me to tell the truth—that is, the truth as we determined prior to my leaving that I would report to my superior officers. He trusted my oath that I would never betray him or your clan in any manner.”

Lucas covered a hacking cough. “Since then, my aging auntie, who cared for me during my recovery, went to join a distant cousin of her husband’s family where she intends to stay for the remainder of her days. No family remains in England, and I have seen enough treachery from those quarters to last a lifetime. As I explained to Laird Kendrick before my departure, my beloved half-sister and stepmother were Scottish, and we spent a great deal of time in the Highlands when I was a child. They had family near Inverness. I thought I might see if any remained there. I hope they will accept my fealty and allow me to join their clan.”

“Ye ken that may be quite difficult. ‘Tis more likely they’ll think ye are a spy,” said Struan.

“Perhaps, but if I had the confidence and recommendation of Laird MacLean, I thought it might be possible.” He looked hopefully at Kendrick.

“Who were yer stepmother and sister’s clan?” Andra asked.

“My stepmother was a Dunbar. I have not seen any of her clan since I was a lad, but I remember them quite fondly. When she died, my father did not return to the Highlands. My sister had already returned and married a Highlander by then, but she died a year later, leaving a wee girl-child behind, and I have yet to greet my niece. I have no ties to England, and I do not wish to return there. Ever!”

Andra’s eyebrow rose precipitously. Was it possible that this young man was distantly related to Alith and therefore to her as well? That would certainly add another astounding twist to the confounding circumstances of her time travel to her father’s family.

Kendrick responded, before Andra could inquire further. “Mayhap we ken members of the Dunbar clan to introduce ye to, but not today, Lucas.” Kendrick didn’t indicate he’d even noticed her concern, but she was certain his precipitous interruption was intentional.

Perhaps he was already aware of familial connections between Lucas, Alith and her clan, but he’d not discussed it with her. No doubt, Kendrick did not regularly discuss such matters with his female relations. This was something they would need to address; she and her father had always discussed everything. On second thought that was not true either for he’d never revealed his travel through time. Nonetheless, she would not stand for Kendrick excluding her, now or in the future, from matters that affected her welfare. However, that discussion would have to wait for a more appropriate time.

Kendrick placed his large hand on Lucas’s shoulder and gave a firm but gentle shake. “I think ye have told us enough and should take yer rest. Ye are welcome to stay with my clan. We’ll talk again tomorrow but, in the meantime, we’ll restrict yer information to those present.

Before ye retire, permit me to invite ye to join the clan in celebration of my marriage to Lady Andra, and Lorne’s marriage to Lady Edana Keith, Laird Keith’s daughter. The weddings will take place day after tomorrow.”

Lucas’s face bloomed in a great smile. He turned to Andra, “I knew you and the Laird were meant to be together, Lady Andra. Did I not tell you so when you thought all was lost? Please accept my heartfelt congratulations.”

A heated blush washed over Andra’s face. “Thank you, Lucas. We would be most pleased to have you join the celebration. I owe you much for your assistance against Cormag and Col. Richardson. For now, though, Kendrick is right, you must get some rest.” She escorted him to the door and upon opening it, discovered Isabel scurrying to move away.

Busted. Andra raised an eyebrow at the young woman, “Why, Lady Isabel, did you need something?”

She flashed a sheepish smile, “Nae, Lady Andra, I was just coming to see if ye required additional refreshments.” She squared her shoulders and dipped a quick curtsey, “‘Tis good to see ye again, Lucas. I had heard a rumor that ye were here. Did ye come to celebrate the wedding?” The thinly veiled excuse offered to cover her presence outside the door didn’t fool Andra. The lad could not have known about the wedding plans.

“He needs to rest, Isabel.” It took considerable effort for Andra to suppress her laughter. “He’s endured a difficult journey and is not well.”

“Och, if he is nae well, I’m certain mother can find a room in the castle for his recovery. I’ll see that Jane attends him immediately. Shall I show him to the hall and seek mother’s advice?”

Andra smiled conspiratorially and released Lucas to Isabel’s care. When she returned to the room, the men were engaged in hushed conversation. All except Struan, who continued to rant and rail against the English.

“What exactly does this price on our heads mean?” She suspected she knew the answer.

Everyone started speculating at once, their voices rising steadily. Struan, cursing a blue streak, kept begging her pardon for his foul language, and finally, exasperated, suggested Andra leave his presence.

“I’ll not leave, Struan, so carry on. Curse all you wish. Perhaps I should join you. I’m sure I could offer a few choice curses you’ve never heard. This information directly concerns me, and I’ll not be kept uninformed.”

She noticed Laird Keith raise his brows. Okay, maybe she should withhold those expletives and assertions for now.

Kendrick intervened before an uncomfortable confrontation could develop. “Laird Keith, mayhap ye would like to see to your men and visit with your daughter while we discuss this matter further.”

“Aye, I would at that, but let me speak plainly, Kendrick. Our clans have remained allies for many generations. The marriage between Lorne and Edana will only strengthen our ties. Any decisions ye make regarding this news will affect my clan and possibly others. Therefore, I’ll ken what ye decide on this matter and trust ye to leave no detail out. I am ready to stand with ye, regardless of yer decision.

“Still, ye ken that the three of ye must go into hiding. The Sassenachs are not going to be lenient. Any retaliation will spill over to our clan and those who stand with us on your behalf.”

Kendrick shook his head in agreement. “Aye, ye ken my concerns, then. I appreciate your offer of assistance, Laird Keith. We will gladly reconvene after we break our fast on the morrow. I’ll discuss any decisions with ye then. Meanwhile, mayhap ye can give the matter some reflection tonight. We must consider all options before we act. Besides, we have two weddings to celebrate. I’d prefer this not dampen the festivities.”

Andra slumped back into her chair after Keith left. “Well, here we are, ‘the hapless five’ once again. Please tell me I’m wrong in assuming that the English will hang us. After all, we only fought to defend ourselves.”

Kendrick placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder. “Even with witnesses testifying that we battled only in self-defense, the Queen and her council wouldna issue rewards for our capture unless they plan to use us as examples to quell other clan rebellions.”

Struan was rumbling like a volcano. “We dinna bow to the cursed Sassenachs and their allies. We will stand against their tyranny and fight as we have always done. Ye ken our allies will stand with us.” Lorne seconded this assessment, though Andra felt he sounded less enthusiastic.

Rabbie moved away from the fire. “After years of crop failures, the constant harassment and pillaging of the Sassenachs and other disasters, many clans are near financial ruin. A war will be exceedingly hard on the clans, even if many chose to rally to our cause.” He rubbed his chin thoughtfully.

“More importantly, ye ken our rivals will use this situation to their advantage as soon as they learn of it. ‘Tis a grave matter in any regard. Hiding you will not be easy, Kendrick. The clans ken ye well and any number of people would take the coin in exchange for yer lives. Times are hard and food shortages are rampant. That bounty might be the one thing between survival and starvation for some.”

“Och, I’ve heard enough!” Struan yelled, “We have always given arms in aid of our allies. They are honorable Highlanders. They hate the Sassenach, as do we. They will stand and fight with us.”

“Aye,” Lorne agreed. “But as we so recently learned, we may still have spies in our castle, and ye ken we place spies elsewhere for the advantage of gaining information. ‘Tis the way of things.”

He shrugged at Andra’s astounded gasp and continued. “Keeping ye hidden will be verra difficult, and Lady Andra, braw as she is, canna survive an indefinite trek living on the run in the harsh Northern Highlands.”

Kendrick poured each man a drink and handed one to Andra as well. She sniffed and curled her lip at the whiskey’s astringent odor.

The men raised their glasses, “Slainte mhath!”

“I’m not sure it’s ‘our good health’ we should be toasting. Oh, what the hell,” she lifted her cup, “to finding reasonable solutions.”

A fit of coughing followed the slow burn that coursed down her throat to settle like fire in her stomach. Everyone sat quietly for a few moments before Andra jumped out of her chair.

“Of course! That’s our solution, don’t you see. That’s what my father tried to tell me before his death. It solves many problems for both now and with the calamities to come.”

Her sudden catapult out of the chair startled all four men. She ignored them and paced about the room, hands flailing, skirts swishing, her speech clipped as she ticked off her ideas in rapid succession.

“We could assume disguises and take passage to the U.S.” She looked at their confused faces then was off on her tirade again, “America…I mean the Colonies. Once there, we could establish a stronghold and some form of commerce where other Scotsmen might later take refuge and establish homesteads. Of course, we need to plan carefully. I know passages to the Colonies are terrible ordeals and rife with disease. But I’m certain that the primary problems of scurvy and dysentery can be managed with careful planning.”

* * *

“Enough! Stop!” Kendrick rose to take her hand. “Slow down, Andra. You ken, as Laird, I would never consider deserting my clan ‘Tis absolutely not an option.”

Andra straightened her spine and stood toe to toe with him, “Of course, it’s an option. It’s probably our best option. We just need to fabricate a story that would protect those left behind. What good does your being Laird serve the clan if your presence brings a rain of retribution and possibly war, with its inevitable death and destruction? If your first concern is your clan, then we must leave and not endanger them by our presence here.”

“‘Tis a fine idea to consider all options mo gradh, but not that. Desertion of my kith and kin ‘twould be the greatest shame. Ye canna expect that of me.”

Struan stood beside Kendrick. “Aye, Lass, Highlanders dinnae run from their enemies. We stand and fight. We protect what is ours.”

“You are both too damn proud and stubborn to listen to common sense. What I propose would protect the clan, and you know it’s true.”

Struan interrupted in an obvious attempt to divert the impending explosion. “What did ye mean before aboot calamities tae come, Lass? Dae ye ken things from the fu…from…” he sputtered unable to find the words without reference to Andra’s secret. “Dae ye ken information aboot…aboot… Bloody hell, ye ken somethin’ aboot our future? Somethin’ ye should tell us that we might protect the clans?”

Kendrick might have cajoled his friend out of his flustered state if things weren’t so serious. When he turned Andra seemed to deflate before their very eyes. All the air whooshed from her lungs as she slumped back into her chair. She dropped her head and slapped her hands against her forehead as if in pain.

Struan continued, far more gently than normal, “Andra, ye ken information we need to hear, aye.” It wasn’t a question.

She would not look into their faces and that reluctance set Kendrick’s nerves on edge. “Speak plainly, lass, we will not refute what ye tell us.”

Her eyes were pools of terror. “I don’t remember all the details, but the Highlands and its people will face great strife and hardship in the future. More terrible than anything you can possibly imagine. I was never a great history scholar, but what’s to come will decimate the clans, especially after the uprisings. I remember those dates, 1715, and the last is 1745 or ’46 at Culloden. That date, the last, will be a great calamity for the clans and will alter the Highlands forever.”

Stunned silence blanketed the room. Unwilling to believe such a thing could happen, yet unable to dismiss that she assuredly believed these events would happen, the men looked to their laird for direction.

“Mayhap ye are here to help the clans avoid such devastation. Mayhap what ye ken will make a significant difference,” suggested Lorne. “You speak of years in the future…a decade and many more, who can say what might change between now and then.”

Rabbie’s attention riveted on Andra, “Surely yer father discussed the history he learned about his homeland—after he came to your time? That is the time being our future history.” he swiped his brow. “Phew, just forming a question about what ye may ken is a wee bit confusing, isn’t it?”

Kendrick had informed the men about Andra’s revelation that her father had been Alith’s long lost son. Although pleased to learn of Andra’s relationship to Alith, it only confounded the entire time travel issue further when she explained that her father had not perished but traveled to the future. Still, somehow her familial connection made the whole time travel situation slightly less disturbing, though it would challenge any one of them to explain why.

Jiggling her foot in agitation, Andra answered Rabbie’s question. “Oh, my father never tired of spinning tall tales of battles and knights; of honorable Highlanders and their fairer and equally spirited lasses. Nevertheless, he didn’t indulge in specifics about his family and always drifted into silence anytime I asked him for more than general details. I could see it pained him, so I simply accepted his yarns as exciting stories. Now, I understand they were more truth than not.” She sighed wistfully, her gaze searching the embers of the fire as though the answers might rise from the ashes.

“Still, Andra,” Kendrick knelt before her on one knee searching her face for…what? Solutions she couldn’t possibly possess. “Ye may be more help than ye ken, if ye could just remember more details.”

“I don’t think so. I don’t believe it’s possible for one person, especially a time traveler, to alter the course of history. As I’ve explained to you, I’m afraid of the consequences should I try. Besides, I highly doubt that the little bit of Knowledge I possess could prove sufficient to change the course of history. It might make everything far worse. It is all too confusing, really. I wish it were possible, I do. But I have long wondered about my father’s last words to me: ‘Bring them home, lass,’ he said, ‘ye are the one.'”

Pointing her finger at the men, she jumped out of the chair as if someone had thrown her. “Wait. Wait just a minute. Sit down and listen.” No one bothered to sit, and she began pacing again.

“What if my travel here is to accomplish exactly what I’m suggesting? What if that’s my exact purpose for being here? Perhaps it’s our destiny to travel to the colonies. What if we’re meant to claim a homestead, establish a place for future generations of Highlanders, or at least for the MacLean clan? In my time, there are hundreds of thousands of Scottish descendants in my country.”

Struan interrupted again. He was stomping around running his hands through his thick reddish locks, when suddenly he stopped and slammed his fists on the table. “Ye burn my ears and my mind with your portents, Andra. I canna bear to listen to another word. Do ye nae see ye curse my kith and kin with such divinations? ‘Tis surely blasphemous.”

Things were spirally out of control, and that would not help the situation. Kendrick interrupted, “Enough, Struan! Andra, enough! Even if all ye say is true, and we canna change future events with this knowledge, I couldna’ spend the last financial reserves of the clan to book passage for us to the colonies.”

Storming around the room, Struan spun on her again. “Mayhap I was right in the beginning and ye really are a witch, spewing all these blasted tales of doom and destruction.”

Kendrick rose to his full height, fury thrumming over every muscle. At this point, they were all spoiling for a fight. Before he could act, Andra stepped between the men her back to Kendrick.

“Struan, we’re not going to start this again, are we?” She stepped closer and Kendrick moved in step behind her. Struan stepped back until he stood flush against the table, burly arms crossed over his chest. His eyes remained on his Laird.

Andra reached out, took his big beefy hand in hers, and squeezed tightly. “I believe ye ken me better now, Struan. Enough to ken I would not tell these tales if I did not feel it necessary. We must plan to secure our survival as well as the survival of all those we love dearly. Ye have become like a brother to me, Struan.” Kendrick noted she’d adopted a slight burr and slipped into their vernacular in an attempt to calm everyone.

She looked over her shoulder at the other men and up at Kendrick. He bent and kissed the top of her head but allowed her to continue uninterrupted. “We have shared much. I know the things I’ve told ye are hard to believe, but we must stick together, mustn’t we? Now especially. The sword doesn’t solve every situation. None of us can know what providence intends. Yet I am here, against all probability, against all the known laws of heaven and earth. Together we must face these difficult truths. I don’t know how or why, but I believe I am part of a solution not the cause of problems. Can ye not consider that a possibility?”

Kendrick’s pride in his bride, this time-traveling lass who had completely stolen his heart and soul, swelled to preposterous proportions, enough for him to allow her continued plea to Struan without intervention. Even if he would not accept her suggestion to abandon his clan, they might be able to come up with other viable plans.

The air in the room seemed electrified, full of foreboding but also, possibly, a glimmer of hope. They sat and talked for many hours discussing all manner of options, none without difficulty, and most with limited probability of success.

Andra continued to assert that she could not have traveled through time only to be the harbinger of doom. She believed with her whole heart that she must be part of the solution.

* * *

When they finally retired for the night, they fell into bed in a state of complete exhaustion. Andra needled him one last time. She climbed on top of him, pressing kisses over his face, neck, and torso. “I think you should reconsider my original option about the colonies. I don’t know why, but I feel that is the right decision to make.”

Just as she was about to continue, he flipped her under him and entered her swiftly. Stilling for a moment he said, “No more, my love. Let it rest for a while. I will consider everything we discussed, but now I want to make love to my wife.”

She cupped his face. “You are my life now, Kendrick. Your family and clan are mine as well. I don’t suggest this lightly.”

He stopped her words with passionate kisses and a fierce coupling that rendered all other thoughts or discussion impossible until they both fell into an exhausted sleep.


I hope you’ve enjoyed this short story addendum to Finding My Highlander, the first book from the Finding My Highlander Series. I’m busily working on Weddings and an Escape for Kendrick & Andra ~ Part II.

At this point, I plan to issue Part II as a short story prior to the release of book three, My Colonial Highlander, coming later this year.

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