Highland Intrigue – A Prequel Read Online Donna Fletcher

Categories Genre: Alpha Male, Historical Fiction, Romance Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 43
Estimated words: 39004 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 195(@200wpm)___ 156(@250wpm)___ 130(@300wpm)

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Highland Intrigue - A Prequel

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Donna Fletcher

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She’s safe. You’ll never find her. And a curse on the three of you for betraying your friend. May you suffer and never know peace until you right this terrible wrong. But you, Lochlann, will suffer the worst for you were his best friend.
Bliss is worried for her two sisters, Elysia and Annis as are those in their clan who have marriage-age daughters. A search goes on to find a wife for the cursed lord. He’s lost three wives in the last six years due to the curse inflicted upon his father twenty years ago. There are rumors that he is half savage, having spent the last year on foreign soil with heathens. No noble will allow their daughter to wed him and so his father, Lord Lochlann of the Clan MacClaren, has sent two men to find a peasant woman for him to wed and produce an heir since he is the last of three sons, the curse having claimed the other two.
Bliss can’t bear the thought of either one of her sisters forced to wed a man that will surely mean her death. Elysia is a gentle soul, preferring the quiet and her stitching. Annis is the opposite, outspoken, no interest in men or marriage, but the most beautiful out of the three of them. Bliss doesn’t worry about herself being chosen since most believe her past childbearing age at her twenty plus years.
The situation is much worse than first thought for two other men were cursed that awful night and a search goes on for wives for them as well. One lost his voice the day his brother died while some say he killed his brother in a fit of madness. The other is so cursed that death will not even touch him. He has suffered endless wounds and injures that would kill most men, but not him.
It is a nightmare for Bliss. She has the ability to help her sisters should they fall ill since she is a fine healer, but curses are beyond her healing abilities. The only choice left to her is to seek out the witch in the forest and see if there is a way to break the curse.
Unfortunately, time is not on her side and fate decides for her.
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Donna Fletcher

Chapter 1

13th century Scotland

“Please, my lady, do not do this, come with me,” Gunna begged, tears running down her full cheeks.

Tears and determination filled Lady Aila’s eyes and she squeezed the woman’s slim arm. “You have been more than a loyal servant to me, Gunna, you have been a kind and loyal friend. I need that friendship and loyalty now more than ever.”

“I won’t fail you, my lady. You have my word,” Gunna said, resolve and strength forming with the tilt of her chin.

Lady Aila smiled softly. “I know you won’t. That is why I tasked you with this dangerous mission. I have faith in you, Gunna, and never forget how grateful I am to you for what you do for me.”

Gunna’s tears continued to fall. “I wish—”

“I know. I wish the same.” Lady Aila wiped at the few tears that had escaped her eyes. “Unfortunately, fate has other plans, but I won’t let fate decide my daughter’s destiny. She will live to decide her own. Now go and do what you must.” She hugged the woman tight and turned away from her.

Lady Aila fought her tears as she hurried through the castle and when she entered the Great Hall, she gasped. Warriors were placing her husband on one of the tables. She hurried to him.

Her legs almost failed her when she caught sight of his chest covered with blood. She took his limp hand when she reached his side and she was grateful to feel his fingers close around hers though not with the strength of the mighty warrior he had always been. “Brochan.”

His eyes fluttered open and he struggled to speak. “Tell me it is done.”

“It is done, my love,” she said, resting her cheek next to his.

Tears filled his eyes, something Aila had never seen in the eight years they had been married.

“I have always loved you, Aila, and I will miss you.” He struggled to turn his head to kiss her cheek.

Aila moved her head meeting his lips in a kiss that was bittersweet. “Not for long. I will not be far behind you.” She pressed her fingers to his mouth, seeing him ready to argue. “It must be done. It’s the only way.”

“If she is half as willful and strong as you, she will survive.”

“And as brave and fearless as you. I love you, Brochan, always.”

He fought with what little strength he had left to raise his hand and she helped him, resting his hand against her cheek and placing her hand over it. She held it there tight against her, not caring that it was marred with dirt and blood. She wanted to feel his touch one last time.

His hand went limp against her cheek and she watched as life faded from his eyes, and she wept.

“They’re almost here, my lady, you must leave,” a warrior urged.

She nodded, kissed her husband one last time, and hurried out of the room. She rushed to her bedchamber and grabbed her cloak, then went to the cradle beside the bed and picked up the small, wrapped bundle. Her tears continued to stream down her face as she hurried through the keep.

Two days. It had been barely two days since she had given birth to their daughter and two days since the Scottish crown ordered the execution of her husband and daughter so that the Clan MacWilliam would be no more. Her husband had bravely fought but it had been a losing battle and they both knew from the start that it would be. Their only hope had been to save their precious newborn bairn from losing her life before she even had a chance to start it.

Aila hugged the small bundle to her chest and took quick steps through the keep. Many of the servants had deserted them and the few warriors that remained faithful were fast falling to the enemy’s sword. She had little time.

She made her way out the back of the keep and around the side. Her boots sunk into the snow on the ground, covering a good portion of them. A sharp chill stung her cheeks, and the gloom of the gray sky that hovered heavily over the village added to her despair. Her only way to the woods was through part of the village. She watched as she waited as the last of the MacWilliam warriors fell bravely one after another and when she thought the way clear, she ran.

A shout echoed through the village. “THERE SHE IS!”

Another shout followed. “SHE HAS THE BAIRN!”

Her heart beat pounded against her chest and she prayed for strength to do what needed to be done. She ran, reaching the edge of the woods, darting around the large pines and barren oaks. The hood of her dark cloak slipped off her head, her long dark hair spilling free. She hugged the bundle tightly to her chest.