Highland Sparks:Logan and Gwyneth(8)

By: Keira Montclair



“Logan Ramsay, and I would be mighty pleased to help you, lass.” He smiled at her.

“I can handle him by myself.” She looked away again as a bolt of warmth shot through her limbs, not wanting to scrutinize her body’s reaction to him.

“Are you capable of placing an arrow between his eyes? Because if you can’t guarantee his death with the first arrow, you may require some assistance.”

“My arrow goes wherever I choose.” She returned her gaze to him, lifting her chin as a challenge.

“Truly? I look forward to seeing that,” Logan chuckled.

“You don’t believe me? I challenge you at first light. We’ll see if your aim is as sharp as your tongue.”

“Gwyneth, if I heard your name correctly, I am not out to beat you. I have other games in mind. But if it would please you to challenge me, I welcome it.”

Logan’s grin riled her. “Aye, my name is Gwyneth of the Cunninghams, the best shooter in the Lowlands, do not doubt my claim. And just to be clear, I’m not interested in rutting with any beasts, even one who fights for the Crown.”

“Understood. The only way to beat the bastard who hurt you is with food in your belly and proper sleep to make your aim true.” He tossed the plaid back to her. “Take your rest and build your strength. Killing him ten different ways in your mind won’t make you any stronger, lass. I know.”

Gwyneth caught the plaid and stared at him. His words were similar to her brother Rab’s. He was right; she hated to admit it, but she did need to save her strength. “My thanks, beast.” She rolled away from him and tucked the cloth under her head.

Aye, this man unsettled her. Ever since her father and brother had died in front of her eyes, she had lived a sheltered life. She and her brother, Rab, had gone to live with her Uncle Innis at the Kirk. They had made do and survived, her brother turning to the church while Gwyneth turned to revenge, focusing her efforts on mastering archery. Her goal was in reach and she was more driven than ever. She would kill her family’s murderer. Now she had more reason than ever.

The result was she hadn’t spent much time with others her own age. Her mother had died giving birth to Rab, a year younger than her, and Gwyneth had grown up with her father and two brothers. Moving to the Kirk had surrounded her with religious men. She didn’t know how to deal with men outside the church, at least not kind men. She hadn’t met many, and she didn’t know much about interacting with other women either.

She found herself unable to fall asleep as her imagination spun images of a brawny warrior who actually supported her at her side instead of trying to kill her.

***

As soon as they arrived at the priory, Gwyneth hopped out of the cart, and stumbled on her weak leg before righting herself, cursing. She helped the other women out and guided the men as to which of the wounded needed the most assistance. After she located her things in the back of the cart, she turned to glance down the street and found herself swept into the arms of a grinning warrior.

“Put me down, Logan Ramsay. I told you that you were never to touch me. How dare you assume I need help when I don’t. And I’m not staying here either.”

Logan grinned all the way down the stairs and into the chamber in the base of the priory, not loosening his grip a bit. “Just following orders, my lady. Want to make sure you have no serious injuries.” Logan plopped her down on the nearest pallet, and she landed with a string of curses.

Gwyneth swung at Logan, but he sidestepped with a chuckle before he turned to leave. The foolish brute should have to listen to a few more choice words, but she was in a priory. Out of respect for her brother’s profession, she cut off her cursing as soon as Logan left her side. The sound of her name caught her, and she spun her head around, searching for the source.

Caralyn Crauford hobbled across the room in her direction, limping and in pain, but with a smile on her face and her arms wide open. “Gwyneth? Blessed saints, ‘tis really you?”

“Caralyn? Hellfire! How I have missed you.” She stood, moving as fast as she could toward her friend. The two lasses threw themselves at each other, hugging as if they hadn’t seen each other in years.

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