His Scottish Bride by Shelly Thacker

 

Glenshiel, Scotland, December 1296

My Dear Sir Wicked,

I know ’tis bold of me to write and wish you a happy Yuletide, but I trust that I will be forgiven. I am certain you must be busy with your military obligations at home in France, so please dinna feel that you must reply to my missive.

My family, indeed the entire MacLennan clan, has returned to Castle Glenshiel to celebrate the Yule season. Lord Darach is always so generous with his hospitality. Being here again, I canna help thinking of you.

I remember the autumn day when we met at the wedding of Lord Darach and your sister, Lady Laurien. And I remember the morning in June when we parted for the last time. Even though we knew one another but a few months, Henri, the memories are still sweet.

As I write this, I can hear everyone celebrating in the great hall below. They are a boisterous and merry bunch, my kin, the men raising toasts and laughing, the ladies and children dancing to the music of the Highland pipes. I will return to the festivities anon, but for the moment, I am happier here. I wonder if you can guess where I am.

I am sitting in the library, beneath the stained-glass window with the image of two doves…I think you may remember the spot? The new tower is finished now, and the setting sun looks like pale gold sparkling through the glass. The light makes the very air glow with color, bright blues and emerald greens and soft amber. I feel warm just being here, remembering that summer day when we said farewell and you called me your sweet lass.

Your sister tells me that you are soon to ride into battle, fighting for the French king. I pray that God will watch over you, Henri. Please stay safe. You are so daring that I think you may need a few extra guardian angels to watch over you. The poor creatures may be divine, but they must have the very devil of a time trying to keep up with you.

Your daring, if you recall, was one of the reasons why I dubbed you Sir Wicked. That and certain pursuits you enjoy with such enthusiasm. Now you have made me blush, and you are not even here. ’Twas a proper dubbing, done with a branch of a Scottish rowan tree, which is considered sacred, so the name is binding for life.

I hope ’twill be a long life, Henri. If it helps during the days to come, count me among your angels. Consider me your faraway Scottish angel in the Highlands, thinking of you often and praying for you.

I also hope ’twill be all right if I continue to write to you, mayhap simply about my days at home on the Isle of Mull, and all the mischief my nieces and nephews get up to. Truly, you should not feel obligated to reply.

I dinna know if ’twill ever be possible, but if the angels smile upon us, I do hope to see you again someday.

Ever Your Sweet Lass,

Aileen