Scent of a Highland Lass – (Extended Epilogue)


“She’s asked permission to take a leave of absence again, in case ye want to say something to her this time.”

Caillen had come into Emer’s dressing room. His wife was seated in front of the dresser; Lady Maclachlan’s maid was pinning her mistress’s hair into ringlets on top of her head. It was an intricate task: Emer’s hair reached past her hips and could nearly touch the back of her knees. She grew it long because her husband asked her to do so. Even after two years of marriage and two bonnie children, Laird Maclachlan could still be made to tremble with desire when his wife came into their bedchamber with her hair falling down around her shoulders, her perfume scenting the air.

Emer did not turn to look at her husband when he came in and spoke to her. She looked at his reflection in the mirror, saying, “So, it must be a regular place they meet because this is definitely the same time of year. When do ye think they first set up the rendezvous?”

Caillen moved around the room, opening her trinket boxes and pomanders, sniffing them, and then placing them back on the table.

“I have nae idea,” he replied, “She receives regular correspondence, so I think that’s how most of the meeting places are set up.”

Emer sighed, and after waiting patiently for the maid to finish, thanked the girl and then turned around on her satin-lined stool, “This is the third time. What happens if she falls with child?”

Caillen shrugged his shoulders, “What can I do, Em? Davina is nae me chattel whom I can order around. She’s the sister of the Lady Maclachlan! If she chose to become our housekeeper after Mistress Burroughs passed away instead of taking her rightful place beside ye, it was her decision to make.”

Emer thought back to how Davina had become wretchedly dejected after Gawain’s departure and banishment. Her sister had lost the bloom in her cheeks and seemed to fade before her eyes. After the wedding, if Emer looked for her sister around the castle, she would always know to find her in the kitchen, helping Cook to make pies and pasties. It was as if she somehow needed to punish herself for telling Gawain her sister had left the castle to visit Nethy.

But when Emer had asked her, Davinia had opened her eyes wide with surprise.

“What? That old memory. Whatever made ye think I care about what I did when I was so young and silly.”

And there, the conversation had ended.

Davinia was a doting aunt. She had endless time to play with the two youngest Maclachlan’s. Both had been born in time for their grandfather to hold them in his arms.

“There I am with me own sweet wife – that is to say, yer mither,” the old Laird had nodded toward Caillen, “and we struggle to have two boys in all the years we were together. And ye go havin’ two strapping bairns in as many years!”

The old Laird had passed away a few months later. His body twisted with the disease that had slowly taken his life, but his mind and heart were still straight standing. Over two thousand clan and Highlanders had attended the wake. Stories were still told about how their torches lit up the night sky so far, ships sailing into port were able to see it.

Pastor Dougal had come to the wake.

He made a low bow to Laird and Lady Maclachlan. If there was one thing Dougal Sutherland had learned from his brother’s mistakes, it was to never hold pride and hate above love and forgiveness.

“Pastor,” Emer had greeted him with much affection, “How goes it back up in Nethy? How is Ernest and the rest o’ me neighbors?”

Pastor Dougal stood back so he could appreciate Emer more.

“Losh, child, ye look radiant, albeit I am sad for yer loss – he was a great Laird and will find his place in heaven. Nethy is grand, I’m tellin’ ye, and so is Ernest – bless him. We hope to have a good harvest this year, so ye’ll be pleased ye kept those fields!”

“It’s lovely to hear Nethy is prospering – and nae small thanks to yer kind efforts, and I thank ye for yer condolences. Me husband will be greatly comforted by yer words, Pastor,” Emer said graciously, “we hear ye also suffered a loss,” she was unsure whether Dougal Sutherland would be willing to share details of how his brother died with him. A drayman had taken pity on the old man as he lay crawling on the road and had given him a lift to the manse.

“Och, lass, I mean, yer Ladyship, Donal Sutherland was unrepentant to the end. But ‘twas nae to be wondered at; his mind – and probably his soul too – was eaten away by the disease his wife passed onto him.”

Emer felt no remorse, but she was glad Pastor Dougal had taken in his brother after the Sutherland clan had kicked him out of the lodge.

“That brings me neatly around to another question,” Pastor Dougal said, “How does me niece? Is she still as prideful and loathsome as before?”

Caillen had joined his wife and heard the pastor’s enquiry, “She’s nae in the dungeons anymore, if that’s what’s on yer mind, Pastor. We’ve promoted her to one of the turrets – an’ I wish I could say it was for good behavior, but I’d be lyin’. She’s still under lock and key – a serpent being a serpent when all’s said an’ done.”

Pastor Dougal had promised them he would keep praying for his niece to see the light, but Emer and Caillen thought privately even if Flora showed herself remorseful, they would not believe her.

Now, in her dressing room, and with her husband’s keen eyes watching her closely, Emer knew she must find out where it was Davinia went once a year and who she was meeting. Davinia could be placing herself in danger if she was seen liaising with a known vagabond. Who knew what noisome tavern Gawain and Campbell might be living in?

She gave Caillen a soft smile and moved closer to him.

“If she is yearning for yer brither, can ye blame her? Ye Maclachlan men are entirely irresistible.”

Whenever they kissed, it was as if they were back in the bedchamber with the bronze door handle. The same heat and passion would always be lurking inside them, and all they had to do was kiss for it to flame into a fire of craving. Today, Caillen had his long hair loose and not tied back in its usual neat knot at the back of his head. She ran her fingers through it and then gave his hair a roguish tug.

“Could it be that ye are hoping to take me right here in me dressing room, me Laird?” she teased. He caught his breath; when Emer played with his urges and flirted with him, he was driven to the edge of distraction. It was as if this beautiful dark-haired woman was able to change from being a docile, polite wife into an exotic, enticing creature whenever she felt like it. No woman could compare to her in his eyes. When it came to bedchamber May games, Emer had been able to keep him guessing since their marriage. He never knew if he was going to bed with a demure lassie, shy and retiring, but then willing to open herself to his more experienced hand, or a wild, uninhibited woman who would ride him with her eyes closed in exhilaration.

Caillen could swear it had something to do with how Emer’s hair changed color. Russet and chestnut in the sunlight and he would know she would behave as sweetly as a maiden at her beddan; if her hair was raven dark in the shadows, he knew she would dominate the bedchamber and not rest until they were lying sweating and exhausted on the bedsheets. Truly, she was the woman of his dreams.

Emer placed a light kiss on his beard. She left her lips there for a long minute, allowing the sensation of how the hair pricked her mouth; the touch seemed to penetrate the hidden recesses between her thighs and make her breasts tighten. The gorgeous feeling of roughness always had the most interesting effect on her. Emer pressed herself closer, took a small section of his beard between her teeth, nibbling and tugging at the hair.

“Mmm, I want ye, husband, and cannae wait for tonight to come,” she whispered, all the time brushing her mouth softly across his ear and cheek. She loved inhaling Caillen’s musky scent. He always smelt so delightfully of leather and fresh linen. If she could capture his perfume in a bottle, Emer knew she would carry it everywhere with her.

She broke away from him, but not quickly enough. Caillen grabbed Emer and held her so close to him, she could feel the way she had excited him, throbbing under his kilt.

“Dinnae leave me so unfulfilled, love,” he groaned.

She gave him an enigmatic smile and left. Emer enjoyed controlling him in this way. When it came to the bedchamber, she was the master, and he was her slave. It had all worked out very conveniently for her in that regard! But now it was time to find out what was going on with Davinia.

Was she having an affair with Gawain, or not?

Emer found Davinia sitting with the two boisterous Maclachlan boys in the nursery.

“Are ye having a good day, Davi?” Emer asked with a smile, “I always ken ye’re having one when ye volunteer to take care of the wee bairns.”

Her sister turned around, “Aye, me new recipe came out brilliant. I were that pleased that I came here to give the boys a small sample.”

“Never mind the bairns,” Emer said, “Let me try!”

Emer took a bite of one of the small cakes her sister had baked.  Davinia had worked out how to use the closed stove very quickly, and the results were always delicious.

“We’ll have to travel to Edinburgh to print ye a cookbook, Davi,” Emer said, “because these are divine.”

Davinia gave a small smile and then continued to feed small pieces of the cake to the youngest boy. His small teeth gnawed at the crumbs happily.

Emer thought this was as good a time as any.

“Davi,” she began, “I have to ken – do ye go to meet up with Gawain every year? Because if ye do, Caillen said to me in bed last night that Gawain can come back home, now that they auld Laird has passed away and his decree no longer stands inviolate.”

Davinia grew still for a long while, a gentle expression on her face. Could it be that she remembered the passionate girl who had been so in love, enough to drive her to do mad things and all for a man who had never returned her adoration?

Emer stayed silent, imagining how she, herself, would have behaved under the same circumstances if it had been Caillen luring her into a web of deception.

Davinia sighed, “I dinnae meet with Gawain, Em, if that’s what ye and Cai have been thinking. However, I do take great comfort in me yearly trips and would be heartsore if ye said I should nae go.”

Emer could not let things rest at that. She had to know more.

“But Davi, where do ye go? Who is writing ye the letters?”

Her sister gave a small laugh, “Aye, the letters are from Gawain. He wants to keep up with all the Highland news.”

“What?” Emer was interested and did not bother hiding it anymore, “is he nae able to follow the Highland news himself?”

Another soft chuckle came from Davinia, “Nay, sister, he is nae able to do that.”

“But why, where is he? Who do ye meet?”

Davina knew her sister, and she knew the questions would not stop until she had the truth.

“Gawain has gone to sea, of course, I’m surprised ye didnae guess that. He sends a messenger to meet me at the port every year. It’s nae much, but it’s better than nothing.”

Emer’s mouth dropped open, then she managed to say, “Gawain… at sea?”

“And from what I can gauge,” Davinia said, “he’s been fabulously successful.”


If you haven’t already, please leave your review on Amazon

  • As with her other books, I enjoy the strong characters and engaging plots. If giving stars, I would give fewer for grammar, usage, “typos” that, to me, are distracting as I mentally edit rather than simply sit back and enjoy the ride.

  • Loved every jaw dropping minute. The story holds your interest as to what each character is doing. Keep up the good work.

  • I loved the way the romance started, flickered got stronger with intrigue and treachery combined with romance
    It was a up and down, will they wont they, did they? Read it and see

  • I love it when a book feels authentic! This is a book to read more than once, great characters, excellent plot without the heroine being mistreated in her childhood, or tons of angst!
    This is the first time I have read a book from this author- it won’t be the last!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words, my dear Maggie! It means the world! I am happy that you found me and even happier that you will read my other books. Happy Holidays!❤️

  • Very interesting extended epilogue. I sort of figured it was she that was the boss of the bedroom. I wonder what happens to her sister Davinia!!!!

  • Loved reading this book it kept me turning the pages from start to the end of the extended epilouge…is there to be a sequel about Davis and Gawain ?…I hope so, I will look forward to reading it

    • My beloved Nora, I’m so glad you loved it! Thank you for your kind words! ❤️I can’t give you any spoilers, but I am sure you will love what I have prepared for Davis and Gawain! Happy new year!!

  • Another enthralling story which I couldn’t put down. Please what happens to Gawain and Davina? How does the relationship between the two brothers evolve and what fate is in store for Flora? Can’t wait to find out!

    • Thank you my dear Evelyn for your kind words. Your support means everything! I cannot give it away any spoilers, but I am sure you will be satisfied with what I have in mind for Gawain and Davina. Even more excited with what I planned for the rest of your questions! haha

  • Wonderful story and very well worth the read. Why are there no men around like in this story. We’d all have a devoted husband and exciting times in the bedroom

  • A very enjoyable story. A tale of love between two people who have an instant attraction to each other. There are many obstacles, will they be able to work it all out?

    • Thank you my dear Dorinda! So glad you enjoyed this story! Since you are interested in my books, I suggest you also check my recent release “Sleeping with her Highland Enemy”! It is available on Amazon and I am sure you will love it!

    • Thank you so much my dear Jane! If you liked this one you should check my recent books: Sleeping with her Highland Enemy and Stealing the Highlander’s Bride. I am sure you will love it just as much!

  • So glad thinks turned out so well for them. Beginning is so different than the ending but you need to read it yourself cause I’m not spilling! Lol

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