Taken by the Highland Brute – Extended Epilogue

Even a character, a scene, or anything. You could say no if nothing bothered you.
Something you liked, a specific scene, a character's quality, some detail that caught your eye.
Something you noticed, frustrated you, left you confused, etc.

Twelve years later…

There was nothing but green as far as the eyes could see, save the brown of tree trunks in the far-off distance and the white of the daisies even farther than that. The sun, white in its glory, sent down its warm rays.

Two girls were seated on the grass, one eleven and the other seven. Their legs were crossed into little capital letter M’s in front of them. Their fingers were linked and they were leaning into each other so their foreheads were touching. They were cousins twice over: children of Alistair and Jane, and Ramsay and Eleonor.

“Try harder, Isla,” the younger one said.

“I am doing the best I can, Davina!” the older one replied.

“Dae you see anything?” Davina said. “Because I think I can.”

Isla opened her eyes and pulled away by an inch. “Really?!” she exclaimed excitedly. “What dae ye see? What am I thinking now?”

“Shh,” Davina said, and brought Isla’s head back to its former position. Both girls closed their eyes. “Ye cannae move away or it won’t work,” she said.

“Okay,” Isla whispered. “Tell me what ye see.”

“I see…” Davina started, her voice low and mysterious. “I see… something green.”

“Something green?” Isla whispered.

“Yes,” Davina replied. “Ye are thinking about something brown. I am trying to see what it is exactly. Is it the green of the new dress that Aunt Eleonor finished sewing fer ye yesterday? Is it the green of the grass that surrounds us? Or could it be…hmm.”

“What?” Isla said. “What?!”

“Could you perhaps be thinking of the green snake close tae yer left leg?”

Isla shrieked and jumped up. She vigorously shook her limbs and then inspected the area around her feet. There was nothing there. Davina burst into laughter. Isla frowned. “It’s not funny!” she declared. “I’ve told ye tae stop playing tricks on me!”

“But how can I stop when ye fall fer them so hilariously?” Davina asked, holding her belly. “Ye weren’t even thinking of a green snake and so how could I have seen one?”

“Anyone would be scared if they heard there was a snake their them!” Isla declared.

Davina shook her head. “A green snake? Not me. I would have been excited. I would have put it in me little jar and fed it grasshoppers and termites until its stomach hurt. Then I would make it me pet and name it Fiona. I want it to be a girl snake. I dinnae like boys, and so I dinnae think I would like a boy snake. Haven’t ye ever wanted a pet, Isla?”

Isla shook her head. “Never. Pets scare me. They’re small but ye never ken what they can dae if they just decided tae be bad one day.”

Davina rolled her eyes and stood up. “What harm could a pet snail dae, fer example?”

“Well,” Isla said, and went into deep thought. “I presume it could escape the house ye’ve made fer it and drag its slobber all over yer favorite dresses.”

“Drag its slobber all over me favorite dresses,” Davina repeated. “And ye think that is scary? Not hilarious?”

“Yes,” Isla said. “Leave me alone. We should head back. All this talk of green snakes has ruined the play. I dinnae even think that it is real. Ye cannae read anyone’s mind by just putting yer forehead tae theirs.”

“Ye’ve got it all wrong, Isla!” Davina cut a small blade of grass and put it in her mouth.

“That is disgusting,” Isla said. “Ye would never dae that if adults were watching.”

“Correct,” Davina said. “Anyway, of course ye cannae read anyone’s mind just by joining foreheads. That was just fer fun. Ye can read yer sister’s mind, though. Because ye love each other and dae everything together.”

“We are cousins, Davina!”

“It is the same thing,” Davina said. “It doesnae matter-” She stopped suddenly, for she had just sighted a man walking toward them out of the corner of her eye. She had never seen him before, so she was sure he was not from their clan. He was wearing English clothes, the likes of which her mother, with her very limited drawing skills, had illustrated to teach Davina about her own side of the family.’

Isla, having sighted the man too, took Davina’s hand and began to fidget. “Let’s run,” she whispered to her cousin.

“Why?” Davina asked. “We are not supposed tae run from anything. A Scottish lass should be, above everything, brave and kind. Or have you forgotten what Aunt Catrina has told us?”

“Yes, but…” Isla said. Beginning to fidget. “He doesnae look kind. Nae kind at all.”

“If ye run from people that are nae kind, they’ll think you’re scared of them and become even unkinder.”

“Davina, that doesnae make sense!”

“Hush, he’s here.”

The man stood before them, big and bulky, blocking the sun. He looked like someone who had rolled in the dirt for a considerable amount of time. His clothes were torn in places. His eyes were small and stern. He appraised them, head to toe and back to head, for all of four seconds. Isla edged closer to Davina and squeezed her hand.

“Who are you?” the man asked finally.

“Me faither says I cannae talk tae strangers,” Davina said, her chin jutted in the man’s direction.

“Is that so?” the man asked.

“Tae answer yer question would be tae talk tae ye,” Davina said. “And I have told ye that I cannae dae that.” She turned to Isla. “Let’s go.”

“Don’t move,” the man ordered. Something in the quality of his voice rooted both girls to the spot.

“You,” the man said and pointed at Davina, “come here.”

Davina shook her head. “Ye cannae tell me what tae dae.”

The man’s movement was swift. He dragged Davina away from Isla’s hold as though she weighed nothing.

“Davina!” Isla cried. Davina stomped on the man’s boots and attempted to dig her teeth into his side, but he was faster. With one hand, he swung her over his shoulder. She pounded on his back, but if he felt it, he made no indication that he did.

“You,” the man said, facing Isla, who was trembling in the breeze, “run home and tell your clan that the debt that they owe the Duke of Lancaster shall be paid.”


Both couples stood right outside the castle. The horses were ready. The warriors were waiting. Ramsay was holding Eleonor’s hand as he whispered into her ears. Jane and Alistair were locked in an embrace. Jane pulled away and put her hands on her belly. She was six months gone. When Isla, accompanied by Donald, the warrior whose responsibility it was to watch the girls, returned with the news, Jane had nearly fainted. On hearing the message that the abductors had asked her to relay, her eyes had widened in horror.

She had known that the Duke would have his revenge, and because of this, Alistair and Ramsay had taken extra care to fortify the castle, but days had turned into weeks and weeks into months, and it had appeared that the Duke had chosen to busy himself with other things. It had taken eleven whole years for him to fight back. And he had chosen the little girl as the object of his revenge. An innocent in all this. Anytime she thought about it, it made her throat tight. Her little girl, among Englishmen who hated her for her mixed parentage. It was enough to make any mother delirious with worry.

Alistair and his warriors would get her darling Davina back. They had swung into action immediately. Alistair was every inch as worried as Jane, but he did not show it. “Save our daughter, Alistair,” Jane said, her eyes pleading.

Alistair nodded and planted a kiss on her forehead. He then got on his horse. Ramsay bent to hug Isla. Since her return and conveyance of the abductor’s message, she had become reticent, only speaking when spoken to. Her parents – as well as Alistair and Jane – had reassured her that it was not her fault that her cousin and best friend had been taken, but guilt bore heavily on the little girl. Ramsay then kissed his wife goodbye and mounted his horse.

Nearby, Catrina hugged Tasgall. Now 22 years old, he was a sturdy young man with a formidable physique. He towered over his mother, who was pulling away from him with pride. Her eyes strayed to her husband’s, and his reflected the emotion in hers. He, too, was proud of the man that his son had become. Following the end of the war, there had been no battles to fight, and this would be Tasgall’s first mission as a warrior of Clan Fletcher.

Tasgall made to mount his horse, but he was stopped by a tap on the arm. It was Isla. Her shy blue eyes could barely meet his. “May I kiss yer cheek?” she asked.

“Of course,” Tasgall said, and presented his right cheek. Isla planted a peck on it and stepped quickly away.

All the warriors had mounted their horses, and it was time to leave. Alistair raised his arm, and brought his horse to a fast trot away from the castle. The other warriors followed.


The End.

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Best selling books of Juliana

  • I can’t wait for Davina’s rescue and to see what happens with “all grown up” Isla and Tasgall! Tick Toc, Juliana! ⏳

  • This story is one you will definitely want to read. It grabs you from the very start and holds your attention. I was truly captivated by the strong characters, their loyalty to family, and their fierce love for each other. Juliana has a way of throwing is some delightful surprises that leave you in awe.

    • Ohh my dear Anela, your comment just made my day! Thank you so much for all the support! I am glad you enjoyed the story of Jane and Alistair!

  • I didn’t like her being kidnapped at the end with no resolution. I wouldn’t have read it knowing that. I wish you had put a warning. That’s not a happy ending

  • Is the extended epilogue a precursor to the next book? If not, that’s horrible way to end the book. And why is the Duke covered in dust?

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