The Secret of the Highland Tower (Extended Epilogue)


“Ghillie Dhu!” Abigall cried at the top of her voice, “How lovely to see ye again. Welcome Lady Naia, and thank ye for bringing yer bairns. Come here me poppets, let Nursie give ye all some sweeties.”

Naia and Kal’s three boisterous children ran to hug Abigall tightly and then search her pockets for sweetmeats. Naia followed the three little ones into the great hall of McCowan castle and left Kal in the courtyard to hand the reins of their horses over to old Eustace.

“How are ye, Eustace? Are the winters down here any kinder to yer bones?”

Eustace gave Kal a happy smile and replied, “Much better, thank ye, Laird. To think that I would live to see the day that me wee mistress was Lady to nae one, but two defensive castles!”

Kal patted the old man on his shoulder and smiled, “We will only return to live here after me mither is weary of ruling in me stead. But I’ll have ye ken that she has become very fond of giving me uncle orders!”

They laughed together, and then Kal went up the stone stairs leading to the great hall.

As he passed the maids and pageboys busy in the passages, Kal would nod his head and smile. They were preparing for the large banquet feast to be held in his uncle’s honor that evening. After many years of diplomacy and negotiations, peace had finally come to the lands below and around the Cairngorm mountains. McCain, McCowan, and MacAodha clans were united as one. All that was left of the warlike McKinney people were a few wandering men who went from castle to castle, begging for food. Kal did not feel any pity for them. They had been complicit in the murder of his brother, and more.

The banquet went off well that evening. After the feast, the traveling minstrels tuned their lutes and asked permission to sing the ballad about the golden-haired lady of iron mountain.

Laird McCain roared out loud, as he’d already had much mead to drink, “I be tired of that iron mine, nephew! It’s made our lands so rich that those dastardly Sassenachs will come calling to try and steal our gold any day now!”

Kal shouted back to his uncle across the banqueting table set up high on the dais, “Let them come try! We will give them such a beating. These are the Highlands, nae those soft folk from the south!”

Naia smiled lovingly at her husband and reached over for his arm, “Come, love, the festivities are becoming too loud for me. Will ye nae prefer to come to the bedchamber with me instead?”

Even after nearly seven years of marriage, his wife’s touch and the way she looked were still capable of making Kal as ravenous for her warmth as the first time he had seen her in the secret room next to her old bedchamber at the watchtower.

Without saying anything more, he laced his hand in her own small one, and they left the great banquet, already craving each other.

“Why did ye nae want to eat, drink, and make merry, Naia? Are ye nae feeling well?” Kal whispered into Naia’s ear as he untied the ribbon of her shift.

Naia gave a tiny laugh of joy. Her husband never ceased to thrill her with his caresses, “Nay, Kal,” she said huskily, “it’s only that we are expecting another bairn on the way.” She placed his hand on her stomach, and he could see her breasts swelling beneath her shift.

Kal kissed her hungrily and said, “Remind me to tell Ariel, the hawk, tomorrow.”



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  • I really liked this story. I loved the two characters Naia and Kel. The story keeps you guessing what’s going to happen next. I do wonder if Naia got her ring back her maid took from her when Eachann McKinney had gotten hold of her.
    Keep up the good work can’t wait to read another story.

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