“I wanted to let you know that Sorcha is having troublesome dreams,” said Kate.
“Explain yourself,” asked Fiona.
Kate took a few moments to tell Fiona about the night sweats, and the odd feeling that someone was touching her daughter in her sleep. Fiona nodded.
“It is high time that our Sorcha married. Her braids nearly sweep the ground,” said Fiona. “Is there anything else I should know?”
Kate stuck her hand in her pocket and finally handed the letter Kerr had given her to Fiona. Fiona broke the seal and read the brief letter. She sighed. Kate braced to be yelled at for carrying a letter.
“Oh Kate, don’t look so fussed. I’m not going to yell at you. I’m furious with Ruari for imprisoning that young man. Just because Arditha swore that he’d be the ruin of Sorcha if we weren’t careful was no reason to do what he did,” said Fiona. “He never even asked what she meant.”
“No, M’lady. Everyone wondered. And was the threat if he courted her? Didn’t court her? Or… would he be some sort of ruffian? One bent on stealing her away?” asked Kate.
“I simply don’t know. Never understood why he listened to Arditha. Granted, she was his nurse when he was a baby, but that doesn’t excuse him,” said Fiona. “Let Kerr know that I’ll ask Ruari. The poor young man must have family somewhere who’s wondering where he is.”
Kate nodded and headed off to the kitchen garden.
Fiona read the letter again when Kate had gone. Desmond seemed a suitable young man. Well presented and polite manners. Fiona knew that she’d have to speak to her husband. She was just tucking it in her basket when Sorcha came into the room followed by Finn, her wolfhound pup. She smiled as the two of them collapsed in a pile by her chair.
“Ah Mamai,” said Sorcha.
“Yes my dear?”
“I do love this pup, but he will be the scourge of my clothing,” Sorcha said holding up a belt end that had obviously been chewed.
Fiona smiled. “Is that all that troubles you?” she asked thinking on the conversation she’d had with Kate.
“No, I’ve… I’ve had dreams that I don’t think a maid should be having,” Sorcha said turning a shade of red.
Sorcha described the dreams to her mother, looking at the floor the entire time. “And while I’m not afraid to sleep, it makes me wonder why I have the dreams.”
“Do you know who the man is in the dreams?” Fiona asked.
“No! Just that he has a sweet low voice and that when I hear it, my heart melts. Am… am I dreaming of my husband to be? Or is it some sort of Druid trick to win my heart?” asked Sorcha.
“I’m not sure dear. I will talk to your father and see what we can find out.”
“Oh! Do you think that Dadai should hear?” asked Sorcha.
“Oh don’t worry my dear. I’ll leave the more… important facts out,” said Fiona.
“Alright Mamai. Thank you!” Sorcha rose from the floor, dusted off her gown and headed out the door followed by Finn chasing her braids.
“Ruari, Don’t you think it time that Sorcha was wed?” Fiona asked as they were getting ready for bed.
“Aye. Else she’ll soon be too old,” he said thinking about how he married Fiona at 16. His other daughters had wed early as well. Only Sorcha refused suitor after suitor. “Why do you ask now?”
“Well, she’s having ‘womanly dreams’, and I worry.”
“Then tell her to stop rejecting every young lord I bring into the castle!” yelled Ruari.
“Ruari, there is no need to shout at me,” said Fiona in a frosty tone.
“And that reminds me. What are you going to do with the young man in the tower?” Fiona asked.
“I… Um… I don’t know,” he admitted.
“Well we can’t leave him up there forever. Poor thing probably doesn’t even know why you threw him up there,” she said. “His family probably thinks he’s dead.”
“You know right well why! Arditha said he was a danger to Sorcha!”
“No, She said he’d be the ‘ruin of Sorcha if we weren’t careful’. What if she meant that we should find out his intentions first? We never gave the poor boy a chance. What if by throwing him in the tower, no other young man Ever comes to court Sorcha for fear of the same treatment?” asked Fiona.
“Well. Um… I’ll think on it,” he said and climbed into bed. When he turned to curl up to Fiona, she was facing the wall. He lay back and stared at the ceiling. There would be no love in their bed tonight.
Desmond curled up in bed with a book. He knew he should sleep, but couldn’t. Setting the book on the table, he blew out the candle and then walked over to the window. Outside, he thought he saw some movement. Letting his eyes adjust to the darkness, he realized that it was Cara outside with her pup. “What on earth is she doing out so late at night?” he wondered. He continued to watch as they ran across the courtyard.
Sorcha thought that maybe if she wore herself out, the dreams wouldn’t disturb her sleep. Running outside in just her leine and cloak, she and Finn played in the moonlight. At one point she felt she was being watched, but could see no light at a window. No shadow in a doorway. She went back to tossing the leather ball for Finn. Finally she headed for bed exhausted.
Desmond had watched Cara as she and the pup ran across the courtyard. When she finally went back inside, he lay down in bed and thought about how he’d warm her up when she came to bed. Cuddling up close and holding her to him until she glowed with the heat of their bodies. Then he thought of his hands traveling up her leine and feeling her fine skin against his hands. The heat between her thighs and how he’d dip his fingers slowly into her well.
He rolled on his back, and stroked his cock. His thoughts turned to how they’d touch each other. The feel of her lips on his neck and chest as his cock slid home. The sway of her breasts above his head as she rode his cock. Once more, he splashed his seed on his stomach as he thought of his Cara.
Sorcha fell deeply asleep. She dreamed. Her body warmed as her lover curled up behind her. His hands seeking her womanly soft folds and the moans that issued from her lips made him cover her in kisses. Rolling over, she felt him pull her to him. She mounted him and rode his fine body until her own exploded in sweet bliss.
In the morning, her hands were once more between her thighs and she was sticky with her own juices. She bathed quickly lest Kate notice. When she went down for breakfast, her parents were both at the breakfast table.
“Morning Mamai, Dadai,” said Sorcha.
“Morning dear,” said her mother cheerfully. “Sleep well?”
“Well enough,” Sorcha said a little hesitantly.
“Morning Sorcha. What do you say to visiting your sister for a while?” asked her father.
“Oh Dadai, I’d love to, but who’d take care of Finn?”
“The stable lads can look after a dog for a bit,” growled her father.
“Dadai, if you are going to growl at me, I will stay home,” said Sorcha.
Ruari stood up and thumped the table. “You are the most contrary daughter! Here I am trying to find you a husband and you block me at every chance!”
“Dadai! How on earth is sending me off to my sister’s suppose to find me a husband?”
“She lives well and has house guests. Perhaps one would catch your eye,” he said still growling.
“Well, if you wouldn’t throw guests into the tower the moment they show up, perhaps more people would visit us!” Sorcha countered.
‘Daughter! Go pack right now!” he roared.
“No!” she retorted and headed out of the room.
“Now look what you’ve done!” said Fiona. She threw her napkin at her husband and headed out of the room to follow Sorcha.
Ruari put his head in his hands and tried to figure out why everything had gone wrong since the moment he’d listened to his old nurse, Arditha.
In the end, Fiona, Sorcha and their maids left to visit Aoifa’s house. Finn trailed behind, having broken away from the stable lad five minutes after Sorcha left. Ruari stood in the doorway and wondered if they’d ever return.
From his tower, Desmond watched the women leave. He noticed the lack of jovial fairwells. He wasn’t certain what was transpiring. He sat that day sketching his Cara and the look on her face as she left the courtyard.