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Highland Wolf Pact:Compromising Positions(42)

By:Selena Kitt

"She's doin' well." Laina couldn't help the smile that spread over her  face. She stood, holding her linked hands out in front of her middle.  "Startin' t'show."

"And the cure?" Kirstin knew it was a sensitive subject, but she was too curious not to ask. "Has she recreated it yet?"

"She's workin' on it. Silvermoon's plenty in the first den, but now we  have to travel for the huluppa." Laina helped Moira bring their  breakfast tray over to the bed.         



Moira was still shorthanded, but at least she didn't have all the  wulvers to feed anymore. They'd all moved into the first den, and from  what Laina said, they'd made a home there in a very short amount of  time. The space was the perfect size, and The MacFalon had no problem  instructing his men to fix up the old barn to house their horses or  build a fence in the field to keep sheep.

"'Tis always somethin'." Kirstin sighed, cracking her hard-boiled egg and beginning to peel it.

"Sibyl a'ready sent somma t'wulver scouts back t'gather the huluppa fer  her," Laina said, pouring water into a cup and putting it on Kirstin's  bedside. "They also herded t'sheep to t'first den, so they would'na  starve. I was glad they brought home some more of our things."

"Laina!" Darrow's voice echoed through the hallway, floating into their  room. Kirstin wasn't surprised to hear him. The wulvers and the  MacFalons had been going back and forth, between the first den and the  MacFalon castle.

Darrow and Raife had been in to see them at least once a day, sometimes  together, sometimes separately. They had a lot to discuss with The  MacFalon, who was doing business from his bed, which Laina and Moira  insisted he not leave. This made Kirstin happy, because the longer they  kept the real world at bay, the better, as far as she was concerned. She  liked having Donal all to herself in their own little world.

"Here!" Laina called back.

Darrow poked his head in and grinned at Kirstin and Donal sitting up in  bed together. "There's t'love birds. Ready to go ridin' yet, MacFalon?"

"I'm quite happy wit' t'mount I've got righ 'ere," Donal replied,  sliding an arm around Kirstin and pulling her close. She giggled and  flushed, but didn't object. "I trust ye and Raife 'ave e'erythin'  handled, Darrow?"

"Oh aye," Darrow agreed, grabbing his wife to him one handed and  planting a kiss on her cheek as she passed. "E'erythin' except the  witch."

Kirstin shivered at the mention of her. She couldn't get the memory out  of her mind of the woman screaming, sobbing, cursing all of them in  Gaelic at the sight of Eldred's mangled body being dragged behind the  horse. When they had unlashed her from the pole and taken her to the  dungeons, she had been put in a cell alone, away from Eldred's four men.  When one of the servants had gone down to bring her bread and water the  next morning, the cell had been empty. Neither the bars nor the lock  had been tampered with. She had simply vanished.

"I told ye she was a witch." Kirstin couldn't help ribbing Darrow a little about that.

"Mayhaps." Darrow shrugged. He was still reluctant to believe, even now.  "Although I think it more likely someone who had access to the keys set  'er free."

"But no sign of 'er?" Donal asked, frowning. "Ye haven't found 'er?"

The missing witch had been the main reason Raife had decided to keep the  wulver pack on MacFalon land, in the first den. With her on the loose,  there was at least one person in the world who knew exactly where the  mountain den was located, and that made it too dangerous to live there.  At least, at the first den, they had the MacFalons at the ready to watch  their backs. Mayhaps they would find another place, in time, but for  now, it was a good solution.

And it made Kirstin so very happy, to have her family close, even if she was no longer a wulver.

"Ye sent Eldred's body t'King Henry, along wit' me message?" Donal  asked, taking the egg Kirstin had just finished peeling and popping the  whole thing into his mouth. He asked this question every time Darrow or  Raife or any of his men came in, and they always gave the same answer.

"Aye," Darrow agreed.

"Nex'time, I bite yer finger off," Kirstin growled, nudging Donal with her elbow for stealing her food.

"Yer not a wulver anymore, luv," he reminded her with a reciprocal nudge. "I'm not afeared a'ye. Bite away."

She turned and nipped at his shoulder, feeling him jump, but he grinned  down at her, a dark light in his eyes that made her feel warm from head  to toe.

Another knock came on the open door and the two MacFalon brothers, Aiden  and Angus, who seemed to go everywhere together, appeared. Kirstin saw  that Lorien was behind them, a head taller than both of the big men. He  smiled over their heads at her and she smiled back. She wondered if it  was true, what the women were saying about him and Lady Cecilia  Witcombe.         



Donal's intended had arrived, terrified of the Scots, afraid she was  going to be raped and murdered the moment she stepped out of her  carriage. It had taken her party a great deal of extra time to arrive,  because according to castle rumors, Cecilia had sabotaged their trip on  more than one occasion, including "accidentally" shooting the captain of  her guard in the thigh with an arrow.

She had stepped out of her carriage to find a witch lashed to a pole in  the yard, guarded by half-men, half-wolves and bare-kneed, bearded  Scotsmen in kilts. She had screamed at the sight, attracting the  attention of the wulvers. Lorien, who had forgotten he was in warrior  form-half-wolf, half-man-had rushed to her aid, always the gentleman.  She had taken one look at his face and screamed again.

And when he'd remembered, and changed back to a man?

She had simply fainted dead away

Kirstin's feelings for the woman had been nothing but venom at first,  but the more she heard, the more she realized, Lady Cecilia Witcombe  wasn't any more interested in marrying Donal MacFalon than he was in  marrying her. But if the rumors were true, she had become quite enamored  with the wulver who had caught her when she fainted and carried her  into the castle. And Lorien had been spending a lot of time at Castle  MacFalon, if Laina and Moira were to be believed …

"What's yer business?" Donal asked with a sigh as Aiden and Angus argued  their way into the room, Lorien following close behind. "'Tis startin'  to feel like a circus in 'ere."

"Ye were drunker than I was, man," Aiden protested. "Why d'ye think I won at dice?"

"Ye did'na win, ye cheated," Angus snorted. "An' I wan'me money back."

"Nuh, I would've known if he was cheatin'," Lorien replied. "A wulver can spot a cheater a mile away, at least."

"'Tis true," Darrow agreed, leaning against the door frame. "We're also vera good at cheatin', if we wanna be."

"T'was ye then!" Angus pointed a finger at Lorien. "Ye were cheatin' fer 'im! How much did he pay ye outta d'winnin's?"

"Do'na lookit me!" Lorien laughed, holding up his hands. "I do'na need yer worthless coins. I'm a wulver, remember?"

"Face it, Angus, ye're jus' not a winner." Darrow grinned at the man,  who glowered at all of them. "Let's g'back out on the archery range, eh?  I'd be happy t'beat ye again. This time we can wager on it … "

"I would'na lost if I was half-wolf either," Angus snorted over his  shoulder at the wulver, pulling something from the pocket of his plaid,  handing it to Donal. "This came fer ye."

"Yer half wild boar, but that does'na seem t'help ye." Darrow laughed.

"Sounds like wulver-human relations are improvin' a'ready," Kirstin giggled, looking over Donal's shoulder at the scroll.

Her heart stopped when she saw it had the king's seal. Moira glanced at it and saw too.

"Mayhaps ye should go along wit' King Henry and nullify t'wolf pact,"  Angus joked. "So I can drive these dogs back t'their kennels where they  belong a'fore they give all the MacFalons fleas, eh?"

"The only flea-bitten dog 'ere is ye, Angus MacFalon," Moira said with a  laugh, already shooing the two big, bearded men out the door. "Now, out  wit' ye!"

Darrow snickered at that and Moira, who had no qualms about who ran the castle, smacked his bottom with a tray.

"Ye, too, dog! Out!" She threatened him with a tray over the head and he  backed away through the door, still laughing. "I do'na care if yer a  wulver or the Lord of the Wild Hunt 'imself, ye'all need to clear out.  I've got patients t'heal before I'm called t'me own death, ye ken?"

"A'righ'!" Darrow agreed, pulling his wife into his arm. "But I'm takin' m'wife wit' me!"

"Take this one, too!" Moira waved Lorien out with her tray and he  avoided being smacked by it-just barely-as he slipped out, all the men  snickering at Moira's dramatic, but effective, display. She shut the  door behind them with a sigh.