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Highland Wolf Pact:Compromising Positions(6)

By:Selena Kitt



     



 



Donal. Sibyl called the laird by his Christian name? Kirstin met Sibyl's  eyes and saw the tears there-real tears. The woman had been through  hell and back, that much was clear. Donal MacFalon was a man with a big  heart and a strong sense of integrity-she'd kenned that much already. Of  course, he would offer Sibyl a kind hand, a big, strong shoulder to cry  on.



Why should that bother her? Kirstin wondered. And yet, the tiny hairs on  the back of her neck were standing up, and her blood felt as if it was  boiling in her veins when Sibyl spoke of the laird.



"He's been such a comfort to me," Sibyl told her, reaching out a hand  for Kirstin's. She allowed Sibyl to take it, to press it to her damp  cheek, even though her hand trembled slightly in anger. What in the  world did she have to be angry about? She reasoned with herself, trying  to shake off the feeling. If she could control her wulver side, she  could certainly control this-whatever this sudden feeling was.



Except, she couldn't. She didn't understand it, but she couldn't control the feeling at all.



"I can't thank him enough for everything he's done," Sibyl went on. Each  word grated on Kirstin's ears, raked like a wulver's claws on slate.  She gritted her teeth, listening to Sibyl's praise of the man, wondering  why she had a sudden urge to throw the redhead from the nearest high  window.



She had come to love Sibyl like a sister! What in the world was wrong with her?



Kirstin's eyes fled Sibyl's, returning to the doorway, where Donal  stood, hand on the hilt of his sword, at the ready. His cheeks reddened  slightly while Sibyl sung the man's praises as if he were the second  coming of the human's worshipful Christ, and Kirstin tried to fight her  desire to separate the woman's yapping head from her little body.



"It's been me pleasure, Sibyl," Donal muttered, clearing in his throat. "The least I could do fer ye..."



"Well, he rescued me from a trap." Kirstin's voice was much more  strident than she meant it to be, and she stood there, crossing her arms  over her chest, feeling her face growing red. "I mean, he... I..."



"Oh, Kirstin, no..." Sibyl gasped at the thought. "The same one Laina was trapped in?"



"Nay, t'was a net." Donal frowned. Kirstin knew Laina had been trapped  in a cage, a message left in her blood for the wulvers to find after  she'd been taken to Castle MacFalon. "Should've been disarmed. But we'll  have help with that in the morning. King Henry's sent his royal  huntsman to ensure all the wulver traps are taken out of the MacFalon  woods."



"Oh, that's wonderful news." Sibyl perked up at that, eyes bright. "Does  that mean... King Henry intends to honor the wolf pact then?"



"Aye." Donal gave a satisfied nod. "I expect the wulver messenger Raife  dispatched will return with similar news. But Kirstin and I-we met Lord  Eldred Lothienne and his captains in the woods. They were already  working on disarming the traps."



"I ran into an armed one," Kirstin said wryly.



"Are you all right?" Sibyl asked.



"Donal saved me," Kirstin reminded her, taking far too much pleasure in  saying it, and enjoying the way Donal smiled in response. Kirstin  approached the bed, putting the back of her hand to Darrow's forehead.  No fever-that was a good sign. "Where's Laina? I would've thought she  wouldn't leave 'is side."



"I sent her to fetch some bread and soup for our wounded warrior." Sibyl  sighed. "Every time he sees her, he wants to get up, and he's going to  pull out all the stitching I did."



"So ye did stitch 'im up then?" Kirstin lifted the dressing to look.  Sibyl was a fine healer, for a human, and had done a good job with  needle and thread. The wulver in him had done a great deal of healing  already, Kirstin noted-although she was shocked by how bloody the wound  still was. It must have been very serious, quite deep. Wulvers healed  from the inside out. Superficial wounds could heal within hours,  sometimes minutes.



"Yes, I think we have him well in hand," Sibyl agreed, watching  Kirstin's hands moving over Darrow's body, checking him for other  injuries. She didn't feel anything broken or out of place. "It's just  keeping his pain controlled-and keeping him in bed-that we have to deal  with until he's well enough to come home."



"Home..." Kirstin smiled at Sibyl's choice of words.         

     



 



The Englishwoman had run away from this castle, away from the cruel  Alistair MacFalon, her betrothed, and had ended up in the wulver's den.  Sibyl had spent months falling deeply, madly in love with Raife, the  wulver pack leader. Kirstin had watched it happen, had been heart-glad  of it. Raife sorely needed a mate, and while many of the wulver women  had hoped to be marked by him, he'd never taken to any of them.



Until Sibyl came along. Not a wulver-not even a Scot! An Englishwoman. A  shasennach. But Raife loved her, and she loved him. Sibyl had been so  changed. She no longer wore English gowns-even her English accent had  begun to fade. And she now thought of a wulver den as her home!



"It'll be good t'have t'pack together again." Kirstin agreed, seeing  Donal's brow knit at her words. It was a phrase that should have  instantly filled her with peace and calm, but she, too, felt a strange  new tug at her heart she didn't quite understand at her own words.



"Kirstin... you should know..." Sibyl glanced at Donal, biting her lip,  and Kirstin felt that strange zing of feeling again, like a lightning  strike. Then it was as if someone had suddenly dropped a weight on her  chest. It was hard to breathe. What was it that Sibyl wanted her to  know, and what did it have to do with Donal MacFalon?



And why in the world did it matter to her, all of a sudden?



"Raife is... angry with me," Sibyl confessed. Donal snorted from the  doorway at that, and Sibyl's cheeks filled with color to match her hair.  "To put it mildly. And he's likely to be angry with you, too."



"Is that all?" Kirstin asked, filled with relief. Sibyl blinked at her,  looking so hurt Kirstin couldn't help but go and put her arms around  her. "I ju't mean-a'course he is. He's a wulver. I knew he would be. Ye  had t'know he'd be angry..."



"Well... yes." Sibyl sighed, wringing the cloth in her hands as Kirstin  knelt by her chair. "Of course, I expected he'd be angry with me for  leaving. But I did it to save him, Kirstin!"



"Aye." She patted the Englishwoman's worried hands. "Ye should've seen him when I told 'im ye'd gone."



Kirstin paled at the memory alone. She'd never seen Raife in such a  state. Sibyl searched her eyes, and Kirstin knew what she was looking  for. She wanted proof that Raife loved her, that he wanted her, that he  had truly meant it when he said that Sibyl was his one true mate.



"I thought he was goin' to take me head right offa me shoulders,"  Kirstin confessed, swallowing hard. "He was crazed. He could'na b'lieve  ye'd gone."



"I couldn't believe it either." Sibyl lowered her head at the memory. "I  really thought, if I came back here, and told Alistair I'd marry him,  that the wulvers would be safe..."



"Aye." Kirstin nodded. "I know Raife'll be angry when he discovers I've  come 'ere. But Sibyl, I could'na stay 'way. Not when I knew Darrow was  hurt-and 'tis all my fault. If I hadna put ye on that horse..."



"But we couldn't have known," Sibyl whispered. "We both thought we were doing the right thing."



"Och, what a fine mess this is," Donal said softly from the doorway, and  when Kirstin met his eyes, she saw the sympathy in them.



Kirstin opened her mouth to speak, to explain, but a voice interrupted her.



"Kirstin! What in the da world're ye doin 'ere?" Laina exclaimed from  the doorway, carrying a tray. She was so startled, she nearly dropped  it-Donal's quick reaction kept that from happening. He carried the tray  over to the bedside table while the women gathered together.



"I came t'bring all'ye home, safe'n'sound." Kirstin put her arms around  her. Laina's thick, white-blonde hair was pulled into a long plait down  her back. She was dressed in her plaid, just like Sibyl. "How's Darrow?"



"Cranky." Laina smiled at him and Darrow moaned in his sleep, like he'd  heard her. "But I s'pose that's understandable, given he was run-through  with a broad sword."



"And how're ye?" Kirstin asked, touching the other woman's bruised and  battered face. Laina was a stunning beauty, and Kirstin could tell the  marks had already begun to heal. Wulver women didn't mend quite as  quickly as the warriors, but they still had a significant ability to  mend themselves. "They hurt you?"


         

     



 
"Alistair's men-a few of them." Laina shook her head, glancing over at  Donal, who looked like he wanted to make yet another apology for his  brother's conduct. "But I'm no worse fer t'wear."

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