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Once Upon a Highland Christmas(60)

By:Sue-Ellen Welfonder

Almost, he was proud of her.

But almost was just that—something that hovered just short of being.

He let his gaze sweep over her one last time, glad that it was so. Catriona MacDonald was the last woman he wished to admire.

Blotting her from his mind, he strode to another part of the battlements, choosing a corner where the sight of her wouldn’t spoil his view. Then he braced himself and stared past the fighting ground to the hills beyond, deep blue and silent against the sky. Directly across from him, a sparkling rock-strewn cataract plunged down a narrow gorge cut deep into one of the hills. It was the same vista he enjoyed from his bedchamber window. The sight—as always—took his breath and made his heart squeeze. This day, the falls’ beauty also quenched any last shred of sympathy he might have felt for the MacDonald she-wolf.

In Cameron hands since distant times, the glen was his birthright and his joy. Cloud shadows drifted across its length, the gentle play of light and dark bleeding his soul. His eyes misted at the well-loved scene, his throat thickening. He’d always believed his children would one day love the glen with equal fierceness. That they’d carry on tradition, bound to the land and appreciating their heritage, teaching their own offspring to do the same.


He wrenched his gaze from the glen, fury whipping through him like a flame to tinder. He should’ve known better than to come up here. But Colin had wanted to see the workmen’s progress. And, truth be told, brisk winds always blew across the ramparts and he’d relished a few moments in the cold, clean air before courtesy demanded he join Sir Walter and his ravenous friends in the hall.

The man’s lofty airs and barely veiled insults were more than any man should have to tolerate within his own walls. And watching Lindsay and his henchmen eat their way through Castle Haven’s larders—with neither the MacDonalds nor the Mackintoshes helping with the costs—was as galling as it was enlightening.

No matter how the trial of combat ended, the other two clans of the glen would never change their colors.

Most especially the MacDonalds.

The she-wolf’s presence on the field vouched for their obstinacy. Just as her flay-a-man stares proved they had a touch of the devil in them.

It was a taint that might serve them well when they soon found themselves in hell.

James’s pulse quickened imagining them there.

It was a fine thought.

A well-met fate that sent a surge of satisfaction shooting through him. He could see them landing on Hades’ hottest hob or in a deep, icy pit where they could languish for eons, pondering their treacheries.

They deserved no better.

Pity was so many Camerons would be joining them.