| She wandered the market a bruise on her cheek healing in that sickly yellow color. Once more looking for an escape. Considering how she threatened her father for a change. She spots a bard an uncommon sight at the market. Children
gathered close begging for a story, Scarlett steps into the crowd.
The Bard’s eyes light upon the only adult in the crowd, Smiling he bows to
the whim of the children holding up a book. He notes the instant interest of the woman cautiously referred to as scary.
You see this book, is no ordinary book it will only tell its tale to the one it chooses. But perhaps I should stop referring to the book as it because he truly
Many long years ago in a castle not as far away as you might think. Lived
the oldest son of a king as well as his younger brother and they’re sisters.
Winding up his tale the Bard passes his book around. Children open it and whisper of the frivolity of blank pages bound and how expensive that must be.
When Scarlett gets the opportunity to see the book unable to help herself she
opens it printed upon the page is “Geesh, what happened to your face?”
Flipping pages She stops again to see”………. Well are you going to answer me?”
“Crazy I am going crazy” Scarlett mutters to herself garnering a few children crossing themselves and running away. She takes the book to the Bard.
“Interesting story and one I have never heard before thank you.” Turning to
head back to the Inn once more to deal with her weak mother the Bard calls to
her. Turning back with a less then pleased expression on her face she wait’s the Bard thrusts the book into her hands stammering something about him wanting her
and having never suspected that he would truly see the book speak.
Scarlett clutching the book thinking humph I am not crazy he is. Hurries to
try to avoid another beating.Running into the kitchen, She tosses the book on the shelf over the sink. Grabbing potatoes to start the soup her father storms in already into his cups. Trailing after the red haired man who is emitting a serious Aura of aggression,
a small woman wringing her hands steps into the room. Scarlett straightens her
spine preparing for the yelling before the hitting and gets it.’ So goes another
day in my life’ she thinks.
Scarlett’s days progressed in much the same way through the week until one night having had her fill of her fathers binge beatings and with the knife she
was using for vegetables in her hand she turns to face her father. With her lips
pulled back from her teeth in the manner of a desperate cornered animal she
growls at her father. “Come on beat me, see what happens.” For the first time
can recall she walks away with no bruises. That night she decides its time to go,
packing the few belongings she has. Scarlett spots the book she had been give weeks
before. Grabbing it she heads out the door of the Inn.
As dawn approaches the gates are opened Silently she slips through them. Heading to the East with no place in mind to go.
Heading out of town with the only belongings she has and what little money she has saved traveling till exhausted, she comes across a gypsy caravan. Bruised,
dirty and hungry she inches towards the gypsy camp lured by the siren song of aromas from the cook fires.
Scarlett hunkers on a little hillock debating weather to creep any closer.
When she spots a child falling into the river in Autumn it isn't so very swollen,
but with no thought at all she flings the book into the dirt and tears down the
hill to the river. Diving into to where she saw the child last she ducks under to
better fight the currents and to see. Letting the current take her to the child she grabs his collar and drags him to the bank. As Scarlett was swimming to save
an innocent, one of the gypsy girls finds her book.
The Gypsy's take a scowling Scarlett back to the camp with the child to
warm up at the fire when a small blond runs through the camp to a wagon
clutching a book that strikes Scarlett as familiar. Thinking nothing more of it
she settles down into the gypsy camp for the night.
The Gypsies set up revelry for saving the little one. Culminating in tales
realizing she left the enchanted book. Scarlett Pardons herself to run back and
grab her things.
Reaching the crest of the hillock she finds her book gone. Remembering the girl slipping through camp she finds her. Glaring down at the girl the red head clears her throat and in a biting tone asks “how’s the reading is going?” Spluttering the raven-haired teenager thrusts the book into Scarlett’s hands “But how…” the girl stammers “there is nothing written there.”
“Really?” Asks Scarlett, opening the book. “Hmm cause it looks like there is writing here.” Turning the book to the girl so she can see the writing across the page saying. “Really I can’t believe you just dropped me like that! Why did you drop
me anyways?” Eyes rolled back in her head the teenager starts to crumple.
Reaching out Scarlett grabs the girl to keep her from hitting her head and lays
her down. She returns to the campfire to find the Bard sitting there telling the
tale of her book to the audience of Gypsies.
Looking down at the Book in her lap, her red hair in the firelight glowing.
Words appear under her fingers.“How am I supposed to talk to you with no light” she mutters. Startled Scarlett drops the book when the new letters start to glow “, I may not be able to see you but I still feel. Quit dropping and throwing me. It is getting
redundant.” Snorting in a most unladylike manner she grabs the book
slamming the cover closed.
Soon attention is focused On Scarlett. Glaring in defense she growls “you
want me to tell a story, I don’t know any so I will pass” across the fire the Bard shakes his blond head. Meeting the fire haired woman bound with the book’s
eyes. He asks for a story from the book in her lap. He was truly curious about
the truth of the book. “Why” she asks defensively. “What is your problem?”
Scarlett hisses to the book heating in her hands internally questioning her
sanity. Opening the book she clears her throat, vibrating with suppressed rage. Whispering to the book she holds “please, please know a story.” She looks
down to the open book open and see’s scrawled across the page “you owe me! “ Fine we will settle on the price later but Geesh its not as if you don’t have every one including me questioning my sanity. Scarlett quietly snarls.
Once not long ago… From the page Scarlett reads.There lived a benevolent king. Whom loved his children dearly, all five of them. One stormy night the king was in his study whilst the rain poured down,and lightning lashed the sky. When a quiet scrapping came from the double doors to the storm outside. His Butler opens the door to a beautiful
woman-sopping wet with quiet tears streaming from her eyes. He ushered her in not knowing this woman was an enchantress whom was just jilted.
The Butler showed her into the king’s study and they whiled away the night talking. Upon the morning light the king and enchantress had discussed every imaginable topic. By dawns light the king had discussed at length his hopes and dreams for his children. The thing he wanted most for them was love in its most sincere form true and lasting. So before leaving the jilted woman cast an enchantment over the entire castle. The eldest Lachlan was changed into that of his favorite item thus insuring the woman who could break his enchantment would hold such thing as dear as he. The second Maise was put into a deep sleep, well within a tower surrounded by roses. The third Criostal choked that day upon an apple and fell into a deathlike sleep and she is watched over by her Seven Amazon
guards.The fourth the illegitimate scullery maid Luath cleans and waits unknowing of
the events surrounding her future.
The fifth and other son Ian suffers the compulsion to wander the seas and beaches in hopes of coming across a woman who will call him more deeply
then the sea does.
But the truest surprise is the benevolent king sat in sadness for a month at
the leaving of the enchantress and the state of his children. Before realizing the words the enchantress spoke that night. Her feeling that for love to be deep and lasting it must be fought for. Upon this realization the king left the governing in his brother’s hands as regent until a time when he returned with his enchantress.
Now hold it people before you jump to conclusions No the regent didn't
want the kingdom and no he isn't out to kill the heirs.
So several years later after the prince in his enchanted form was stolen from the library in the castle. (At this Scarlett looks up to the bard and shakes her head) Thinking I may be the daughter of a weak woman and a drunk but I have never stolen. She refocuses her attention on the pages of the book in her lap and
continues to read. The king returned with the enchantress in tow but not
inclined to have the enchantment lifted from his children so that they will know love when it is ready for them. The king married his enchantress and at the wedding princes from the surrounding kingdoms came to celebrate and wish them well. One of the neighboring princes heard of the sleeping princess’s and returned to his kingdom with the tale. A second heard as well and began to quest for the princess’s. But a third prince couldn’t be less interested because he had to figure out how to explain his obsession with a scullery maid. But that is a story for another time.
As Dawn arrives Scarlett packs her few things and prepares to leave the
Gypsies. Slipping quietly out she notices a follower. Bending over in what
appears to be an attempt to tug her boot on a bit more secure she pulls a little
knife from it. Standing up and spinning around she nearly emasculates the bard. “What are you doing?’ hisses Scarlett.
Cupping himself the brunette man states not so collectedly with a loud gulp preceding it “ protecting my jewels!” Frustrated Scarlett runs a hand through her choppy red hair.
“Ok perhaps you need the question rephrased” Scarlett states, ”Why are you following me?”
Callum warily watched the tall woman. Her attention it would seem turned to the knife she was wielding now cleaning her nails with the tip of it. “Well?” The brown eyed Scarlett growled when a few too many seconds past for her liking. “Umm” Cal stammered out “ I was going to follow you and document your tale and perhaps make a song out of it.” Rubbing the back of his neck, he continues, “I thought maybe you wouldn’t mind some companionship considering you and the book can’t talk.” Becoming irritated Scarlett turns around and begins walking. She opens the book and mutters “ so where are we going and what should I call you?” In response flowing, articulate handwriting appears. ”Lachlan is my name as for where to go. I am quite certain I would like you to return me home. Describe yourself to me I can feel pain and emotions but can not see.”
Scarlett not liking the demands just shakes her head.
Please Scarlett we have a journey ahead of us yet and I would like to learn about you. You have heard my story can’t I please hear yours. Since when do Princes ask for anything? Scarlett thinks to herself. Sighing Scarlett begins “ well I am twenty nine years old. How old are you? I stand Five foot nine and you when you’re not a book? I have red hair and brown eyes.”
Looking at the book in her hands ignoring the Bard following behind. She reads “I was physically thirty two when I was enchanted into my present form. I don’t know how many years have passed since then. I stood about six foot four and had blue eyes and black hair. So what was your childhood like?” Scarlett ponders for a moment putting distance between the Bard who had stopped to dig through his pack and herself. “Well it was ok till my brother married then there was no buffer between myself and our abusive father and weak mother. What of yours?”
Callum watched the woman stroll along seemingly talking to herself.
Wondering how he could get her to share what the book was saying he jogged
to catch up. Heedless of the daggers Scarlett was glaring at him, Callum asks
what she and the book are talking about. Scarlett refocuses on Lachlan who is
asking if Scarlett is her real name, catching her off guard Scarlett stumbles. The Bard reaches out to steady her.
She swats the bards hand away and growls” I don’t even know your name
don’t you think it’s a tad personal for you to be grabbing me?” Chuckling the
Bard shakes his head “well if you wanted to know my name all you had to do is ask.” Furious Scarlett rounds on the Bard yelling” I don’t give a damn what
your name is! I don’t want you along. I don’t need a man to protect me! Isn’t it bad enough you saddled me with an enchanted book so I question my sanity!
Reading was an escape for me but now I am to return a prince home. ”
Refocusing her attention on her book she storms away well aware of the
Bards curses chasing her back. Scarlett reads Lachlan’s next sentence
“Well that was certainly entertaining and here I was afraid I had been made sentient once more to wither away in boredom. So is Scarlett really your name? I apologize for making you question your sanity ”
Swearing herself Scarlett Shakes her head, realizing that Lachlan cant see
her she states flatly “no its not” “Well” Lachlan prompts ”what is it?” Snarling Scarlett closes the book and marches on with Callum two paces behind. Scarlett turns around and sighs, “OK what’s your name?” She inquires knowing he won’t leave her be. Taking a bow, the Bard announces in proper yet mocking tones.
”Bard Callum MacNeil at your service. My lady.” Dropping his voice back to
normal and companionable tones he adds “ My few friends call me Cal. I hope
you will too.” Why would I possibly do that? Scarlett thought to herself.
They walked in silence for awhile before Scarlett asked, ”Callum, where did
this book come from?” not wanting to ask ‘where Lachlan came from.’
Continuing on in silence for a bit Callum looks over at the Red head
strolling alongside him and asks why she wants to know where the book comes from. Rolling her eyes she mutters something depreciating about the male
Understanding the Bard was not going to tell her. Scarlett taking advantage
of the sun opened Lachlan to ‛read.’ Taking in the warmth from the woman’s hands on his Binding Lachlan was prepared for his cover to be opened. He immediately started a conversation with Scarlett.
So your name what is it? I get the sense you don’t like your birth name.
Rolling her eyes Scarlett whispered “Galla.” Callum looked up with surprise
and asked mildly taken aback. “What?”
>>You are joking? That is not your name! That’s not a name and I will not
call you that. Should I ever get my hands drawing a snort from Scarlett.
Lachlan blithely continues his rant.On your parents they will be held up in
parliament on neglect as well as abuse. “It’s not worth it Lachlan, but the
sentiment is appreciated.” Scarlett muttered. Hardly, not worth it! You are a
human being and deserve a name worthy of you.
Callum cleared his throat garnering Scarlett’s brief attention.
He inquired to the whispered profanity. “Twas nothing” Scarlett growled. Callum stepped in front of her looking her dead in the eye as only some one of a
similar height could. Taking a defiant stance in a calm, well educated, and commanding tone. He asks, “ What prompted you to whisper the word bitch to
a distinctly masculine enchanted entity?”
Sighing Scarlett steps around the bard blocking her way and continues. They walk on into the night. Scarlett lets out a gentle sigh causing Callum some surprise. Stopping to start a campfire and clean and cook the rabbit Callum brought down. Scarlett sits beside the fire and stares at the full moon.
Callum stops and stares at the woman who seems a walking bundle of soft
spots and hard edges. Unable to figure her out he goes back to writing his new song only to be distracted once again this time by the sound of a book opening.
Three days passed companionably when they finally made it to a small town. Though Scarlett was beginning to think perhaps Callum had an ulterior motive
for following along.Shrugging the thought off with the little cash she had Scarlett went looking for a room and a bath. Picking at the stiffened cloth of her sleeve, Scarlett went in search of the Bard. Finding him at a pub telling tales. Scarlett settled in to listen and eat. Returning to her room with Callum on her heels
Scarlett opens the door to find a man wrapped in a sheet from the bed. Scarlett stared opened mouthed at the black haired man who actually required her to tilt her head back to see.
Lachlan awoke as the sunset and was surprised to not only be awake but
alone as well. Having required contact with Scarlett to be conscious. For the
last decade he spent in hibernation. He opened his eyes feeling stiff from the position he was in. Then it dawned on Lachlan he was human again and worse
he was naked in a woman’s room. This isn’t a situation that would embarrass
Ian, Lachlan thought to himself. But then again Ian was always charming the
maids and servant girls. Grabbing the sheet from the straw stuffed mattress.
Lachlan stood and considered locating Callum the bard who has been
relentlessly following Scarlett. Only to find the door flung open, by a tall red
head with brown eyes slightly tilted at the edges.
Scarlett stood there flushing under the mans scrutiny. A heartbeat before perusing him with the same lack of grace. Taking herself firmly in hand.
Scarlett not so politely growled “what the hell do you think your doing Naked
and in my room?” Lachlan unsurprised by the question merely looks around
Scarlett and addresses the Bard behind her asking if he might have some
clothes he could barrow.
Scarlett having had enough of being overlooked for one reason or another
steps forward and lays a hand on the mans chest. Lachlan sharply inhales at the contact, looking down at Scarlett’s hand quirking an eyebrow, right before he is
over set by a push. Landing on his butt Lachlan glares up at Scarlett. In an icy
voice he asks, “Well now what was that for?”
Scarlett in typical feminine fashion tells him to figure it out and turns to
leave coming face to face with Callum she growls and attempts to push him out of her way. Callum glares back at Scarlett “That’s not at all polite, here you have a man obviously out of sorts I am assuming is the Laird Lachlan and you push him
over?” Unable to push Callum out of the way she decks him. Seconds after she braces herself for a beating.
Callum stands glaring at the woman he has come to think of as a friend
while the man who was a book picks himself up and the woman tries to shrink
it appears. He thinks well at least she trusts me enough to react with out
Lachlan shakes his head thinking to himself this spunky thing is to be my
true love? Who the bloody hell thought that was a good idea?
Callum looks at Scarlett and quietly says, “I am not going to hit you.” To
both Callum and Scarlett’s surprise Lachlan speaks up.” Damn right your not
going to hit her or I will bloody your face for you.” Scarlett turns around and
mouth agape stares at Lachlan.
Minutes later Callum returns with some Clothes for Lachlan. Scarlett leaves
the room heading for the common area downstairs. Callum joins her at a table. “So” Callum begins “how do you think he ended up in your room?” Rolling her eyes Scarlett Shakes her head.
Lachlan takes a seat at the table. Stomach loudly growling Scarlett takes pity and orders a bowl of broth for him. Lachlan quirks an eyebrow in Scarlett’s direction. Visibly bristling she snarls, “What I could let you starve! I don’t have a lot of
money and don’t make a living like the Bard there perhaps you should play nice with him and leave me alone!” Surging to her feet Scarlett prepares to go back to
Realizing he is bungling this badly Lachlan reaches out to stay Scarlett.
Callum just shakes his head.
Feeling a firm grip on her arm Scarlett looks down then glares at Lachlan.
“Sit lass” Lachlan quietly commands.
Scarlett takes umbrage at that as well. Shrugging out of Lachlan’s grip She snarls in the same tone as was commanded “Shove it up your ass!” She storms back up the stairs and slams the door behind her. Blowing out a breath she flops on the bed and falls asleep.
Downstairs Callum quietly applauds earning a killing look from Lachlan.” So
are you really the book?" Callum asks. Nodding Lachlan try’s to sort out what
to do about the woman upstairs." I suggest you leave her be for now" Callum
states flatly." What’s your interest in Scarlett?" Lachlan snarls beast like. "Ah
mi lord" Callum says mockingly "I am but a humble historian.” Lachlan shakes
his head and casts one more suspicious look at Cal. Finishing his meal he
wanders upstairs and Knocks on the door to Scarlett’s room.
Jarred from her slumber by a knock on the door she rolls over." Wha....?"
she grumbles in response. Another slightly louder knocks echoes through the
room. Rubbing her eyes Scarlett stumbles to the door and opens it to the tall
black haired blue-eyed man. Before Scarlett could begin to rant Lachlan takes
a small step forward and says, "Scarlett, I apologize. It was terribly rude of
me to react as I did to your generosity. But I will admit to being out of sorts
and unsure of how long I will be human."
Flabbergasted Scarlett blurts, " You mean this may not be permanent?"
Shrugging Lachlan stares at the underfed redhead in front of him. He politely asks for entrance to her room. Imitating his shrug Scarlett steps back. Settling her
self on the edge of the bed studying the book leaning casually against the wall. Scarlett asks, "Why did you not tell me you to be returned to your form?"
Lachlan thinking great way to start things lad she is not happy to see your
humanity and now she cant shut you, to shut you up. As antagonistic as she is
you really can't tell if she is your salvation and now you have to admit to not knowing what the hell is happening. Scarlett studies the handsome man as he thinks. Clearing his throat, which is still a tad rusty with disuse. Lachlan Says looking a little chagrined " I didn't know it would happen the only thing I knew was that I would be able to speak to the woman who
was to be my true love till she broke the enchantment."Rolling her eyes"Well that certainly takes the guess work out of courting." Scarlett quips
earning a deep chuckle from the prince leaning on the wall. To Lachlan’s
surprise Scarlett appears to have a sense of humor after all she has been
through. Sinking to the floor Lachlan looks up at Scarlett finding her eyes which where alternately direct and searing and shy and avoiding.
Startled by the whiskey color of her eyes against the backdrop of deep red
hair. Lachlan just sits and gapes.
Preparing for the inevitable Scarlett whispers, “ I know I am not pretty. I am sorry you are stuck with me until you get home.” Surging to his feet Lachlan just shy of yelling snaps “ Not pretty! What there no reflective surfaces in that hell hole called an inn you lived at?” It was Scarlett’s turn to gape. “Its obvious I am not pretty or people would not call me scary!” She rebuffs Lachlan. Running a hand through his hair Lachlan sighs knowing a futile fight when he hears one.
Waving away the argument Lachlan starts a new one, taking the offensive
before Scarlett can he says “so are you being deliberately obtuse or are you
truly so dense as to not realize that you are my destined love?” Totally ignoring Lachlan’s question Scarlett asks ”So where are you sleeping tonight?” Shaking
his head Lachlan realizes she doesn’t want to deal with destiny and silently
agrees. “Ah, Lass I had hoped to keep you awake and get to know you. Perhaps come up with a better name for you then the current or descriptor you are using.” Scarlett locks eyes with Lachlan and forcefully asks “why?” Feeling as if he had been punched in the gut and knowing a show of temper would only cause Scarlett to build the walls thicker. Lachlan thinks to himself. Why must she question everything I say or think. This has got to be why I avoided people for books.
Talking through the night Scarlett begins to look forward to meeting the
people who have been a part of Lachlan’s life. When dawn arrives Lachlan finds him self hard bound once more and sadder for it. Unaware she fell asleep Scarlett awakens to a pile of Callum’s clothes and underneath Lachlan in book form
once more. Feeling an unexpected though wholly familiar feeling shoot through her heart, Scarlett runs a finger down Lachlan’s spine.
Scarlett Finds Callum already at breakfast. Sipping a mug of Tea. Callum
looks up to see Scarlett Sleepy Eyed and alone. “Good morning beautiful.”
Callum says over his mug, earning a glare and snort of Disbelief from Scarlett. Raising a brow Cal notes the lack of the Prince at Callum’s look Scarlett clutches her pack a little tighter. “Ah” Callum says, “I am sorry he could not stay human.” Nodding Scarlett sets down to eat. Leaving the small town Scarlett seems in a
hurry for the first time since Callum had encountered her at the gypsy camp.
Keeping pace with her Cal asks casually “So where are we going in such a hurry?” Shooting Callum an inscrutable look. She tells him they are going the same
place they have been since Lachlan began to speak to her.
Walking along, She looks over at Callum. Scarlett clears her throat. “ Cal
about your clothes would you like them back?” Clutching his Chest Callum
stumbles and acts as if he will die. “Do my ears deceive me? Did you just call
Laughing Scarlett gives Callum a shove. “Yes I did Cal. Now answer my question.”
Shrugging Callum asks if she knows when Lachlan will be human again. Snorting Scarlett scoffs and fires back “He is a prince that doesn’t qualify for human in my book ever.” Callum tells Scarlett to hold on to the clothes in case they are needed again. Traveling till mid-day Scarlett and Callum Pause looking over the coast. Settling on the shore for a bit of lunch Scarlett Pulls out Lachlan in book form once more. Caressing the cover she opens it.Ah lass how I have missed your sweet attentions these last hours. Lachlan writes. Snorting contemptuously Scarlett tells him to knock it off.But lass I have come to the perfect name for
you. Scarlett asks “Lachlan why are you so bound and determined to rename
me?” I can not help but be bound right now as for determination it as a flaw in
my family we all are very determined folks we set our sights on something and go after it with great gusto.” Snorting in a most unladylike manner Scarlett appreciates the pun and tells him to tell her what her new name should be. Your name my dear shall be Aileen. “Ok Lachlan what does it mean and why?” Scarlett asks. Callum looks over and inquires, “what does what mean and why does it mean it? What are you and prince Charming talking about?” It means little noble one, if you would be so kind Aileen as to tell Callum never to call me that again or he will be lucky if I am never human again to save him an extraordinary amount of pain. Scarlett looks over at Callum “we where having a private conversation but if you must know Lachlan
has decided he doesn’t like my name. So he has renamed me I went from my Christian name, which admittedly I don’t think the minister spoke the old language or he wouldn’t have allowed it. To Scarlett and now because it is a description Lachlan has decided I am ‘Aileen.’ Which I am
bound by honesty to admit I do like.” Looking at the book open in her lap
Scarlett mutters a quiet thank you to Lachlan. Looking over to Cal she informs
him of Lachlan’s distaste for being called Prince charming. ”Well Lachlan, which way now?” Scarlett asks. To the north my dear, just follow the coastline north till
you find a castle on a peninsula.
Scarlett and Cal head north chatting amiably but not long into the trip her
mind turns to Lachlan. Scarlett wonders to her self. Why Lachlan was a human for only one night and why he is so interested in following “destiny.” Completely missing her worth and the world around her. She trips on the beach getting a
face full of sand.
Rolling over on to her back Scarlett grumbles irritably. “What did I trip
over?” Callum shakes his head. “Not what Aileen whom did you trip over and
that is a very interesting question.”
Rolling over the inert form Cal’s hand brushes across the Chest to find small soft swells there. Rapidly pulling his hand away, he rocks back on his heels and
wonders why a woman would hide behind a man’s clothes. Crawling over to the prone figure with her ankle throbbing Scarlett checks to see if the girl’s heart
beats. Finding the faint thready pulse in the girl’s neck Scarlett sets back and
looks at Callum and pointedly asks “well what now? She lives.” Running a hand through his hair Cal looks at the girl and lets out a breath he wasn’t aware he
was holding. Cal locks eyes with Scarlett and growls. “Well fix her!”
Lachlan sitting in absolute blackness feels Scarlett’s fall and the throbbing
from her ankle. Wishing he could pick her up and carry her for the first time in decades he wants to be a man. He wonders what else is happening as he
senses Scarlett’s irritation.
A middle-aged man enters a room light with the flickering light of candles throwing sparkles from the tall blonde woman occupying the center of the room’s hair. Stunned after decades of marriage by her beauty the man stands there a
few moments more and allows her to finish studying the small smoky crystal held carefully in her cupped palms.
The blonde looks up at the black haired middle-aged man a slow smile lighting her face she breathes “Paddy.”
He thinks to himself how after all these years can she still light up the room and make me need her with only a smile.
“Cassandra” Padrick says “ which of my errant boys where you looking in
on now?” Snuggling into his arms the tall blonde gray-eyed enchantress tells
him that she was looking in on they’re run away daughter but rather found both the heir and they’re little girl. Surprised Padrick asks Cassandra to get the image
back. Concentrating once more She notices the fact her daughter is unconscious in the sand.
“Padrick, Sorcha is unconscious and there is a woman Carrying Lachlan!” Cassandra says before disappearing.
Callum looking at the girl unconscious at they’re feet and trying to come up with a way to wake her as Scarlett opens Lachlan. What is going on and are you ok? Lachlan asks.
“My ankle is a bit sore but that’s not a major problem compared to the unconscious person in the sand. Looking up from Lachlan Scarlett squeaks, as a woman appears tall and blonde, eyes compassionate and gray. Bristling Scarlett growls, “Who are you?” The woman smiles “My name is Cassandra and yours?” she replies with complete calm and sweetness. Looking at Lachlan still clutched in her hands she see’s Describe her please that may be my stepmother.
Complying in a round about and subtle fashion “ my name is Scarlett, where in the world did your blonde hair and gray eyes come from?”
Narrowing her eyes Cassandra laughs softly and waves her hand in almost a callous gesture. The next thing Scarlett knows she is holding a naked Lachlan’s waist. Blushing furiously she lets go and steps back.
Disoriented Lachlan Shakes his head before it connects that there is a soft
long fingered pair of hands around his waist they are removed leaving him
feeling almost bereft. Cassandra watches for a second before turning to check
on her daughter. Tucking her skirts in around her knees Cassandra Kneels next
to Sorcha checking her pulse she looks at Callum quirks an eyebrow and mildly suggests he wipes the lust filled expression out of his eyes. The men both stammering the women simply tend to business as if there isn’t an enchantress
who appeared out of nowhere and a man who just recovered his humanity
dropped naked in there midst. Scarlett shoves Callum’s clothes at Lachlan and
kneels next to Cassandra. Quietly asking if she can help Cassandra glances over as she sits Sorcha up gasping at the slashing in the tunic. Lachlan steps over and unconsciously sets a protective hand on Scarlett’s shoulder.
“Mom is that Tai?” Lachlan asks. Nodding Cassandra pulls her daughter
close; tears unshed shimmering in her eyes.
Sorcha slowly coming to finds a salty breeze stinging the lashes to her
back. She moans softly before hearing her mother’s voice.Cassandra asks Sorcha what happened. Whimpering at the pain Sorcha tells her story shocking
everyone at the cruelty of some nobility. Preparing to take her daughter home Cassandra gathers her magic to her. Then Pauses looking at Lachlan still
hovering protectively near Scarlett. She smiles and says " Scarlett you are
beautiful and I will be thrilled to welcome you to the family when the time is
right, until then Lachlan will return to his human form once a month three days after each full moon."
Lachlan shakes his head "her name is not Scarlett it is now Aileen she just doesn't grasp it yet." Scarlett can't help but point out the obvious "But that was last night, he is human right now." Stepping closer Lachlan breathes into Scarlett's
ear causing her gooseflesh " Aileen it does me good to hear you not deny your beauty or Destiny."
Snorting Scarlett elbows Lachlan ”more important things to worry about.
”She says before continuing “ So Cassandra, how come Lachlan is human right now?” Quirking an eyebrow at Scarlett. Cassandra states simply” it was easier
to speak to him and I thought you might like some more time to get to know
my book worm step son.” Then she begins to chant but is interrupted once
again this time by her Daughter.” Mom I left for a reason. I left to see Lachlan
home he has been gone too long!” Sighing Cassandra nods “and?” she asks.
“I intend to see him home.” Sorcha states. Holding up a hand to stave off more questions. Cassandra tells the group that she will answer more questions when
they arrive at the castle. She hugs Lachlan and Sorcha after releasing them
the blonde woman steps towards Scarlett only to have her backpedal rapidly.
Lifting and Eyebrow she shoots a look
to her stepson before disappearing with only her chant dying away to prove she was there.
Looking at Lachlan Scarlett extends a hand to Callum whom is still sitting
on the ground.
Pulling Cal up Scarlett glances over to find Callum’s attention riveted on
Sorcha. Clearing her throat Scarlett tilts her chin up almost defiantly and states flatly to Lachlan “ I do believe it is time for you to perform introductions my lord.” Snorting Lachlan glares briefly at Aileen to which she stoically returns the look. “First lass do not ever call me my lord again” Lachlan begins “Second my sister is perfectly capable of introducing herself.” Interjecting Callum points out “I
thought all your siblings where enchanted?” Absently reaching out to toy with Aileen’s growing curly mop Lachlan explains those are the grown or almost
grown siblings from before his fathers second marriage. Scarlett Slaps his hand away once she gets past the simple pleasure of a casual gentle touch. Furious
with herself Scarlett crosses her arms over her chest andglares at Lachlan
tapping her foot. Sorcha and Callum look back and forth following this odd
byplay before looking to one another. With a wicked and playful grin Callum
Bows and introduces himself. Laughing quietly Sorcha imperiously extends her
hand and introduces herself as well. Taking Sorcha’s hand Cal bows over it
kissing the back over her hand he murmurs “it’s a pleasure” standing back up
he reels backwards from the force of the fist in his face. Lachlan advances on
Callum snarling in a thick accent “ Doona ever lay lips on my little sister again!” Shrugging Cal works his jaw then reaches out and snags Aileen and plants a
solid warm kiss on her lips.
Snarling like a beast Lachlan steps toward Callum again with murder glinting in his blue eyes a strand of Short cropped black hair falling onto his brow. He is stopped by a “whoomp” and grunt as Callum crumbles. Glaring down at Cal.
Scarlett calmly states “well that certainly wasn’t how I expected my first kiss to go.” Sorcha collapses in fits of laughter. Exchanging a bemused look with Lachlan, Scarlett shrugs and begins to walk. Falling in step next to her Lachlan asks with respect. “Would you allow me to take your hand Aileen?” Snorting “you
already plan on it don’t you or if I am lucky that little display with the Bard
made you rethink it.” Glancing over at Lachlan she quietly asks “ Shouldn’t
you be looking after your sister I can take care of myself.” Strolling along
beside her Lachlan muses over why this intriguing woman is not attracted to him. “Ok. Why are you still here? You’re sister is back there.” Lachlan chuckles sending shivers down Scarlett’s spine. Not understanding the reaction Scarlett looks over to see a broad Grin on Lachlan’s face. Breaking down she asks, “What is so damn funny” Falling back on belligerence as a defense.
“You’re cute when you’re belligerent but Sorcha is more her mothers daughter then she lets on.” Shaking her head Scarlett looks back to she Callum extending a hand to Sorcha to help her up.
Walking into the night paired off with some one much less defensive then Scarlett. Cal realizes that not only is Sorcha’s animated face quite lovely but
she is smart and funny and easy to talk to.
>> Lachlan ambles along next to Scarlett in a long legged stride that so few
have, making it uncomfortable for her. Not understanding the cause for her discomfort Scarlett begins an internal dialogue. Why does he make me so discomfited? Why does he bloody Cal’s nose for his sister then walk away?
Reaching out Lachlan takes a strand of the vibrant curly hair that he wants so
much to run his fingers through. Tilting her head to the side just far enough to remove the strand of hair from Lachlan’s fingertips. Scarlett starts a
conversation with the prince over life in general.
>>A few feet away Cal and Sorcha are having a similar conversation they’re
body language saying there was more happening there then just conversation. Looking ahead Cal noticed the tension in Lachlan’s body. Sorcha noted it as
well shaking her head and sighing she hurries to catch up to her older half brother.Scarlett stops and stares out into the distance watching the starlight
and moonlight glint off the water. Cal wanders up next to her “Aileen. Why are
you afraid of Lachlan?” “ Hmm?” She asks followed abruptly by a fist to
Callum’s jaw. “What the hell do you mean afraid!” She snarls. Checking his jaw Cal shakes his head wonders momentarily over why everyone seems to want to hit
him and responds.
>> Walking next to her brother Sorcha attempted to break through the wall of silence he was exuding she began firing questions at Lachlan.” So what do you
think of her? Where did she find you? Why did she introduce herself as Scarlett, has it got something to do with her hair or is she a loose woman?” That elicited a
growl from Lachlan. Heaving a great sigh Lachlan glances back at Aileen raising an eyebrow over the tension he could read even in the moonlight he murmers to
his sister “It is a nickname unfortunately better then the one she was christened with but I don’t like it. So I am changing her name to Aileen she just has to get used to not being Scary or Scarlett.” Blinking Sorcha asks “Scary?”
>> Smiling to himself. Lachlan nods “aye, she has a tendency to be a bit
caustic.” Sorcha giggles “sounds perfect for you.” She states. Shooting his
sister a peeved look Lachlan asks why she would say that. Sighing Sorcha
shakes her head.
>> Storming up the Beach Scarlett stomps past Lachlan and Sorcha muttering under her breath. Without a seconds hesitation Lachlan picks up the pace to
catch up to the furious Red head. Grabbing her elbow then abruptly turning his
grip into a caress he turns her around. Scarlett’s jaw drops briefly. Pulling her
self together she glares at Lachlan not wanting to examine the brief pulse of pleasure at the prince’s touch. “what is wrong Aileen? Should I hurt him for you?” Lachlan asks. She looks down at the hand holding hers and glares up at Lachlan. “no” Scarlett growls thinking that answer suits more then just one question. “I am sick and damn tired of men thinking I need a protector or am unable to tend to myself! Now you can let go of my hand your highness.” She viciously bites out.
>> Lachlan thinks geesh this girl isn't going to unbend, she has
been hurt too many times to make the first move.Rather then
saying all this he merely keeps his grip on her hand and looks
over and says "Aileen I do not think your incapable. I just thought
perhaps you would like some one to care for you and protect you
rather then hurting you or allowing some one else to." Shaking
her head and trying to shake Lachlan's gripe from her hand and
shouts "I don't want to be taken care of, I don't want you, I don't
want him!" Pointing at Callum."I just want to be left alone!"
Lachlan Pulls Scarlett closer and drapes his arm over her shoulder.
He begins a conversation " So Aileen do you like reading?" Slowly
relaxing she says "I have never had much opportunity to."Leaning closer and inhaling her scent mixed with the tang of salt from the ocean and
feeling a tension he was unaware of drain from his body,Lachlan
went on to tell Aileen of the castle library.
Callum walking with Sorcha begins to breath easier as the
antagonism slowly drains from Lachlan and Scarlett. He tells
Sorcha of life on the road and tales he has heard.
As the night wears on Scarlett finds herself enjoying the princes
company saddened by the fact he will be a book again in the
morning.The night turns darker and Scarlett stops. Lachlan turns and looks at Aileen noticing she is shivering Lachlan wraps her in his arms to warm her. Glad for the dark Aileen blushes. She lifts up on her toes and kisses lachlans cheek.
Feeling his heart trip from the brief brush of lips on his cheek. Lachlan finally began to understand how she could be his true love sure it won't be easy or comfortable but it will be a never ending adventure.
"Well, lass what was that for?" Lachlan asks. Scarlett feels his words rumble through his chest and pulls back at her need to burrow deeper into his arms. "Great". She thinks "I am actually falling for a enchanted Laird nothing good can come of this."
As dawn breaks the four see a castle on the horizon and Lachlan is once again a book. Doggedly they continue on to the Castle. Reaching the door Aileen knocks. Sorcha snorts and pushes past, Hollering as she opens the door "Manfred!"
A man of about sixty appears rubbing his eyes and adjusting his cravat, His jaw drops open Lady Sorcha you are back,. are you well? Who have you brought with you?
Hugging Manfred Sorcha. Leans back and says "Manny its Lachlan and his future Lady and the Bard that found her." "Oh" Manfred says wondering if it is the same Bard that stole the Enchanted Prince so long ago.