Read A Lesson in Passion Online

Authors: Jennifer Connors

Tags: #scottish romance, #historcal romance

A Lesson in Passion (21 page)

BOOK: A Lesson in Passion
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He chuckled low. His arrogance was
intolerable. It's true she wanted him and he knew that she could
have him anytime she wanted.

“Nay, lass. Perhaps later... I have
something to take care of right now,” Ian finished his sentence
with a growl.


Don't pull out those stitches, Ian.” Ginny
still wanted some payback. “I'll have to take another hour
restitching him, bent over him, providing him a clear view of me.”
Her eyebrow shot up in mock understanding.

Ian growled. “Ya willna be near him again. Ya
best go and find Maude. She will have ya to supper tonight. I will
be busy in here.” Ian turned and watched Campbell, who had been
staring at the pair the entire time.

 

*
*
*

 

Ginny did find Maude and had supper
with her family. She returned to the keep, very late since Maude's
mother kept her there with funny stories about Ian as a child.
There were a dozen soldiers milling around in the great hall. Ginny
looked around, but didn't see Ian among them so she continued up to
her room. The chamber was dark, since no one had bothered to light
a fire or candles.
Great
, she muttered to herself. It
was bad enough being so useless, but being reminded of it for
something so simple was nearly intolerable.

As Ginny crossed the threshold, she was
suddenly grabbed from behind and pulled up against a tall, muscular
body. There was a large hand over her mouth and another large arm
across her chest. She relaxed a bit, thinking it was probably Ian
until she heard the voice.

“Good evening, Ginny,” the voice
rasped quietly. Ginny still recognized it immediately. It was the
prisoner, Campbell MacBain.

“If I take my hand away from yar
mouth, will ya promise me not to scream?” he asked in the whispered
tone.

Ginny slowly nodded her head up and down. She
felt the hand move from her mouth and move lower to the top of her
tunic.

“Thank ya, Ginny. I will release ya
now, please dinna do anything rash.” Campbell released her and
Ginny slowly turned around to face him. In the dimness of the room,
she could barely make him out.

“Didn't anyone ever tell you that
if you want to escape, going up stairs isn't the best move?” she
asked, sounding impatient and sarcastic.

He chuckled over her tone. “Well, ya might be
right. I do have a problem now if I dinna wish to get
recaptured.”

“How did you escape in the first
place?” she asked curiously, not particularly afraid.

“Those McKennas thought I was
asleep, so they weren't paying much attention when I came from
behind.”

“What? You didn't hurt them, did
you?” Ginny was appalled. Not surprised, just appalled. These
people didn't seem to think anything of killing and
maiming.

“Nay, they will recover. I dinna
envy their headache though. When I went to leave, some more men
came in and I ran upstairs to hide. It was just lucky ya came
along.”

Ginny sighed in disgust. “Well, what's your
plan for getting out now? You know I won't help you and you know I
won't just sit here and wait for you to...” Ginny stopped. She
could be a complete idiot at times, but this had to top the list.
Was she just telling him that he would have to eliminate her before
leaving. Thankfully, in the dark, he couldn't see the look on her
face.

He chuckled again. Obviously her blunder did
not go unnoticed. “Well, now, Ginny, it seems we have a problem,
aye? I canna verra well leave ya here, now, can I?”

“You could tie me up, gag me. It
would be a while before someone stops by to check on me. If you
wish to drag me along with you, I promise not to make it easy on
you.” Once again, Ginny thought that she had to be the dumbest
person on the planet. That all her years in school had done nothing
to provide her with the common sense to shut the hell
up.

Before she could talk him into another
plan of action, something heavy hit her head. And then, she felt
nothing.

 

  • * Chapter 18 *

 

 

The first thing she noticed was cold.
Nothing unusual about that, Ginny was always cold, but this was
different. She felt exposed and wet. She opened her eyes slowly.
Although cloudy and raining, the light was blinding compared to her
unconsciousness. It took her a moment to remember what happened and
when she remembered Campbell, the anger woke her up
fully.

She sat up and noticed that she was
in a large field. Looking around, Ginny couldn't see anyone or
anything. No huts, no keep, just nature. The field was sloped
downward, with groves of trees dotting the landscape.
Where the hell am I?
she
thought, still trying to shake the last cobwebs from her
mind.

It was then that she realized that
her arms were tied behind her back and her legs were tied together
at her ankles.
That
bastard
, she thought, realizing that
Campbell left her to rot in the middle of nowhere, while he
undoubtedly ran home. A slew of curse words flew from Ginny's
mouth, worse than a sailor. “Whatever happened to chivalry?” she
screamed at the top of voice. “Whatever!”

Ginny knew that if she was going to get
anywhere, she was going to have to at least get the binding off her
ankles. Walking with your hands tied together was possible, but she
had no plans to hop around trying to find help. The ankle sheath,
which had once housed a knife, was unfortunately sitting in Ian's
room back at his keep. It seemed she would have to think of a
different way to free herself.

Ginny got to her knees and reached down to see
if she could untie the ropes on her ankles with her tied hands.
Ginny knew in her own body, this would be impossible, since she was
as flexible as steel. Of course, she wasn't in her body and Lady
Chatham was smaller and more flexible. Ginny was able to lean back
enough to reach the ropes. After a few frustrating tries, she
managed to loosen the rope enough to kick them off.

She laid on her side for a few moments,
catching her breath. As she rolled over to get up, Ginny felt a
rock at her back. Rolling to look at it, it had several large,
sharp edges that would do quite nicely. Even nicer, the rock was
large enough to be firmly stuck in the ground. Ginny carefully
rolled over so the ropes at her wrists rubbed against the rock.
Using what energy she had left, after not eating anything in quite
some time and with a nagging headache that could possibly be a
concussion, Ginny rubbed the binding against the
rock. 

After a few minutes of trying to move her body
against the rock, the binding gave way. Finally, she was free. But
free to do what, exactly? She had no idea where she was and no idea
which direction to head in. The overcast sky was a perfect backdrop
to her mood: gloomy. Thirsty, hungry and in the worst mood she's
had since arriving, Ginny began to walk down the slope to the first
big grove of trees. The going was slow, especially with the
pounding in her head.

“After all I did for that
ungrateful son of a bitch,” she mumbled to herself. “First, I sewed
his chest, cleaned him up, probably kept him from dying of some
nasty infection.” As Ginny kept mumbling, she didn't immediately
notice the sound of horses coming. When she did finally hear them,
she was just outside the trees, so she quickly ran inside and hid
behind a tree, looking out to see who was coming.

Please be Ian, please be
Ian
, she kept whispering to herself. Of
course, that would have been the easy way and she knew that romance
novels never did things the easy way. First, she saw the wrong
plaid, but of course she could recognize it anyway. MacBain.
Dammit,
she thought,
continuing to hide.

She watched the men up the hillside
stop where she ditched the ropes. Squeezing her eyes together,
trying to recognize Campbell among the men, she noticed them
arguing over the cut ropes.
Ha, stick that
in your pipe and smoke it, gentlemen.
Aaaah, the first smile of the day. Nothing like sticking it to
the man!

Ginny was casually watching them
look around. She still didn't move as they retrieved their horses
and began to follow something down the hill. As a matter of fact,
she didn't even consider they were looking for her until they
started to gallop down the hills toward her increasingly smaller
grove of trees.
Crap
, she thought, too late to actually effectively hide or run
away.
I used to be considered smart, until
I came here,
she shook her head in
disgust.

Giving in to the inevitable, and knowing that
she'll only make them madder if she made them work for it, Ginny
left the cover of the trees and walked into the open. The air
seemed even heavier, the clouds darker, as the men came to halt in
front of her. She searched each face until she saw the one she
recognized.

“My lady,” Campbell said with an
exaggerated bow. Well as much as one can do on top of a
horse.


Campbell,” was her only
reply, still staring at his face.
It
really is a pity
, she thought,
he is a fine looking man. Too bad he's a
scumbag.

“Verra good getting out of the
binding. I thought we would be long back before ya even woke
up.”

“Sorry to disappoint you, Campbell.
By the way, very nice knocking me unconscious and leaving me alone
in a field. I really appreciated that,” he'd have to have been deaf
and incredibly stupid to miss the sarcasm of her
statement.

Well, stupid at least. “I am sorry for that.
With my injury, it was difficult to carry ya and ride at the same
time. I did leave ya on MacBain land, though. Ya were never in
danger.” She took it back, quite the gentleman.

Releasing a heavy sigh, she scanned her
audience as she said, “Well, what now?”

Campbell raised an eyebrow as he considered
how to respond. Suddenly, he let out a laugh and beamed his
gorgeous smile at her and said, “Ya will come home with me. I canna
give ya back to the McKenna and I see only one way to keep him from
stealing ya back. Ya will marry me, Ginny.”

Ginny bowed her head and closed her
eyes. Her head was still pounding and she would have given her soul
for a Tylenol. She reached up and began to rub her face with her
hands.
Fine
, she
thought,
whatever
.
This guy, Ian, whoever. Does it
matter?
She wasn't where she was supposed
to be, she wasn't when she was supposed to be anyway.

“Do I have a choice?” she asked,
just to be contrary.

All the men laughed. Ginny just smiled and
shook her head. Of course there was no choice. She looked up at
Campbell once again and thought at least it's not
Broderick.


Fine. Who has water?” she
asked. Before she could move forward, someone threw a skin at her
and she promptly drank the whole thing down. As she walked toward
Campbell, she threw the skin back to the man who had thrown it. She
held out her hand to Campbell, waiting for him to lift her up to
her new existence. It was then she heard the sound of horse
hooves.
What now,
she thought grimly.

All the men turned and started talking at
once. Before she knew what was happening, Ginny was on Campbell's
lap and the men where galloping toward the group of horsemen. It
only took a moment for Ginny to recognize the McKenna colors. And
there was no mistaking Ian, riding in front, looking quite put
out.

Both groups stopped within thirty feet of each
other, Campbell taking point for the MacBains and Ian for the
McKennas. It was silent, no one moved or spoke. The only sounds
were the horses snorting. Ginny looked to the sky and realized it
would start to rain at any moment, which would turn this battle
into a cold, muddy mess.

“Yar on MacBain land, McKenna. I
can kill ya for just that,” Campbell said, sounding intimidating,
with his low snarl.

“Aye. Yar welcome to try,” Ian
could sound just as intimidating.

Ginny realized that this was probably the last
place she wanted to be right now. So, without too much thinking,
she elbowed Campbell in his chest, right where she knew it would
hurt the most. He dropped her, and she promptly ran to the middle
of the clearing between the clans. Both clans tensed and Ginny
realized that she had a little power now.

“Ginny, come to me now,” Ian's
voice was low, but menacing. Ginny stood her ground for the moment.
She wasn't sure she wanted to go back to the McKenna clan to watch
him marry someone else. Of course, it was at least a “known,” where
the MacBains were completely “unknown.”

She decided to hedge her bets and try to make
Ian jealous. Stupid, yes, but her only weapon at the moment.
“Campbell has offered me marriage, Ian. With you marrying someone
else, maybe I should take him up on his offer.”

Ginny chanced a glance at Campbell, who was
smiling like he'd won Publisher's Clearing House. Then she looked
at Ian, who was not smiling, and also looked a little sad. He let
out a heavy sigh and said, “I wouldnae stop ya, if that is what ya
want. But ya should know that the MacBains are heathens and would
treat ya badly.”

BOOK: A Lesson in Passion
2.63Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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