Highland FireBy: Elizabeth Thornton
“But…at the end, at Waterloo, it was you he spoke of. If he had loved someone else, wouldn’t he have mentioned her name?”
“What did he say? You never told me this.”
Rand touched one hand to his forehead, smoothing away his frown. “He asked me to go to you. ‘She’s a Randal of Glenshiel,’ he told me.”
“And that’s all?”
“No. When I asked him why he had turned back to save me, he said he had done it for Randal and for Scotland.”
She gazed at him mutely for a long time. “What can I say?” she asked finally. “All I can repeat is that David never loved me in the way you mean, and I never loved him. We were friends, nothing more.”
“Soul mates?” His smile was twisted.
“That was David’s word, not mine.”
His eyes were passionate upon her face. “I don’t know if I have it in me to be the friend to you that David was, but I aim to try.”
She had to swallow before she could find her voice. “Friend, husband, lover—you are more than I ever thought to find in any man.”
He looked into her eyes and knew that she spoke the truth. “Say the words to me!” he said roughly. “Say the words to me!”
She smiled. “Mo gaol orist. What time is it?”
He closed his eyes and gritted his teeth. “Caitlin!” he warned.
“I love you,” she cried out. “At last I can say it. Mo gaol orist. I love you.” And she threw herself into Rand’s arms.
Crashing her to him, kissing her feverishly, he then spoke the only words she wanted to hear.
She awakened at dawn with the feeling that someone had just walked over her grave. It wasn’t an eerie feeling, but more the brush of a friend’s fingertips on her shoulder. Unclasping Rand’s arm from around her waist, she slipped out of bed and moved like a shadow to the window. She was thinking of David and of his hopeless passion for Rand. She stood there staring out blindly for a long time. Though there were tears in her eyes, her lips were curved in a smile.
“Caitlin?” Rand moved restlessly, then hauled himself up. “What are you doing?”
She padded back to the bed. “I was remembering old times and old friends.”
She didn’t try to deny it. “Yes. I was thanking him for saving your life and for sending you to me.”
He hugged her fiercely. “I’ve been thinking. If our first child is a boy, I’d like to name him for David.” He pulled back and tried to make out her features in the dim light. “It’s only a suggestion. Perhaps you have already decided to name the child for your father?”
She kissed him lingeringly. “No. My mind is the same as yours. I think we should call our first son after David. David Randal. That’s a good name.”
“Our first son?” He cocked one eyebrow. “How many sons are you planning on giving me?”
She laughed. “I have a premonition,” she said, “that by the time we are finished, we’ll have run out of names for all our boys.”
He smiled and pulled her closer. “Careful! Those sound like prophetic words,” he said. And they were.