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Out Of The Dark

Chapter Text


Author's notes: See first chapter for Disclaimer.


CHAPTER TWO: FIRST MEETINGS

 

A pale blue eye scanned the vast property surrounding his castle, searching for the two riders he knew were due to arrive before morning. His face hidden by the darkness of the night, not to mention the hood pulled low over his head, he knew he would not be seen unless he wanted to. His remaining eye was covered by a black patch, preventing the damage he had sustained in the burning from being seen.

 

The Scot waited impatiently, his tall frame leaning against the wall on the south tower lookout. The night air was beginning to chill him, and more than once he wished he were in his chambers with a small fire to warm him. Though it was early spring, the night air still turned cooler once the sun went down. Only the fact that Christian was the one for whom he waited kept him in place.

 

The message The Abbot sent was short, stating only that he would be arriving with a former prisoner in need of sanctuary, and that the guest was to be a woman. A sigh escaped his lips as he thought back to the note and the memories of his own captivity. He knew well what it was like to be in that hell hole.

 

The fact that the prisoner was female only made it worse. Women had a harder time overcoming the abuse that they had suffered than the men he had helped. He had little experience in assisting females regain control of their lives, since many of the former prisoners he sheltered were men. He rarely had women sent to him. Usually, it was the worst of cases. He had not lost one yet, but he always feared the first.

 

Abbot did not give any information in his missive, only that she was female. He would have to wait until their arrival to determine what he was to work with, and how bad the situation really was. He knew it would be bad, and was prepared for it. He hoped.

 

Damn, he thought to himself. Bad enough to have to face men who had lost their souls, beaten in body as well as in spirit. Men who had the humanity nearly stripped from them. But women he dreaded. He avoided women as a general rule. With his injuries he did not have the patience to deal with the inevitable questions on why he did not show his face, or how he got hurt. And he sure as hell hated the pitying looks aimed at him. No, better to have one of the few women in the castle care for her.

 

So deep was he in his musings, The Scot nearly missed them coming over the rise. Only the faint movement in the corner of his eye brought his awareness around to the approaching riders. It would not be long now. Removing himself from the wall, he began the trek down to the courtyard to greet his friend and his new charge.

 

Abbot pointed to the front gates of the castle, bringing Kitten’s attention to the man standing just outside. They were still a bit far off, and he was barely a shadow in the distance, but even from their location she could make out his tall form.

 

“The Scot waits to welcome us.” he spoke softly. “We are nearly there”

 

Kitten suddenly felt a burst of nervousness. She knew she would be safe here. The Abbot had assured her of this fact. Yet, as they neared the castle, the figure at the gates becoming clearer, and larger, she suddenly wished to be anywhere else. She still felt the call of this place deep within her, but fear was overshadowing even that sense of peace. As they approached the gate, she took in the male form standing there silently.

 

He was huge! She could not make out his face, as he was shroud in a long hooded cloak. Only the outline of his facial features could be seen in the darkness. And the fact that he was tall. This man stood at least three inches over Abbots six foot frame. His long legs incased in tight, black pants, were planted wide apart. Leather boots covered his feet almost up to his knees.

 

His head was tilted toward the ground, but she sensed that he was very well aware of his surroundings. Her intuition told her he watched them closely, ready to react to any hint of danger. His arms were folded across his chest, enhancing the magnitude of his size. To her, he looked to be a giant.

 

The Scot waited while Abbot and Kitten approached him. Once they were several feet away, they stopped. Abbot dismounted and walked over to Kitten. She held out her hand for him to help her off of her horse. Once her feet touched the ground, she sagged with relief. She was more than ready for a decent meal, a warm bath, and an even warmer bed. A real bed, with a real pillow, a real blanket to cover her.

 

Abbot led her to where the man stood. The two men greeted each other warmly, gripping the other’s forearm. Christian spoke softly, his voice gentle as he inquired over his friend’s health.

 

“I am quite well, Abbot, as you can see. There is no need to mother me. Save that for your children.” Scot flashed an irritated frown at his friend, then turned his attention to Kitten. His eye passed over her form quickly, seeking any external injury. Satisfied that she was, on the outside unharmed, he gave her a slight nod before addressing Christian once more. “This is the female you wrote of.” he said in a matter of fact tone.

 

Christian nodded. “It is.” he said. He looked to Kitten, introducing her to her new protector. “Kitten, I want you to meet The Scot. He looks rough, but he will not harm you.”

 

“Kitten?” asked the Scot, giving her his attention once more. He raised his eyebrow in question. Christian smiled wide.

 

“Claws”.

 

“Ah. I see. Dig deep do they?” The Scot’s voice was deep, and would have been mistaken as slightly amused were it not for the frown on his lips. She was a dainty little thing, barely reaching either of the men’s chins. Kitten sounded about right judging from her slight form. The Scot studied her intently for a moment, then spoke softly so as not to frighten her anymore than he could tell she already was.

 

“You are welcome here.”