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The Lady in Grey

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November, 1780

“Excuse me?” She said, raising her eyebrows. Adam, who was walking towards his belongings, stopped on his tracks. “What do you think you’re doing?”

“Taking you back home?” He asked, looking confused to the girl that was disheveled and dirty on the floor.

“Why?” She asked, shock completely changing her features.

Adam shrugged, like it was not a big of a deal.

“Well, you said that you needed to go back to your family’s home, Glengarry.”

“Yes…But I never invited you to come along.” She frowned her brows, frustrated.

Adam sighed, going out of sight with his bundles, to place on the horse.

“And how would you travel to your lands, dear?”

He could hear the annoyed sound that came from her mouth and almost felt in his back her eye roll, while he prepared the animal for the long journey ahead of them.

“With a horse, that you would, gracefully, arrange to me. If you can’t recall, sir, you tackled me last night and for the trouble I faced, YOU should get me a fine and nice mount for my journey.”

Adam turned around, walking towards Lady Eleanor on the ground. Her beautiful white dress was dark with mud, thorn in many places, flashing her skin to the sun. He was tired of her ego and her stubbornness and wanted, dearly, to left her to rot in the woods.

Or be tackled by robbers on her way home.

However… He could listen, whispering in his ears, the voice of good ol’ Hal, the man that let a commander of the scots flee from his grasp due to the fact he owned a blood promise.

She could be insufferable, like a kitty cat with long claws, but he couldn’t let her fend for herself, alone and scared like she clearly was. So, he sighed and kneeled on the ground, facing her.

“We already talk about last night and we know who tackled first. Now, I was raised to fend for those who cannot fend for themselves…”

“I can fend for myself…” She interrupted, looking annoyed.

“My dear, you may think you can but look at you. You were tied and gaged, despite of all the jabs, kicks and punches you gave me last night. Yes, I believe you would be able to find food and shelter, while travelling far away from the main roads.” He paused, unaware how to say that. After all, yes, he was taught to take care for those in need, but the main reason he was doing that right now, the reason that crept in the back of his mind, while he stared at her soft skin was how formidable and red her lips were. “However, you are a pretty girl. Eventually, you would find men and they walk in groups around here. You made a good job fighting me, but what about three, four men? Tall and strong, with no conscience to trouble them at night, while they spread your legs apart and…”

“Stop!” She shouted and the echo of her voice filled the void of the forest. “Oh, you’re so full of yourself, sir. I understand what could happen to me, but do you believe you would be able to scare those men away, if they indeed have vile intentions?”

Her cheeks were flushed and her eyes wide, blinking towards him with green irises promising the mysteries of the woods and its inhabitants.

“I would certainly try and, if I was not successful, I would sure give you time to run away and find sanctuary.”

He barely noticed the words that were leaving his mouth, words of sacrifice and honor. Words that he was not used to, as he lived a life of sin and emptiness. Up to now, he had nothing to give or to lose, so why…WHY…he was offering his life to that fairy, that creature that jumped over him in the middle of the night and had smitten him with her smile?

She was shocked, as she highlighted:

“I…I barely know you.”

She was right, of course.

“And I barely know you. However, Lady Eleanor, you are alone, running away from a terrible husband and managed to find me on your away, a terrible man who was raised by the best.”

He let the silence sink among them, as she blinked, confused. He felt naked, voiceless, scared, with words that he was not ready to speak out loud being poured over a stranger.

To lighten the mood, he decided to ask:

“And it is a nice way to enrage you. After all, if you’re lying and made all this story just to take from me a nice horse and saddle, it would be really nice to see what would you made up once we arrive at the supposed home of your clan.”

This made the sparks come back to her eyes, as she furrowed her brow and whispered:

“Your insufferable beast…”

He laughed and held her tightly, pulling her up to her feet. They stared at each other for some time, her head tilted upwards, to make up for their difference in height. So small, so delicate…

Focus, Adam.

“So, what do you say?”

___________________

She had to say yes. Sir Adam had some good points and she, indeed, had some fears regarding her safety. Not because of the brutes who could take her unwillingly, but because of her husband, Lord Gordon, who she was almost sure was up to their tracks, looking for his precious wife.

So, she saw herself mounted on the beautiful pure blood, her thighs scrubbing against the riders, as they walked along the road with such… calm. She had explained to him how to get to Glengarry, based on her knowledge and the few times she travelled to another clans. She figured that, in six to seven days, they would be there, to the complete horror of Sir Adam.

“It was your idea to take me to my castle.” She pointed out.

“I’m already late on my obligations… I will have to send a letter as soon as possible.” He complained, looking straight ahead with a furrowed brow, as if he was really worried about his schedule.

She didn’t try to quarrel further. It was the best solution for her case and, at least, he was a nice company, when he was not being so over himself and calling her pet names, like she was his lover. He was quiet, most of the time, and even allowed her to remain untied, with the condition that she would not try to hit him again and flee with his horse.

No, it was fine.

Her brothers would like for him to be payed generously for escorting their sister back to the clan. Her father and her step-mother would not approve of it, but Dougal being the heir and approving of her escape… that would have to be enough.

Now, surrounded by the strong arms of Sir Adam, Ellie allowed herself to think about the future, that seemed so bleak not so many days ago. Surely, there would be some trouble, but Callum had assured her that everything would be fixed and Lord Gordon would no longer be a problem for her. She didn’t know and didn’t care about what her younger brother would do to the man, as long it would guarantee that she would remain safe in Glengarry.

She felt the rider pulling her closer to his body, assuring she would not fall from the mount, and a strange sensation slid down her belly, towards her lady parts. It was like molten fire, destroying her insides and giving her a tingly sensation, as his wide torso gently scrubbed her back.

Focus, Ellie.

Look at her, being so stupid, thinking about the stubborn and egocentric knight, while she could be thinking about the future, a future where she would no longer be married or defenseless.

Well, unless… she would still be defenseless. After all, she may be free from the grasp of Lord Gordon, but… as she would be an unmarried maiden once more, her fate would still lay in her father’s hands.

Maybe this time he would consider the marriage to a Highlander. She didn’t seem to mind, being so far away from home, not being able to visit her brothers she loved so dearly. She would certainly miss them, but could, gladly, leave Glengarry behind, exploring new lands with her new husband, young, tall and blond, who would be her equal in all matters, in field and in her bed…

“I will be back in some minutes.” The soft voice came from behind her and she was startled by the goosebumps that climbed her arm with the sound.

Ellie finally noticed they were not on the road anymore. They were over a small village, bubbling with life.

“Where are you going?” She asked, startled.

“The post office, remember? I’ve told you…” Sir Adam said, jumping off the horse and turning to see her. “I need to post a letter, informing that I will be delayed for a few days. While I’m here… What do you think of a new dress?”

Ellie glanced at her gown, watching the slit climbing up to her hips, flashing smooth, pale skin for all to see. She suddenly felt ashamed of how she was dressed, the stains in the fine fabric, the shreds all around the skirt, where it got thorn when she and the knight fought like animals in the night.

However, she was insecure of changing her garb. The sentinels would recognize her as a lady by the quality of her gown, even dirty and tore like it was right now. This would allow her entrance to the castle and her reunion with her family.

Nothing else.

“I would prefer to stay with the dress, sir.”

He nodded, his eyes glancing to her thighs all the time, his irises getting darker with the emotions that ran under his skin, emotions that Eleanor, a maid and a high-born lady, sheltered from the world, would never recognize, despite the sensation that the same feelings were running in her veins as well, while his eyes were so close to her skin.

He sighed and closed his eyes, coming closer to her leg, making her shiver without any reason. Since her escape, her body was doing things she didn’t fully comprehend, especially regarding Sir Adam Grey, the man that she wanted to press her lips against with the same will she wanted to punch his face time and time again.

Before she could even notice, a heavy and long piece of tartan was over her, covering the slit in her dress and herself from prying eyes. She recognized the red, green and blue tartan from the Murray clan, which made her rise her head in search of his eyes, which were gone.

She kept wandering about the tartan that covered her, siting in the horse, while he posted his letter in the few minutes he was out. It was so quick that she was surprised by the closeness of his body and the movement of the animal, making her blurt:

“I thought your name was Grey, not Murray.”

This caught his attention, that stood quiet for a while, pondering. Was he lying to her? The ice covered her skin with that thought, running down the road, as she was suddenly conscious of his closeness and the fact that the road was indeed very empty.

She was ready to tackle him again, despite her promise, when he answered.

“They are friends. Good friends. Good people.” He paused, cleaning his throat. “When I got to their house, I was so sick they thought I would die in front of them. But they took care of me and I was healthy once more.”

He spoke with such tenderness that she suddenly relaxed, again, in his embrace. No one that was lying would talk with such… love.

“Anyway, I have good news.” Sir Adam broke the silence, mostly because he felt ashamed of the way he spoke about his friends and what happened to him. She only got the most basic notions about her knight, a man that was always keeping secrets. It was a blessing to see just this brief glimpse of his life. “I’ve talked to some people and they believe that we will be able to arrive in Glengarry in three days, keeping a fast pace and going by the main road.”

Main road? She thought, confused. There was no main road leading to Glengarry. The roads the romans used, so many centuries ago faded with time and no one never thought to rebuild it. Maybe he was talking about the small trail they often used, marked by the spin of wheels instead by the labor of man.

She didn’t ask, however. She preferred to keep her thoughts to herself, the same way her silent knight would do with his.

___________________

He was losing his mind.

The movement of the horse made her arse, so round and soft, rub against his hips, over and over again, making his erection get so hard that he thought he would faint on the middle of the road.

Even with the tartan the Murray’s had given to him to protect his body from the chilly Scottish nights, he would feel every inch of her body close to him. Every. Tasty. Inch.

Lady Eleanor was awfully quiet and Adam was almost sure it was due to the fact that she recognized the hard surface she was rubbing against. He tried to think about other things, count sheep, remember the pranks he used to devise in Eton with his friends or reminisce about the way Lady Woolworth, who was nearly ninety, tits would hang from the deep cut of her gown, à la française.

Nothing helped.

It was a blessing when he realized the sun had gone down for a long time and it would be better if they found a spot to rest until the next day. Two more days of suffering, and he would be free from the foolish promise.

He would be free from that wonderful arse.

“Why are we stopping?” She asked seeing the horse slow down, as he entered the woods around the road, in search for a shelter. “Where are we going?”

“It’s too late, milady. We need to find a spot to rest.” He answered, trying to recognize the region despite the darkness. He could hear, getting closer and closer, a bubbling stream, a nice place to be near, as they would have food to eat and water to drink. “Yes, right there.”

“No, we are not.” She added, like she had any saying on where they would rest. “We can’t sleep here.”

He saw her head moving around, as he jumped of the horse and tied the animal to the low branch of a tree. He tried to catch her by the waist, helping her to dismount, but the frisky kitty cat moved out of his reach, almost falling from the saddle.

“And why can’t we sleep here, my dear?” Adam asked, awfully tired.

“We don’t have any tents!”

The laugh bubbled from Adam’s chest and he couldn’t stop it from coming, overflowing the forest with the joyful sound.

“Oh, I’m sorry, Your Highness.” He added, wiping a tear. “I didn’t know your skin were so sensitive. I beg your pardon, my liege. I will make amends to this.”

“Oh, your outrageous beast!” She shrieked, as he finally took her out of the mount. “You keep making fun of me like I am a common wench! You are no knight, sir!”

“I’ve told you I was not a knight.” He pointed out, walking away and gathering some branches on the ground. “It was you who kept calling me that.”

He could hear her soft footsteps behind him. It would be so easy, just to whisk her away from her feet, lay her over the leaves and kiss her senseless. But he had already enough problems as it was and would be better minding his business, gathering the wood and scrubbing the stones to make a spark.

“I was doing that as a sign of respect regarding your good nature and the compromise to take me home, despite the fact that I’ve assured you that I can fend for myself. However, I refuse to keep calling you that.” She said, and Adam could feel the hate drip over her tongue.

“So, what will you call me?” He asked because he was stupid and liked to tease the girl. Tease her would take his head of the joining of her legs, a place where his mind would constantly wander, despite the fact he was trying, terribly, to pay attention and light that damn fire.

“I will not call you. I will not talk to you at all. You don’t deserve to hear my voice, altogether.”

He couldn’t help but smile and the sparks flew around and touched the branches, making a small fire.

“But you are talking to me.”

“Not anymore!”

“You’re still talking to me.”

“Oh, your conceited, degenerated…pig!” She screamed, as he got up from his small creation and looked at her.

The trouble was in her eyes, glistening with rage and fury, making her cheeks get rosy and her lips swell. She looked like a goddess, the most dangerous one of the pantheon, but the most beautiful as well. To glance at her power would be a matter of life and death… To taste her skin would be so great an offense, that he would have to remain his days in a long and terrible torture…

It would be so easy, just to take her head in his hands, and tilt her chin towards his, making those lips adjust to his own. It would be easy but his mind was alerting him of the perils, of the stain in what was left of his honor and the disgrace that would befall him before he could count to ten.

He was thinking that, trying to take away her pretty eyes form his mind, as he slid the tartan from her shoulders, to place it on the ground, so that she could sleep without the earth touching her soft skin. However, when his hands touched the skin of her arms, she shivered and something sparkled in her eyes, her mouth opening in a muted “Oh!”, the goosebumps crawling her skin up to his digits. He couldn’t say and, maybe, he wouldn’t be able to speak a word due to the lightning that involved them in that weird moment.

And the moment was broken as she stepped back, his hands were away from the soft skin and his oblivious, stupid mouth was able to say:

“Here is your chamber, my princess.” As he laid the tartan on the ground by her side.

He could see her face changing from that absolute shock from the soft touch exchanged seconds ago to the absolute face of exasperation. She opened her mouth to say something, probably something along the lines he was the worst man to live, when she closed abruptly, probably recalling the fact she promised she would not speak to him again, laying on the fabric with her back turned to him.

As Adam walked to the other side of the fire and laid on the hard ground of the Scottish plains, he couldn’t help but thought about the strange moment he had with Eleanor, where it could almost appear that, as their skins touched, their souls touched as well. Was it too insane to think that right on that moment he saw lust reflecting on those green irises?

With that nonsense in his head, he turned around and tried to sleep, remembering how warm was her shoulders under his digits.