The Lady of Fairhaven

The Lady of Fairhaven by Lee Scott Read Free Book Online

Book: The Lady of Fairhaven by Lee Scott Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lee Scott
Tags: Romance
lord,” Anne answered. Her hand guided his to the still formidable lump on the back of Gillian’s head where her uncle hit her. “She also has other bruises, but I believe she is past the worst of her injuries.”
    Luke studied Gillian’s beautiful face. He read the strain of the past few days in her very pale complexion and stress induced dark smudges under her eyes. Making her way across country with an injury as severe as what he felt on her head swelled his opinion of her with expanding admiration. This was a woman of considerable substance.
    Luke held her to him as his men spread a blanket out on the ground. As Gillian was placed onto the blanket she awoke.
    One soldier approached with a wine skin and held it out for the knight. Pressing the skin to her mouth, Luke lifted it until a small amount of wine dribbled down her throat. Moments later, Gillian struggled to rise.
    “ Where are we?” Gillian cried. Seeing the knight, she paled again as the reality of the moment sunk in. “We must be on our way!”
    “ That’s impossible!” Luke declared with the authority of a man who was accustomed to getting his own way. “I have offered protection to you, My Lady. I’m afraid you are in no condition to travel about the countryside. I fear you must rely on me to get you safely to a place where your family will be notified. I know if I were your family, I would be most anxious to find you gone.”
    “ Thank you for your kind offer, my lord, but we must refuse. I am making my way to my…aunt, and I cannot afford any delays.”
    “ Well, perhaps your aunt might be found along our path.”
    “ It depends on where you are traveling.” Gillian replied.
    “ We are journeying to Fairhaven Castle to collect my father’s bride.”
    Fear pooled in every pore of Gillian’s body. Every ounce of resolve stood her fast against her fears. “Well, there you are then. We are traveling to the north. I’m afraid it wouldn’t do to detain your journey any longer. Come along Frances, we must be on our way.”
    Clenched fists and teeth were hidden from the knight’s view, but a fresh wash of bloodless color caught his attention. Gillian’s sudden move forced a large intake of air into her lungs, and she leaned against a tree for support against another wave of dizziness.
    “ Lady Anne, you cannot expect any knight to let you travel unescorted. There are too many dangers, and you appear to not be up to the task.”
    “ No! You are too kind, but I am up to the task,” Gillian argued. “Besides I have my companion to look after me.”
    “ And what is your maid’s name?”
    Before Gillian could reply, Anne interjected. “Frances, my lord. I’m named after a beloved Aunt.”
    “ I must insist that you ladies travel with us to Fairhaven.” Luke insisted.
    Gillian only nodded. This man was determined to see them safely placed in someone’s care. She would say no more on the subject. Gillian knew her only hope was to wait for an opportunity to escape from the knight’s protection and make her way to safety.
    Within the hour, the entire party was on its way. It wasn’t until the party had camped for the evening that Gillian and Anne had their first chance at escape. Being concerned for Gillian’s weakened condition, Luke made camp early. A small stream was running just over the hill from the encampment. Under the guise of bathing, the two ladies were left alone to tend to their private ablutions.
    After surveying the surrounding countryside, Gillian planned to escape by way of a steep sided canyon where the stream coursed. In her condition, traversing the rocky slopes would be difficult. But the knight wouldn’t think women would take the difficult route, and it would buy some time.
    It had been over two hours before Luke finished his chores and realized that the lady and her maid had not returned from their baths. “Simon,” he shouted. “Come with me. We must find Lady Anne and Frances. They have not yet returned from

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