To Catch a Highlander

To Catch a Highlander by Karen Hawkins Read Free Book Online

Book: To Catch a Highlander by Karen Hawkins Read Free Book Online
Authors: Karen Hawkins
Tags: Fiction, General, Romance, Historical
and blank. It was with a decidedly cool voice that he said, "So I will, Miss MacFarlane."
    "There are still several hours until dinner. Perhaps we can will away the time with a walk in the gardens or a game of cards or something." She looked up at him with a hopeful smile.
    "I wish I could, but if I'm to stay the night, I will need to speak to my man about my portmanteau. I assume meals are served on country hours?"
    "Dinner is at seven."
    "Excellent." He bowed deeply. "Until this evening, Miss MacFarlane."
    She curtsied in return, fighting to hide her irritation.
    He turned on his heel and left.
    ----
Chapter Four

     
    Ne'er pass the point o no return without bein certain 'tis exactly where ye wish to be.
    Old Woman Nora from Loch Lomond to her three wee granddaughters one cold evening
     
    Red shook his head. "I don't like this."
    They were in the large storeroom beside the kitchen, where Mary had bustled Red after he'd returned from the squire's carrying the borrowed coat. Once there, he'd questioned Sophia about every detail of MacLean's arrival and their conversation in the library.
    "I don't like it, either," Sophia agreed. It had been two hours since MacLean had excused himself from the library. He'd sent his groom to fetch his clothing, and Angus had escorted MacLean to the guest bedchamber.
    Sophia had been hard pressed not to laugh when MacLean had tripped over one of the floorboards she and Angus had pried loose. Better yet, MacLean had ripped his lace-edged sleeve on a broken nail in the doorframe of his bedchamber. She knew because she'd heard his loud curse from the hallway.
    Sophia had expected him to roar at the servants and demand things be repaired, but all he did was ask Angus for a hammer to protect himself from the loose boards and stray nails that seemed to plague MacFarlane House.
    To Sophia's delight, Angus had gloomily replied that there weren't enough hammers in the whole of Scotland to do that.
    Since Angus had left MacLean in his bedchamber, they hadn't heard a word from him. Perhaps the man was sleeping, although how could anyone sleep in such a damp room and with such a lumpy mattress and smoky chimney?
    More likely, he was awake and seething at being forced to endure such horrid conditions. She wished she had been there to witness his reaction to the threadbare furniture with broken springs and flat cushions, the inadequate bed coverings for the chilly chamber (it faced north, where the wind was fiercest), a window that was nailed slightly open, and more.
    Red turned to her, his brows lowered. "Something's wrong. I can feel it."
    "You and your premonitions! Nothing's wrong."
    "Then why do you look worried, too?"
    "I'm not. Everything is fine. MacLean is just a bit more…" She paused to consider. "A bit more
everything
than I thought he'd be. It's as if everything he says has another meaning. I feel as if I'm at cross purposes with him with every word."
    "He's mocking us," Red said darkly.
    "It's more as if he's looking for something, or trying to decipher a set of clues—though I don't know what, exactly. He can't know our plan, so it must be something else."
    Red turned to look at her, his gaze steady. "Perhaps he's trying to decipher you."
    That was possible, she supposed. He
had
reacted to her flirtation with interest, though he'd attempted to hide it.
    Perhaps that was it. A curious wash of pleasure raced through her. And here she'd thought him indifferent to her. "He's used to the best London has to offer."
    Red snorted. "There's not a woman in London who could hold a candle to ye, lass."
    "You," Sophia absently corrected.
    "You," Red agreed just as absently. He crossed his arms and sank his chin into his chest, mulling over the situation. "MacLean is sharper than I gave him credit for; I let his lace and silks cloud my vision. No wonder I lost to him."
    Sophia shrugged. "MacLean's quick, Red, but so am I."
    He beamed, his worry melting before her confidence. "That you are, lassie. I only

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