Wild Roses

Wild Roses by Miriam Minger Read Free Book Online Page A

Book: Wild Roses by Miriam Minger Read Free Book Online
Authors: Miriam Minger
Tags: Fiction, Historical fiction, General, Romance, Historical, Historical Romance, Medieval
matters and well the both of you know it!" Triona
spoke up, doing her best to keep her own concern for Maire from overwhelming
her. " Aye, and it isn't right, not when we've
others among us grieving for their loved ones . . ."
    Her throat growing tight at the thought of Fiach
O'Byrne's widow and four children, at the other slain clansmen's wives and
families mourning around the stronghold, she was relieved to see a bit of the
tension easing from the two men she loved so dearly. But only a wee bit. Cursing
vehemently, Ronan turned to stare at the blazing fire, his broad back to Niall
and Triona.
    Yet she reasoned that was better than glaring and
blustering at Niall and blaming him for a tragedy for which Triona knew her
brother-in-law would never forgive himself, not if Maire wasn't found soon and
brought unharmed back to Glenmalure. Her heart aching for him, she nonetheless
did not go near, sensing there wasn't anything she could say that would lessen
his pain. Instead she rose and began to pace around the table, needing to do
something, anything, to ease her own.
    "We have to send men out, Ronan, to keep watch and
ask questions after Maire like you did two years ago with Maurice de
Roche—"
    "Dammit, where ,
Triona? Over the entire breadth of Eire?"
    Stunned that he'd spun around to roar at her so
harshly, Triona could see the immediate regret in Ronan's gray eyes as he came
to fold her in his arms. She knew his unexpected outburst only masked his fear
for Maire. She hugged him fiercely, burying her face against his chest while he
stroked her hair, every rhythmic beat of his heart making her thank God for the
day she'd left her home with this extraordinary man and come to Glenmalure. Of
course, she hadn't thought so highly of him at the time . . .
    "I think Triona's is a sound plan, Ronan. We have
to do something, and quickly."
    Niall's ravaged voice bringing her back sharply to the
present, Triona wasn't surprised when Ronan released her to face his younger
brother. And though he still sounded angry, at least he was calm.
    "You said the attack had to have happened only
moments after you rode west for Glenmalure."
    "Aye." Niall nearly choked on the word.
Triona had never seen him look so distressed. "But I must have been so far
away already—God forgive me, I didn't hear a thing! And I was only thinking of
getting back to tell you the news . . ."
    He didn't finish, hanging his head and falling
wretchedly silent while Ronan swore under his breath and went back to the fire.
Triona muttered an oath, too, something she rarely did since she'd become a
mother.
    She might want Deirdre to ride and shoot a bow as well
as any man one day, but she also wished for her young daughter a gentler
temperament than her own, if only to spare Ronan two headstrong women in his
home. Aye, and right now she felt like grabbing her bowcase and owlfletched
arrows and setting out herself in search of the Normans who'd slain her
clansmen and taken Maire, the damnable spawn!
    It should have been a happy day. Ronan had called a
feast to celebrate Niall's news about Caitlin MacMurrough soon becoming his
bride. The stronghold had been alive with merriment and preparations until
Maire's snow-white gelding had appeared riderless at the outer gates . . .
    Triona forced away the vivid memory of Ronan's stricken
face, of Niall's, both men as shaken in that moment as she'd ever seen them.
Then the terrible commotion as every able O'Byrne ran for his weapons and his
horse, only a reluctant handful remaining behind to guard the stronghold while
Ronan led his clansmen in a thundering din across the glen.
    Sighing heavily as she recalled the long hours spent
not knowing, waiting, praying, every fiber of her being wishing she had ridden
out with them, too, Triona did not want to think at all of the eight horribly
mutilated bodies borne back to Glenmalure. Her heart-stopping relief that
Maire's was not among them had been short-lived, Ronan's grim news that

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