Torrian (The Highland Clan Book 2)(2)By: Keira Montclair
He scooped her into his arms and headed back to the castle, intent on finding his stepmother, Brenna, the Ramsay clan’s healer, but her eyes flew open and she shoved her wee fists against Torrian’s large chest.
To his bafflement, he realized he’d seen her before on Ramsay land. He’d tried to speak to her, but she had run from him as soon as their eyes met. There was no mistaking her, for she had one blue eye and one green eye. The only other person he’d ever seen with eyes like that was his cousin, Loki Grant. The Grant family had adopted Loki after he was found living behind an inn at the royal burgh. Did the shared eye color mean they were related? He had no idea, but he would be sure to ask his cousin the next time they met.
“Nay, the healer,” the lass shouted, breaking him out of his daze. “Find the healer. I need her.”
“I can see that, lass. I’m taking you to our healer, Lady Brenna.” Torrian could tell the lass searched for his stepmother, the person who’d healed him and married his sire. He used to call her mama, but now, he called her by name. Lily, his sister, still used both depending on the occasion.
“Nay, not for me.” She gasped for breath, but managed to continue. “Not for me. I need the healer for my daughter. Please. My daughter. She’s dying. Help me.” Her eyes closed, and her head fell back against Torrian.
Kyle ran ahead, yelling back over his shoulder. “I’ll find Lady Brenna and bring her to you.”
At the sound of his voice, the lass’s eyes flew open again, and she said, “Stop, please stop!”
Torrian found a nearby bench and set her down. Her eyes were so full of worry, he would have done aught to comfort her. “We’ll wait here until the healer arrives.”
“Aye, please, the mistress of the castle, Lady Brenna. I need her. She can save my daughter.” She paused to catch her breath, her fingers still gripping Torrian’s tunic.
“What is your name?
“Heather. Please, my daughter, my Nellie, is dying.”
“Where is Nellie?”
“In my cave. We live in a cave.” Her breathing became more labored. “Not far. She is dying.”
“What happened to her?” He brushed her golden locks back from her eyes, the wind having almost completely undone her plait. Not only were her eyes unique, her entire countenance was different from most of the lasses he knew. Dressed more like a lad than a lass, with a bow strapped to her back, she reminded Torrian a little of fierce Aunt Gwyneth, Uncle Logan’s wife.
Brenna came running toward them from the gate, Kyle following at her side. “What is it, Torrian? What’s wrong with her?” Lily was directly behind her.
Both he and the lass turned toward Brenna and Lily at the same time. Mindful of her ragged breathing, Torrian answered for her. “She says she’s not hurt. She came to seek help for her daughter, who has taken ill. The lassie is in a cave not far from here.”
“Please come with me?” Heather’s hopeful gaze locked on Brenna just as the older woman nodded her head.
“Of course, I’ll come with you. Help me decide what to bring. What kind of problem is your daughter having?”
“Fever. She’s had a fever for several days,” Heather gasped out. “Now she won’t stir at all. I cannot get her to drink or eat aught.” She still held a tight grip on Torrian’s forearms, as if she were afraid he would run away, and for some odd reason, Torrian found that he quite liked her touch. Her scent was fresh—the wind, the trees, everything outdoors. Heather was the perfect name for her, for she looked like a wildflower in the meadow. Her skin was lightly bronzed from spending time in the sun, but it was flawless and beautiful.
Brenna issued instructions and everyone headed off to do as they were bid. “Torrian, get the lass on a horse with you and have another one saddled for me. Kyle, tell my husband what we are doing and find a few more guards to travel with us. Lily, I’m glad you’re here. Please run to Cook and find some oatcakes and fruit we can take along. The lass looks as if she hasn’t eaten in days. We’ll meet at the stables.”
As soon as she moved away, Heather locked gazes with Torrian. “Is she the one?”