Torrian (The Highland Clan Book 2)(3)By: Keira Montclair
“Is she the healer? The one who’s healed so many?”
Torrian lifted her into his arms and started toward the stables to do his part. Brenna was right, she did not weigh much at all. “Aye, she and her sister Jennie, who lives near the abbey, are the best healers in the land.”
“Are you sure? Nellie needs the best.”
“I’m sure. I wouldn’t be here if not for her skills.” Torrian had a flashback of the many days he’d spent hidden in a distant cottage, so ill he couldn’t get off his pallet. As a bairn, he had spent many days piled atop mounds of furs because of the painful blisters all over his body. His life had started again after Brenna cured him, and for that he would be ever grateful.
“Are you the laird’s son?”
“She saved you, did she not?”
“Aye, she did. Me and Lily, my sister. She’ll help your daughter. How do you know me?”
“Only from afar. I saw you in the forest many moons ago. But please, we must not tarry. Please hurry.” She reached up and cupped his cheek.
Torrian almost jerked at her touch, so surprised by it, yet he found he did not wish for her to move. Though he knew she had heard Brenna, he found himself stammering, “We…we’re at the stables. We’ll ride so we don’t waste time.” One of the stable lads brought Torrian’s horse out, then helped Torrian get Heather settled on the horse.
There was the sound of approaching footsteps, and moments later, Torrian’s sire Quade appeared beside him. “Who’s on the horse, Torrian,” he said gruffly, “and where are you taking her?”
“Brenna is getting her healer’s satchel and we’re heading out into the meadow in search of a cave. This is Heather. She says her daughter is dying and needs Brenna’s help. How old is your daughter?”
“Nellie is four summers.”
Quade yelled for six of his guards. “Mount up, you’ll go with my wife and son. Remember, Torrian, you and Brenna must ride on separate horses.”
Torrian nodded, used to this command of his father’s. After all Quade Ramsay had been through, the laird insisted that his wife and heir ride separately for fear of losing two loved ones at once.
Heather leaned back against the Ramsay lad, letting his heat envelop her in a warm embrace. The nights had been a bit cool of late, and she usually gave Nellie the heat of her body. It felt good to lean on someone, and Torrian had a rock-hard chest that supported her. Besides, he seemed to be sincere and kind, unlike another man she knew…
Having never known her parents, Heather had grown up with her grandmama, whom she’d lost in the year before Nellie was born, and her grandpapa, who’d died just after Nellie’s birth. She’d chosen Nellie’s name because it reminded her of her grandmother, Nellie.
Things had not gone well for her after her grandmama’s death. Though her grandsire loved her, he knew naught about raising a lass. It had been a difficult time for her, but he’d trained her to hunt and shoot, the most valuable skills he could have taught her. Her daughter had given her a reason to live, a reason to care, a reason to wake up each morn. How such a beautiful thing could come from such a horrid act, she would never understand.
She’d devoted herself, heart and soul, to Nellie’s well-being for the past four years. Tears stung her lids at the thought of losing her and going back to her old life.
She believed in the Ramsay healer. She had to.
Torrian’s warm breath sent a shiver down her spine. “Is it just the two of you, or do you have a husband?”
“Nay,” she whispered, staring at her hands. “There’s just the two of us.”
“How long have you lived in that cave?”
“Three summers now. ‘Tis a wonderful life because ‘tis just my Nellie and me, with naught to bother us.”
For some reason, Torrian tucked her closer to him at that. How she wished she could have faith in a man, but experience had taught her they could not be trusted.
Somehow, she knew Torrian was unusual. Nay, this man would not harm her. Having watched him enough times over the years, she knew he was not the sort. Aye, he was trustworthy, unlike the other man in her life.