The Viking (Chapter VI, page 2 of 13)


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"We had naught to eat," Jirvel said.

"Ye know very well I care about ye. Countless times I have ridden my horse up the path or sat upon the hill just to get a glimpse o' ye."

"And still ye did not see we were alone?"

"Eogan be rarely where I can see him. He hides so I will not see him drunk." Macoran's voice was soft and compassionate when he continued. "Why did ye not come tell me?"

"He took our only horse. The one we have wandered onto our land or we would have been forced to walk to the village to do the marketing."

"Say the word and I will find yer husband and kill him for deserting ye." Macoran took the empty bucket Jirvel carried, dipped it in the river and let it fill with water. Then he pulled it out and set it down on a flat rock.

Her arms were folded tight and it was all she could do to keep her voice down so Kannak would not hear. "I dinna want ye to kill him, I want yer pledge. Ye have taken everything else from me, but ye will not take Kannak. Ye will let her become a lass and choose her own husband."

"Choose her own husband?"

"If she lived under yer roof ye would let her."

"Be fair, if I let her, the other lassies will want the same."

"I see, 'tis I who must be fair." She closed her eyes and tried to calm down, but her rage only increased. "Ye held me in yer arms and swore ye would never let any harm come to me. Then to cover our sin, ye convinced me to marry a man who never once believed Kannak was his."

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