He said nothing for so long she wondered if she'd done something wrong.
"Do you nay wish to be my son?"
"Ye mean, sit in yer lap like now? Not when the lads are near, but if I have the fever?"
"Aye, hugs are one thing a mother gives her son."
Another long silence.
"What if the laird doesna say aye to wanting me?" he whispered.
"Have ye heard how much my husbands care for me?"
"The women say Laird Malcolm and Master Duff love ye, but I canna see a man speakin' of it."
Neither could she.
"And the men? What do they say?"
"They say the way the laird and Master Duff look at ye when they think ye canna see, and how ye look back when they turn their back, shows ye are a good wife." He paused. "They said sommat else about buglin' like a bull elk in full rut, but I dinna ken that."
She barely held back a laugh. If she let it out, she'd have to explain and that was something a father should do. It was interesting that the women thought Malcolm and Duff loved her. Bessie had said so, but Kiera thought it was wishful thinking. Of course the men would make a comment about her husbands bellowing.
"Ye wouldna be kissing me, aye?"
Camden's question pulled away from thoughts of the last time Malcolm bugled. She'd have to tell him that term. When they were all safe!
"I promise not to kiss you unless you have a fever, and the lads aren't near."
"Then, if the laird and master want me when we escape, I would say aye."
Camden said when, but her thought was if.
If they escaped this cave. If Malcolm and Duff were still alive.
No, she would not think that way. They would escape, her husbands would be safe, and she would tell them she loved them even if she had to tie them down to listen!
"When could I call ye mama?"
Camden had barely whispered it. She snuggled closer, smiling.
"Why dinna ye start now?"
"Ye canna risk it, Laird Malcolm. All they must do is kill ye while holding Lady Kiera. They'll marry her off and Kinrowan will be under the hands of that d.a.m.ned Ross! He'll-"
"I'll go," said Duff, interrupting Ramsay. He met Malcolm's eyes across the width of Fergus's room.
"Nay!" Malcolm paced like a caged beast across Fergus's lair, his usual calm nowhere to be seen. "The parchment stabbed to the door to the bailey said the laird was to be exchanged for the lady. That's me."
Duff had always played the fool. He'd enjoyed his life while Malcolm strived to be the best he could be at everything. Not to boast of it, but with a quiet determination to be the best with what he had available. Until they met Laird MacKenzie there'd been little to work with. Now Malcolm was a laird himself, responsible fo
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