Walk through the gate and you would see Aydon Castle, Alina's home, standing before you. More a fortified farmhouse than a true castle, it has stood on its promontory above the Ay Burn since the twelfth century. The house was a working farmhouse until the 1960s, when English Heritage stepped in and opened it up to the public. Walking around the various rooms, one hopes they had lots of tapestries, rugs and blankets otherwise hypothermia woudl have set in.
Blurb: Two men wait at the altar, but does she have a choice?
The kitten’s pale claws flexed against the rounded curve of her breast. The court ladies wore stomachers of wood to give a straight line to their expensive gowns, but not so this girl. Harry swallowed. She must be aware of the effect she had on him.
“A stallholder warned me I may lose my life on the road to Edinburgh. Are things so bad in the Borders?”
Alina’s smile faded. “Yes.”
“I must go,” he said. “The journey is one I…it is important.”
She sighed. “Then go if you must, but it is a bad road and you must take care.”
“Then I shall take another road.”
Her smile held condescension. “Whichever road you take through the Borders will be dangerous, sir.” The kitten, tucked in beneath her chin, stared at him, too; both pairs of eyes so serious Harry couldn’t help smiling. “That creature’s probably got fleas, you know.”
“Will you tell me your name?”
“Harry Scott at your service, lady.”
A fine gold chain supported a gold cross at her throat, and it twinkled in the sunlight as she sucked in a sharp breath. “Your family name is Scott?”
He had chosen the surname at random. Why did she look at him as if he was an enemy? Perhaps he should have chosen a decent English name like Smith or Wilson.
He nodded, determined to make nothing of it. Scott was a common enough name, after all. “And your name, lady? I may pass this way on my return.”
“My name is Alina Carnaby. I live at Aydon Hall now. But before you visit, you should know that my father hates every member of the Scott family. So much so that he may kill you the moment you declare your name.”
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