Redeemed (Heroes of the Highlands) - By Kerrigan Byrne
Redeemed © 2013 Kerrigan Byrne
All rights reserved
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This ebook is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer's imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locales or organizations is entirely coincidental.
Cover Art © 2013 Kelli Ann Morgan / Inspire Creative Services
Formatting by Bob Houston eBook Formatting
To Dawn Winter.
There are too many reasons why: Nerdy online quotes. Rare intellect. Late night self-discovery chats (which sounds dirty, but totally isn’t). Drinking buddies. Giggles. The “F” word. Great documentary recommendations. And for introducing me to romance novels way too young.
Also, to Jon, because he read my stuff and that’s wicked awesome.
My circle seems to keep expanding and to avoid writing a novel here; I’ll be brief and then suffer anxiety about leaving anyone out:
I’d like to thank my husband for his unfailing patience and support.
As always, to the other two Musketeers and D’artagnan. I feel there will never be enough thanks or praise for the three of you. I’m consistently in your debt.
To WID – The reason Thursdays are still my favorite day of the week.
To Kerrigan’s Celts – I couldn’t ask for a better group of people as friends and support and I want to especially tell Dawn Sullivan that I am incredibly happy for and proud of her accomplishments!
To Anna Robbins for being a great online friend (and offline too)!
The question hung in the air like the heavy, inescapable stench of charred flesh or rotted meat. Everyone’s eyes held the same breathless and hopeful expectation as they stared at her.
Kylah worried a part of her cheek with her teeth. What was she supposed to be feeling at this moment? What was the acceptable response they expected her to convey? She supposed she could react one of two ways.
Anger and betrayal. How could you, my sister, marry the brother of the vile Laird who murdered us all? He carries their poisonous blood in his veins. I’ll never forgive you for this… et cetera and so on.
Or she could side with her youngest sister, Kamdyn, and her mother, Elspeth. I trust your judgment and am ready to give the new MacKay Laird a chance to make you happy and right the wrongs done to our family... Heaping platitudes of magnanimous forgiveness and such until everyone’s worries were laid to rest.
Kylah studied the pale green glow she cast on the warm rugs and tapestries littering her mother’s new cottage. Since she’d refused to move into the keep with the MacKay Laird, Rory had bequeathed to Elspeth a lovely warm home close to the castle so her eldest, Katriona, or Kathryn as she was now known, would be able to visit her family often. A kindness Kylah supposed she should be grateful for on her mother’s behalf. She no longer had to worry about her comfort and survival. Elspeth now had a living daughter to care for her.
Gratitude. Relief. Yet more emotion she was supposed to experience but didn’t.
She searched her soul for the warmth of sisterly affection and compassion, or the heat of rage brought on by the pain of disloyalty. But found—emptiness.
Less than that. She stood at the edge of a black, gaping abyss and kept squinting and straining to see the bottom like a bloody fool. She couldn’t very well reach into it and pluck out an answer. It contained nothing.
She was nothing.
Therefore, why did her opinion even matter? Why was it her responsibility to grant them absolution for something they were going to do regardless? Because she was the only one who had been violently