Home > Honour Bound (Highland Magic #2)(11)

Honour Bound (Highland Magic #2)(11)
Helen Harper

Byron’s perfect brow furrowed. ‘Pardon?’

‘Never mind,’ I said quickly. ‘How are Maggie and Rory doing?’ I spoke about the pair of them as if we were old friends.

‘As well as can be expected when you’ve a ruptured appendix and severe hypothermia to deal with.’

‘That’s what happens when you wander up Scottish mountains in the middle of winter,’ I said cheerfully. ‘They really should have had better equipment. Maggie was attempting to climb up an ice wall without a rope.’

If I’d expected Byron to look annoyed that one of his Clanlings had thrown caution to the wind and almost been killed in the process, I was disappointed. He smiled. ‘Was she really?’ He shook his head. ‘Good for her.’

‘Good for her? Are you kidding me? She almost died! Not to mention the cost of the rescue team venturing out to find her and her fool husband. What happened to common sense?’

‘You were part of the team that helped them,’ he said with dawning comprehension. ‘I heard there was a Sidhe involved but I assumed it was someone from the Polwarth Clan. They’re usually the ones up in these mountains.’

I sniffed. ‘There was a Polwarth with us but she’s not Sidhe.’ I wasn’t annoyed that he’d not kept tabs on me. No siree. Not me. ‘How’s your lovely girlfriend Tipsania?’ I asked snidely.

Byron’s expression closed immediately. ‘Fine.’ He pushed himself away from the door. ‘I’ll tell her you were asking after her.’

‘I’m sure she’ll be thrilled,’ I shot back.

Speck brushed against me, giving a gentle reminder about what I was really here for. Bugger. He was right. I shook out my hair and plastered a fake smile on my face. Byron Moncrieffe wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the foolish actions of others when I told him about Debbie and the fact that the Carnegies were carrying her off in secrecy to the Cruaich for their own nefarious purposes.

Byron stepped towards me. He was at least half a foot taller than me and I had to resist the urge to pull back and give myself some breathing space. I did drop my arm from Jamie, however, and he scuttled away, watching Byron and me with wide eyes.

‘I’ve got something to tell you,’ I said.

‘And I’ve got something to tell you,’ Byron returned. ‘For your information, Rory and Maggie were practising for the Games. Last time the Adventure course involved some ice climbing. They were working for the glory of the Moncrieffe Clan, regardless of how lacking in common sense you think they were.’

‘Games? You’re kidding me? They risked their lives so they could win some pennant?’

Byron tsked. ‘You really have no idea, have you?’

‘Go on,’ I taunted. ‘Enlighten me.’

The rancour disappeared from his face and his tone dropped. ‘Believe me, there’s nothing I’d like more.’ His gaze dropped to my mouth and lingered there; there was no doubt as to what he was really referring.

I balled up my fists. ‘Oh, I’m more enlightened than you think.’


I flicked a look at Jamie; judging from the way his shoulders were hunched, he wanted to be a million miles away from here. Nevertheless, I pointed at him. ‘Ask him,’ I said. ‘Your friend can tell you how enlightened I am.’

A muscle jerked in Byron’s cheek. He moved away and I expelled a silent sigh of relief. ‘Do you know what the Games are?’ he asked.

I folded my arms. ‘No.’

He smirked. ‘They’re held every generation. Almost every Clan participates and, while the prize for the winner is grand, they’re really about the honour of beating everyone else.’

Honour? Ha! If the prize was so grand, then they wouldn’t trouble themselves with honour. You couldn’t feed a family on it, after all.

My thoughts must have been written across my face because Byron’s expression lit up. ‘Honour is important to the Sidhe.’ His eyes glinted. ‘Most of us, anyway. But I’m not lying, the prize really is worth having because the winner can ask for anything. If it’s within the means of the Clans to grant it, they shall receive it.’

I hadn’t been expecting that. I felt Speck shiver in delight next to me, although he managed to keep his mouth shut. ‘Anything?’ I asked.

‘Yes,’ Byron said smugly.

‘Wow.’ I couldn’t dampen my curiosity. ‘So what did the last generation’s winner ask for?’

Jamie squeaked. ‘Oh!’ he blurted out. ‘But last time…’ He stopped mid-sentence.

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