Never Love a Highlander - Maya Banks

Maya Banks - McCabe Trilogy #3 - Never Love a Highlander

Never Love a Highlander (McCabe Trilogy #3)
Maya Banks

CHAPTER 1

The weather for her first wedding had been a splendor of nature. An unseasonably warm day in January. Quite balmy with nary a breeze to ruffle her carefully arranged hair. It was as if the world stood still to witness the joining of two souls.

A snort rippled from Rionna McDonald’s throat, eliciting a raised eyebrow from her soon-to-be husband.

The weather for her second wedding? Gloomy and dank with a winter storm pushing in from the west. Already a brisk chill had set in and the wind blew in fierce, relentless sheets. As if the world knew just how uncertain she was about the man who stood beside her, ready to recite the vows that would bind him to her forever.

A shiver skirted up her spine despite the fact that they stood in front of the huge fire in the great hall.

Caelen frowned and stepped closer to Rionna as if to shield her from the draft blowing through the furs at the window. She took a hasty step back before thinking better of it. The man made her nervous, and not many people intimidated her.

He frowned harder, then turned his attention back to the priest.

Rionna cast a quick glance around, hoping no one had witnessed that particular exchange. It wouldn’t do for people to think she was afraid of her new husband. Even if she was.

Ewan McCabe, the oldest McCabe brother and the first man she was supposed to have married, stood by his brother’s side, his arms crossed over his broad chest. He looked anxious to be done with the whole thing.

Alaric McCabe, the man she’d very nearly wed after Ewan got himself married to Mairin Stuart, also looked impatient and kept glancing toward the stairs as if he might run out at any moment. Rionna couldn’t blame him, though. His new wife, Keeley, was above stairs recovering from a wound that had nearly ended her life.

Third time was a charm, right?

King David wasn’t standing for the occasion. He sat regally by the fire, looking on with approval as the priest droned on. Around him, also sitting, were the many lairds from neighboring lands. All waiting for the alliance between the McDonalds and the McCabes. An alliance that would be sealed upon her marriage to Caelen McCabe, the youngest–and last–McCabe brother.

It was important to denote last because if anything went amiss with this wedding, there were no more McCabes for her to marry, and at this point, her pride couldn’t withstand another rejection.

Her gaze skittered from the king and assembled lairds to her dour-faced father who sat away from the assembled warriors, an unmanly, sullen pout twisting his features.

For a moment their stares locked and then his lip turned up into a snarl. She hadn’t supported him in his bid to keep his position of laird. It was probably disloyal of her. She wasn’t sure that Caelen McCabe would be a better laird, but surely he was a better man.

She became aware that all eyes were on her. She glanced nervously toward the priest and realized that she’d missed her cue to recite her vows. Even more embarrassing, she had no idea what the man had said.

“This is where you promise to obey me, cleave only unto me, and remain faithful all your days,” Caelen drawled.

His words stiffened her spine and she couldn’t call back the glare as she speared him with her gaze.

“And what exactly are you promising me?”

His pale green eyes stroked coolly over her, assessing and then lifting as if