Chapter Twenty One
Chapter Twenty One
“Oh hell. There is no soap.” I said feeling around the bottom of the bath.
“Lass it be on yon chair. Would ye like me to retrieve it fer ye?”
Damn what choice did I have. It was too far to reach from where I sat in the bath. I pulled up my knees and leaned forward, scrunching my body together. “All right then I am ready if you would please.”
Conall walked over to the chair to grasp the soap. He stood next to the bath. I looked up at him not moving my body. “Just drop it in the water.”
“Lass if’n I drop it, I no want to have to go diving for it cause ye cannae find it.”
I angrily slanted my eyes at him and pursed my lips. “Drop it.” He did, then return to the bed to lie once more with his hands behind his head. I was sure he was just joking, but one could not tell with Conall. He would have made a good comedian in a nightclub or better still be able to maintain a poker face playing cards.
Conall lay on the bed thinking he would have liked nothing better than to go soap diving. Although he could see very little of Morgan the way she scrunched her body up in the bathtub. It did however, make his heart beat faster. He couldn’t remember the last time a lass had affected him in this manner. With Morgan though, it happened every time he was close to her.
The soap had the slightest scent of lavender. It felt good to wash, a privilege that one takes for granted in my time. While I washed I kept an eye on Conall, lying on the bed, seemingly deep in thought. I finished washing and looked around for the towel.
“Er….Conall. There is no towel.”
“It be here on the bed.” he said without moving. Still staring at the ceiling.
“Can you throw it over then please?”
“Can you throw the towel please?”
He got up and sitting on the edge of the bed threw the towel so it landed on the floor beside the bath. One hand covering my breasts I leaned over to grab it. I couldn’t however reach it and sent him a beseeching look.
With an audible sigh, he got up. I quickly resumed my scrunched-up state. He held the towel out to me but his eyes weren’t looking at mine they were focused on my back. I took the towel but he didn’t move.
“Aye lass.” he was still staring with a very odd expression on his face.
“Conall can you turn your back. Please.”
“Aye lass.” he walked back to the bed. “When did ye get yer tattoo?”
“I don’t have a tattoo.”
“Aye you do in the centre of ye shoulder blades, ye have a round tattoo.”
“Oh that, no that’s a scar, not a tattoo.” I don’t know why he thought it was a tattoo. According to Joe I had gotten the scar when I supposedly fell on a carpet tack on the hotel stairs. It was strange why he thought it a tattoo. Conall turned his back to me. I stepped out of the bath and wrapped the towel around me.
He started removing his kilt.
“Why are you taking your kilt off?” I asked dripping on the floor, towel wrapped around me.
“Do ye no ken I need a bath too?” he said letting his kilt drop to the floor. He stood with his shirt on which was quite long. Thank goodness.
“Well you could have waited while I turned my back.”
“I am no shamed by ma body as ye are.”
“I’m not ashamed of my body. I just don’t go flaunting it around, like some people do.”
“Flaunting is it. I dinnae ken ye word, but if’n ye mean I parade aroond like some prized cock then I have to say I don’t. I mean ta have a bath.” he bit back. He was going to have a bath whether she liked it or not.
As soon as Conall grabbed his shirt to remove it I turned my back. This was downright uncomfortable. In this small room, we needed to share, there was little choice to be prudish. Still it could be done with some modicum of decency. I did nonetheless note that Conall was not actually angry when he was talking, he seemed to be savouring the discord.
Conall was by no means an unsightly man, he was in truth magnificent. I had to remember though that his mission was to protect me. He was my guardian on this journey. I couldn’t allow myself to become involved. Nope no involvement here. I had to keep the relationship between us detached. Neutral but friendly.
I stood with my back turned. Conall took his time with his bath. He was vigorously washing himself. Even in a turned state I could hear water logging over the sides to the floor. Messy boy.
Keeping my back to him I edged around to the saddle bags to get a clean pair of pants, shirt and jerkin. Now how to get in these things without a pair of blue eyes watching my every move? Edging back to the bed I laid them down.
“Morgan.” he was suddenly standing behind me. I hadn’t heard him get out of the bath but I could feel his breath against my hair.
“Morgan.” he repeated. I began to turn around hoping that he was dried and dressed. Even though I had the only towel. When I turned around I was facing his chest. A very wet chest.
“Look at the mess you have made on the floor. There’s water everywhere” I scowled at him poking him, and trying to look around him at the bath. He didn’t move.
My eyes scanned upwards to his face. His eyes were intense as he took my face in his hands, leaned down and gently brushed his lips past mine. A touch gentle and soft like the brush of a butterfly wing. Then he pulled away leaving me standing in total shock.
“Best ye go to sleep we have to leave at sunrise.” he said reaching for his kilt and wrapping it around his hips.
What on earth. I was dazed not only from the kiss but his change. He had just kissed me and now he was back to the journey before us. It wasn’t a full kiss as such, just a passing of lips, like ships in the night. It was enough though to send my body into meltdown.
“What was that?”
“What we just did?”
“Did ye not ken what it was?” he asked as he finished attaching his kilt.
“Yes, I knew what it was, but...” damn he could be infuriating. I touched my mouth, pressing my fingers to my lips. It had been the lightest of touches but caused my knees to wobble and my stomach to flutter.
A knock came at the door and Conall opened it to a young girl about sixteen. The girl was a short thin thing with bright blue eyes, her hair caught up into her maid cap, with blonde tendrils hanging down. She had a bowl and spoon in her hand. Taking a step into the room her breath caught at the sight of Conall standing in kilt only.
“Pardon me milady, me name is Marta an I brought ye some cranachan.” She was talking to me but she was looking at Conall. He took the bowl from the girl her face breaking into a beaming if not sultry smile. Her eyes not leaving his face as she closed the door behind her.
Conall walked over and handed me the bowl and spoon. It seemed to be something like a Christmas pudding and smelt strongly of scotch. A moment later another knock came to the door. When Conall opened it, he did so to the same young girl. She stood with a tray and two tankards of ale on it.
She must have run to get back with the ales so quick. Handing the tray to Conall, she leaned towards him whispering something. Conall smiled but shook his head. She nodded then left again closing the door behind her but not before tightening her face, and raising an indignant eyebrow in my direction.
“What was that about?” I asked tasting a little of the cranachan.
“The lass wanted me to ken that her room was the first one from the stairs.”
“Why?” Although I could guess by the wrathful look she had given me what she was about.
“She had a mind that I might like to bed her.”
“Oh, I see?” The cheek of her putting the hard word on Conall with me sitting half naked on the bed. My exterior was calm, but inside I felt like going after her to give her a damned good shake.
Conall put the try on the chair and drink from one of the tankards.
“What?” Conall asked.
“Are you going to go bed her, later?” I spooned the cranachan into my mouth.
“Nay.” It wasn’t the wench he wanted.
“Not your cup of tea?” I raised one eyebrow looking at him and thinking that what I was eating had far too much scotch in it. The scotch killed the taste of anything that was in the pudding. And the anything could just be that, anything. “Or is it that you are just not into blondes?”
“Blondes. I care not for the colour of a lass’s hair.” he said coldly. He did care though. Morgan’s black hair shone hints of red in the sun, but in this room, it was like the glossy wings of a raven. It set his heart to flame at the very sight of it. That had been one of the things he had noticed when he first saw her entering the cottage door at Sloan and Ula’s. Then it was her eyes, big and brown with hints of green and gold. Her skin was just ever so slightly tanned, and her lips….
Morgan looked up to see Conall was staring at her, tankard in hand.
“What are you staring at?”.
“You, sitting there wrapped in ye towel. Chewing each spoonful o’ cranachan like ye are chewing on gun powder.”
“Ye need to sleep now, we have to be away at sunrise.” Conall laid his plaid on the floor in front of the door.
“Are you going to sleep on the floor?”
“You can share the bed it is big enough. Well not that big but there is room for the both of us.” I said casually. I didn’t like the thought that he would be sleeping on a hard floor and I had the bed. Then the thought of Conall sleeping beside me had my skin tingling.
“The floor tis fine. Besides I am used to it. I have slept on much worse.” he got down and settled himself. “Would ye be putting the candle out. So’s it doesnae bother me trying to sleep see.”
“By all means your majesty.” I retorted.
“Ack if’n I was a king I would not be the one sleeping on tha floor.”
“Whatever!” I hmphed putting the bowl on the floor unfinished. Smudging the candle with a wet finger I slid into the bed under the sheets.
“The Cailleach said I had to find my cridhe anam. What does that mean?”
“Heart of soul.”
Heart of soul? Well that made no sense at all. Did it mean my heart had a soul or my soul had a heart? Why must everything be so bloody cryptic?
Conall spoke out in the darkness. “Lass if ye get itchy don’t scratch.”
“Bedbugs bite, no doubt there be a whole city of them in ye bed.”
“Oh, my lord! Conall you are without doubt an utter ass at times.” I reached down and found a boot. Which I promptly threw in his direction.
“Lass why tis when am trying to sleep, ye are either jumping on me or throwing ye boots at me?”
“Haud ye wheesht ye keelie!” I shouted. How I’d remembered that little quote from Ula’s kitchen I will never know. Very pleased with myself that I did. I fell off to sleep thinking about the kiss.
Conall suppressed his laughter. Morgan had indeed spirit. Not only beautiful, he thought her clever, wise, but perhaps a little fragile at times. He had to remember though he had taken her from the twenty first century to the eighteenth century, and that most would not have adapted to such a hard life style so quickly.
He had touched her lips with his own, fleeting that it was, it was however, a step outside the bounds of his mission. He would have to make sure it did not happen again, more to the worry he might not be able to control himself the next time. He drifted off to sleep a smile on his face and disappointment in his body.