The Voyage

All Rights Reserved ©

Chapter 2

I needed some time out and away from the castle. I was still feeling very torn inside overseeing my father. After the conversation in his chambers, I was expected to leave for them to speak and plan the wedding, my wedding. I would have to pick the right moment to speak with my father in regards to my wedding. I would have a say in my wedding, even if it was a small one.

I made the short walk to the countryside of Morven. It was my favorite part of the village. To be able to walk amongst the wildflowers and the long green grass, to take in the beauty that was all around us that so many took for granted or ignored. It was a place where the small homes from inside the castle walls turned to farms with horses, cows, goats, sheep, and pigs roamed free amongst the fencing. Some in the castle had no interest in being out here; they say the smell was enough to rush them back into the stone walls. However, for me, the smell reminded me of freedom in a sense. Out here, it was warm sun and starry nights. It was hard work, but rewarding work at the end of each day. It was the ability to come and go as you please without the need to check in with anyone. Without having to try and sneak away to escape an escort. The countryside was everything the castle wasn’t, and it had called to me ever since I was a wee lass.

Though recently, that call could be connected to one man. I approached one of the horse farms, the Baran Farm. It was your average farm, but what caught my eye was Calum Baran. He was a man that made a woman’s blood heat up. His more lengthy curly orange hair framed his chiseled features that made his green eyes shimmer. The green in his eyes was not your typical light in color, but they were bright and warm. His body was a piece of art from one rolling muscle to the next. I couldn’t help but stop and watch him as he worked with the horses. Others in the castle would never look at him twice, especially a woman in my position. I was the daughter of the Clan leader; it was my duty to marry the right man that would secure the future of the Clan. According to my father, that man was Dougal Greum, but my heart was doubting the choice.

Would I be able to lol at Dougal and feel the same way about him that I do about Calum? Would he make my heart flutter as Calum does? Could I truly live my life faithful to Dougal when my body tells me that I want Calum? My mind was filled with uncertainty, and I was unsure of what to do with it. Calum looked over towards me, and instantly my heart stopped. The intensity of his eyes always took my breath away. How can a man be so beautiful? I should not want a farmhand, I should want a man with prestige, and yet, I could see my life with Calum. I could see children running through the countryside, helping take care of the horses and land. Cooking supper and watching them all run into our home. It would be a simple life with no fuss or shine, and it sounded perfect to me.

I continued to walk as Calum gave me a warm and bright smile as he walked over to the fencing. I stopped when I arrived at where he was, and I did my best not to stare at his sweat covered chest.

“Morning Mistress MacInnes.”

“Morning, Mister Baran.”

I gave him a warm smile. I had told him to call me Elise, but he continued to call me Mistress MacInnes. I do not understand why he insisted on being so formal.

“You are out early this morning, Mistress.”

“I needed some fresh air and beautiful scenery. It was quite the night last night for me.”

“Yes, I hear congratulations are in order. You are in your nineteenth year now, do you feel different?”

His warm smile told me that he genuinely wished to hear and was not asking out of politeness. I was glad to listen to him, referring to my birthday and not my pending wedding. I knew it would start to spread shortly; it was inevitable with two powerful Clans coming together. However, I was hoping to live in denial for a little bit longer. I most certainly did not want this man to hear of it and ruin the spell that was shared between us.

“I do not, am I suppose to?”

“I did not either. But I suppose some do. What is on the agenda today, Mistress?”

“I have nothing until later when I am expected in the kitchen to lend a helping hand. What about yourself?”

“Workaround here and take care of a new colt.”

“You have a new colt?” I said with a warm smile.

There was one thing I did love, and that was new horses. They were one of the cutest animals I had ever seen, and I loved to watch them grow and learn how to walk. There was something magical about it all to me.

“We do. She was born two nights prior. Would you care to see her? She is in the barn with her mother.”

I gave a quick nod; there was indeed nothing more at that moment that I wished to do. Calum threw me a warm smile and held his hand out for me to take. I placed my foot on the bottom of the wooden fence, and he helped to lift me over the little enclosure to his side. He guided me up to the barn, and once inside, we went over to the stable where the new colt and her mother were being kept. The second my eyes landed on her, I felt a warmth spread through me. The colt was laying in the hay with her mother beside her. The colt looked just like her mother, her coat black as night. I knew without a doubt that one day this colt would be just as magnificent as her mother.

“She is beautiful,” I said warmly.

“She is. She will be running around soon enough, and then I will have a new horse to break in. I just hope she is as easy as her mother was to teach.”

“Can it be hard to break in a horse?”

I truly did not know very much about horse training. The horses we had at the castle were already trained and behaved very well for riding.

“It can be. It depends on the horse and its parents. A good pedigree and the horse will learn very easily. But if they come from a pedigree that is more wild horses, it can be hard to break them in. It takes time and a patient hand, but eventually, the horse will begin to trust you.”

“And trust is important?”

“Trust is vital. Without it, the horse will not listen to you. You have to trust that the horse will take you where you need to go, and the horse has to trust that you will not harm it. Some trust more easily than others. It all depends on how you handle them, especially when they are younger. If you work on building trust when they are a colt, it will be easier when they are ready to be trained.”

I couldn’t help but be fascinated by him. He knew so much about his craft, which was not surprising for a farmhand. It was how he shared it, though, as if he were telling me about an old secret. His words held passion, and I knew without a doubt that he loved his life and his duty.

“I have always loved being around horses. This is my first time seeing a colt this young. Thank-you.” I said with a warm smile.

“Welcome here anytime, Mistress.”

He gave me the warmest smile, and I felt a heat take over my entire body. The way this man gazed upon me always made me feel a fire underneath my skin. I often wondered what it would feel like to have his lips pressed against mine. To feel his muscled chest against my soft one. Perhaps he would be rough, but maybe he would go slow and take his time to explore my body the way I wanted to explore his. It was a fantasy that had kept me up at night long after I should have been asleep.

I could feel the heat radiating off from him. He desired me just as much as I wanted him. The air around us ignited, and I could feel the electricity crawling over my skin. I am not sure which one of us moved, but before my mind could even register it, our lips were a mere inch apart. I looked into Calum’s eyes, and I could see the arousal within them. It was Calum that closed the small gap between us, and when his lips touched mine, my whole body was engulfed in flames. I had never felt anything like it before. The softness of his lips being pressed against mine. The firmness of his chest just ever so lightly touching my chest. At that moment, I did not want anything more in this world than to have this moment never end. His hand moved to the back of my neck, and he deepened the kiss. I was all too willing to allow it. The need to feel more of him was only intensifying with each passing second. I needed more; I had never needed anything more in my life like I needed this man.

All too soon, he pulled back, and both of us fought to catch our breath. My mind was spinning. I felt like I was floating and would soon lift off from the ground. How is it possible that a single kiss would cause such a reaction? He gave me a warm smile, one that spoke of a promise of more. For today, this was enough.

“I should return to work,” Calum said, after a moment. His voice was even more profound than it had been.

“Of course. I am sure people are looking for me by now. I shall return to the castle.”

As badly as I wished we could have continued on our exploration, it would be best for us to go our ways. More could come later, something I was sure of. For today, this was enough.

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.