Gavin stopped beside her, and she glanced up to find him watching her. Their eyes locked and held for a moment, and everything within her stilled.
He lowered himself to the edge of the bed, facing her, and from behind his back, he produced a box. It was wrapped in a soft, yellow cloth and tied with a blue ribbon. “This is for you,” he said quietly, handing it to her.
She stared down at the box, wondering. What could it be? And why was he giving it to her?
“It’s so pretty,” she said. “Is it for Ewan?”
“Nay, Deirdre. I said it was something for you. Open it.”
Her heart began to race, and her chest squeezed. “You mean…like a…a…”
“A gift,” he interjected. “Have you ne’er received a present before?” He said it as a jest, a small laugh puffing past his lips before he realized she wasn’t smiling. “Deirdre?” he asked.
She could hear the incredulity in his voice. She raised her eyes to his, feeling like she might cry. “Nay, I’ve ne’er received a gift just for me before. Other than Ewan, of course. But he wasn’t Lewis’s child to give.”
“He’s my child to give, and I freely gave him to you. Although I doona like the idea of ‘owning’ Ewan. And I think he chose you as much as you chose him.”
Now the tears did fall, silent streams down her face. “Thank you,” she whispered. She looked at the present in her hands. It was relatively flat and covered her lap. It had some weight to it and felt like the box might be tin. She grasped the end of the ribbon. “Do I just…” And she pulled a little.
He wrapped his hand over hers, the heat and strength of it engulfing hers, and helped her tug. The ribbon came loose, and the cloth fell away over her skirts, revealing a metal tin, as she’d suspected.
She lifted it up, and something slid around inside. Her eyes rose to his.
“Open it,” he encouraged. She could see he was excited to give it to her—something he’d chosen that he’d thought she would like. That he wanted her to like.
And that was the gift he was giving her. It didn’t matter what was inside. Despite his conflicted feelings about her relationship with Ewan when they first met, this man, who had already given her the greatest gift possible, had looked for and bought something for her. Only for her.
Something to please her.
She didn’t think. She just leaned forward, cupped his cheek with her hand, and pressed her lips to his.
❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
Laird Gavin MacKinnon is a changed man—and not for the better. Even since his young son, Ewan, disappeared two years ago, Gavin has grown callous and bitter. Scouring the countryside, his search leads him to a mysterious woman who maintains the boy is hers. He decides to take them both and ask questions later.
Deirdre MacIntyre will go with the brooding laird if it will keep her son safe. Gavin has to admit that the beautiful lass has a bond with Ewan, and things aren't adding up. When Deirdre's clan comes to claim her under threat of war, Gavin has a choice to make: fight for her or let her go.
Alyson McLayne is a mom of twins and an award-winning writer of contemporary, historical, and paranormal romance. She’s also a dog lover and cat servant with a serious stash of dark chocolate. After getting her degree in theater at the University of Alberta, she promptly moved to the West Coast of Canada where she worked in film for several years and met her Prop Master husband.
She and her family reside in Vancouver with their sweet but troublesome chocolate lab named Jasper.
Please catch up with Alyson on social media. She loves chatting with her readers!