The Taking of the Moon Maiden Ch. 05byChoctawMan©
Ronens mind was full of Emmaline as he returned to the confines of the tent. She laid there amongst the skins sleeping like a child. She was beautiful. Tomorrow he would tell her of her fate. He knew she would not like it, but it mattered not. He had been raised to take what he wanted, and he wanted Emmaline. It would be better to have her agreement in the matter, but it was not required.
Ronen removed his kilt and slid naked beneath the skins unto the fresh muslin sheets. Hilda, or the Healer must have the replaced the blood and semen soaked sheets with clean ones. He stroked her skin, marveling at its smoothness. A slight breeze stirred through the tent traveling across her sensitive skin.
Emmaline sighed softly and snuggled up to him in her sleep, resting her head on his chest she threw an arm about his waist, while one smooth leg covered one of his legs and snuggled between his thighs. He felt his staff rise with an aching need as she pressed the full length of her perfectly exquisite body against him. He looked down at her; she was soft and silky; fair and delicate, while he was dark, scarred, and rough.
The pure difference in their male and female forms nearly caused Ronen to spurt his pleasure all over his stomach. He growled and covered them to help drive the image from his brain. She stirred and gave what sounded to be a frightened whimper and he could not help but put a protective arm around her, he would make sure that no one hurt his woman. He slowly drifted off into a light slumber, dreaming of moon fairies with silvery blond hair dancing around him.
Emmaline woke to camp sounds and Ronen's voice giving instructions to pack camp. Emmaline slowly opened her eyes and was afforded a view of a lovely blue dress laid out with matching shoes and a wool cape died dark blue to match. "You have finally woken. Ronen has refused to move camp until you awoke." Emmaline sat up quickly wincing at the soreness that seemed to engulf her entire body.
"Who are you, where is Hilda?" The woman standing in front of Emmaline looked to be youngish not less than seventeen and not more than twenty-two. She was tall, big boned, and though she not be ugly, no one would refer to her as pretty. She looked fierce and Emmaline thought if she had been holding a sword it would have looked right.
"I am named Llewath. Ronen has wished for me to care for you. Hilda will not be allowed to be alone with you anymore, as she has no control over you."
Emmaline gasped at Llewath words. "Who is Ronen to think he can keep my maid from me? I am getting Hilda right now."
Emmaline went to move towards the tent flap, only to have her path blocked by Llewath.
"This whole camp has been waiting all morning for you to wake so we can leave. Ronen demanded you get the sleep he felt you needed, but the rest of us will suffer when he drives us hard to make the distance we lost so you could rest. Ronen is my cousin and I will honor his wishes, no matter how foolish. So please for the sake of the us all, get dressed."
Llewath's arrogance angered Emmaline, but the truthiness of her words had Emmaline moving towards the clothes. She did not wish for any of Ronens people to suffer because of her, and she could hardly argue with Ronen in public wearing nothing but a sheet.
"Where did these come from?" Emmaline asked about the lovely clothes as Llewath helped her into their soft folds.
"These are some clothes that my father was having made for me. He thinks if he dresses me up enough he might trick some fool into wedding me. Daniel thought it be the only one available for your status."
Emmaline was not sure of what 'status' Llewath referred too, but she could tell by Llewath's sarcastic tone that she did not think overly much Daniel.
Emmaline thought this strange as Daniel seemed kind to everyone. It saddened Emmaline that Llewath also did not value herself as Emmaline thought she should. Emmaline instinctively knew that here standing before her was a woman that would be the best of marriage partners and was truly worthy of love.
"I believe you are just a little taller than I." Llewath glanced over to the tiny form in front of her. She wanted to laugh and cry all at the same time.
Emmaline stood in the middle of the tent wearing Llewath's pretty blue dress. She looked like she had been draped in a bolt of cloth. Material seemed to drape off her, none of it fitted like it should.
Llewath realized that even though the dress was obviously too large for the Lady Emmaline, it still looked more lovely on her than it would every look on Llewath. She winced at the thought of anyone comparing the two in the dress, especially Daniel.
"You will have to carry the excess for now, later perhaps you can get Sandy's wife to hem it for you." Emmaline started to argue with Llewath, only to be firmly escorted from the tent.
Emmaline looked around at the sudden brightness of the day outside the tent. Everyone seemed to truly be just waiting for her to rise. She felt terribly self conscious when Ronen strode towards her. Everyone was watching him as he approached her leading a small grey horse. "Here is your noble steed."
Emmaline smiled at Ronens description of the small pony, as a noble steed.
Ronen continued, "you will ride beside me." Emmaline glared at his arrogance, but knew better than to argue with him in front of his clan.
"We will talk later of Hilda." She angrily whispered at him, only to have him set her anger ablaze when he smiled and answered, "We can talk, but it will no change anything. Hilda is no to be left alone with you until I am sure I have you anchored to me." She gasped at his words.
"What do you mean 'anchored to you'?" He smiled "We will talk later. We need to leave for now. We have tarried long enough."
A guilty blush stole up Emmalines face when she remembered why everyone had waited to move camp. Everyone in camp had learned of last night's occurrence.
Anyone left in the dark had been enlightened this morning when Ronen and Hilda had got into a heated argument over the Lady Emmaline.
Actually Hilda had been the one heated upon learning that Ronen did not want Hilda alone with Emmaline until he could get a better hold on Emmaline.
Hilda had dissolved into hysterics and started screaming at him and his beastly ways including all that had transpired the night before.
Ronen had finally silenced her wailing when he announced to Hilda that Hilda would not be allowed to be alone with the Lady Emmaline and if she did not behave he would remove Moira from her charge.
"You mean to keep Milady from me?" Hilda had asked.
"I mean to keep her with me," had been Ronen's only attempt of an explanation.
"She will hate you." Hilda had told him. "It matters no her feelings as long as I have her." Ronen's answer left Hilda with her mouth hanging open like a fishwife.
Emmaline, unaware of the earlier events was unsure of herself under the entense scrutiny of Ronen's clan. Sensing her unease he moved protectivly besides her as they walked over to their mounts.
Ronen grasped Emmaline by the waist, his hands encircling her waist. He easily picked her up and plopped her onto the saddle of the little mare.
"Ow!" Emmaline practically screeched grabbing the pommel of the saddle to rise her tender flesh up from the saddle. She looked around and everyone had turned to see of her complaint.
"What is wrong? What hurts you?" Ronen asked. She looked down at Ronen. She felt a slow red tide swell up from her neck to creep across her face.
How could she tell him that he had done exactly what he had told her he would, and ridden her so hard she could not easily sit?
Ronens eyes narrowed at her obvious embarrassment over her pain. It took him but a moment to realize what caused her the pain.
He looked around at his people and realized they too knew what had caused it as well. His face slid into a hard possessive grin as he snatched her from the saddle. "Perhaps it would be better if you ride with me until your body gets used to riding in the saddle."
She wished that he had not made his declaration so loud. She was very aware of the stifled laughs of his clan over the double meaning of his words.
Emmaline wanted to argue and yell at him, but at that moment her embarrassment was enough that she just buried her head into his chest, trying to ignore his masculine voice as it vibrated from his chest. Ronen carried her and silent a prideful male laugh rose in him when she turned towards him to hide from her embarrassment.
Ronen swung Emmaline with him up into the saddle careful to bunch her skirts under her to cushion some of the hardness of the saddle against her torn and tender skin. Ronen did not want to cause Emmaline unneeded pain. He was not purposefully cruel, though he would have what he wanted, and he wanted Emmaline.
He was willing to try and agree to her arrangement before, but not now. He had taken her virginity; she could not be Moira's mother. No man but him had known the molten pleasures that rested between her thighs.
Ronen, not aware of the look of peace on his face, looked around at his clansmen. For days they had traveled in stillness, now they had all seemed to come alive.
There was laughter, joking, and good humor for everyone. They all seemed to be so warmed by the moment that they did not even seem to mind the weather was getting cooler as the day progressed.
The clan traveled a morning's ride away from Ronens keep before making camp. The group would wait out the cold night and make it home before the next mid day meal.
The happiness of his people along with the feel of Emmaline in his arms caused Ronen to lean his head back and smile.
"Your people are happy to see you smile. Perhaps the Lady Emmaline is a fairy that blesses all." Ronen started at Daniels statement and was suddenly aware of the smile on his lips as wisps of silver curls floated around him and Emmaline.
From her perch on Ronens horse Emmaline peered out of from the comfort of his chest and watched the interactions of the group. She caught sight of Llewath riding a lovely white horse.
Thoughts played around her head as she watched the furitive glances exchanged between Llewath and Daniel. She smiled at Llewath and motioned her to ride towards her and Ronen.
"Ronen, I want to make sure that Llewath is properly thanked for her lending me the dress." Ronen frowned. Surely Emmaline was not implying that he had not properly thanked his own cousin.
His brows slanted as he started to remind Emmaline this was not her place, when he noticed Emmaline was not even looking at Llewath.
Instead she was watching Daniel, and watching him close, jealously scorched through Ronen's veins. He barely had time from stopping himself from jerking Daniel off his horse before he saw the longing in Daniels eyes as he looked at Llewath. The desire had been brief before Daniel had masked it, but it had been there. Astonishment washed over Ronen.
He had never realized the two had feelings for each other. In all these years the thought had not even entered his mind, but yet in a space of a one morning Emmaline had already noticed it and was now attempting to play match maker.
"Daniel, do you not think it was nice of Llewath to lend me her dress?" She smiled so sweetly at Daniel that Ronen almost laughed at Daniels glare.
"Why no let you use it, Llew has no use for such pretty things." Daniel's remark obviously given to have a rise from Llewath.
"Doona call me Llew, my name is Llewath." Instant animosity flared up between them.
"Husband, will you take me to check on our daughter?" Emmaline's words jerked Ronens attention to her.
Had she just called him husband? Had she just shared her child with him by referring to Moira as our daughter? A heady sense of elation enveloped him. Ronen could deny her nothing; ignoring Llewath and Daniels bickering he swerved his horse and left them together to find Moira in the wagon.
"I hope they find their feelings, before they resort to swords." Emmaline's words confirmed Ronen's suspicion of her attempts to play matchmaker.
"Be careful wife, Llewath is my cousin and Daniel my trusted Captain." Daniels stern words did not match the laughter in his eyes, and he could not help but smile at Emmaline's response, "the better to get them wed too each other."
They were both smiling when they approached the wagon. "There is my Mama and my Daddy." Moira's happiness bubbled out of her and the women walking beside the wagon could not help but smile at the sound of pride in her little voice.
"Tell them you are my Daddy." Ronen smiled at the child. "If your mother says so, than I am your Daddy."
The word Daddy seemed strange to him. 'Daddy' was not a form of father that was used in his clan. It also bothered him that the girl was looking to him to be her Daddy and protect her, when he knew that he was not her Daddy and could not protect her from having to leave when her Grandfather, her rightful guardian came.
"Ronen, Stephen Douglas is gone." Angus broke Ronen out of his thoughts.
"What do mean, he is gone?" A twinge of apprehension entered Ronen at Angus's answer.
"I mean after we started riding he just left without telling anyone." Angus looked pointedly at Emmaline.
"Laird may I and a few of the men have a word with you? We think we may know why Stephen has left, but wish no to discuss it with anyone but you." Ronen understood the need for privacy. He lifted Emmaline and sat her in the wagon besides.
"I will be but a moment. Attend to our daughter while I am gone." Something in her heart fluttered when he said our daughter. She nodded yes unable to speak. He welded his horse around and followed Angus off from the rest of the riders.
She noticed Leamus and Brian followed; even Daniel quit arguing with Llewath to follow them. She wondered what could be so important as to have the men leave the women, even if but for a moment?
"Lomas, thinks he knows why Stephen left." Brian broke the tension, excitement radiating from him. Ronen looked to Lomas to explain.
"The what?" Ronen's answer sounded harsh, but not half as harsh as the look on his face.
"Now wait Laird until I explain. I know that ye donna believe in the blessing. But you know the Claire's do and Stephen is a Claire through his mother. I think he has gone to tell the Claires where we are and that you have the Moon Maiden." Lomas spoke quickly trying to speak before his Laird silenced him.
"What Moon Maiden? Why would Stephen think we had found the Moon Maiden?" Ronen looked at his men puzzled why they looked back at him with concern.
Their suspicions filtered through to him and he responded with anger. "No, there is no reason to think Emmaline is the Moon Maiden."
"Beggin yer pardon, but there is every reason." Lomas answered, and this time rushed in to complete his thoughts before his Laird killed him.
"Think of what the blessing says?" *He will find the Moon Maiden and take her as a harlot, but she will be an innocent.*
"Did you no bed Milady thinking she had been with another man and bore his child unmarried?" Lomas's choice of words caused Ronen's scowl to darken even more. Daniel was really beginning to worry for Lomas's health.
Lomas added breathlessly. *He that takes her maidenhead shall be blessed with peace and happiness for him and his clansman.*
"You canna deny how much happier everyone has been since you claimed her as yours and made her mistress of our clan?"
Lomas hurried on to add, *moon shall leave its blessings upon her womb.*
"Gert told me that she saw moon shaped mark on Lady Emmaline's womb and that Stephen saw this mark as well." "Enough! You nor anyone else need to be thinking about my woman's womb. Unless none of you have noticed we have yet to catch a den of wolves following Emmaline around by the light of the moon. Now do your task and doona bother me with anymore of this foolishness."
Ronen whirled his horse back in the direction of the travelers. He rode hard and had almost caught up to the wagon were Moira and Emmaline were ridding when Daniel caught up with him.
"I agree this seems like foolishness, but if Stephen believes it to be true and can convince the Claires that it is true, than no one but the Great Seer will stop the Claires from coming to claim her."
Ronan did not like his words but could not help but agree. "Send Lomas to find him and bring him to me."
That was the only acknowledgment that Ronen would give about the blessing. Daniel could tell that Ronen did not wish to discuss the issue anymore and went to calm the nerves of the men.
Emmaline watched the interaction of the men in the distance and could tell that Ronen was angry.
When he moved towards her she smile at him and raised her arms for him to pick her up. Her actions surprised him. Pleasure at seeing her welcome him into her arms hardened his shaft until he had to lean forward least his predicament be seen by all.
"Into my arms you belong, Milady." Ronen scooped her up and placed her in front of him on his horse.
"What troubles you?" Emmaline asked quietly. "Nothing, doona worry." It did not look like nothing. Ronen was scowling and his men were slinking around him like dogs trying not to get kicked by their master.
They rode the rest of the day with Ronen glaring at his men and them trying to apologize with their eyes.
Ronen would not tell Emmaline what was said, but she knew it concerned her by the way he would tighten his hold on her, or ravished her cheeks and neck with possessive kisses every time he caught one of his men looking in their direction.
Emmaline was glad when they finally started to make camp. It had started getting cool and she was ready to snuggle down a warm bed and sleep. She smiled at this thought snuggling into Ronens arms. "Ronen, where will you stay me and Moira in the spring when my father comes?" Emmaline's words broke him from his thoughts.
His dark look caused Emmaline to hesitantly ask; "Surely you will not turn Moira over to him when he comes in the spring."
Ronens whole being changed, "you are no the lass's mother. You have no the right from keeping him from his own Grandchild."
Emmaline looked at Ronen, a frown marring her face. "I am her aunt and I have raised her as mine. You do not understand he can not know Matilda is dead. He will take Moira. I tell you now if he takes Moira, I will go with him also."
Emmaline's words had not left her mouth before Ronen grabbed her chin and holding her still he growled into her neck just below her ear. "Listen to me Emmaline and listen to me well. You will no leave me. No now, no in the spring. If your father claims Moira you will have to say goodbye to the Lass, because you will no be leaving me." Fear gripped Emmaline, as Ronen's face closed.
"No." Emmaline started to pummel Ronens chest, screaming at him to let her down. Ronen moved his horse carrying him and Emmaline away from the group.
When they where away from the rest and could not be seen, Ronen lowered Emmaline to the ground and stepped off his horse.
He took a deep breath and turned to face his 'wee little fury'. "You lied to me, you are no better than any other man that would bed me for his own pleasures." Her breath came in rasps as she reined her anger on him.
"Emmaline, quiet yourself. I am no letting you go. Tell me why you fear your Father so I may figure out how best to help you?" Emmaline looked at him amazed he could make such a statement so calmly, why would she trust him now?
"Ronen McVörss, if you think that I would stay with you after this you are sorely mistaken. You misled me into believing you would help me hold Moira from my father."