Taming the Highland Bride by Lynsay Sands Read Online (FREE)
Read Taming the Highland Bride by Lynsay Sands full novel online for free here
Merewen Stewart stabbed the needle into the cloth and tugged it out the other side with an irritated jerk. She was in a foul mood and, as usual, the fault for that lay with her father and two brothers. Unfortunately, the Stewart men liked their drink. Equally unfortunately, while they were lambs when sober and only stupid and clumsy on ale, they were downright mean on whiskey. So, of course, whiskey was their drink of preference, which meant Merry often found herself standing between them and the rest of the clan. Her first lesson on taking over as chatelaine at Stewart Castle had been to arm herself with something heavy when they got like that. Fortunately, her doing so was often enough to keep them in line. However, their whiskey-sharpened tongues could be cutting, and the very threat of violence that shimmered in the air on those occasions was frightening to deal with.
Merry had spent the last six years doing all she could to keep them from drinking the whiskey the Stewart clan made and sold. She’d taken to locking it away in the pantry, keeping the only key to that lock on her person at all times. But they just rode out to the inn in the village, or to Colan Gow’s to partake of his whiskey. She then was left to deal with whatever chaos they created when they returned intoxicated. That had been the pattern since her mother’s death six years ago…Until last week. Last week they’d returned from a visit with Colan Gow so drunk she’d been amazed that they hadn’t broken their fool necks on the ride home. She was even more amazed when they still wanted more drink.
Merry had refused them the key to the pantry and suggested they find their beds. She’d then ordered the servants to make themselves scarce and retired herself, hoping that would be the end of it. It hadn’t. The three men decided to take battle-axes to the pantry door. The racket had brought her from her bed to find they’d hacked their way through the thick wooden door and were inside, breaking open the casks of whiskey. When she’d tried to stop them, her brother Brodie had pushed her away and raised his axe threateningly as he told her not to interfere.
There’d been nothing else for her to do but to leave them to it. What had followed was nearly a week of them bingeing on their treasure while Merry and the servants had done their best to stay out of harm’s way. The trio had drunk until they passed out, and then woke to immediately begin drinking again.
On the third day, Brodie had cuffed one of the kitchen boys who had been foolish enough to return before she gave the all-clear and then had not moved quickly enough for her brother’s liking. Fortunately, Merry had been close enough she’d managed to intervene after only the first blow, and while the lad had suffered a bloody nose, he’d also learned a valuable lesson. She doubted he’d ever return to the keep before he was sure it was safe to do so.