Tynedale, English Middle March – Summer 1538
The Foster Peel Tower
Maggie Armstrong sighed and rested her head against Will Foster’s shoulder, content in his embrace. The sun sank low along the horizon, but still sparkled off the small burn that ambled past the Foster peel tower, its gurgling rhythm music to her ears. She hadn’t known such peace and tranquility since her father had been killed, and yet, Will’s shoulder was tense and rigid. Did he fear she still blamed him for it? Or was there something more, something he kept concealed behind those enchanting blue-gray eyes?
Reaching up, she touched Will’s cheek. “What’s wrong? There’s no way my family could regroup and attack this soon – is there?”
“I reckon no’ even Geordie Armstrong could manage that.” Will chuckled, a deep, pleasant laugh that sent warm ripples down Maggie’s spine. “God’s Teeth, lass, ye left them to walk home in their stocking feet.”
Maggie leaned back against Will’s shoulder once more, no longer finding it so funny. “What if they do come for me? My uncle said I’d never be welcome in Scotland again? They’ll hang me, won’t they . . . or worse yet, wed me to Ian Rutherford?”
Will squeezed her tighter to himself and kissed her forehead. “’Tis nowt for ye to fash yerself about, lass, for I’d die afore I’d let them take ye.”
Maggie snuggled closer, allowing the warmth of his body soothe her fears. She knew he meant every word he said. And that’s what worried her.
“We could go away from here,” she said, sure he wouldn’t even entertain the idea.
“Leave the Borders?” He sat up and brushed back Maggie’s hair, gazing into her eyes. “But this is me home. I’ve land here and kin.” He stood up, taking a few steps away before turning to face her once more. “And where d’ye reckon we’d go?”
Maggie watch the water splash as it tumbled over rocks and pebbles. Back to the twentieth century of course. How she wanted to say the words, to tell him where she truly came from, but she was fairly certain he’d think she’d gone mad. Instead she gave him the only answer she could.
“Perhaps we could go back to Lancashire.” If she could get him to agree to that, she could take care of the rest later. Of course, she’d have to locate the amulet first. If only her father hadn’t died, none of this would be happening. A tear trickled down her cheek and Will bent down beside her, wiping it away.
“We’ll go wherever ye want, lass, but there’s nae need to fret ower it now. Geordie’s no’ fool enough to attack again. He’ll wait and file a bill against us with the Warden. By then, me da will have made a petition of his own. Let’s bide a bit, and see what happens, eh.”