Christine Dorsey - [MacQuaid 02]

Christine Dorsey - [MacQuaid 02] Read Online Free PDF

Book: Christine Dorsey - [MacQuaid 02] Read Online Free PDF
Author: My Heavenly Heart
pranced to the center of the furs spread over the floor and plopped down.
    “Lazy bag ’a bones.”
    The man’s words brought her attention back to him as he strode through the open door. Rachel watched as he placed the rabbit on a stump, then arced a small ax down, severing the rabbit’s head from his body. Rachel found it difficult to swallow. He quickly skinned the small animal, removing its entrails. Then he reentered the cabin and tossed the rest into the pot. He splashed water from a rope-handled pail over the meat, before swinging the iron pot over the now crackling fire.
    Then he turned to face her.
    At first he said nothing, and Rachel had to force herself not to squirm under his steady gaze. Which was ridiculous. She was an intimate of the queen, enamored by the king’s brother. There was no reason to be intimidated by a man more beast than human. Yet she was the first to glance away.
    It was then that he spoke. “I don’t know who you are or how you came to be here—”
    “I thought I made myself clear—” Rachel began but he lifted his hand, palm out, and she clamped her mouth shut.
    “Since you chose to be here for the winter—”
    Now it was her turn to interrupt. “I did not choose any such thing. I was...” Rachel paused. It didn’t seem worth the effort to repeat the circumstances surrounding her arrival. He did not believe her last night, nor did it seem as if the morning made him more receptive. He should know one thing however. “I shall not be remaining here for the winter.”
    He continued on as if she hadn’t spoken. “There are a few things I’m believing should be made clear. First being that be my bed.” His chin jerked toward the pile of skins where the dog lay sleeping. “If you be wanting to share it with me, I’m willing but—”
    “Share it!” Rachel could hardly believe her ears. “Are you daft?”
    “More than likely,” he admitted. “But that ’tis not the issue. Sleeping arrangements are. And I would like my bed back.”
    “Well you may have it.” Rachel whirled around, eager to leave this man’s odious company only to realize there was no place for her to go. The cabin was so small. All she could do was stand there, impotent anger welling up like an underground spring. But it seemed he wasn’t finished.
    “Since we’ll be sharing the food and lodging—”
    “I shan’t be staying,” Rachel threw over her shoulder, though, in truth she had no idea when she would leave or how.
    He seemed to have the same misgivings for he paid her interruption no mind. “I think ’tis fair you do the cooking.”
    Cooking! Rachel twisted back around. Who did he think he was? And more importantly didn’t he realize who she was? Rachel opened her mouth to tell him... again, but he had already gathered up his rifle and was striding through the door. All she managed to do was yell at his retreating form. “I do not cook. Servants cook.” He ignored her, walking with a steady gait toward the woods.
    Rachel slammed the door only to jerk it open again. “Wait.” Whether it was the word itself or her frantic tone, Rachel wasn’t sure. But he did stop, glancing back, his brow raised.
    “Where are you going?”
    “I’ve some traps to see to.”
    “Oh.” Rachel’s hand tightened on the latch. “I have need of...” She took a deep breath and tried again. “Where is your necessary?” She thought she noticed the ghost of a smile curve his lips, but before she could become indignant it was gone.
    He simply made a sweeping motion with his hand. “’Tis all about you, Your Highness.”
    “Your Highness, indeed!” Rachel gave the door a push, then kicked it for good measure. “And what does he mean, all about you?” Rachel asked the question, yet she feared the answer was obvious. “Oh, I know what he means,” she said as the dog lifted his head, opening sleepy eyes to her. “I’ve... well, I’ve relieved myself in the woods before... as a child. It’s just
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