Her Highness and the Highlander: A Princess Brides Romance

Her Highness and the Highlander: A Princess Brides Romance by Tracy Anne Warren Page B

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Authors: Tracy Anne Warren
drawled, folding his arms
     over his chest.
    She paused, wondering if she’d heard an inkling of sarcasm in his tone. Deciding she
     must have been mistaken, she forged ahead. “It would also be your responsibility to
     secure suitable lodgings for our overnight stays as well as a comfortable conveyance
     in which to make the journey.”
    “Would you prefer a Whiskey for speed, Your Highness? Or perhaps a curricle with a
     fine leather top for greater shelter from the elements? It might rain, after all,
     during the long days of travel. Mayhap I should hire a coach-and-four instead with
     a driver and full complement of footmen?”
    Her brows furrowed as she considered. “Well, I am used to traveling with a number
     of servants and outriders, but that hardly seems necessary under the circumstances.
     I should think a curricle will do, especially since I no longer have any belongings
     of which to speak.”
    Come to think of it, she wondered what
had
happened to all her trunks and bandboxes and other personal items. For that matter,
     what had become of the coaches, to say nothing of the bodies of those slain? Surely
     someone must have found it, and them, by now.
    “Yes, a curricle with a good, solid top,” she murmured thoughtfully. “As you say,
     it may rain, but it is not worth the bother of hiring a closed coach and delaying
     our departure in order to find a suitable coachman.”
    “Och, aye, no point in going to unnecessary trouble or expense. While we’re on such
     a subject, though, might I ask who will be paying for all of this while I am acting
     as your
bodyguard
?”
    She linked her hands at her waist, her frown deepening.“Oh. You are right that there will be expenses along the way. I suppose you will need
     to pay for the carriage and lodgings and meals and such. I assure you, though, that
     every farthing will be recompensed. You have only to keep an accounting and my friends
     will be more than happy to reimburse you on my father’s behalf once we reach London.
     I will make sure you receive a handsome reward as well—I promise. My family will be
     most distressed when they learn what has happened to me and my retinue, and most grateful
     to you for coming to my aid.”
    “Your parents. The king and queen?”
    “Yes. I told you of them, and of my country.”
    “Of course,
your country
. Odd that I have never heard of it.”
    “Alden is very small. There are many people who are not aware of its existence.”
    He murmured something under his breath that she couldn’t quite hear, then lowered
     his arms to his sides. “Look, we could continue this all day, but I really do need
     to be going.”
    “Oh, well, yes, of course. You are right that we shouldn’t continue to delay. Pray
     allow me to change my attire, and then we shall depart. The serving maid should have
     my new garments ready by now.”
    He drew a long breath, then met her gaze with an implacable look. “
We
are no’ leaving.
I
am leaving. I’m on my way north, to my home in Skye. I’ve no interest in changing
     my plans.”
    Her lips parted. “But—”
    “As for serving as your bodyguard, I must refuse that as well and no’ simply because
     my soldiering days are over. The fact is you doona need a bodyguard. You’ll be perfectly
     safe traveling to London on your own.”
    No, I won’t,
she thought as her pulse gave a hard kick.
    “I spoke with the constable this morning,” he continued, clearly unaware of the panic
     squeezing like a suffocating hand around her throat. “He traveled the main road himself
     and there was no sign of highwaymen or abandoned coaches—and no dead bodies. I am
     sorry,
Miss
Wyndom. I doona knowwhat may or may not have happened to you, but I seriously doubt that you are in danger—certainly
     no’ from armed men. You have no need of a bodyguard.”
    Turning, he reached back and picked up an envelope. “I was going to leave this with
     the maid for you, but I’ll give it to you now.

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