Ella drove on the highway for a short while before sighting a gravel road that looked interesting. She turned onto the road and continued for at least forty-five minutes before she came to a place she thought would be perfect for her picnic. The view was spectacular. Purple blooming heather surrounded her on rolling hills. It took her breath away. Taking the basket, her book and a blanket she started to walk looking for a spot that would shelter her from the wind that had come up. Funny how it hadn't been there when she had first left the car. Nevertheless, she finally found a place that dipped down enough to escape the chilly wind but still showed the glorious views of heather and rolling hills. Looking back the way she had come, Ella estimated that she was close to half a mile from the car. Never having had a great sense of direction she didn't want to get lost out there. Taking a deep breath, she couldn't help but feel contented with life. “Life is good!" she shouted. While chuckling to herself, she spread out a blue plaid blanket setting the basket on one corner. Unlatching the lid, she peered inside.
Looking the food over she thought, “Oh Fiona you have outdone yourself!” With a sigh, she settled down first taking the wine and uncorking it. She poured some into a glass she'd found nestled in with the crockery. Taking a sip, she smiled in pleasure. Next, she took out a small loaf of fresh baked Scottish soda bread, followed by a chunk of cheese and some cut up apples she found in a container. There was even a jar of pickled veggies. It was simple and yet looked so good. She was surprised at how hungry she was and laughed out loud. “ If I eat all of this I'll be making up for the last few days!” Lifting her glass up, she began sipping her wine and nibbling on the different foods she had set around herself. Once full, she refilled her wine glass and reached for her book. Settling down with it, Ella continued to take occasional sips of wine while reading about life in the medieval times.
Not long after finishing her meal and most of the wine, Ella stretched out and continued to read her book. She swatted at the occasional fly. Feeling sleepy from all that wine, she set the book down thinking she would take a cat nap and afterward maybe check out some of the plants in the area. She patted the small book in her pocket before laying back and closing her eyes. In no time, she had dozed off. Not knowing how long she had been asleep, Ella suddenly woke up upon hearing the sound of a horse calling over the moors. Her eyes squinted, as she sat up. Someone was watching her, she could feel it. She looked around only to find that all seemed normal with the occasional bird calling out and the buzzing fly hovering over some leftover crumbs on the blanket.
Still glancing around, she finally spotted what looked like a horse and rider at the top of one of the not too distant hills. Ella narrowed her eyes. The horse was dark and enormous, even at that distance. “Did I drink too much wine? That looks like one big man sitting on a huge horse! I wonder what he is doing out here in the middle of nowhere?” Blinking rapidly to make sure she wasn't dreaming, she watched fascinated as the man finally signaled the horse to move. In moments, horse and rider started down the hill picking up speed, as they neared the bottom.
Ella continued to watch in fascination, as they galloped towards her in what seems to her as slow motion. As they drew closer, she was reminded of an ancient warlord astride a massive warhorse. He carried a shield, was bare-chested with what must have been an early blue tartan type cloth draped around his upper body. The lower half of him was covered with something similar with the end partially covering the rump of his horse. She could also see a dirk tucked in his belt. He stood up, giving her a better view. A long claymore stood high up behind his broad back. Ella licked her lips as she continued to watch, it was so surreal. She noted he wore no leggings or foot ware, but it was a warm sunny day if you were out of the wind. His black hair was long and wild flying out behind him as he rode on. A set of piercing blue eyes shone out of his bearded face.
To her rising panic, he wore a demonic grin as he swiftly advanced toward her. The hairs on the back of her neck started to rise. They were galloping much faster now, and that is when she realized horse and rider were headed straight for her...or more like over her if she didn't get out of the way. She didn't have time to gather her things. She jumped up and ran to the side while he trampled her picnic and turned the horse around. “What the Hell? She cried out angrily as she looked at the ruins of her picnic. In disgust, she spun in the direction of her car and started running. This was not good; she knew she didn't have a hope in getting anywhere near it before the maniac caught up to her.
Looking back, as she ran, Ella could not believe she was being pursued by a madman on a horse!. She screamed and kept running. Once he was barely a few feet behind her, he bent towards her and with one hand securely on the pommel of his saddle he reached for her with the other. She leaped to the side at the last moment falling and rolling as she did. She cursed as she quickly got back up and ran up towards a broad rocky hilltop. He came around trying to cut her off. She leaped to the left swearing at him, when he once again went to grab hold of her. This time, she was nearly trampled by the horse's hooves. She heard him curse as he reared his horse upwards barely missing her, he was no longer grinning. She half ran and half crawled until she was atop the hill, hoping he wouldn't follow. Once she made it over the lip, she forced her tired legs to keep on going across the hilltop while holding onto her aching side.
Cursing again in annoyance, he slid off the horse coming after her on foot. By this time, Ella was out of breath and becoming very frightened. She backed away holding her hands up. “You stay away from me!” Trying to reason with the wild man. Make no mistake; he did look like a wild man. He slowed down adjusting his voice to become low and gentle,
“Ní gá cailín bogadh!”, (Lass don't move!) startled, she recognized his words were ancient Gaelic, but this was no time to try and translate them.
Not heeding his voice, she took another step back, some loose rocks rolled away from her foot. He reached out trying to get her to stop moving. It was too late. She slipped on more rocks and started to go down. Quickly glancing behind, she saw she had backed off a shelf of rock. Over the edge, there was at least a twenty-foot drop to a bed of rocks at the bottom. She screamed as she went over desperately trying to grab onto the shelf....her hands grasping at the cold rock. Finally, her fingers slipped over the edge. Just as she was going down a huge hand grasped her wrist. Ella hung in the air legs dangling as her other arm tried to grasp at some hopelessly skinny roots. The pain in her wrist from her entire weight and his crushing hold was unbearable. She shrieked in pain, kicking her legs. Looking upwards, she wailed, "Help me you brute! You're breaking my wrist! Pull me up damn you!"
Rówann breathed a sigh of relief, as he carefully began pulling her back up enough to get her torso over the edge of the rock. Placing one hand under her other arm, he slid her slight body back onto the shelf. Her dress caught as she came up ripping her skirt up to her hip. He had fallen flat out on his belly, at the moment he had caught her hand. She rolled onto her back breathing heavily, while he stood up. Bending down, he caught her under the arms and set her to stand only inches from him. He stared angrily down at her dirt-smeared face. She was a mess, hair fallen in tangles, dress ripped, arms and legs scraped. For a few seconds, he felt some of his anger drain away, but only for a few seconds.
Ella glared up at her captor and suddenly with her uninjured hand walloped him hard across his bearded and yet handsome face. The Highlander's blue eyes widened in complete surprise. “Cén fáth tú Spitfire beag!” (Why you little spitfire!) He swore in Gaelic. He reached out and grasped her by the wrist she had just used on him.
Knowing better than to use her tender wrist, Ella shouted, “How dare you chase me all over the moors like some helpless rabbit? I could have died just now, and it would have been all your fault!” She took a deep breath before continuing, “Just what kind of barbarian are you?” He growled while pulling her roughly over to his waiting horse. Digging in her heels, she tried to escape his hold before adding furiously, “Let go of me you barbarian!”
Rówann stopped at his mount still holding onto the struggling girl, well woman. She was no girl that was for sure, but he did find her spirit fascinating none the less. In one smooth movement, he threw her across Bryce's heavy neck holding her steady with one hand splayed across her bottom, rummaging in the back of his saddle with the other. Finding what he sought, he took out a small length of rope and while still holding the girl down, leaped onto the horse's back. All the while, Ella struggled and screamed blue murder. He had no other option but to manhandle her while tying her hands securely. After some thought, he put his hands around her and lifted her into a sitting position securely tucked between his bare thighs. Ella fought him until he clamped a heavily muscled arm around her waist pulling her tightly up against his broad chest. Not being able to move didn't stop her from hurling more abuse at him. He cringed, as his ears rang! Rówann didn't have a clue as to what she was yelling about; it didn't matter since he was pretty sure it wasn't anything pleasant.
He motioned Bryce into a steady canter. As they rode through the hills, Ella had finally stopped fighting. She realized she needed to conserve her strength if she was to have any hope of getting out of this predicament. As they trotted along, Rówann couldn't help but notice that her rather short gown had been ripped leaving a long slim leg for him to view. Her leg had some scrapes and scratches from her falls, but still, it was pleasing. He grinned enjoying himself. Leaning down to her ear, he whispered in Gaelic, “Creidim go mbeidh mé ag éilíonn tú dom féin cailín.”(I believe I will claim you for myself girl.) Having said that, he straightened up thinking how warm she felt between his legs. He chuckled. Indeed he could get used to this!
To Ella's dismay, she could see they were headed for a dark area that looked like some ancient forest miles away in the centre of the rolling moors. A frightened and angry Ella bounced around, as she tried to pull away from the man and his heated body. Sitting between his bare thighs was just too close for comfort. Her eyes momentarily widened, “Do I feel what I think I'm feeling against my bum? No way....he better keep that thing to himself if he knows what's good for him!” He pulled her back up against his chest once more chuckling to himself. Whether she liked it or not she couldn't budge now as they galloped across the rugged land. “Yup, it is what I thought,” She turned her head to scowl up at him, only to see him raise an eyebrow and grin. Ella turned her head back grinding her teeth. “How am I going to get out of this predicament?”