Yield to Me

Yield to Me Yield to Me

Status: Finished

Genre: Historical Fiction

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Historical Fiction

Summary

The year is 1705. Annabel McGraw seeks to make a home in Carbrey—a small village on the Scottish coast—ever fearful that her secret will be discovered. A practitioner of the forbidden ancient craft, Annabel faces the hangman’s noose if the truth is revealed. When the villagers become suspicious, she knows she should flee, but her lust for local merchant Ewan Findlay makes her reluctant to move on.… When Ewan interrogates Annabel at the local inn where she works, it is soon clear that he knows she is a witch—and that he wants her just as much as she wants him! Unable to resist him, or to trust him, Annabel willingly gives in to her wildly passionate nature, risking both her heart, and her very life! But it seems Ewan has a secret of his own.…

Summary

The year is 1705. Annabel McGraw seeks to make a home in Carbrey—a small village on the Scottish coast—ever fearful that her secret will be discovered. A practitioner of the forbidden ancient craft, Annabel faces the hangman’s noose if the truth is revealed. When the villagers become suspicious, she knows she should flee, but her lust for local merchant Ewan Findlay makes her reluctant to move on.…

When Ewan interrogates Annabel at the local inn where she works, it is soon clear that he knows she is a witch—and that he wants her just as much as she wants him! Unable to resist him, or to trust him, Annabel willingly gives in to her wildly passionate nature, risking both her heart, and her very life! But it seems Ewan has a secret of his own.…

Chapter1 (v.1) - Yield to Me

Author Chapter Note

The year is 1705. Annabel McGraw seeks to make a home in Carbrey—a small village on the Scottish coast—ever fearful that her secret will be discovered. A practitioner of the forbidden ancient craft, Annabel faces the hangman’s noose if the truth is revealed. When the villagers become suspicious, she knows she should flee, but her lust for local merchant Ewan Findlay makes her reluctant to move on.…<br /> <br /> When Ewan interrogates Annabel at the local inn where she works, it is soon clear that he knows she is a witch—and that he wants her just as much as she wants him! Unable to resist him, or to trust him, Annabel willingly gives in to her wildly passionate nature, risking both her heart, and her very life! But it seems Ewan has a secret of his own.…

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: June 20, 2012

Reads: 1493

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Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: June 20, 2012

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Chapter One

Scotland, 1705

I sensed it was him the moment he crossed the threshold. Ewan Findlay—the man I had craved from the moment I first saw him—was here in The Silver Birch. The very sound of his boots on the flagstones made my lust surge, his presence setting me aflame.

I plunged my scrubbing brush into the pail of water and carried on with my work, my emotions tumbling as I considered my folly. To be distracted by any man was foolhardy. I had to be alone in order to survive, because no matter where I roamed on Scotland’s fine soil, I had to shield what I was. I did not wish to be persecuted for my beliefs, as so many others had, and yet I could not help myself. Ever since I had been here in Carbrey, I imagined what it would be like to lay with Master Ewan Findlay. As I watched him stride across the floor of the inn, my very center ached for the thrust of him there.

Desire was leading me into dangerous ways. I knew it, and yet I could not stop my gaze flitting to the silver buckles on his shoes. How I wished it had been me who had polished those shoes this morning—me who had, perhaps, flaunted myself to distract him from his work. His legs were long and his thighs strong, outlined as they were in his tight breeches. I wanted to look higher but told myself to resist, lest anyone notice. It was an impossible task. Master Findlay’s image had bonded to my blood the moment I arrived in the village of Carbrey.

I pushed my loose hair back over my shoulder and ran my hand around the back of my neck, arching as I glanced his way. He smiled at me and then reached into his pocket for a coin, affording me a glance beneath his frock coat. The shirt he wore revealed the breadth of his shoulders, his breeches only emphasizing his arrogant, proud stance. My stare lingered on his fine figure while I scrubbed on across the muck–covered flagstones of the inn.

Ewan nodded at the landlord as he pushed the coin across the wooden counter, his gaze alert and enquiring. "Tam."

"Good day, Ewan. ’Tis a fine morning." Tam Moray poured ale from a jug into a tankard. Beyond him, a gaggle of older men gossiped over their drinks. Tam watched where Ewan looked, and Ewan continued to look at me.

The nature of his stare thrilled me, for it was filled with desire. How I wished I were on my knees before him in more intimate circumstances. There would be much pleasure in that.

He supped from the tankard and then set it down. "Miss McGraw, might I have a moment of your time?"

The scrubbing brush in my hand stilled. I lifted my head from my work.

His smile had gone. "Several of the villagers have spoken to me about you."

It was then I noticed he was not alone. Hovering outside the doorway was a man who held a musket in his hands. They were here to interrogate me. Familiar fears crowded in. I dumped the brush in the pail and rested back on my haunches, drying my hands on my skirts, attempting not to show how I felt.

"They are concerned," he continued. "You are a stranger here. Is it a crime of some sort that you left behind in Glasgow?"

I stood up, wanting away from this. "No!"

The truth was I’d had to run, and I might have moved on from Carbrey by now if it were not for him. I again cursed my folly. His question brought out my stubborn streak. "Is it wrong to seek a home here?"

"A woman, alone, no family. It is not right." His hooded eyes watched me closely as he spoke. Beyond him, the old men craned their necks to hear what was said.

I held my tongue, lest my defiant nature get me in trouble. The worst of it was that even while he questioned me, there was a vibrant potency about him that I could not ignore. We stood but a few paces apart and the distance only emphasized his stature, his fatal allure. In a small place such as this the merchant was a man of power, although that was not what drew me to him. Ewan compelled me to observe him, to desire him. I’d felt his gaze on me, too, yet I found no welcome in his words today.

"The minister is concerned," he added. "He wonders how you will support yourself."

Tam cleared his throat. "The wife took her in," he said, taking his chance to indicate he had nothing to do with me. "She’s done good work in return for a cot and a few meals. I told her we can only offer her keep for another few days."

Tam Moray’s words riled me, but I had to be cautious. I did not want any of them to discover my secret. If they did, the hangman’s noose awaited. "I will find more work. I can turn my hand to many things."

Master Findlay’s hooded eyes scoured me, his handsome lips parting. "I’m sure you can."

The tone of his voice made my body quicken. There was lust in his eyes, I did not imagine it—and with his attention on me the room seemed suddenly smaller, the air more difficult to breathe. Yet he stood firm, the very angle of his head suggesting that he was expecting me to say more. This truly was an inquisition. My mind worked quickly through the possibilities, and then recalled a notion I’d had.

"I mean to keep a bee hive. There is no bee keeper here." It was mention of the Reverend Salter that brought it to mind. I’d arrived in Carbrey on the back of a rickety cart. I’d paid two coins for the privilege of having my bones jarred instead of walking. The minister had joined me at Abernathy, the village along the coast. He carried a package of candles, which informed me that he had to travel to buy them.

"A bee hive, how industrious." He seemed pleased with my answer, his mouth lifting at one corner. "We are wary because we discovered a practitioner of witchcraft living amongst us, last year. We will not tolerate such a thing here." He studied me intently as he delivered his warning. "That woman was ousted and condemned."

My belly churned and my heart thundered. I should have gone away and forgotten about my lust for Ewan Findlay. I had to move on, as I had so many times before, a wee bairn dragged behind my mother every time she feared discovery. I lifted my chin defiantly. "Tell your townsfolk they have nothing to fear from me."

Now run! My mother’s voice echoed in my ears.

I turned on my heel and headed for the door.

"We are not finished with this," he declared loudly from behind me.

I darted away into the scullery.

Four strides and he was at my back, his hand on my shoulder as I entered the smaller room. Wriggling frantically, I could not shake his grip. I didn’t want to turn to magic, but there seemed little option if I was to escape and be on my way.

I attempted to whisper an enchantment in the ancient tongue, to become fluid in his grasp, but to no avail. Before I could say more than two words, he captured me to him and then covered my mouth with his hand. He was tall, and his body was hard at my back. I ached for it to be a more passionate embrace.

"Hush now." His breath was hot against my ear. With his free hand he reached back and pushed the door closed, isolating us in the steamy corridor of the scullery. When the door slammed, he clasped my waist through my woolen dress. "Or do you want to show them their fears are well founded…my wild little she–witch?"

My innards clenched. Ewan Findlay, the merchant of Carbrey, knew my secret.


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