Far From The Island – 52


Fiona opened the door, and stopped dead in her tracks. His rugged, solid presence seemed to fill the small space. His hair had been tamed and smoothed back from his tanned face. Fiona’s first thought was how very, very attractive he was. Her second was that she had no right to be thinking such thoughts.

“Euan. What are you doing here?” Realising that this sounded most unwelcome, Fiona pasted a smile on to her face. “I mean, it is nice to see you.”

He laughed, a deep rumble of a laugh which had an edge to it.

“Nice? That is some way to greet someone who has travelled halfway across Scotland to see you.”

Was he nervous? If so, it was infecting her, too. For some reason, her knees were shaking. It was with great reluctance that Fiona let go of the handle and closed the parlour door behind her.

“Would you like some tea?”

“No,” Euan replied baldly.

Definitely nervous. Fiona edged her way into the room, stopping behind the sofa. Isabel had informed her that Louisa had left Heronsay and would not be returning. Isabel had speculated wildly as to the reasons, but Fiona had not allowed herself to hope. Taking fresh stock of Euan, she saw that the suit he wore with such an air was both new and well tailored.

“You’re stopping by on your way to visit Louisa in Edinburgh!” she exclaimed. “Is that it?” It all made horrible sense. Isabel was wrong. No man would give up someone like Louisa, who wasn’t just rich and beautiful but, by all accounts, very nice into the bargain.

“Fiona . . .”

Was that pity on his face? Colour flooded her cheeks as Fiona realised how her remark must have betrayed her.

“I am pleased for you,” she said determinedly.

“Fiona, I’m not going to see Louisa, and I’m certainly not getting married to her.”

Her heart, which had been racing, now skipped a beat, and then began to go even faster.

“She’s a lovely woman, and I’m sure she’ll make some man very happy, but it won’t be me.”

“Oh,” Fiona said again. Her breathing was as erratic as her heartbeat now. Her thoughts were whirling. Euan was not going to marry Louisa. Euan was not in love with Louisa.

“I’m not going to marry Matthew,” Fiona blurted out.

“I know. Isabel told me. Will you come out from behind that sofa?”

She didn’t think she could.

“Why?”

Euan smiled – a tender smile which made it feel as if her stomach was twisting into knots. He held out his hand, and she went to him, covering the short distance as if in a dream. His tanned, callused hand enveloped hers.

“Because I want to tell you that I love you, Fiona.”

She gazed into his eyes, and the world seemed to stop.

“You do?” she whispered.

“I do. I always have, and I always will.”

“Oh, Euan, I love you so much.”

Her tears did not have time to fall, for she was swept into his arms in a passionate embrace which left her breathless in a very new way. His kiss opened up a different world to her, a place where she finally understood all that Ella had said about love.

“I have been such an idiot not to see that what I wanted was under my very nose,” she said. “Will you ever forgive me?”

“There is nothing to forgive. I told you last November, I understood your reasons for leaving Heronsay,” Euan said, planting a kiss on her brow. “What we have to work out now is how to get married without you feeling as if I’ve clipped your wings.”

Alan Spink

Alan is a member of the “Friend” Fiction Team. He enjoys working closely with writers and being part of the creative process which sees storytelling ideas come to fruition. A keen reader, he also writes fiction and enjoys watching football and movies in his spare time. His one aspiring tip to new writers is to “write from your imagination”.