Far From The Island – Episode 37

Without meaning to, she took a step towards him. His fingers slid from her cheek to the nape of her neck, making her shiver as he urged her gently closer. Her heart was racing. She could feel his breath on her cheek, he was so near. He tilted his head, and she lifted hers in the most natural of preludes to a kiss.

They both sprang apart at the same time. Blushing furiously, Fiona made a play of rearranging her plaid while Euan went back to staring out over the moor, his face implacable. What on earth had she been thinking? Was this her idea of putting things right between them?

“I’ve met someone, too,” she said abruptly, her voice sounding quite odd to her own ears. “A doctor. Matthew Usher.”

Euan dragged his eyes back to her, his face shuttered, unreadable.

“I heard. I wish you every happiness,” he said.

“Nothing is decided yet. We are going to wait until I have finished my training. I’ve still two years to go.”

Euan raised an eyebrow.

“Two years. He’s a patient man, then. I’m pleased for you, Fiona. You deserve to find happiness.”

He didn’t look pleased. Until now, she had not questioned the fact of Matthew being prepared to wait such a long time. It seemed no hardship to her, so she’d assumed he felt the same.

“And you? When will you be married, Euan?”

“Married!” He looked quite startled. “I’ve no plans in that direction as yet. Louisa is only a visitor at the big house. She will not remain on Heronsay for ever.”

“From what I’ve heard, she has already extended her stay several times.” She had no idea why she was pushing him. It was not because she had any feelings of that nature she had had her chance but because she wanted him to be happy, Fiona told herself. “At least this Louisa has proven that she likes our island,” she continued brightly. “There should not be any difficulty in persuading her to move here permanently.”

“With respect, that is no longer any of your business, Fiona. Your life is in Glasgow now, with your doctor friend. Things might be on a better footing with the new laird now, but there’s still a lot of work to be done, and until he rids himself of that vicious factor of his . . .” Euan broke off angrily. “There is no need to concern yourself with either me or Heronsay.”

“This will always be my home, Euan. My friends are on Heronsay, my roots are here. Of course I care what happens on the island.”

He shrugged.

“You left and have no intentions of coming back, you’ve made that perfectly clear.”

Fiona stared at him, her eyes smarting with tears.

“Heronsay will always be in my heart,” she said.

Euan’s face softened.

“I don’t doubt it, but unfortunately we can’t always have what’s in our hearts.”

“What do you mean?” she asked.

He shook his head.

“Nothing,” he said, and held out his hand. “Come on, it’s going to rain. Let us go and pay our respects to your father.”

She did not move.

“I had to get away, Euan.” She looked up at him, pleading for understanding.

He sighed.

“I know,” he said with a twisted smile. “You needed to get away from the memories and you needed to spread your wings. And your new life suits you, I can see that, Fiona. You clearly love nursing. Your face lights up when you talk about it.”

She swallowed the lump in her throat.

“Are you happy?”

He grinned.

“Och, when we’ve finally managed to rid ourselves of Factor Morrison and the laird gives his tenants ownership of their lands, and the sea is for ever calm and the catch swims freely into the nets and the fishermen want a new boat from me every year, then I’ll be happy. In the meantime, I’ll settle for not getting a soaking. Come on.”


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