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I mean to make you sigh as though your heart would break, and scream with the wanting, and at last cry out in my arms, and I shall know that I've served ye well.
And when my body shall cease, my soul will still be yours. Claire, I swear by my hope of heaven, I will not be parted from you.
I wept bitterly, surrendering momentarily to my fear and heartbroken confusion, but slowly I began to quiet a bit, as Jaimie stroked my neck and back, offering me the comfort of his broad, warm chest. My sobs lessened and I began to calm myself, leaning tiredly into the curve of his shoulder. No wonder he was so good with horses, I thought blearily, feeling his fingers rubbing gently behind my ears, listening to the soothing, incomprehensible speech. If I were a horse, I'd let him ride me anywhere.
"You are my courage, as I am your conscience," he whispered. "You are my heart - and I your compassion. We are neither of us whole, alone."
"Seems I canna possess your soul without losing my own."
"D' ye think I don't know?" he asked softly. "It's me that has the easy part now. For if ye feel for me as I do for you - then I'm asking you to tear your heart out and live without it."
"I do not know if the wound is mortal, but Claire - I do feel my heart's blood leave me when I look at you."
Just imagine. It is the early 12th century in the Scottish Highlands and you've just had a row with your husband, your very new husband. He's taking off for an undefined amount of time and doesn't even bother to say goodbye. You whisper your adieu to him and you take your leave, heartbroken, feeling unwanted and alone. As you walk up the hill, you suddenly feel the ground shaking and others are rushing to get off the path in front of you. Before you can face the impending danger, you are plucked from the ground and swept up onto your husband's horse, his hand tight around your waist as you gallop at a breakneck speed. At the top of the incline, he stops his stallion, stares into your eyes and whispers his farewell. And then he kisses you, long and hard.....a kiss both you and he will never forget. Just imagine. Your new husband has just swept you off your feet.
This is but one of my favourite parts in this enjoyable tale. Julie Garwood has a talent for shaping unforgettable characters. She lets you think their thoughts and feel their emotions until you believe you are there with them.....a secondary character yourself....a member of the clan. I really delighted in the heroine's character, Brenna. She was a sweet romantic at heart, yet she was strong, determined and out-spoken when she needed to be. Her quirky flaw of forgetting her personal belongings all over the place made her more real and endearing to me. Brenna was going to make her marriage work, and that was one outstanding feat, for Connor MacAlister is one formidable, unemotional Highlander. And the fact that he stole her as she was making her way to her wedding to another Highlander is no easy fact to get over. Connor's past has shaped his actions and his need for revenge is no secret. But he is an honourable man. Yet his English bride Brenna manages to tap upon his heart, little by little breaking down his hard exterior, reaching into his soul and releasing the love he has for her. Brenna makes Connor realize that loving someone does make him vulnerable, yet it doesn't make him less of a man. A great story and perfect read for the summer. "The Wedding" is book #5 in the 2011 Highlander Reading Challenge.