He burst in, clearly still under the effects of adrenaline. He immediately goes to the fire and takes a cup of broth and he downs it, Jesus H Roosevelt Christ, he must be burning his throat, I'm on my way over to see him when I see his knuckles. He'd obviously tried to wash it away but he still had a cut or two. I pulled his hand up to look at it, I felt his eyes on me.
"Dinnae fash, yersel. I took care o the man who hurt oor Bree." As soon as he said that my head snapped up. Had he figured out it was Stephen Bonnet who had raped Brianna? What had he done?
"Will you show me?" I asked, desperate to find out if it was Stephen Bonnet he had locked away, battered and bruised. His jaw clenched and his injured hand clenched.
"Nay, Sassanach, I don't want you to see that monster. Besides, Only young Ian kens where he lies." He took another cup of broth, thankfully drinking this one slowly. "Ye'll have to ask him, where he lies." I rub some of my homemade salve on his knuckles.
"I think I will." Then it dawns on me: he hasn't once said his name. "I don't suppose you know the name of the man you took care of?" He shook his head. Damn, he's beaten the wrong guy. He'd never forget Bonnet or what he did to us. I had to find this poor man before Jamie did anything else to him.
Ivan his knuckles a kiss I told Jamie to get some rest and went off to find Ian. I found him at the river of course. "Ian, where did you take the man Jamie beat? I want to look into his eyes." I look into Ian's eyes.
"Ye'll have a hard time for that, Auntie Claire, his eyes are near shut." Ian smiled at me. "But, it's no less what he deserves for what he did to Bree." I resist the urge to tell Ian that it's the wrong guy.
"Did Bree tell you that it was him?" He shakes his head. "Then who?"
"Lizzie. She saw them together in Wilmington and then Bree didn't return until near dawn...are you alright, Auntie Claire?" It was at that point I realised what had happened, my eyes were closed and I looked ill, my husband had beaten Roger MacKenzie Wakefield.
"Listen to me; Bree told me who raped her...and if you saw him you'd know. Jamie would too...You need to find the man and bring him here. I need to confirm what I think has happened." I suddenly realise what he's thinking. "Bring the man to my surgery and then find Jamie and Lizzie, bring them too, but after I see the young man. After they see him, bring Brianna." Ian nodded and ran to do as I had told him. I turned and went into the surgery.
As Ian put the man down on my examining table I gasped, Roger, I was right. I was in the middle of cleaning up his face when Jamie ran in with Lizzie.
"Sassanach! What the hell do you think yer doing helping that man?!" he was enraged, but not at me at Roger. "Ye ken what he did to Bree, to oor Brianna? What I did to him was justice." I let him carry on his rant before looking at him.
"Brianna told me who raped her, she made me promise not to tell you his name, but if you saw him you'd know. Believe me." I looked down at Roger, "This isn't him. This is..."
"Roger" Brianna had come in and saw the prone form lying on my table. "Roger!" She screamed and ran to him, holding his face in her hands as tears began to fall on his unconscious body.
"Her husband. Likely looking for her when he encountered you." I saw him put his hand over his mouth and Lizzie look down. This wasn't their fault I know but the chain of events worked out the way that they did.
Roger stirred, he could open one eye and the first thing he saw was Bree's mass of red curls on his chest. His hand came up and stroked the curls and Bree jerked awake. It was early in the morning: not sure what time exactly but Bree had fallen asleep on Roger. Jamie had begged to be the one to tell her he had done this to Roger, and boy, that had been explosive. Bree understood his feelings of course but she was angry at him for not trusting her to tell him the identity of the rapist in time. That's when Lizzie stepped forward and confessed she had led my husband to Roger. Stunned, Bree had dismissed them both from her presence for the night.
Watching as she smiled up at Roger who smiled back as best as he could with, what I suspected to be, a broken jaw I smiled myself. They looked at each other the way Jamie and I do, it was true love.
At breakfast, Jamie sat beside Roger. Roger flinched a little overtime Jame looked at him. Clearly he remembered him.
"I'm sorry, laddie. For what I did tae ye. I'm sorry I didn't think. It's just hearing Brianna's ordeal at Wilmington and then hearing that you were the one who was wi her...I saw red and lashed out and for that. I am truly sorry." Roger shook his hand.
"I must confess, I didn't think my first meeting with my father in law would be when he beat seven bells of hell out of me." Roger chuckled lightly and ate some egg. Good, so his jaw wasn't broken as I had feared. Jamie chuckled back at him, relieved the man was so forgiving. Suddenly Roger goes serious. "I never should have walked out of those stables that day Bree. I should've been there to help ye, when...whoever it was...attacked ye." he takes her hand and strokes the knuckles lightly, "but rest assured I won't rest until the bastard receives some justice."
"You don't even know who it is..." Brianna looked to everyone, she decided to confess the name, her voice so quiet it was hard to make her out. "Stephen Bonnet..." She looked anywhere but at her husband and father.
Both of them groaned at hearing the name, odd. I knew Jamie knew Bonnet but where had Roger met that vile man.
"If I'd have known that bastard had laid a finger on ye Bree I'd have slit his throat while he slept." Roger was suddenly furious. He pulled Bree to himself and kissed the top of her head as she cried. "I was in his employ for months, it was how I found my way to Wilmington. I would've stayed in Wilmington with you but he threatened me to get me to finish my employ..." he looked at Jamie, "I was on my way here to find out if she had come here. I had no idea her servant girl had seen us, I don't blame you for trying to hurt me. You thought I'd hurt Bree. I promise I'll look after her better than I have been doing."
Jamie nods. "Now I want to find that Bastard more than ever I did." He looks down. "I shouldna have helped him escape, It's partially my fault really."
Brianna shook her head; "no. I should've fought him harder." Both Jamie and Roger yell out 'no'.
"If anything I definitely should've stayed that night. I'm only glad the bastard didn't take yer virginity." Jamie stared at Roger.
"So you were..."
"Handfast? Yes, then came our wedding night."
Brianna looked up. "I should've told Lizzie about Roger...at least then she'd know I wasn't afraid of him, or that I was married to him, or something..."
I came and sat next to my family. "well, there's nothing anyone can do now except get on with our lives. Hope we run into Bonnet and dispense some justice. And forgive ourselves." I smile at Bree. "Prepare for the baby." I knew by Roger's reaction he didn't know.
As he quizzed Bree on the pregnancy I got up and prepared for the day. Knowing that everyone was now getting along I felt comfortable going about my day.
This is going to be one hell of a ride.