Tremors Through Time
by Anastasia Abboud
Genre: Time Travel Romance
She’s made mistakes and paid the price, but Deidre Chisolm is no quitter. She’ll never again be a fool for a man, not even her gorgeous new neighbor with his haunted eyes and strange accent. She’ll be friendly, but nothing more.
Lachlann has to go back to fourteenth-century Scotland. He can’t forsake his family, his son. But when a beautiful, kind, funny lady buys the house next door, he’s never been so drawn to anyone in his life. Would she believe his story? After years of struggling through nightmares and flashbacks, headaches and illiteracy, dare he ask her to help him return?
The porch ran along the entire storefront. Decorated Christmas trees punctuated both ends and several large wooden rocking chairs, some red, some green, were arranged on either side of the steps. Glancing around, he realized that the whole property was festively decorated with various rustic holiday displays, greenery, and, of course, Christmas trees.
Beyond the building, in the near distance, long rows of trees grew all the way down to the lake. Near the water, picnic tables were set up under the trees.
“What do you think?” Deidre brushed his shoulder with hers.
“This is great.”
She smiled. “I have another surprise. See over there?” She pointed out of his window.
At the far end of the parking area was a horse and a deep green carriage. Parked a little way behind the carriage was a wagon filled with hay.
Lachlann wasn’t sure which she was pointing at.
“We’ll take one to transport our tree?” he guessed.
She shook her head. “No. I thought it might be fun to take a carriage ride down to the trees. It’s a perfect day for it.”
It was a perfect day for anything, cold but not uncomfortably so, and sunny. But it wasn’t the weather that made it perfect for him. He watched as Deidre drew their picnic basket from the back seat. Her long, fiery hair moved gently in the breeze and her green sweater, the same color as the trees, hugged her figure. She was all the perfection he’d ever want.
Moments later, they were climbing into the carriage. Jacob, the carriage-driver, was a tall, middle-aged man with light brown hair and a friendly smile. He looked up at Lachlann.
“Velkommin. Hvernig hefur pu pad?” Welcome. How are you?
Lachlann frowned. Norroena? “Eg heve pad gott takk. Talarpy Norroena? Ir pu fra Orkneyjar?” I’m fine, thanks. You speak Norroena? Are you from Orkney?
“Oh, man.” Jacob raised his hands in surrender, laughing. “I guess I forgot more than I thought. I’ve been to Iceland a couple of times and picked up quite a bit of the language. At least, I thought I had. What an amazing country. I knew when I heard your accent that you had to be from there.”
“I’m from Scotland.” Lachlann glanced at Deidre.
She looked confounded.
“Scotland?” Jacob looked surprised. “I wouldn’t have guessed. You speak Icelandic like a native. You sound just like my cousin’s husband. Make yourselves comfortable. There’s a blanket there on the seat. We’ll get going.”
He and Deidre settled side by side on the seat. They didn’t need the blanket, but they covered themselves anyway. The moment they took off, Deidre turned toward Lachlann.
“You speak Icelandic?” she asked in a low voice.
He shook his head. “No.”
“You obviously just did.”
“No.” He ran a hand through his hair. Where the hell was Iceland? “I wouldn’t know Icelandic.”
“That wasn’t Gaelic.”
“Did I hear you say Norroena?”
He had as many questions as she did. Now wasn’t the time. “Didn’t we agree to save this conversation for tonight?”
She crossed her arms. “This conversation about you speaking Icelandic?”
“I don’t…It’s all part of the same. Trust me, if we go into it now, we won’t enjoy this.” He indicated their surroundings and shrugged. “But I’ll talk if you insist. Just remember, you’re not going to like what I have to say.”
She stared at him a long moment, then sighed. “Fine. We’ll wait.”
He cupped her chin and kissed her. “Thank you.”
They settled closer beneath the blanket and took in the scenery without further conversation. Only Jacob spoke now and then, pointing out different areas of the farm.
Deidre snuggled closer as a bracing wind blew in from the lake that sparkled in the distance. The scent of pine was strong, and Lachlann breathed deeply, filling his lungs with the fresh, fragrant air. He closed his eyes as memories of the Highlands swept over him. Suddenly, he was in Scotland, his Scotland.
“Da!” Iain pointed at him, gurgling with laughter, his blue eyes shining with merriment, as he and a slightly older cousin settled excitedly into the small horse cart. Old Nessie, the packhorse, pulled it slowly while Lachlann walked beside them. He could more easily have pulled the cart himself, but Iain loved the farm animals and always wanted to be with them when he was outside. Lachlann was glad to give him the treat. It was a beautiful day, and he’d finished his work early. He smiled at Deidre, who walked on the other side of the cart.
Gasping, Lachlann jerked to the present.
“What’s wrong? Are you okay?” Deidre asked.
“I need to get out!” he said wildly, beginning to rise. “We need to talk.”
“Lachlann, wait.” She laid her hand on his arm. “Jacob,” she said more loudly, “is there a place where we could enjoy a more private picnic?”
“Yes, ma’am, there surely is. It’s not part of the tour, so you’ll have it to yourselves. Do you want to go there now?”
Lachlann would have preferred to walk. Actually, he wanted to run, shout, come out of his skin. He took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. He was losing his mind, losing his grip on reality.
“This place reminds me of the tree farms in North Carolina.” Deidre spoke smoothly, as if he hadn’t almost jumped out of a moving carriage. “The difference is that there, the trees grow down mountainsides and it snows in winter. It’s really very beautiful.”
“Do you miss it?” he forced himself to ask. His heart and head were pounding.
“I used to.” Her hand was still on his arm, rubbing gently, soothingly. “But not anymore. It’s amazing what a difference one person can make.”
“Aye.” He pulled her closer. “I know what you mean.”
“Do you miss Scotland?” she asked as she snuggled back against him.
“No.” Closing his eyes, he rested his cheek on the top of her head and focused on breathing.
Neither of them moved or spoke again until the carriage stopped.
For me, playing is the best — playing outdoors in nature or in my garden, experimenting in the kitchen, spending time with those I love. I also enjoy disappearing into a good book, attempting crafts, learning, writing, exploring, discovering. I especially like to mix it up and have yet to perfect any of it; and I’ve come to realize that perfection’s not the point. It’s all wonderfully fun. That’s the point!
I prefer authentic and natural, be it food, lifestyle, people. I passionately enjoy both history and science, and certainly sociology to a degree, and I am most truly a romantic.
My husband and I have been married for over forty years. We reside near Houston, Texas, surrounded by loved ones. We have a blast with our little grandchildren.
I thank God for this wonderful life.
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