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My Heart’s in the Highlands

Angeline Fortin

Smashwords Edition

Copyright 2012 Angeline Fortin

My love is like a red, red

rose

That’s newly sprung in June:

My love is like the melody

That’s sweetly played in tune.

How fair art thou, my bonnie lass,

So deep in love am I;

And I will love thee still, my dear,

Till all the seas gang dry.

Till all the seas gang dry, my dear,

And the rocks melt with the sun;

I will love thee still, my dear,

While the sands of life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only love.

And fare thee weel awhile!

And I will come again, my love,

Though it were ten thousand mile.

― Robert Burns

You only live once, but ifyou do it right, once is enough.

― Mae West

Chapter One

Glasgow, Scotland

September 2012

His lips brushed across hers, a thrillingcombination of tenderness and aching passion. From beneath herlashes she watched his face. Passion and awe were written there,and she was sure that if he opened his eyes, he would see that verysame expression on her face. Never had she felt anything like this.Not just passion, but heart-rending need mixed with something shehad never felt before, but it made her chest tighten, her throatclose, and her eyes burn with tears. She felt like sobbing, yet atthe same time she wanted to sing with joy.

She ran her hands up his back and over hisshoulders, feeling the muscles playing beneath his smooth skinwhile his lips moved against hers, searching and exploring. Shewanted to beg him to never stop, to let her remain forever in thecircle of his arms.

Pulling back, she stared up at him, her eyesbegging him with the words she couldn’t say. He brushed the hairback from her temple, curling a lock of hair around his finger. Hisdark gaze, warm as caramel, melted into hers. “I love you,” hewhispered, his voice carrying a wealth of emotion. Her heart achedat his words as he bent his head to kiss her again. “God, how Ilove you.”

A single tear slipped down her cheek as herheart burst with joy. “And I lo…”

Mikah Bauer woke with a start to theincessant beeping of the alarm she had set on her cell phone.Reaching out, she hit the dismiss button on the screen andlay back against the pillows with a sigh, trying to entangleherself once more in the sensual tendrils that had ensnared hermoments before. But the dream was gone.

“Come back,” she whispered aloud, her voicequivering with longing, her body still aching with desire forhim.

The dreams were getting worse … or better,depending on how one looked at it. Mikah had dreamed of this man onand off for almost her entire life, but the innocent dreams of herchildhood had taken a sensual turn during the past week. Now theydelivered passion more intense than Mikah had thought herselfcapable of imagining, much less experiencing. But imagination itmust be, for emotions so powerful were not part of reality. Realpeople weren’t capable of the depth of love that she had felt inher dreams … that she had felt from him.

No man had ever told her he loved her thatway, as if the words had been wrenched from his very soul. Was itany wonder that she wanted nothing more than to sleep forever andlose herself in her dream man?

But he was gone and Mikah didn’t know when hewould come again.

Rolling over, Mikah squinted against thesunlight beaming brightly through a narrow gap in the drawncurtains of her hotel room. The poignant ache in her chest wasfading away and she felt sadness creep over her as it did. “Damn,”she whispered into the silent room.

An hour later, Mikah stepped out onto thestreet outside the Carlton George Hotel in Glasgow. The day was hotand humid, the normally clouded skies clear, allowing the sun tobeat down on the pavement … and her … with unseasonal fervor.

Forget walking, she thought as shewaved a cab down. Chalk it up to global warming or whatever, butshe had always heard that Scotland wasn’t supposed to be hot, evenin the summer. Yet summer was long gone and it was hot.

Pulling open the door of the taxi thatstopped in front of her, Mikah held out hope that there might be anair conditioner running in the car but was sadly disappointed tofind the cabbie sitting inside with only the windows down forventilation. “Where to, lassie?” he asked.

“Queen and Ingram,” she answered, patting ather damp forehead with the back of her hand. She had spent only afew moments on the curb, yet already her silk blouse was clingingto her back. “GoMA.”

“It’s only a few blocks walk away,” thedriver pointed out, meeting her eyes in the rearview mirror. “Areye sure ye don’t just want to walk it?”

“Very sure,” she answered, mentally willinghim on with wild hopes that he would build up enough speed duringthe short trip to create a breeze.

The cabbie just scoffed and accelerated intothe busy traffic in a way that seemed the norm in the UK but tendedto terrify her. Gripping the armrest tightly, Mikah held on as hebroke speedily into the noontime traffic. As she had hoped, somesmall amount of air began to move about the vehicle, creatingenough of a breeze to momentarily provide some relief from theheat.

Everyone she had talked to had insisted thatit just wasn’t normal, the current weather. The heat wave wascausing fits and starts all across Scotland, where the averageSeptember temp was typically in the high fifties Fahrenheit withcloudy skies. Mikah had packed her bags for this trip accordinglywith a selection of cardigans and wool jackets, but it was in thenineties now and the sun was roasting the town and her as well inher black silk blouse and charcoal pencil skirt. She didn’t evenhave the tiniest pleasure that might be taken from an open-toedshoe.

Even back home in Milwaukee, with thecontinual breeze off Lake Michigan, it didn’t normally get thishot. Especially in

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