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The Laird and the Sassenach by Ashe Barker – Extended Preview

“My lady, might I trouble you to accompany me to the solar?”

Roselyn tilted her head at the sound of her lover’s voice beside her. She had been aware of his approach and allowed herself to hope that she was the one he sought on this most unexpected visit to the hall in the middle of the day. Blair’s days were usually spent out of doors and during the weeks since she had become his mistress she tended not to encounter him between breaking their fast together in the early morning, and sharing his trencher at the evening meal.

“Is something amiss, my lord?”

“No, but I would speak with you. Alone.” The final word was murmured into her ear, intended for her only to hear.

Roselyn’s lower body clenched and warmed. She had become accustomed to the familiar stirrings of arousal, and it took but a word or a touch from Blair to cause her to moisten for him. He was not above sliding a surreptitious hand beneath her kirtle at mealtimes to caress her inner thigh until she spread her legs for him. He would leave her aching with need and ready to pounce on him by the time he finally escorted her back to his chamber.

Their chamber now, she reminded herself. Roselyn’s few belongings now shared the space. She possessed a bone hairbrush provided by Elspeth, four good kirtles made of fine Scots wool, and a pair of soft leather shoes which Blair had purchased for her from a travelling tinker.

That had been quite an occasion for the folk of Duncleit since visitors from further afield were rare. Roselyn had spent much time fondling the itinerant trader’s wares, inhaling the aroma of herbs and spices, and enjoying the delighted chatter as the other women of the castle clustered with her around the barrow. She had particularly admired the texture of the shoes, but had no coin with which to make a purchase. Blair was not present as she admired the tinker’s wares, but he had somehow learnt of her liking for the items and bought them for her.

He had even produced a lyre from somewhere and since then had demonstrated an impressive degree of fortitude as she sought to rekindle some semblance of competence with the instrument.

He took her hand and placed it in the crook of his elbow. “You may leave your hound here if you would, madam.”

“Freya, stay.” The dog turned, her nails clicking on the polished flagstones as she completed two tight circles before slumping back onto the planks beneath Roselyn’s abandoned chair.

Roselyn followed Blair’s lead to the foot of the stairs, then preceded him up the narrow steps. The route no longer bothered her; indeed, she could navigate the entire castle with relative ease. Every stairway now offered a stout rail to aid her, every fire had a screen before it, and there always appeared to be someone at hand to offer assistance or provide the information she needed to find her way. Blair’s doing, she had no doubt, and she appreciated his kindness. She had never known such freedom, and with every day that passed her confidence grew.

Despite the uncommon hour it would not have surprised her had he led her right through the solar and into their chamber, but he did not. Instead, he steered her to the window where a wide, quilted seat afforded a comfortable place in which to sit. It was a favourite spot of Roselyn’s.

“You know where you are?”

“Yes, my lord. Before the window.”

“Aye. If you lean forward you can rest your elbows on the seat.”

“Yes, I could. Is that what you would like me to do, Blair?”

“It is.”

Roselyn’s heart thumped but she did as he asked.

“Shoulders lower, if you please, and lift your bottom a little higher.”

Was he intending to spank her? He did so, occasionally, but in play. Roselyn had found the sport to be to her liking, for the most part, though she knew Blair would have no hesitation in delivering another bout of serious discipline if the need arose. She hoped it would not. She nibbled her lip as she arched her back to raise her buttocks up as he required.

“Excellent. You do have the most delightful derrière, Roselyn. Have I mentioned that?”

“I believe the point has arisen in conversation, sir.”

“Hmm,” he murmured. “Even so, I believe a closer inspection would be beneficial.” He took the lower hem of her skirts and raised the fabric slowly. He bundled it above her waist, then let out a low curse as the cloth refused to remain where he put it.

“Roselyn, I require your bottom to be bared so please be so kind as to gather the material of your kirtle before you and tuck it beneath your body.”

She complied, the cool draught of early autumn air from the window wafting across her naked buttocks. “What if someone below were to glance up and see us, my lord?”

“They will see only you, my sweet, enjoying the fresh, clean air of the Highlands. As long as you remain quiet and do not alert those outside to your… plight, I see no difficulty.”

“My plight, Blair? You mean to beat me?”

“Have you earned a whipping?”

“I had not thought so, but…”

“Not a whipping then. Open your legs, girl.”


“I shall fuck you, I believe, then I have a matter I wish to discuss.”

“Should we not retire to our bed?”

“Such a creature of habit. No, my sweet Roselyn, not on this occasion. Are you wet for me?”

“I am not sure. I do not think so.”

“Shall we find out?”

Roselyn gasped as he used his thumbs to open the lips of her most private place. He actually crouched behind her to examine the spot more thoroughly.

“Blair, please…” She was mortified, and exhilarated in equal measure. The sharp rap of his palm meeting her unsuspecting bottom and the sudden blaze of heat halted any further protest.

“You will be silent.” His tone was stern. She knew this was one of his ‘obey me, or bear the consequences’ moments. Such occasions often frightened her initially, usually heralding some new and intense experience, but never failed to ultimately delight her.

She clamped her lips shut and sank into the submissive pose he demanded.

Her pussy quivered and she clenched around him as he drove two fingers into her tight passage. The sounds of her wetness reached her ears but she was past embarrassment. Arousal shimmered and swelled, her lower abdomen roiling with it. Her nipples hardened and rubbed against the coarse linen of her shift as she wriggled in her pleasure.

He slapped her again, harder this time. “Be still,” he commanded. “I shall fuck you with my fingers first, and you will tell me when your release is almost upon you.”

“Blair, I need your cock. Please…”

He chuckled and rose to stand behind her, his fingers still embedded within her slick passage. He reached around with his free hand to lay his middle finger over her engorged clitty and Roselyn groaned. It would take just a few deft strokes…

“Now,” she squealed. “I am close.”

He paused, his fingers still in her, on her. “Wait. Breathe in, then out, and wait.” Long seconds passed, seconds in which Roselyn longed to shift, to rub against him, to lift her hips and thrust. It would take just the merest scrape of friction, the slightest stroke across her sensitised bud… She did none of those things though. Instead, she obeyed.

“Are you quite calm again? May I continue?” His voice was silky smooth.

“Yes, I…”

Mere seconds later she was begging him to stop again, her almost-release surging forth to tease and tantalise.

“Would you like me to spank you? I believe that might serve to ease your tension a little. You do appear somewhat overwrought just now, Roselyn.”

“Sir? I do not know…please, I need—”

“Lift your bottom, and do not clench or I shall ask Aiden to seek out a decent switch for you. He performed the task to my absolute satisfaction the last time it was required.”

Roselyn needed no further encouragement. She did as she was told and tried to make her bottom soft. She would accept, submit, and all would be well. Blair would make it so, she knew it.

Pain blazed, but she relished the sharp edge of it. He spanked her hard, the blows swift, covering her buttocks and thighs in streaks of flaring agony, but she lifted her bottom, raised herself on her toes and begged for more.

“Spread your legs wide, my sweet.”

She did so, even knowing what he must intend. The blow when it came, landing directly on her swollen lips and clitty, brought with it a surge of white heat which tore through her, right to the very tips of her toes and the ends of her hair. She screamed, then sought to muffle her cries in the bundled garment which she still clutched in her hands. He paused for a moment, then struck her again. Then once more, and her release burst forth. She could not control it, nor could she manage to plead for respite. It was here, done, and she was swept up in it.

Only as the waves of pleasure receded, as her pussy throbbed with the residual shock of his treatment, as her inner walls clenched on nothing, only then did he sink his solid length into her.

She sighed, and rubbed her cheek against the upholstered seat as he leaned over her. His chest rested on her back, his arms encircled her. He was solid, powerful, and she was his to control. He would do as he wished with her, how he wished and where he wished, and she would not say no. She would never say no because he was her strength, her courage, her anchor. The McGregor was her master and she would have it no other way. She acknowledged that truth as he thrust into her. His thick cock stretched her entrance, he filled her utterly, and she felt safer, more secure than she ever had in her life.

Passion flared and she clawed at the seat. He took her hand in his.

“Easy, little one. I will not harm you.”

“I know. I know that. I… I love you, Blair.”

“Hmm, and I love you also. But you know that, too, eh?”

Roselyn turned her face, seeking his. He kissed her, then groaned as she tightened around him. “Little minx, you know better than to seek to take over. Maybe I need to spank you again.”

“Maybe, if you believe it to be necessary, though I should very much prefer you to finish fucking me first.” The words were out before she could clamp her lips shut. Where had such coarse desires sprung from, let alone the temerity to give voice to them? Surely she could not have uttered such a lewd remark, whatever the circumstances. She started to apologise but his low, sensual chuckle shut off her words.

“Ah, my love, we shall make a slut of you yet. I shall enjoy that greatly, my beautiful little English harlot.”

“I am not a harlot for I shall only ever be with you.” She did not deny his other observation.

“Roselyn, might I prevail upon your company this afternoon?” Blair lounged at her side at the lord’s table, the remains of their slightly delayed midday meal before them. It had taken him mere moments to restore her clothing to a state of decency, following which he had led her back down to the hall.

Roselyn’s head still swam from their earlier encounter. It had been so intense, and so intimate. She had bared more than her bottom to him, though that had been compelling enough. He had heard her avow her love for him, and he had declared that he loved her too.

Could it be? Really? And if it were truly so, then what might their future hold?

“Roselyn, did ye hear me? Are you busy this afternoon?”

“Me, my lord? No, of course not. Did you require me to do something for you?”

“Yes, I would like it very much if you would accompany me on an errand.”

“An errand, my lord? Outside of Duncleit?” She could not contain her surprise. Roselyn had not ventured further than the castle and bailey in all the weeks she had been here.

“Aye. There is a world beyond and it is time ye experienced some of it, I think. My lands extend well beyond the burn a couple of miles to our east, and I am given to understand that the stream is partly dammed. Otters, no doubt, and debris from the recent rains, but it requires to be cleared before it causes problems for the crofters downstream who rely upon the fresh water. I shall ride there, along with a party of my men to aid the farmers. I thought you might enjoy the ride as ‘tis such a fine day.” He leaned in to whisper in her ear. “And it has come to my attention that ye could likely do with the exercise. I do believe you may be getting a tad over-excitable and I can only put it down to being confined to the keep for overlong.”

“Your concern for my health does you credit, sir, but I believe I might be able to offer an alternative explanation.”

“Do not trouble yourself, Lady Roselyn. I have made up my mind, you are to have an outing and there’s the end of it. I need to ready the horses but I shall stop by the kitchens and ask Elspeth to provide you with a warm cloak. Do you think you and Freya can make your own way to the stables or shall I summon Meggie too?”

The little housemaid’s services were required infrequently now, and Blair appeared to have abandoned his initial mistrust of the hound’s abilities to act as her guide. Roselyn relied heavily upon her canine companion. “There is no need to trouble Meggie, we shall manage perfectly well, my lord, and shall be there shortly. Is Freya to accompany us also?”

“I know better than to attempt to leave her behind. She would only trail after us so ‘tis better that we keep her close. The bloody animal could do with the exercise too, come to think of it.”

“He does not mean it, Freya.” Roselyn bent to whisper in the dog’s ear as Blair strode away across the hall. His footsteps faded to nothing as she rose to her feet and settled her hand on the hound’s shoulders. The dog led her to the steps, then remained at her side as she made her way carefully along the length of the hall, then out of the main portal and down into the bailey. Here there was much more activity, but the dog had become adept at negotiating the bustling crowds, somehow knowing that she needed to allow the additional space on her left flank for her mistress. The stables were at the far end of the courtyard, close to the outer gate. Roselyn’s preferred route was to make her way around the edge of the bailey, the curtain wall to her left. It may not be the most direct way, but she knew there to be no permanent obstacles on this side.

Several voices greeted her as she passed, cheerful and courteous all. Roselyn returned their good wishes and assured each who asked that she was perfectly fine and required no assistance.

It was true, she did not. She arrived at the stables to the sound of several horses already clattering on the cobbles, eager to be off.

“Excuse me.” She caught the sleeve of a groom close to her. “Could you tell The McGregor that I am here, if you please?”

“No need, my lady, he approaches now, and my lord Aiden.” The lad remained at her side until the familiar presence of her lord settled itself on her senses. She knew the moment he was close and reached for his hand.

“My lord, I trust I have not kept you waiting.”

“You have not. Aiden is here, also.”

“I know.” She turned to where she knew the other man stood, a foot or so to her lord’s right. “I trust you are well, sir?”

“Well enough, my lady.”

“How did you know?”

“Know what?”

“That Aiden was with me? Do not tell me he smells also.”

Roselyn laughed. “Alas, the truth is much more mundane. The stable lad told me. However he does have his own aroma, one of whisky and leather and something I could not quite name but which reminds me of the open forest. Apart from voices, which are all quite distinct also, this is how I know who is about me. I hope it is not disrespectful to make reference to it, for I mean no offence.”

“The laird is just teasing, lass.” Aiden’s amused tone reassured her. “Open forest, eh? Are you ready to be away then?”

Blair responded before Roselyn could. “I believe she is. Shall we mount up?”

“Am I to ride with you, my lord?” Roselyn recalled vividly her first encounter with the huge stallion which Blair normally rode. She had visited Bartholomew in the stables once or twice since and believed the great beast to be affable enough, especially when a crunchy apple from Elspeth’s kitchens was on hand to sweeten his mood.

“No, you shall have your own mount. Aiden and I have picked out a gentle mare for you and I believe she should suit you well enough.”

“My own…? My lord, I do not think…”

He stepped in close to her. “I said I would give some consideration to the matter of your riding again, and I have. Whether or not you continue to do so after today is a matter for you to determine, but I am persuaded by Aiden that you should at least make the attempt. You will do so today with the both of us at your side and your dog at your mare’s heels. That is as safe as it could be and I believe you will manage just fine. So, are you ready to meet your new mare? If you take to her I shall make a gift of her to you.”

“You would give me a horse of my own?” She gasped. It was a generous gift indeed.

“Aye, I would. Young Will, bring Rosetta out if you please.”

“At once, Laird. She is saddled up already, just like you said.” A lad scampered off to do Blair’s bidding, and Roselyn waited nervously as the clop-clop of hooves heralded the approach of her new mare.

“This is Rosetta? It is a pretty name.” Roselyn extended her fingers, seeking the mare.

“Aye,” replied Blair. “She is a fine grey palfrey with a smooth gait and a sweet temper. Come, give me your hand.”

Roselyn required no further urging. Blair guided her to the soft muzzle and Roselyn smoothed her fingers across the velvety nose as the little mare nuzzled her palm. The horse snorted and clomped her hooves against the cobbles.

“Shall I help you into the saddle?” Blair offered.

“Thank you, my lord.” Roselyn made her way to the horse’s left flank and took hold of the pommel. She stopped and turned again. “This is a man’s saddle.”

“Aye, ‘twill be safer for you, and more enjoyable too, once you get the feel of it.”

“But, my skirts…”

“Elspeth will provide you with suitable attire for riding astride, if you choose to continue to do so after today. For now, you shall hitch up your skirts and I shall personally flog any man who dares leer. Is that quite plain to all?”

“Aye, Laird.” The muttered assurances were freely forthcoming from those gathered about.

“So, you shall place your left foot in my hands and throw your right leg across the mare’s back when I lift you. Is that clear enough?”

“It is, and, my lord… I used to ride astride when I was a girl. I believe I shall recall the skill readily enough.” She lifted her foot and sprang up as Blair hefted her into the air. Other hands—Aiden’s?—caught her right foot and guided it into the stirrup whilst Blair secured her left foot and arranged her skirts to maintain a degree of decorum. Roselyn gave no further thought to her modesty as the reins were placed between her fingers and she found herself atop a horse for the first time in years.

“I shall lead your mare, and we shall keep to a steady pace. If you tire you may ride with me. So, shall we be off then?” Blair offered her a companionable slap on the thigh, then suddenly they were in motion. Her knees instinctively tightened on the flanks of the mare, her heels nudged the animal into a smooth trot.

Roselyn laughed out loud.

“Am I to assume you enjoyed your outing today?” Blair draped an arm across her shoulders as they ate their evening meal with the rest of the Duncleit household. “Would you like to try some of Elspeth’s roast cygnet? ‘Tis one of my favourite dishes, especially with this apple and honey sauce.”

“Yes, it is delicious, thank you.” Roselyn captured a piece of the meat on the point of her small dagger and put it in her mouth. “In the priory we often laced such meats with cinnamon. You might like to try that too, my lord.”

“Please feel free to suggest it to Elspeth. So, about the mare?”

“She was delightful, and yes, I had a wonderful time. Thank you.”

“It is Aiden ye have to thank. He convinced me to allow you to try it, and Rosetta was his suggestion. Do you believe you might like to ride her again?”

Roselyn considered this for a few moments, then, “I would, yes. I was terrified at first, and nervous the whole time, but I enjoyed it and I did not fall off. I know that I slowed your progress, though.”

“We were not in a particular hurry today. So, Rosetta is to be yours then and you may ride her when you please. But there are conditions.”

She had supposed there would be. “Yes, my lord?”

“You never ride alone. Always with me, or Aiden, or one of my men to lead your mount.”

It would never occur to her to do otherwise. She nodded, happy to agree.

“And you remain within sight of the keep.”

“How shall I—”

“I will issue the necessary instructions, and you shall be sure to remind your escort of my orders whenever you go beyond these walls. Is that clear?”

“Perfectly clear, Laird. And… thank you.”

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