Brandy and Lyman worked to set up their new shop in Roxeter, sorting and displaying their merchandise. They had traveled a long distance, funded by a group of highland clans to sell their tartans, blankets and fine woolen dresses. They hoped to establish a good trade in the lowlands and across the English border. The welfare of many clans were dependent on their success.
They talked as they worked, excited about their new home. Brandy, a practising pagan of the ancient ways, and Lyman were not married in the church. They had been joined together by druid ritual deep within the highlands. Lyman reassured her that all would be well.
“Unless the priest finds out we are not truly married, my love.”
“I would suggest we keep our distance from the priest then,” he said.
“And what will he be thinking if you do not go to mass?”
“As far as he needs to know, our church is in Inverness. An occasional show should suffice here.”
Brandy nodded, thinking about the dire consequences if any should discover their secfret. She moved closer to Lyman. “Your clansmen all accepted me unconditionally Lyman. Why cannot others do the same?”
He pulled her close and held her in his arms. “The ways of the past can be deeply rooted. If one does not know the ways of the world, new ideas can be fearful. Besides, many here have never even been to Inverness, let alone beyond it!”
Brandy smiled weakly and turned back to folding blankets. “Well, my love, if we can sell these blankets and tartans we can bring back some much needed money to our people. Many are depending on us.”
“I feel our success here will depend a lot on buying from the locals,” he said. “Most of the crofters cannot afford our fine cloths.
“Yes,” she agreed. “Then we will send them what monies we can.”
“They are rearing some very fine sheep here. The markets as far south as London are crying out for wool and cloth. That is where the money is!” he said.
“I simply need to establish contacts, and then my second will deal with the day to day business,” he said. “I see the need for a couple of trips only.”
She smoothed a particularly fine dress over her arm. “Perhaps these fine dresses the ladies of Inverness sewed for me will not go to waste.
“Come to me,” he said, stretching his arms toward her. She felt her heart skip a beat as she moved into his embrace. “It will all work out,” he murmured.
She breathed his scent in deeply. His very presence gave her confidence that all would be fine. “Yes my love,” she said. “We have this place now, far from the clashes and political furor. We will work hard to send money back to the clans, feed the hungy. One day we will take back what is rightfully ours.”
Lyman lifted her chin, kissed her lightly. “There is no need to worry. All will be well.”