Cover reveal for Tartan Deadlines! The book will be available on Tuesday, April 22, 2014. . .
Cover design by Anya Kelleye Designs. . .
As they walked down the grand staircase hand in hand a while later Rory whispered to her. "Be prepared to be cornered for at least a few minutes. She knows what time the service is and how long it takes to get to the village. If she does corner us I'll get us out as quickly as possible."
"I know you will."
There she was, almost as though she had super hearing, waiting on them.
"Come, you have time before you leave. I haven't seen you since Christmas Rory. And now you come back…married."
She heard Rory take a deep breath saying nothing as he nodded and followed Lady MacGregor into the drawing room.
"Please have a cup of tea and something to eat before you leave. Dinner won't be until nine."
Rae walked over towards the large cart and poured Rory and her each a cup, adding the milk and sugar Rory preferred. She stirred it and took it over to him. Lady MacGregor was saying nothing, waiting on her. Rae quickly wondered if she had done something wrong or out of her protocol.
Rory put his tea on the table next to him and grabbed a plate, motioning Rae to do the same. There were all sorts of tiny sandwiches and sweets to choose from. She picked a couple of each and took it along with her tea to the chair she had motioned Rae to take.
"Rae." She said her name, almost as though it was distasteful for her to say it. "That's an unusual name for a woman. Is it a family name?"
Rae didn't even look at Rory, instead she smiled demurely at her, took a drink of her tea before she replied. "Yes ma'am it is. It was my Scottish great-great grandmother's name and it has been passed down every generation since."
"Oh, so you can claim Scottish heritage?"
"Yes ma'am. My maiden name is MacLeod." Dead silence. She knew right then what Rory had been telling her earlier. She had one upped his mother.
"A MacLeod, my, that is interesting. So you work for Rory, that's how the two of you met?"
"Yes mother, you know it is." Rory knew where this was headed and since he knew his mother far better than Rae did she allowed him free rein.
"I'm simply trying to get to know your wife better, Rory." She retorted, turning back towards Rae. "You were married before I take it? Any children?"
"Yes I have a son, Shawn. He lives in New York City. His father and I were married for quite a number of years. And before you ask, I got a very generous settlement in the divorce, so no I was not after your son's money, if that's where you're going with this."
She heard Rory make a rude noise in his throat but chose to ignore him. Rae was having too much fun. She had zapped the Lady Elizabeth MacGregor speechless once again. She glanced down at her watch momentarily.
"Rory, I think perhaps we need to get going. I'm sure the church will be packed for this service." She got up after placing the teacup back on the saucer, her plate of treats untouched.
"I think you're right. I forgot about this being the only service today. Mother if you'll excuse us. We'll see you for dinner."
"Ma'am." Rae said, bowing her head ever so slightly in her direction.
Rory helped Rae back into her coat, handing her pocket book to her. He guided her out of the room, his hand on the small of her back. She adjusted her scarf as they walked through the doorway, feeling quite satisfied with herself.
But she was not through with Rae. She had one last question to ask of her. She had followed the pair out into the grand hall.
"Rae? May I ask how old you are?"
"Mother!" Rae heard Rory exclaim, shaking his head in disapproval.
Rae turned to her as they started out the front door. "I'm sixty ma'am!" She shouted loud enough so she knew Lady MacGregor would hear what she'd said.