Aidan's Chance - Prologue
edited: Tuesday, June 18, 2002
By Judi L Strider
Posted: Friday, April 12, 2002
Become a Fan
From the death of his wife, a new love is born.
Scotland, Spring 1281
Aidan de Rothirforde sat quietly in the great hall by the hearth staring at the papers containing the information for the spring planting. His concentration was broken by the deafening scream emanating from the bedchamber. This was Lesley’s first child, and her pregnancy had not been an easy one. She had been confined to a bed since the sixth month when abnormal bleeding began. Since that time her mother Eilis McPhearson had been staying at Robesburg Castle.
Another scream brought Aidan out of his chair. He ran up the stone staircase two steps at a time to the bed chamber and burst into the room only to be chased out by Eilis.
“She doesn’t need you. You would only get in the way.” Eilis was pushing him out the door.
“But the scream...?” Aidan began, but the door was shut abruptly in his face. He made his way down the winding staircase to his chair and sat down. He continued to hear his wife scream as he sat with his head in his hands. As quickly as the screams began they ended, and Aidan looked up to find Lesley standing in front of him in her pure white gown the light from the hearth making her appear especially bright.
“You shouldn’t be out of bed,” he began but realized she was staring blankly into space.
“Please take care of our little girl, Aidan,” the wraith said. Before he could reply, the apparition disappeared as silently as it had appeared.
Aidan noticed Eilis coming down the stairs slowly and walked towards her. “You need to see her and your daughter.”
Once again he climbed the stairs swiftly. Entering the room, he immediately noticed Lesley’s pale complexion. Nestled at her bosom was the wee babe they had created. He sat down beside her and took her hand. Lesley turned her head; the pain in her eyes evident.
“She is beautiful, Aidan. She has your green eyes.”
“If she is beautiful, she must have your smile,” he replied.
She managed to give him a slight smile before she fell asleep. The midwife gently picked up the babe and placed her in the cradle that Aidan had built. Eilis placed a blanket over her daughter.
“She will rest now,” the midwife reassured Aidan.
He quietly left the room to retire for the night in a guest bedchamber, but his night was not restful. He heard his daughter crying once and then heard Eilis going to comfort the child. He drifted back to sleep only to be awakened this time by a woman’s cry. Dressed only in his braies and a nightshirt, he ran to Lesley’s room. He never expected to see Eilis cradling her daughter.
“Lesley is dead,” she wailed.
In disbelief Aidan tried to wake Lesley, but his efforts were futile. He looked inside the cradle to find his daughter sleeping quietly. He looked at Lesley lying peacefully on the bed. He was thankful for Eilis’s presence but did not know what he was going to do.
Two days later, Aidan buried his lovely wife in the family cemetery at a small ceremony attended by Eilis, a few friends, his brother and sister-in-law, and Kylee, his beautiful, green-eyed daughter.