Interview of Sir Bran MacLeod from The Highland Henchman:
Amy Jarecki, time traveling character interviewer here. I nearly lost my life bringing you this story from the perilous times of 1568, sailing in a birlinn through the Sound of Raasay in a nasty squall, the boat ran aground capsized in the icy northern waters. But who came to my rescue but the henchman himself, Sir Bran MacLeod. Better yet, the enormous man with his long chestnut hair braided away from his face and intense hazel eyes agreed to an exclusive interview…
Amy: Thank you for pulling me from the sea and saving my life.
Bran reclines in his chair comfortably and spreads his arms to his sides: Yer thanks is not needed, m’lady.
Amy: Tell me what you felt the first time you saw Miss Enya Ross.
Bran: That would be when I spied her hiding behind a copse of yellow gorse up on the hill. She had the look of a hunter—albeit a beautiful one. But I was there to protect me laird, and I eyed the bow slung over her shoulder with a wee bit of alarm.
Amy: Did you think she’d attempt to fire one of her arrows?
Bran chuckles: Nay, but as henchman, me duty is no’ to act upon what I think, but to consider all possibilities for something to go awry.
Amy: But then you saw her again that night at the gathering. How did you feel then?
Bran: Aye…I’ll never forget her green frock and the way her auburn tresses flowed down her back. I coudna keep me eyes off the lassie, and there I was defending Laird Calum. Anyone could have knocked me flat with a tap between the eyes.
Amy: I doubt that. You’re as enormous as the story touts you to be.
Bran leans forward and waggles his eyebrows: ’Tis why Calum made me henchman.
Amy: True, and yours is the most powerful sword.
Bran shrugs: Aye, that too.
Amy: What was it like to be knighted by Queen Mary?
Bran: Och, ’twas a moment in time I’ll nay forget. Honestly, I thought she might try to lop me head off with the sword—I did no’ have me shirt on and I was certain to be reprimanded. When she touched the blade to me shoulder and uttered the words, “I knight you into the Order of the Thistle,” it was as if the world was floating in a dream. I could scarcely draw a breath—afraid to look at her I was.
Amy: But then you did look up.
Bran: Aye. She had a regal air about her—the tallest woman I’d ever seen, truth be told.
Amy: How did you feel when you thought Laird Calum had betrayed you?
Bran: I’d lost me temper before, but that was like falling into a fire pit of unbridled rage. I couldna believe he’d crossed me. I questioned me entire lifetime of loyalty.
Amy: What would you have done if you were not tied to the mast?
Bran shudders: I hate to think on it. I would have struck out like a raging bull for certain. Calum did the right thing by tying me up before he handed Enya over to Lord Ross, but it still makes me gut roil to think of it. If I could go back in time, I’d fight rather than see Enya “cleansed” in the nunnery. We outgunned Ross and his men. We could have taken them.
Amy: How did you feel when you finally had Enya in your arms again?
Bran: So many emotions coursed through me. But cradling me bonny lassie in me arms, I never wanted to let go. If anyone dare threaten her again, God save them because they’d have me wrath and me blade to contend with first.
Amy: What are your plans for the future?
Bran: Did ye hear the news? Enya is with child again. We plan to have a large brood, she and I. I’ve even got plans to build onto me cottage.
Amy: That is excellent news. Congratulations, Sir Bran!