Author's Note: I know for those who live in the west it's summer, but school has began and I'm dying of pressure here!!! At least here's a chapter... :) it's because I was just recently inspired by Scotland once again and now here are the fruits of my inspiration!! Sorry I might not update for a very long time... Forgive me, please!!! (and review)






Chapter Twenty-Two





(Pippin, War Is A Science)



Kenneth's blood was pounding in his ears as he rushed forward. The man-- THAT DESPICABLE MAN!--over Valerie's soft, resisting form which was only for him, Kenneth, HIM!... ARGH! Blood... kill... Valerie... rape...

He couldn't think.

A blind rage had overtaken him. He was seeing red. Kenneth was tearing the rapist--THAT LOATHSOME, ABHORRENT MAN!--off Valerie--his precious, precious Valerie!--and slamming him against the wall. Kenneth didn't hear the maid's screams. He didn't hear heavy footsteps dashing from the hallway. He didn't see Valerie clutching her torn bodice together. All he knew was...

Kill, kill, kill...

AAARRRRGGGHHH! His muscles bulged from extreme rage uncontained. He slammed his huge fist into the man's--THAT LOWLYING, SCUMBUG'S FACE!

Ryan stumbled into the room, and almost gasped like a lady when he saw the frightful scene. Kenneth's face was turning red, and he was roaring curses which made the cook (who had rushed from downstairs, anxious not to miss the entertainment-there was *always* entertainment when Kenneth was here) laugh heartily. But it was making the maids scream and cover their ears.

Kenneth was so *loud*! Ryan ground his teeth. What in hell was happening? Who was that Kenneth was beating up?! Dare he stop the fight? But... Kenneth's fists were everywhere, and he didn't want anyone else to get hurt... Himself, most especially. Why, the castle would be in a panic if their laird got himself hurt. And his men would avenge their laird by hitting Kenneth (er... would they even dare?) ... but Ryan wasn't worried about Kenneth, who could obviously take care of himself. What about *him?* The Laird MacAlister? What if Kenneth accidentally hit him?!

While Ryan was engaging in his inner battle, unable to decide, Valerie had recovered and was bouncing on the bed, cheering Kenneth on.

"Hit him there! Box his ears! YEA!!!!!" Valerie swung at the air. Why, she had suffered so *much* under Doug! Her face turned pink. It was her turn. *She* should have a chance to avenge herself, even if Kenneth *was* her fiancé. She flushed even more at that.

With an ear-splitting battlecry/wail, Valerie jumped off the bed and rammed her head--to KENNETH!?--to get him out of the way. HE had his chance. Now it was her turn.

"You rascal! You philanderer of women, you ill-bred, dastardly--YOU TORE MY GOWN AND TRIED TO RAPE ME!" She kneed his groin *hard*.

Kenneth backed off and was now watching with a smile growing on his face. His heart was bursting with pride. _And_ joy, especially, because he realized Valerie was okay. She wasn't hurt, *RAPED*--His eyes darkened. Why that... He grabbed Valerie by the waist and pulled her back to him in one swift notion when he saw Doug about to strike.

"PICK ON SOMEONE YOUR OWN--NOT SMALLER THAN YOU!" Kenneth roared, his anger reignited at seeing Doug attempt to hit his beloved, his honeybabes, his very own sweetikums...!!!

"Kenneth..." Ryan cleared his throat.

He'd kill him! He'd bloody his lip and blacken his eye and-


--and castrate him and tear him to pieces and rip him...

"You're frightening the maids."

Kenneth looked up, and ceased.

"Eh? What's that ye say?"

Ryan pointed.

The maids cowered.

Valerie launched herself at Kenneth, who squeezed her so tight she couldn't breathe. But she didn't mind. Ah! Her savior, her love, her fiancé, her very own Kenneth had taken her into his arms again... She smiled and squeezed back. She hope she never had to leave the circle of his protective arms. And he loved her-she was sure of it. Very fond of her, at the least...

"Gibber-smachel-whonafain?" Doug swayed a moment, and then fell over.

Valerie looked past Kenneth's shoulder and looked down at the bruised man. Her lip curled in distaste.

"Kenneth, what do we do about *him?*"

"Who?" He pulled her up against him and turned around. "Oh. Him."

Valerie was now given a view of her audience, and realized there were quite a lot of people watching Kenneth cuddling her. She hadn't realized a while ago, for she had her back to them. Now that she saw all those people staring right back at her with various looks on their faces, she was both embarrassed and pleased. Embarrassed because she knew the gossip would be all over the highlands in a couple of hours and that she and Kenneth were showing affection in public. She was, on the other hand, pleased that Kenneth didn't mind coddling her in front of others. He would be a wonderful husband and father.

She turned scarlet.


"Eh?" He turned around. It was Lander, grinning from ear to ear. Valerie turned her head to look at Lander, who gave her a mischievous wink. She grinned and winked right back.

"Did ye hear that?" Lander.

"Hear that? Hear what?"

Just then, everyone in the room heard it. Kenneth tilted his head, as if trying to hear better.

The bagpipes.

The bagpipes were playing--one, two, three of them! And the tune was... the song was... "The MacGregor's Battle"

A look of joy transformed Kenneth's face, and he twirled Valerie around and around, and then carried her over to where Lander was, and hugged both of them *tight.*

"Out clan's come for us, lad!" he slapped Lander's back and kissed Valerie, who kissed back enthusiastically, then pulled back instantly, thinking about their audience. Kenneth then took both by the hand and pulled them forward as he ran to meet his kinsmen.

Valerie's face flushed as she ran to keep up with Kenneth's fast pace down the castle stairs, round winding hallways until they came to the great hall. Lander pushed Kenneth and the both banged through the castle's massive double doors, to the shock of the guards outside. Valerie stumbled after the two overly excited men, laughing and equally excited.

The guards stepped back, even more shocked as Valerie came running out barefooted and in her bathrobe. Kenneth was already tearing across the courtyard, hasty to reunite with his army once again. As soon as the MacGregors caught sight of their gigantic laird coming to meet, them, a resounding cheer came up and was heard all over the castle. The pipers changed their tune into "The Laird Has Come" or "The Laird's Homecoming."

Kenneth was suddenly submerged into a pool of bodies yelling and patting his back. He laughed in pure delight. Lander was right behind him, and exchanged tight hugs with his closest kinsmen. He was just patting Fior's back, who was bubbling with excitement after travling the Highlands with a real, live professional army, when a figure came hurtling toward him. Lander's breath was knocked out of him when Hannah knocked him over, crying and hugging him. Lander gaped at her in shock.

Valerie suddenly shrieked as her bare feet touched a patch of snow. Kenneth, in the middle of a large crowd, gave a roar at the sound of Valerie in pain, and trampled over Lander and Hannah just to get to Valerie. Losing her, even if it had been only days, made him overly protective of her.

Kenneth flushed with anger when he saw some MacAlister men gawking and leering at Valerie's barely clad form. He clasped her to him, and brought her in the castle.

"What are you doing?" She bit her shoulder.

"You're going to have yer bath and we're going home."

"Straight back to our castle?"

"OF course not, Val. We're going straight to the Church."






Author's Note: X.x Okay now I'm feeling guilty for updating and *not* studying. RevieW!! :)

Fluffy TTBS: Wow! You're back!! Hehehe...

Navy Converse: Yes!!! (Kenneth Mr. Macho hunka georgous) I thought so myself!! :) [about Taylor: er... yeah I guess so... :P]

Mannie: Have you watched The Ring? 0.o

Cell85: *blush* thank you! :)

Minyaithwen: of *course* she's okay!!! Hehehe

Alexiana: Glad your PC's fixed now!!! ^-^

Imation: Thanks!!! :)