Author's Note: It has taken a few years, but...the story has now returned. Read and Enjoy.
Chapter 15: The Return
He pulled her away from their embrace to look at her face. "How is this possible? He told me you were dead." He put his arms around her again.
Catlin only held onto him as tightly as she could, she was shivering from the cold.
Noticing that she was probably not in the best state of health, Conor picked her up and carried her out of the water. "Do you think you can ride?"
She nodded quickly, as he carried towards his horse. She pulled herself on it and Conor mounted the horse, sitting behind her. They rode gently back to the sanctuary, so as not cause Catlin any more pain. Conor could feel her falling asleep against him, the warmth of her skin against his, the sound of her breathing, and how that made Conor feel only reassured the love he held for Catlin. He would never let anything or anyone ever hurt her again. As they approached the sanctuary, he felt anxious, there would be many people there who would have questions he would not be able to answer and Catlin was too weak to answer to anything. At first when they entered people did not recognize the sleeping woman in Conor's arm. The people had become used to the idea that Catlin had been killed at the hands of the Roman sorcerer, they had mourned her, held a funeral pyre for her…now Conor entered the Sanctuary with someone who resembled her, but in their mind, it could not be Catlin. When Fergus and Tully saw Conor come back, they immediately went to him. They knew it was Catlin in his arms right away.
"Sweet Brigit!" said Fergus as Conor helped lower the exhausted and sleeping Catlin over to Fergus.
Tully was overjoyed and waited for Conor to dismount his horse. "You went after her?"
People were starting to gather, murmuring that Catlin had returned from the dead, there was too much noise for Conor to handle at the moment. "Please…everyone.." said Conor in a loud voice. "Whatever questions you have, I promise you they will be answered, but right now we need to leave her be…" He looked at Fergus. "Take her to the healer Fergus."
Fergus nodded his head and immediately headed towards the healer's hut. Tully stayed behind with Conor, still waiting for a reply from him. Conor was about as exhausted at Catlin, but emotionally so. For a few moments he lingered in the same spot wondering if what was happening was all a dream.
Tully looked at him. "Are you alright?"
"No." replied Conor looking at Tully seriously. "Where is Molly?"
He looked away. "She knew Catlin was alive, and she didn't say anything." He started to walk over to where he thought Molly would be.
Tully quickly followed after him, and stopped him. "She tried telling you." Tully pulled out the ring that Conor had given Catlin. "With this." He stretched his hand out and gave Conor the ring.
Conor held on to the ring as if he was holding on to Catlin herself. He remembered what Molly had said to him when she tried to give him the ring, how confused and hurt he was. "Where is she? I will only ask one more time before going to look myself." He said to Tully.
Tully sighed. "She is in Fergus's hut."
Conor began to walk away.
"Conor! What are you going to do?" Shouted Tully, but Conor never responded.
He entered the hut noisily, making sure that Molly heard him enter. She had been sleeping, resting, until Conor walked in.
"Conor." She said, not really asking why he was there.
He had become so angered at that point that he went up to her and grabbed her by the shoulders. "You knew Catlin was alive!"
Molly was scared, "Yes I you are hurting me, let go!"
"Why didn't you say anything?" He shook her while he asked. "Why?!"
"I tried, I tried Conor, I tried handing you the ring, but you wouldn't listen!"
"I don't believe you! Why have you come back here?! What else do you want from us?!"
Molly began to cry, she was scared, and she knew that Conor would kill her if he could get away with it. "I'm sorry for what I did….I wish I could have seen the damage it would cause, the hurt...please Conor you have to believe me…"
He violently let her go. "I don't. There is no reason why I should; do you realize what you have done? Children were murdered! Entire families slaughtered! And what you did to Catlin…"
Fergus entered the hut along with Tully. "What are you doing boy?" asked Fergus as he looked at the state of his daughter.
Conor ignored Fergus's question. "Is Catlin with the healer now?" He asked.
"Catlin is here?" asked Molly.
Conor smirked as he turned to look at Molly, "She is here, and if you come anywhere near her or me, I will kill you…"
"Oh no you won't!" said Fergus.
Conor gave Fergus a look that chilled Fergus to the bones, it was a look that he had never seen before and never wanted to see again. "I love you as a brother Fergus, but I meant what I said, if you want your daughter to stay alive, make sure she stays where she belongs…" He turned to look at Molly. "Because I am not the only one here who wishes her dead."