Fifteen Years Ago
Fingal entered the Donmagh residence in Ashdown, immediately aware of his dusty boots on the freshly laid wooden floor. The kitchen was before him, equally new: the long wooden table with four chairs, the cabinets and counters, clean and sparkling, and the staircase leading to a landing upstairs. Another hallway beneath the stairs led elsewhere in the house, perhaps to the outside, towards the second structure.
The heat from the wood stove burrowed deep within him. He hadn’t realized how cold it had been outside, until now. Riona’s gaze widened at the stove and her face broke out in a delighted grin. Weeks of small campfires had taught the previously privileged child to appreciate a proper source of heat.
The smell and comfort of home was undoubtably present in this house, which filled Fingal with equal parts regret and fear. Anything that felt like home could be snatched from him at any time.
But perhaps, not at this moment. Not only had Fingal walked into a stranger’s home, he’d stumbled upon Nora and Donnoch’s reunion with their child….