Things hot up, in more ways than one.

He grabbed at the arrow and lost his footing, falling into the shallow water.

"Hold yer fire." Sorley shouted out to them, seeing dozens and dozens of arrows pointed at them.

Robert MacDonald approached cautiously, "Friend or foe?" he asked Sorley, his sword pointed at him and ready to attack.

"I'm yer kin, MacDonald. I'm also the kin of Lady Anne MacDonnell. I'm Sorley Boy MacDonnell, son of Alexander, Lord of Kintyre and Islay. I've come tae offer my help." he told him, his voice and look in his eyes declaring a truth.

"Stay yer weapons men! Ye tae, attend tae that man at once." he ordered two soldiers.

The men quickly pulled the wounded Connor out of the water and laid him on dry ground. The arrow had pierced his upper chest, puncturing his lung and causing him to spit and spew his blood, as he tried to breathe. One of the soldiers pressed his hand to the wound, trying to stem the flow of blood, while a call went up to the castle for a litter to carry him there

"I'm Robert MacDonald, oldest cousin of Lady Arabella and Laird Grayson. We'll see tae yer man at once and ha'e him taken care of." he assured him and offered his hand to Sorley.

Sorley reached down from the boat and shook his wrist and then jumped from the side. Arabella was clearing herself a path between the men and making her way to the boat. She stopped dead at seeing the man before her talking to her cousin.

"Sorley? Sorley Boy, is it really ye? I hav'ne seen ye since we were all wee. Dear God, he's shown us a comfort in bringing ye here. Ye've no idea what's happened." she told him and then hugged him tightly.

Sorley looked out at the men around him, a bit taken back by Arabella's affections as she pressed herself tight to him, then returned the show of affection weakly. He waited until she released him, before he shared his news with her.

"I do know what's happened, Arabella. Someone ye know came and told me. I've brought her here, at her request, despite the troubles she's faced." he told her and turned back to the boat.

Therese stood up amid the men surrounding her and they parted for her to disembark.

Arabella laid eyes on Therese and felt the stunning shock of realization slam her hard. Her knees weakened and she fell to her knees, tears of extreme joy at seeing her sisterly friend again, spilling in torrents from her eyes.
"Arabella, I have found you again, my dearest friend. I have wanted with all my heart to see you." she said to her and was quickly lowered carefully to the ground.

She hurried to Arabella's side and helped her to stand. A moment of reality passed when they first touched, confirming a dream wasn't tricking them, then they hugged and cried in joyous re-union. The rest of the men jumped from the birlinn and were assisted by the soldiers in pulling the boat up onto the coral beach.

The order to go back to their stations was given by Robert, as the two women clung to each other while walking, not wanting to let go. Once in the hall, seats were taken and Therese and Arabella started to share the events of their lives, since their parting. Sorley stood with Robert in front of the fire, as it cast a comfortable warmth in the room and warmed his hands to it.

"We need tae share what we know aboot this, Robert. I only know of what Lady Therese has told me, but from that, this does'ne soond good fer us all. If the Earl is trying tae take Donan fer himself, in the name of the King, he'll no stop, until all the castles are under his rule. With the force of the MacRae's, as well as aid from England, and forces from the King, there's no telling how large a force we're dealing wi'." he related his thoughts to Robert.

Robert nodded in confirmation of all Sorley said and added his own knowledge of things.

"The MacRae's ha'e slaughtered nearly everyone at Donan.