Binding Vows (Page 45)

Binding Vows (MacCoinnich Time Travel Trilogy #1)(45)
Author: Catherine Bybee

They sat in front of the dark fireplace in Duncan’s room for the second lesson. Her first on calling a flame had ended within ten minutes of starting when Duncan developed other ideas on how to make heat that night. His sexy beard had grown in enough to be soft and welcoming, making him even more irresistible to Tara.

“I never said they’re stupid. I look at handfasting as a fancy engagement. Once we’re married, I’ll move everything in here.” She sat cross-legged on the floor, her eyes shut like he had suggested.

“Do you think they don’t notice your bed isn’t slept in?”

She peered at him out of one eye. “If they do, they don’t say anything. Now, can we get on with this? You promised to show me how you do it.”

He shook his head at his crazy wife.

Soon to be crazy wife. She corrected him.

Crazy beautiful wife, with plump moist lips, lips I need to kiss. He moved in to make good on his threat.

“Oh, no you don’t! You promised.” She put a hand up and stopped him from coming closer. “As soon as you show me this, you can do…that.” She smiled, and closed her eyes again.

“Promise?” He teased.

“Yes. But no cheating. It has to be me lighting the fire this time. No twitchy fingers from you.”

“Close your eyes.”

“They’re closed.”

“Feel your breath. Slowly in, slowly out. Listen to the room. Let your mind go blank.” His voice was calm and soothing. “Feel the energy surrounding you. The heat, hear the crackle of flames licking the logs. See the embers turning orange.”

Sitting in a trance-like state listening to his voice, to his words, sweat started to bead on her brow. The air tingled with static electricity. The hair on her arms stood up. She rubbed her fingertips together, felt a snap. Each breath brought her closer, she could feel it.

“Pull the energy in. Now…look at where you want it to go.”

When her eyes opened, she saw only the dark fireplace, heard only his voice. Her fingers gathered strength. When she could bear the heat no longer she extended them toward the log in the hearth.

To her utter amazement flames leapt from the ashes. “Did you see that?” She jumped to her feet.

“Did you see that?” She clapped her hands like a child receiving a gift on Christmas morning.

His lopsided grin answered her question. “Aye, lass. I saw it.”

“I did it, right? You didn’t help?” She turned an accusing look his way.

He mimicked a movement she had shown him a time or two over the last couple months. He crossed an X over his heart. “Promise.”

“Oh man, that was great.” She searched the room with excited eyes. “What else can I catch on fire?”

He caught her before she could reach for a candle. “Oh, no, you don’t.” He molded her body to his. “A promise is a promise.” He kissed the grin off her face.

“It’s called indoor plumbing. Pipes bring water in. Bigger pipes take waste out.” Tara stood in front of a closet trying to explain to Ian, Fin and Duncan the finer details of a modern day water closet. “How is the water forced into the walls where the pipes are?”

“See now, that’s where you come in, Finlay.” She gave him a hefty pat on the back and tried not to laugh at the baffled look on his face. “You look bright to me. Why don’t you think on it and come up with a solution. If hundreds of teenagers can siphon gasoline out of tanks, than you can figure out how to get water to flow into pipes.” Putting her hands on her hips she said, “If you want to know about the four chambers of the heart or the way blood oxygenates, that’s where I can provide you with details. Plumbing is a boy thing.” She lifted her skirts and walked away from the men who stood around scratching their heads.

Lora and Myra waited for her in a small private courtyard. It was time for the women to give Tara a lesson in her Druid heritage.

“We’re going to determine if you’re able to move the wind. We all have the ability to a small extent.

But some, like Myra, have mastered it. Show her.”

Out of nowhere, and with no visible sign from Myra, Tara’s skirt started to billow out from under her. As quick as it started, it stopped.

“I will try the same, feel the difference.” Lora pointed a finger at Tara’s legs. Slowly she felt the air stir, barely moving the fabric. “As much as I have practiced, I’m unable to do more, and not without channeling the energy with my hands. My daughter has more skill.”

Myra demonstrated her talent in a more practical manner. “Let’s sit down,” she suggested.

When she did, three chairs surrounding a small table pulled out by themselves.

“Wow. How did you do that?” Tara reached out to feel the weight of the chair.

“Air surrounds everything. Moving the air moves the objects. It was the first gift I knew I had.

Da had taken away a sweet pie from me when I was only four, told me to finish my supper before I could have it. I don’t care much for kidney stew, so instead of eating, I sat and brooded.”

Tara poured tea and listened.

“I stared at the pie the whole meal. I noticed colors in the air, red, blue and white. Before I knew it, the pie flew across the table and ended up in my lap.”

“We took our meals in private after that,” Lora said. “At least until she was able to control the power.”

“Do you actually see colors in the air?”

“Only when I want to move something. Let me show you.” Myra picked up a fallen leaf and placed it on the table. “Sitting here, there are no colors. But when I think of how I want it to move, up let’s say.”

The leaf started to levitate. “I see red below it, blue above. Like heat rising from a fire or vapor from a boiling kettle, I suppose. Now, if I want it to move faster, or in a different direction, the colors change blending orange with the red and white with the blue. The red and orange push.”

Tara watched the leaf fly to the right of the table and back again. “The blue and white pull.”


“I have a difficult time seeing the colors,” Lora admitted. “Then again, ’tis not my strongest gift.”

“You try.” The leaf settled on the table.

Mother and daughter worked with Tara for over an hour. The leaf did move, several times, but not in the direction Tara wanted. Lora said, “Don’t be discouraged. You will find your true gift one day, the gift that will set you apart from all others.