Binding Vows (Page 48)

Binding Vows (MacCoinnich Time Travel Trilogy #1)(48)
Author: Catherine Bybee

“Lizzy would approve. Besides, you will be my sister after the ceremony.”

“True, but blood is thicker. I’m sorry she can’t be here.”

“Me, too.” Tara wished, knowing it was impossible.

“Hey, you know what? I have a way for us to be blood sisters.” It was corny, Tara knew. But a sister held secrets, and this was one she wanted to share with Myra. “When Lizzy and I were ten and twelve, we were jealous of our girlfriends’ friendships. As sisters, we were always close. It was almost unnatural how we never really fought or disagreed.

Anyway, one night we sat up late gossiping about the mean girls we went to school with. Then we made up a special spell.”

Tara moved to the sewing basket and took out a pair of scissors. “We had been reading books on witches, powers, and such.”

“You mean a real spell?” Myra sat up in her chair, riveted.

“I don’t know how real it was, but it made us feel better.”

“What was it?”

“It’s kind of corny, completely juvenile.”

“Great! What is it?”

“All right.” Tara nicked her index finger with the scissors drawing a small amount of blood. “First we did this. Neither of us could bear more than a prick.” Tara handed over the scissors.

Myra followed her lead.

“Then we became blood sisters.” Tara placed her finger with Myra’s.

“But, you were already blood sisters.”

“I told you it was corny, besides we didn’t choose to be born sisters, but we did choose to do this.”

“Then what?” Myra sat palm-to-palm, fingers touching Tara’s.

“Then, we wove our spell.” Tara interlocked her fingers in Myra’s. “In this day and in this hour, we call upon the sacred power. I choose to give my blood to thee, I choose you as a sister to me. Your turn.”

Myra repeated her chant. Tara felt a slight tingle in her hand, but didn’t comment on it.

“I told you it was corny.”

“I don’t think so. Now, I have two more sisters.”

She continued when Tara appeared confused. “You and Lizzy, we are all three sisters now.”

“I’ll buy that.” They each wiped the blood from their fingertips and both moved to leave the room, rested and ready to face the crowd outside the doors.

“What is the sacred power?” Myra asked.

“I have no idea. But it rhymed well.”

Before she closed the door behind them, something caught her eye. The scissors, which held only a drop of their blood, glittered and shone in the darkened room. She peered closer and noticed a strange magical dust fall, from the blade. She opened her mouth to tell Myra what she saw, but her new sister had already left her side.

She shook her head and decided to keep her observation to herself. When she left the room, Tara felt like a teenager.

Preparing the Keep for the wedding was no small undertaking. Extra candles had been made and placed in newly erected chandeliers. Yards and yards of amber and cream colored material draped the archways and walls to warm up the rooms. The cooks prepared the food for the feast. Duck, pheasant, and wild turkey rounded out the choices of poultry. A roasting pig took up a large amount of space in the kitchen. Butter was churned and plastered over Mrs. Claunch’s many baked goods. To her astonishment, Tara witnessed the maids whipping cream to sweeten the pies.

Tara made certain she thanked each and every servant for their assistance.

Musicians played in the great hall, entertaining the guests. The strings of a harp caught Tara’s attention. She stopped, listened and let the music pull at her heart. Emotion choked her. Misty eyed, she surveyed the transformed room.

Lizzy would love all of this, and Cassy would be patting herself on the back for being the reason Duncan and I met.

Tara swept the back of her hand across her eyes brushing the tears from her face.

Duncan entered the hall, his eyes fell to her. His expression quickly turned from excited to concern.

Tara grinned, but she knew he read her thoughts.

Slowly, he came to her side. There, he wrapped his arms around her waist and rocked her back and forth. A simple twist, and they appeared to be dancing.

They danced together with their eyes closed. It could have been only the two of them in the room as far as they were concerned.

Don’t be sad, Tara.

I wish they could be here.

Do you regret being here?

She stopped moving, pulled away far enough to look him in the eye. “There is nowhere else I want to be. How can you ask?”

“I want you to be happy.”

“You make me happy.” Unable to stop the words from coming she let them tremble out of her hoping they would come back. “I love you, Duncan, more than life, more than time or place. There is nowhere else I want to be.”

Tara held her breath and waited while his face sparkled and his eyes glistened.

“I will spend every day showing you how much I love you.” He crushed his lips to hers, demonstrating to everyone who watched, the love he felt for the woman in his arms.

Tara didn’t think she could get any happier than she was at that moment. She felt his love for her in his kiss. In her heart, she knew it had always been there.

Her arms wound around his neck, pulling him closer. The sparks building in the core of the couple, flickered into flames on top of the candles overhead.

The musicians stopped playing and without provocation the crowd applauded.

Laughing against each other’s lips, they ignored the crowd and kept their lips glued to each other.

Bringing hoots and cheers from the men.

“Okay you two. Take it outside.” Fin shuffled them apart. “You’re about to light the hall on fire,”

he whispered under his breath.

Tara glanced at the candles burning brightly above them. With a flash of drama she fanned herself, calling a small wind like Myra had taught her, and blew out the candles before others noticed they lit themselves. “You take my breath away.” She said loud enough to call attention to her instead of the flames.

Laughter came from many directions.

Outside, the cool breeze helped bay the fire burning inside the bride and groom.

“I have a surprise for you.”

“Really? What is it?” Her hand in his, he tugged her along the courtyard.

“My wedding present to you.”

“A wedding present?” She stopped. “But I’ve nothing for you.”

He placed a hand aside her face. “You are my wedding gift. The love you give me.”