Binding Vows (Page 53)

Binding Vows (MacCoinnich Time Travel Trilogy #1)(53)
Author: Catherine Bybee

Several rows of newly planted seeds waited for a bit of sun to peak into the courtyard. “Hmmm.” She clapped her hands together as the idea formed in her head, then went in search for her father-in-law.

Chapter 19

Fall closed in, bringing the bite of winter to the morning hours. The family gathered around the fire after Amber and Cian had gone to bed.

“Your mother has had another vision,” Ian said with dread in his voice.

Lora’s greatest Druid gift was one of premonition. It was one of the ways the Ancients spoke to them, and how they knew of Grainna’s threat so far into the future.

At times Lora’s visions were heavy in detail while others were cryptic and vague. Each brought a strong emotion none of them could ignore.

Tara watched as Lora surveyed the faces of her children.

Everyone grew quiet.

“Winter solstice is coming,” she said.

“With it, the need to keep Grainna from regaining her powers,” Fin stated.

“Only this time, it will be different. I no longer believe the solstice has anything to do with Grainna.” Lora glanced at her children and took Ian’s hand.

The gesture wasn’t lost on Tara. Lora was worried.

Fin agreed with his mother. “I don’t think Grainna would wait for the solstice if she found another virgin.”

“I agree,” Duncan said.

“Our stay in the future might be longer.” Fin concluded, while looking toward his brother.

Tara’s heart tore a fraction. “Duncan can’t go.”

She tightened her grip on Duncan’s hand. “First of all, we’re married. And although I understand the situation, I think it’s a bit much to expect me to allow my husband to be with another woman.”

“True,” Ian said.

“And second, I don’t think it would be safe for him to go back. The authorities would be looking for him. Cassy would have gone to the police by now.

He’d be put in jail.” The thought frazzled her, panic pushed goose bumps to her arms. She often worried about how her friend and sister would handle her disappearance. Now, her fears turned to how her husband would survive the future.

“Duncan is not to return,” Lora announced, bringing peace to Tara’s mind.

“Well then,” Fin sighed. “Since Duncan and I look so much alike, I will have to disguise myself when I return.”

Tara shook her head. “I don’t know, Fin. The law would look for you, too. You don’t know how easily you would be picked up in my time. It isn’t like here. Every cop will have a picture of both of you. If they think I’m dead, they’ll keep you in jail.

We’ll have to come up with a very good disguise.

Have you ever wanted to be a blond?”

He arched his brow and gave a disapproving scowl. “No.”

“Nay,” Lora’s voice rose above the others, interrupting their debate. “Finlay will not be returning either.”

“What?” Myra, Fin, Duncan and Tara all said at once.

“Then who?” Myra asked.

Lora took a deep breath. “My vision was clear, more so than ever before. I’ve searched for a better interpretation for it, but there is none.” She lifted her head, leveled her eyes to her daughter. “’Tis you who must go.”

Both Duncan and Fin came to their feet in protest. “You must be mistaken. Sending Myra isn’t an option.”

“She would be put directly in harm’s way,”

Duncan said.

“There is no mistake. My vision was clear. If Myra stays here during the next solstice, she would die.” Eyes shifted around the room. No one spoke as gnawing fear crept into everyone.

Myra broke the silence. “What else did your vision tell?”

“The threat to you is here, now. I couldn’t tell by who or what.”

“Do you think Grainna’s here?” Tara asked.

“I don’t know.”

“Is there another Druid like her out there?”

Ian nodded to his eldest son. “I only know of the legends.”

“Didn’t you tell me she converted Druids to her ways?” Tara asked Duncan.


“Then it must be one of them.” Myra walked to the fireplace deep in thought.

“But why, Myra?” Tara asked. “Any virgin blood will break Grainna’s curse. Or am I missing something?”

“Virgin blood is powerful to anyone in the wrong hands.” Ian told her.

“Any Druid who wants to do harm.”


A collective sigh went through the room. They all kept their thoughts to themselves. Each of them watched Myra beneath lowered lids.

“When can I return?” Myra gazed into the fire.

“After the solstice?”

“I am not… I don’t know.” Lora’s eyes filled with unshed tears.

Silence came over them like the heavy down of a comforter. The fire cracked, sending sparks above it.

The smoke lifted weightless and silent, up and out of the Keep.

Tara asked what no one else dared. “When will she go?”

“On the next full moon,” Lora stated as if it was nothing more than a flight to Vegas.

Forcing a smile, Tara spoke with a confidence she only half felt. “Well, that doesn’t give us much time now, does it?” She kissed Duncan’s hand, let it go, and stood.

“Time for what?” Myra asked.

“Time to prepare you for the twenty-first century.” Tara stated as if the answer were obvious.

“Lucky for you, I know all there is to know about my time. You’re going to love it.” As her words came out, she knew they were true.

Myra let a small grin break through as she wiped her eyes dry. “You jest.”

“I’m not joking. And that is the word by the way, joke. If you go around saying words like jest you’ll stick out like a sore thumb.”

“I don’t know.”

“No, you don’t. But you will, and I’ll teach you.”

Tara turned to Lora. “She has to go with all her gifts. Nothing can be stripped.”

“Of course she will,” Ian proclaimed.

“She will need every possible weapon against Grainna,” Duncan said.

“You mustn’t go near Grainna,” Lora’s command was direct. “My vision told me of your death if you stayed here, and safety for you in Tara’s time. But that doesn’t mean Grainna isn’t a threat. We all know if she finds you, she could…”