Redeeming Vows (Page 49)

Redeeming Vows (MacCoinnich Time Travel Trilogy #3)(49)
Author: Catherine Bybee

Before he lost his nerve, Simon turned his thoughts inside his head and knelt to the ground.

“Don’t, Simon,” Amber yelled.

The bones in Simon’s neck stretched, his hands shifted, and fur covered his body as his clothes ripped and fell to the ground. Within seconds, he bounded forward on four legs and met Amber’s frightened stare.

Logan noticed him, pulled Amber away, and drew his sword. “Get back, lass.”

Simon pivoted and ran into the thick of the forest, ignoring Amber’s plea for him to return.


Grainna swiveled her fingers over the crystal. Slivers of gray and silver sparks exploded in the glass until images emerged and took the form of people.

Tara held her son with Myra and Amber at her side. Ian bellowed orders Grainna could not hear.

Duncan and Todd mounted horses and led several men into the forest.

As much as her black heart soared at the obvious turmoil in the MacCoinnich’s life, she loathed the fact that she couldn’t see what caused their agitation. What motivated the Druids to scramble as they were?

She searched further and peered deeper into the glass, and summoned her power to hear something, anything.

The women gathered in a circle and clasped hands, but she couldn’t see into their minds.

Somewhere a wolf howled, breaking Grainna’s vision of the women. “Damn.”

Fog covered the glass until swirls of darkness engulfed the entire piece.

Pushing herself away from the table, Grainna screamed and started to pace. Her palms itched and her head ached. She stepped from her shelter and turned her gaze to the nearly full moon. The closer she examined the deep crevasse of the dead rock floating in the sky, the clearer the image of Liz stared back at her. Just like the crystal ball, black clouds covered the moon as a gust of wind blew from the west and distorted her vision.

“Something is coming,” she whispered to herself.

A chill ran down her spine and the hair on her arms stood on end.

Grainna swiveled in a full circle and extended her arms to the sky, allowing her shape to change in the space of one breath. As her black wings took flight, she studied the specks of trees below until she landed on a highest tree staring down on the MacCoinnich’s camp.

She dipped her head and followed the sounds until she hovered over the large tent.

“He’s running,” one of the women inside said.

“He’s angry, hurt.”

Grainna perched on a nearby fallen log.

“Let’s try and get into his head and tell him to come back.”

Grainna tucked her wings into her sides and listened. Who did they speak of?

“Shhh! Do you feel that?”

The voices inside the tent faded until Grainna couldn’t hear anything but the sound of men shouting around her and horses hooves hitting the dirt. Before she could turn her head, a buzz of wind raced toward her wing, catching the tip she’d just stretched out.

Pain burst inside her morphed state, nearly forcing her body to shift into her human form.

Forcing her raven-body to the air, she found the wind and ducked another arrow as blood dripped from her wing. She dipped and nearly plunged to the ground. No simple bird would have continued their flight.

Trees hid her escape until the voices behind her drifted away. The strength in her wing wavered until it couldn’t hold her weight any longer. She needed to change back quickly, she could feel something rushing into her bloodstream and causing the earth to pitch.


In the shape of a bird, she didn’t hold the power to overrule the effect of the drug. As her body dove to the ground, Grainna willed the morph to roll through her frame.

She hit the earth with more force than expected and felt the impact travel in waves over her skin.

Naked and panting, Grainna lay on the forest floor until the pain of the fall ebbed. She closed her eyes for a moment and allowed her mind to rest.

Heat fanned her chin and sprung her eyes open.

She blinked several times before hearing something running along the forest floor. She’d fallen asleep.

She was sure of it. Although it was still dark, the feeling that time had passed was unmistakable.

Unconscious. She’d been vulnerable and exposed. For the first time in centuries, a shiver of fright overwhelmed her.

Shooting to her feet, Grainna studied her surroundings and searched for hidden danger.

As Grainna lifted her arms, intending to shift and travel back to the safety of her camp, her gaze landed on her right arm. There, among a piercing wound that oozed blood, were several feathers left over from her bird-like state.

She touched her wound with timid fingers. The sting of the poison fought inside her.

As her back teeth ground together, the blackness of her heart dripped oil into her soul.

Chapter Twenty-Two

Fin rolled the copper ring in his fingers before loosely connecting it to its mate. “How do they hold together?” he asked the gray haired man with the bright orange vest who’d answered all his questions.

“With this.” He held up a small round can. “It’s called red hot blue glue. You place a generous amount along this ring and slip these together. The glue sets in minutes and is guaranteed not to leak.”

Fin knew he wouldn’t be able to match the chemicals that adhered the pipes together once he returned to his time. “What was used in the past, before this red hot glue?”

“I’m not really sure. I think they welded the pieces together. Over time that would rust at the weakest joint.”

Fin nodded.

“Are we done now?” Lizzy shifted on the balls of her feet beside him, anxious to leave the giant store full of customers.

“Looks like the missus is bored. Women always want their pipes to work, but don’t care how they’re put together.”

Lizzy huffed out a heated breath. “We can buy a book, Fin. I’m sure this man has better things to do.”

“Ms. McAllister, is that you?”

Lizzy turned in the direction of the small voice while Fin froze.

“Ah, hi Eddie,” Lizzy said, glancing back at him, Fin could see the concern in her face.

Eddie couldn’t be more than six years old, probably one of the children Liz had watched when she lived in this time.

The child’s gaze swept up Lizzy’s frame as he tugged on a woman’s arm. “Look Mom, Ms.


“Oh my God, Liz.”

Liz stepped back and reached her hand toward Fin’s arm.

“Hello, Mrs. Aaron.”

With wide eyes, Mrs. Aaron shifted around the cart until she stood next to Liz. “I thought you were dead.”