Redeeming Vows (Page 52)

Redeeming Vows (MacCoinnich Time Travel Trilogy #3)(52)
Author: Catherine Bybee

What a bitch. What was wrong with her? She’d jumped down his throat and all he was doing was expediting their same goal. She covered her face with both hands and shook her head. “I’m sorry.”

“We’ll both rest easier when we’re home,” he told her as he gathered her close to the large expanse of his chest. Liz leaned into him, resting her head, and pushing back every what-if that entered her brain.

She didn’t want to think about the possibility of not returning, of never seeing her son again.

“This is going to be fantastic,” Selma boasted as she snapped closed her phone.

“When are you going to let us in on your plan?”

Selma sat at the rickety wooden picnic table and waited for them to sit. Fin straddled the bench seat and pulled Liz back into his arms while Selma explained.

“You said that Grainna held the soul of hundreds of Druids.”

“Yeah, so?”

“If I’m a Druid, then it’s safe to say those in my family are too, at least some of them, right?”

Fin nodded.

“I’ve asked them to gather with me to help send you two back. I may not be able to assemble hundreds, but I can bring together a dozen members of my family in hope of helping.”

“I doubt a dozen will be enough,” Fin said, expressing Liz’s thoughts.

“They can’t hurt. Last night when we saw into the past, some window opened with only the three of us. The power of the moon, the eclipse, and my family may be enough.”

Liz thought of Tara, Myra, and Amber and the hours they sat in a circle chanting spells and wielding their collective power. Together they were strong, could achieve nearly anything they set their minds to. They were connected by blood, either by birth or by ritual. Maybe Selma was right. Perhaps the right amount of weak power would generate enough strength to push her and Fin back in time.

“In order for your plan to work we need to do something first.” Liz lifted her gaze to Selma and offered a smile.

“What’s that?”

Around them, the campground grew quiet.

Large bushes and trees hid their actions from any prying eyes.

“Fin, bring me your sword.”

Before Selma could ask why, Fin brought his claymore to the table and sat it between the women.

“Tara, Myra, Amber and I have all shared this spell. A circle of Tara’s blood forced Grainna through time before she regained all her power. I’m not certain that this ritual will help, but it certainly can’t hurt.”

Selma squirmed in her seat. “This is going to require me to bleed, huh?”

Liz chuckled. “Only a little.”

Running a finger along the sharp edge of Fin’s sword, Liz waited for Selma to do the same. Liz placed her elbow on the table and grasped Selma’s hand until both their bleeding fingers touched and their blood mixed.

“In this day and in this hour, I call upon the sacred power. I choose to give my blood to thee, I choose you as a sister to me.”

Selma gripped her hand and repeated her words. As the last one slipped from her lips, Liz’s hand warmed and a shimmer of hope washed through her.

Before her newest blood sister let her hand go, Selma said, “When you two are safely tucked back in your century, I’m going to do a serious genealogy search. If I don’t find a MacCoinnich in my heritage, I’ll be shocked.”

“I would be, too.”

Wiping away a tear, Selma let go and stood.

“If you two are good here, I’m going to cut out for the night.” Selma gathered her purse. “I’ll call first thing in the morning. If anything happens, call any of the numbers in the phone and let them know where you are. I’ll find you.”

When Selma drove away, Liz turned toward Fin.

“I’m going to miss her.”

“We’re forever indebted to her.”

“Somehow, I don’t think she sees it that way.”

Fin returned to the tent while Liz placed a couple of logs in the fire pit. Making sure no one watched first, she lifted her hands and forced a spark of flame on the dry bark. Soon the logs caught and the orange glow of the fire warmed their small space.

Inside the waterproof container was a package of hot dogs, buns, a few condiments, and chips.

Selma had tossed in a couple of sodas and had the good sense to add the makings for s’mores. After tossing a marshmallow in her mouth, Liz placed two dogs on the long metal stick and roasted them over the fire.

With any luck, this would be her last day in this time.

Damn, when had that happened? When did she stop thinking of the twenty-first century as her time? She glanced toward Fin who’d managed to erect the tent and now filled the inside with blankets and their things.

She would have done anything to return here months ago. She’d vowed to come home once Grainna was destroyed and she and Simon could do so safely. Would she try once that task was complete? Liz turned the hot dogs over and pondered.

If Simon were here, would she be working her way back?

Everything had changed. The family Selma had would have left Liz green with envy if she didn’t feel the same connection with Fin and the others. They all counted on each other. Every day, every hour.

“What are you thinking about, love?” Fin sat beside her.

His deep, penetrating gaze burrowed into her.

Her heart twisted. “What if we can’t return?”

“We will.”

“But what if we don’t? Or what if the Ancients shift you through time, but not me?” Where had that come from? Having Fin with her was the only thing keeping her sane. Her mind shifted. For a moment, the loss of Fin, her son, and the others threatened to engulf her. She gasped and dropped the hot dogs in the fire. She started to shake.

“Stop.” Fin gathered her in his arms. Liz clung to him like a life preserver for a drowning man. “We will return together. Please, love, don’t cry.”

But the tears came until she soaked his shirt.

She pushed her mouth into his shoulder to quiet her sobs. Gentle hands stroked her back and allowed her to break down.

Once she quieted, Fin reached for her face and brushed the tears away. His tenderness no longer surprised her. Her acceptance of it did.

Liz leaned forward and captured his lips until the pain and worry lifted and blew away. Strong, capable hands pressed her closer.

Desire, never far from the surface whenever she was in Fin’s arms, grew. When had she fallen so helplessly in love with him? Another sob tore from her throat.

Fin pulled away.