Redeeming Vows (Page 61)

Redeeming Vows (MacCoinnich Time Travel Trilogy #3)(61)
Author: Catherine Bybee

Cian approached her. She cowered away.

“She is in my head. I feel her inside my head.”

As the words tumbled from her lips, the pain splitting her head increased.

Traitor. Grainna’s word echoed in her mind.

Then she laughed and slipped away.

“Grainna listens?”

Of course, this was her plan. “She’s let me go, but not completely. She reads my thoughts. I know it.” “A spy,” Cian spit the word at her.

“Not by my will.”

“How are we to trust you?” Cian’s hands shook her shoulders forcing her eyes to open and meet his.

“Ye can’t.” She started to cry.

“Damn that witch. We need to find a weakness.”

Liz pushed past Cian and forced him to stop shaking Tatiana.

“Don’t protect her.”

“Knock it off, Cian. Can’t you see the girl is hurting here?”

“He’s right, m’lady. I don’t deserve yer compassion.”

“None of us deserve being led around by Grainna, but the witch finds a way to control all of us.” Light from beyond the tent signaled the rising sun. “She does not control ye.”

“Really? Seems to me we’re all sitting here now because of her.”

The bold woman made sense.

“But it’s time to put an end to her reign.”

“How?”

Tatiana held up her hand. “I beg ye. Say no more in front of me. I cannot control her invasion in here.” She tapped her fingers to her forehead. With careful thought, Tatiana moved around Liz and stared at Cian until he met her gaze. “I have no wish to deceive any of ye.”

“No. I don’t think you do.” Liz’s vow surprised her. “Nor do I.” This came from Amber.

Only after his sister’s words filled the tent did Cian’s face soften. Mayhap he believed her. She prayed he did.

“Do you know of any weakness?”

Tatiana shook her head. “Wait.”

“What?”

“I think she met with a sword, or bow.”

“What do you mean?” Ian asked.

“She held her arm as if it were wounded before I left. There was a smell, like decay and rotten meat.”

“An arrow,” Simon said. “She took an arrow in her wing. I saw her in the forest after.”

“Was she still in the form of a bird when you saw her?”

“No. But her arm wasn’t right. The arrow was gone, but some of the feathers still stuck out of her arm.”

“How on earth did you get close enough to see that?”

Simon hunched his shoulders. “I wasn’t that close.”

Liz shook her head. “Well, I think we may have found a way to take her out. I’ve been working on a plan.”

Tatiana panicked. “Stop, I beg ye. Say nothing in front of me.”

Ian stepped forward, placed a hand on Liz’s shoulder. “She’s right, lass.” He motioned to the mouth of the tent. “I’ll find a safe place for you to rest.”

Chapter Twenty-Eight

“Are you sure this is going to work?” Tara asked Liz as she dressed in the white gown she’d arrived in the day before. The eyeliner and glitter she added to her face only hid her identity so well. They would be relying on Ian stirring the clouds and the crowd’s general unease over what she was going to ask them to do to keep her name from anyone’s lips. Well…

that and hovering above them like the angel she was trying to resemble. Who argues with a visitor from heaven? Wait a minute… She did. When Elise appeared to them right before they attempted to bring Grainna down the last time, she’d argued with her. This time would work. It would have to.

“This has to work,” Liz told her sister.

“I can’t believe you can fly.”

“Hover. I hover really well. Not ready to jump off a cliff and risk hitting bottom quite yet.”

“Still freaking awesome if you ask me. I suppose we should have guessed you were the one behind the floating during circle time.” Tara made a couple of air quotes over circle time, and then started to laugh.

Liz snickered with her before painting her lips hot pink.

“Geez, Tara, can you believe us?”

“Not really.” Tara ducked behind her and ran a brush though her hair. “You haven’t told me about you and Fin.”

“Oh.” What should she say? To tell her sister she’d slept with Fin would be a waste of words.

Anyone with eyes could see their relationship had changed. Hell, it had before they even left. Now they were wrapped up in fighting Grainna and not giving much thought of what-ifs.

“What, speechless? You’re never speechless.”

“Pondering my choice of words.”

“Ponder faster. Before Duncan and Todd return.”

What could she say? They’d found comfort in each other’s arms. Had amazing sex, bordering on power struggles. Okay, they were all out wars of the sexes with an amazing end. As a smug expression settled over her face, Liz shook it away.

“Was that wistful?”

“What?”

“Wistful, whimsy, bliss?” Tara nagged her and didn’t let it drop. “Maybe Grainna sending you forward in time was a blessing in disguise? You’re in love with him.”

“Stop right there. Grainna’s lived up to her title as queen witch. Her goal wasn’t to bring Fin and I together, but to tear all of us apart. I’m glad to have found some peace with Mom and to let Dad put the final nail in that coffin. I know I tried, even if he’s the same ass as always.”

“Uh, huh.”

“Uh, huh? What is that, uh, huh?”

“You didn’t deny it.”

No, she didn’t, she mused. How could she? That would be like denying the sky was blue. But God, it was scary. Scary not knowing if Fin felt the same overpowering feeling toward her, scary not having a plan for tomorrow, and scary to consider all the unprotected sex they’d been having and her fertility rate with Simon.

Scary. Scary to the tenth power.

A crackling voice sounded from the walkie-talkie. The bell couldn’t have rang sooner to save her explanations or lack thereof.

“You girls ready?” The voice belonged to Todd.

“Five minutes,” Tara told him.

Liz pulled a long dark cape over her, hiding her dress, her hair, her twenty-first century makeup.

Tara lifted Briac into her arms and tickled his nose, and smiled at the resulting giggle.