Redeeming Vows (Page 65)

Redeeming Vows (MacCoinnich Time Travel Trilogy #3)(65)
Author: Catherine Bybee

Fin tilted his head, took a chance. “The same as ye.” “The angel bestows gifts, and we are to use them openly?”

Fin ignored the increasing screams. “I believe that is what the angel said. I imagine the gifts would disappear once the witch is defeated.”

Just then, a rat two feet in length, ran at them without fear. It jumped onto Fin’s leg. He quickly kicked it off. Before it set forward again, fire caught hold of it, stopping it in a flaming death.

When he glanced up, Donovan shook out his hand.

Fin extended his arm. “I have yer back, brother.”

Donovan smiled. “And I have yers.”

The women around them screamed, babies cried.

Some of the rats were trampled to death while others latched on to legs and arms of anyone they could.

By the time Fin reached Liz and the others, hell had broken loose. Cian ushered him inside the tent.

“How can we fight this?” Liz held Briac in one hand, Simon and Amber held hands and grasped on to Liz’s free arm. All four of them hovered in the tent, away from the rats.

“Stay here,” he ordered.

“I planned on it,” Lizzy shouted.

“Simon, can you call in a few cats to help us out?”

The boy enthusiastically nodded before closing his eyes.

Fin ducked beyond Cian, swiveled around and saw Duncan and Tara helping others destroy the rodents.

Alice screamed by his side. A rat latched onto her dress, she reached down to bat it off. Fin sent a spark from her hands, wounding the rat. Alice flinched, stared at her hand, then found a poker for the fire pit, and ran it through her four-legged enemy.

Duncan pointed to the edge of the forest.

“They’re coming from over there.”

“Gather people, let them think they’re setting them on fire.”

Tara ran toward Myra as Duncan met with Logan and pointed toward the massive numbers of rats rushing toward them.

Fin found Ian and Lora and told them his plan.

Soon, the camp was filled with small balls of fire and small measures of awe and celebration with every fallen rodent. When he met up with Donovan, the knight had a few extra people by his side.

“Where are they coming from?”

“Over there.”

Duncan stood with six men, he managed to have each of them shooting fire, or think they were shooting fire, from their hands.

Fin ran to his side to help.

They dodged bites and threw fire, but the rats kept coming. As they managed to destroy one pack, another charged.

“Enough,” Duncan yelled, spread both hands wide and lit the ground with fire in a steady stream.

Some rats ran into the fire, others attempted to find the end of it.

Fin noticed the attention of one of the men that battled at Duncan’s side. The virtual stranger mimicked Duncan’s movement, Fin helped fire come, but not in the way of Duncan’s talent. Fin nudged Duncan’s hand when the stranger did it again. This time flames leapt and fire spread beyond them.

The rats retreated. Those inside the circle of flame were picked off one by one. Simon’s cats chased, caught, and dismembered their share.

No longer hovering, Liz approached Fin when he returned to her side. She slipped into his arms and rested her head on his chest. He placed a kiss to her head.

“Is everyone well?”

“I won’t sleep for a week, but we’re all okay.”

He laughed.

“Rats? Her mind is warped.”

Fin had heard enough of her slang to understand her. “We should expect anything.”

She shivered. “Make that a month. I’m not sleeping for a month.”

Indulging in her warmth a little longer, Fin stroked his hand down her back. “Where is Simon?”

“He and Cian are helping Lora and Myra with some of the people who were bit.”

“Any serious injuries?”

“Hard to tell.”

Fin noticed Todd signaling him to come from across the camp.

Pulling out of Liz’s embrace, Fin covered her mouth with a soft kiss. She purred, just a little and cuddled closer. He stepped away, placed a finger on her pert little nose. “Later, love.”

Her lower lip stuck out in a pout but she let her hands drop from his sides and let him walk away.


Liz dropped to her bottom, ignoring the dirt that would stick to her skirts. Her hair was a mess, her body in dire need of a bath. Not to mention she was so hungry she could eat a small mammal all by herself.

Tara fell beside her, followed by Amber and Myra.

“What a day.”

“You’re not kidding.”

Liz glanced at her sister. “Where’s Briac?”

“With Simon and Lora.”

“What about Cian?”

Amber raised her hand and pointed toward the rocks overlooking the cliffs. The silhouette of someone staring over the sea stood out among the setting sun.

“Is he going to be okay?”

“He grieves, but he will survive,” Amber answered.

Smells from Alice’s stew had Lizzy’s stomach rumbling. “Where are the men?”

“In council.” Tara rubbed the back of her neck.

“They’re talking about sheltering all the women and children in the keep and having the men outside as guards.”

Liz noted the size of the structure and the number of people. It would be tight, but they’d fit.

“We may be able to charm the walls, protect us and the others, out here ’tis difficult,” Myra said.

“True.” But she hated the thought of splitting up half the family. They worked better together.

Alice stepped forward with her pot and offered them dinner. They ate in relative quiet.

The calm before the storm. Liz hated that her thoughts led there, the cliché never felt more daunting.

As the ocean reached high tide, the fog swept over them. When the night closed in, the men returned and announced the decisions made by the men. “Tomorrow we move the women to the keep. We will send out scouts to search for Grainna’s fortress.”

“They won’t come back. Grainna will take out a small party.”

“I agree, but changing centuries of warrior tactics is impossible.” Fin settled beside Liz and let her lean against him.

Simon stoked the fire. “Tatiana said Grainna resided close to the sea.”

“Which will be her weakness. We need only to surround her halfway. She will have no place to hide.”

“But she shifts, and flies.” Simon kept his voice low and glanced around. Most of the people in camp slept, the guards kept watch around the perimeter.