“Then how do we find her?” Cian asked.
They sat and pondered, as men do, with a drink in their hands and an expression of great thought on their faces.
“Has anyone else noticed how much time the women have been spending studying and practicing their spells?” Todd asked. “Why not put some of their power to use?”
“Ask the women to find her?”
“It’s worth a try. I know all of you want the whole Druid power thing to be underplayed, but my guess is Grainna isn’t going to hide anything. In the end everyone here might be exposed.”
“It’s risky,” Duncan said.
“Let me ask you this. How much of your last showdown with her was done with swords?”
Duncan shook his head.
“I thought so. If Grainna showed up here right now with an army, swords would be used, I’m sure, but without taking her out, they’ll keep coming. As much as I love Fin kicking my ass every day on the field, I won’t hesitate to put a bullet in anyone wanting to kill me.”
“We will use every resource we have,” Ian thought aloud, “even our women.”
The women were waiting quietly when the men walked slowly into the room. It wasn’t as if secrets could be kept when two of the couples could read each others minds. Tara relayed some of the conversation from the other room, while Lora did the same.
Myra laughed at her father’s expression when he squinted his eyes at her mother and asked, “You know why we are here, don’t you?”
Lora nodded. “Guilty.”
“Sorry, love,” Tara said to her husband. “We were a bit curious when all of you left the dining hall so quickly.”
“What I want to know is why it’s taken you so long to think of us?” Lizzy asked.
“The role of women is not to have to concern themselves with these things.” Fin offered.
“But the fact is, we could use you. All of you.”
Todd took a chance and sat next to Myra. “What have you ladies been working on?”
Lizzy had asked that they all keep quiet about their spells, worried about how Simon might react to their newfound coven of sorts.
Myra glanced at Lizzy who now sat staring at her son.
“It’s okay, Mom. Geez, it’s not like I don’t already know you guys are practicing spells. If you did that last year, I’d probably have had a problem with it, but hellooo… we’ve traveled in time, start fires with our minds, and talk to each other in our heads. Spells seem kind of tame if you ask me.”
Simon rolled his eyes.
Lizzy smiled and ruffled his full head of hair, causing him to pull away in embarrassment.
“Well?” Ian asked.
“One of the books Myra brought back has been very helpful. If I had to guess, I think someone like us wrote it. Since most people in the twenty-first century think Druids are only priests and mystical at that, they never connected the dots. The lady who wrote the book thinks she is a witch and believes that with a coven, or group of witches, most anything is possible.” Liz turned an eye to Myra to elaborate.
“Together we are much stronger. Sometimes Liz and I will try something new, and we can’t make it work, but the four of us can.”
“The first thing we tried was reading each other’s thoughts and memories.” Myra told them about seeing Lizzy’s visions of Simon as a baby and his abduction by Grainna.
“I heard you calling out for me in your mind.”
Simon said, recalling the day they first cast the circles.
“That might be our biggest obstacle, seeing in without Grainna noticing. I mean, we all thought of Simon, but he knew we were there, or at least he knew Lizzy was there.” Tara added. “I assume you want us to try getting into Grainna’s head.”
“It would be best if she didn’t know we watched.”
Myra though about the cord they had charmed to keep noise within a room. “Maybe there is a way.”
She glanced at Liz, cocked her head to the side in the direction of Todd. “The cord.”
“Oh, my God. Yeah, that might work. We can charm our circle.”
Most of the others in the room appeared confused, except for maybe Todd.
“Would you two mind explaining?” Lora asked.
“Ah…Myra?” Todd glanced at Ian.
“Oh. Well, we would have to practice it first.”
Liz caught on, “We wouldn’t want to bore you with the details.”
“I am not bored.” Ian told her, his voice firm.
“Well. Myra and I were trying to think of a way to keep our magic more private.” Liz squirmed under Ian’s watchful eye.
“Aye, and we thought it would help if no one could hear what was happening in the room. Just in case one of the maids was nearby. You understand?”
“So you found a way to block out sound?” Lora held her breath when she asked. Myra knew her mother well enough to know she figured out what other sounds the charm blocked out. Myra noticed Ian’s eyes narrow when he arrived at the same conclusion.
“And did it work?” asked Cian, who listened, but remained clueless about all the unspoken conversation going on in the room.
“It worked,” Liz told him. “Now if we can hide behind another such spell or charm, maybe we could keep Grainna from seeing us.”
“We’ll need to practice on someone else first.”
“One of you.” Tara pointed to the men.
“You mean peek into our heads?” Simon asked.
“Yeah, but we shouldn’t tell you who it will be or when.”
Todd laughed. “Better than a wire tap.”
Liz and Tara laughed. No one else got it.
“Never mind.” Todd shook his head.
“Anyway, if it works, then we have our ticket into her head.”
“And her plans.”
A collective nod went around the room, and before everyone retired, it was decided the sisters would experiment over the next few days to see if their plan would work. ****
Michael scouted for Druids. It became a routine for him to blindly go and seek out people of his own race to fill Grainna’s needs.
Her quest for power was as maddening as it was insatiable. The prize of a Druid virgin had yet to be found, but that didn’t stop her slow progression to youth.
She would be hard for any of the MacCoinnichs to recognize now. The last woman she sacrificed had given her back ten years, and now she looked like a well-kept woman in her early fifties. Smoother skin, with hair that was turning back into the lush black it had been, returned her beauty.