Silent Vows (Page 59)

Silent Vows (MacCoinnich Time Travel Trilogy #2)(59)
Author: Catherine Bybee

Duncan swirled around on her, stared down with a watchful eye. “Do you mean to say, you have been falling to the floor every time you did this?” He tossed his hand to the women nursing aching backsides.

“It wasn’t so bad…”

“Tara Louise MacCoinnich, ‘tis our child you carry and I will not have you taking that fall again.”

Myra’s brows shot up with his full use of Tara’s name. Lizzy’s eyes widened quickly.

Tara sent Duncan a coy smile. “It isn’t so bad.”

Duncan’s stern face melted when his eyes matched his wife’s. His hands grabbed hers. He knelt to her level. “I can’t bear the thought of you hurt, lass.”

“I never hurt.” She passed a quick look to the women in the circle. “Not much anyway.”

The other men helped the women to their feet.

“What happened?” Ian asked.

Collectively, the sisters moved around the room, returning candles, cushions and any evidence of what they had been doing. It was poetic to watch, and very well orchestrated.

“Well?” Fin finally asked.

“Grainna noticed us,” Lizzy told him.

“Are you sure?”

Amber sat by her mother when she asked.

“Why else did we hear her? And we all sensed the need to get out.”

Fin moved to the fire and tossed a log inside. He caught a flame with his hand, played with it while he thought.

“Liz is right. She knew something.”

“What did you see?” Fin tossed a ball of fire in his hand like it was a marble.

“They were outside Lancaster. In the forest.”

“They?”

“Aye, Grainna and Steel and other people. Many more,” Myra said.

“How many more?”

“Two dozen, maybe more.”

Fin tossed the ball of flame into the hearth.

“Knights?”

“Some,” Myra told him. “Others were servants and only numbers, men who obviously haven’t been trained for war.”

“How could you tell? We moved by them so quickly.”

“There were horses, only knights have horses,”

Myra explained to Lizzy. “Or noblemen, Grainna would have no use for them.”

“Amber.” Liz sat next to her on the bed. “Did you feel anything else?”

“Fear. Grainna was afraid of something.”

“Good.” Todd stood next to Myra, touched her arm briefly, then let her go. “Fear will make her sloppy, irrational. Which can be to our benefit.”

“Can you map out where she was?” Duncan asked his sister.

“I think so.”

“We need to do something quickly, she’s killing people, Duncan,” Tara pleaded. “Her youth is returning, with it her strength.”

Myra leaned into Todd’s shoulder; fear surged through her. Tara held her unborn child as if protecting it from evil. Amber stood beside Simon who had moved next to his mom. Ian and Lora stared at each other. An overwhelming sense of dread hovered deep in the room.

Would they all survive? Would her strong family be whole when this was complete?

Chapter Twenty-One

The night before the men were to ride out to find and destroy Grainna, Myra slipped into Todd’s room.

He sat next to the fireplace, his feet resting on a table in front of him. After placing the rope on the door, she went to his side. Settling at his feet, she placed her head in his lap. His hand stoked her hair.

“Are you worried about tomorrow?”

“No, not really. All this waiting around for her to strike is a lot harder to handle.”

“It does feel better to be doing something.”

“Yes.” The slow gentle strokes of his hand had her snuggling deeper. “Are you going to be okay here?”

“We’ll be safe. My father’s men will protect us at all costs. ’Tis you and my family I worry for. Are you sure you are ready?”

Todd’s deep breath caused her to look up and into his eyes. “This may not be my time, but fighting the good fight doesn’t change from century to century. I might not be able to spit fire from my fingertips like all of you, but I can still kick some serious ass.”

Myra laughed despite herself. Her smile quickly faded as her concern for his welfare sent doubt through every inch of her body.

“Don’t do that,” Todd scolded.

“Do what?”

“Look at me like I’m never coming back.” He closed her face within his hands and kissed her soundly. She went pliant in his arms, wanting him closer still. When he broke their kiss and sat back, his thumb traced her lips. “I’m a fool,” he said more to himself than her.

“Why?”

“I let you fall in love with me.”

“Let me?” she laughed.

He searched her eyes. “When I was a child, my mother sat home after my father went to work and said a prayer for his safe return every night. She didn’t realize the worried expression that crossed over her every time a police car drove by. Or how she jumped when the phone rang. It was like she knew the call would come someday to tell her my father was dead.”

His painful memories translated into a heartfelt sob in her throat.

Todd went on, “When the call came, I held her while she crumbled to the floor, but I wasn’t enough.

I didn’t have what she needed to pick up the pieces after my father’s death. When she died, only months after we buried my father, I swore I would never put a woman through that anguish. Here I am, doing exactly that with you.”

Tears glistened in Myra’s eyes. “Your parents must have loved each other deeply.”

“They did.”

“They had a happy life, then?”

“Yeah, the best.”

“Do you think they would have wanted it any other way?” Todd started to answer but Myra held up a hand for him to stop. “Your father had a reason to come home every night, Todd. He was probably more careful with every step he took because of the love he had for your mother and for you.”

“Probably.”

“We have little choice as to whom we fall in love with. And you’re right. I do love you. When I left your time, I knew I’d never find another to take your place. I was destined to live my life with only the memories of our few weeks together. Fate brought us together again. I have a hard time believing fate would be cruel enough to take you away from me now. If she did, however, I’d always look back on these times and remember our love.” Myra snuggled into his palm as he caressed her cheek.