Authors: Donna Grant
Tags: #Adult, #Novella, #PNR, #Supernaturals
“I was asleep,” he answered. “I woke in a cave. It was Innes who pulled me out of my sleep.”
Innes touched his cheek. “It was foretold that he would save our clan.”
“So he has,” David said. “Alistair couldna kill his own brother, but Donald didna have such morals. With Donald dead, the MacKays will need a new laird. I think you’ve found him, Innes.”
Daman saw her smile as she looked at him. He shook his head. “I’m no’ a leader.”
“You always have been,” Ronan said. “You just didna want to take the role.”
Daman faced his friends. “I couldna remember any of you. I knew I was missing something, but I couldna figure out what it was.”
Morcant was the first to enfold him in a hug and pound on his back. Daman was smiling when Morcant stepped away, his head down as he brushed something from his cheek.
“Leana is making him soft,” Stefan said right before he pulled Daman in for a hug. “It’s good to have us all together again.”
Then it was Ronan’s turn. Daman couldn’t be happier. Until he saw David. His smile vanished as he faced the laird.
“I know you and Alistair had an agreement,” Daman began.
David held up his hand and grinned. “I doona have to ask Innes what she wants. I saw it in the way she couldna get to you fast enough. I wouldna dream of coming between the two of you.”
“I’m sure you’ve heard things you didna understand today,” Daman said.
David laughed and mounted his horse. “I know all about Ilinca’s curse and the four Highlanders she bound. It’s been a story told for generations in my family. Why do you think we had the mirror Ronan was trapped in?” he asked before he turned his horse around and rode away.
“Will you help me with Alistair’s body?” Daman asked his friends.
The four draped Alistair across his horse. Daman wasn’t surprised to see Donald’s two men cart Donald’s body off into the forest. He knew their faces, and he wasn’t sure he would allow them back onto MacKay land.
That’s when he stopped his train of thought. It wasn’t his land.
“What next?” Innes asked him.
He looked down at her. Her eyes were still red from her tears. He wanted to ask her to be his, but it wasn’t the right time. She needed to bury her brothers.
“We bring Alistair back home.”
Innes nodded and turned to Ronan, Morcant, and Stefan. “You are welcome to come with us.”
Us. Daman wrapped an arm around her, feeling more free than he ever thought possible. The only way things could get any better was if Innes agreed to be his wife.
He inwardly smiled. Wife. It was something he hadn’t ever considered, and yet as soon as he had woken, that’s all he had thought about. Well, not so much making her his wife but remaining with her. It was all the same in the end.
Three months later...
Innes was holding her cheeks, they hurt from laughing so hard. It was only a few months since Alistair’s death, but Daman had helped her heal in ways he would never know.
Donald’s body had never been recovered. Neither were the two men who freed him from the prison, which was fine with her.
Just as she’d assumed, the clan eagerly accepted Daman as their laird. Whether he knew it or not, he had the commanding presence, intellect, and warrior mentality that made a great laird. People recognized that.
In the months he had been laird, there wasn’t just peace with the Sinclairs. He, Ronan, Stefan, and Morcant, along with a handful of MacKay men, stole back the sheep the Blairs had taken.
The Blairs tried to steal them again, but Daman had been prepared for them. The Blairs now knew that the MacKays weren’t a clan to be messed with. Retribution would be swift if they did.
Daman’s laughter rang out in the hall as Meg elbowed Ronan in the stomach. Innes had heard each of their stories of how the men were cursed and how they came to be in this time. Their stories of finding love were even more interesting.
Innes had slept in Daman’s bed every night since returning to the castle. She wondered how much longer he would take before he asked her to be his. She was growing tired of waiting.
“I hated Ilinca,” Stefan said. “My first thought was to kill her when I realized I was out of the darkness. I still hate her. Some,” he added as he looked at Morvan. “She did bring me to my woman.”
Morcant lifted his goblet. “To our women. Even I’ll thank Ilinca for that.”
Innes watched as Daman smiled and lifted his goblet with the others, but he was restless. “What is it?” she leaned over and asked.
He shook his head.
Innes knew him well enough to know the look pinching his lips. He was worrying over something.
She rose and sat on his lap. When his gaze met hers, she touched his face. “I wonder, Daman, if you know that I love you.”
“Aye, lass. I know,” he said, his face softening. “Just as you know I love you.”
It was the first time he had said the words. She did know it by the way he touched her, treated her, and the way he spoke to her. But a woman needed to hear it all the same.
“Then when are you going to ask me to be yours?”
He tugged at her long, dark hair. She had left it free because he had asked her to. “I wanted to give you time. You lost both of your brothers in one day.”
“All I ever need is you.”
Daman set his goblet down on the table and cupped her face with his hands. “Innes MacKay, yours was the only voice I heard in my sleep. Yours was the only touch I felt. As soon as I woke, all I wanted was to find you. Even without my voice, we were able to communicate. With a voice or without, I’m no’ me without you.
“I wasna going to let David have you that day. I didna care if I had to fight thousands of armies. I was willing to do it to have you by my side, to have you as mine. From the first moment you spoke, from the first time you touched me, I’ve been yours.”
Innes felt the tears spill down her face. Daman’s face swam in her vision as she listened to his words.
“Be mine. For now and always. Will you consent to be my wife and rule this clan beside me?”
Her throat was clogged with emotion. All she could do was nod, and then he was kissing her.
Gypsies, magic, curses, and love. Innes didn’t know how Ilinca knew the four Highlanders would bring about such change in the clans, and it didn’t matter. The men were there, and the women who fell in love with them were willing to stand with them no matter what the future held.
Daman had saved the MacKay clan. He had also saved her. That last bit might not have been in the prophecy, but Innes didn’t care. She knew the truth in her gypsy heart.
“Marry me. Right now,” Daman said between kisses. “I’ve had the priest waiting for weeks.”
Innes laughed as she jumped up and started running out of the castle toward the chapel. She didn’t get very far before Daman grabbed her hand.
Then they were in the chapel, surrounded by friends – family, really – as they became husband and wife.
“My wife,” Daman said with a smile.
Look for the next LaRue story –
– Coming April 13, 2015!
It was the smell of bacon frying that pulled him from sleep. Court threw an arm over his eyes to block out the light coming through the row of windows behind him.
“This is beyond anything I’ve read in years,” his brother Kane said.
There was a thud that Court recognized as Kane firmly setting down his mug of coffee. Court released a breath, hoping to fall back asleep quickly. It wasn’t going to be easy when Kane was sitting at the table six feet away.
“What now?” Riley asked.
His cousin from Lyons Point had been sharing Kane’s apartment for weeks now, and it looked like she had no intention of leaving anytime soon.
“This...well, there’s no other way to put it. It’s shit,” Kane grumbled.
Court sat up and glared at both of them. It was wasted since Riley was focused on cooking and Kane was absorbed in reading the paper.
“It’s too damn early in the morning for this,” Court said as he rose from the couch and shuffled into the kitchen. He palmed a mug and poured himself some coffee.
Riley chuckled as she munched on a slice of crispy bacon and eyed him. “It’s not early for us.”
“Perhaps if you got in at a reasonable hour,” Kane said as he set down the paper. “Besides, tell me again why you aren’t at
Court took two sips of coffee and let the caffeine settle in his stomach before he replied. “It’s not my fault the women won’t leave me alone.”
“You might try not sleeping with the nut jobs,” Riley stated and pulled out the last of the bacon before she dumped eggs into the pan and began to scramble them.
Court frowned as he looked at the food, feeling a little jealous that he was missing out on such a delicious start to the day. “Do you cook for Kane every morning?”
Kane sat back in his chair. “Sometimes I cook.”
Riley shot Kane a smile. Court hadn’t been sure anyone could bring Kane out of his funk after the chaos that happened in Lyons Point when he had been cursed and sent after Lincoln’s woman. Riley was doing what no one else could.
Kane wasn’t his easygoing self – yet. But he was getting there. He didn’t snap at people as often, and Court even saw his mouth easing into what could almost be a smile more and more.
“This,” Kane said, pointing to the newspaper, “is stupidity at its finest.”
Court leaned back against the counter and scratched his bare chest. Kane read the paper religiously every morning. While everyone else had moved into the modern age and either didn’t bother to read the paper, or read it electronically, Kane was still old school.
Riley dished out eggs onto three plates. She turned to the table with plates in each hand and waited as Kane folded the paper so that the article was on top. Riley set the plates, as well as the bacon and biscuits, on the table. She motioned for Court to sit as she gathered utensils and napkins. Court hurried to put on his shirt from the night before.
She was the last to take her chair at the round table. Then she looked at Kane and asked, “What did you find?”
“An article on the supernatural in New Orleans.”
Court shook his head as he cut open his biscuit and slathered it with butter. “That’s nothing new.”
“It is when this reporter is going to clubs were the supernatural visit and writing about it.”
Riley choked on her coffee. She wiped her mouth with her napkin, her eyes wide. “Are you serious?”
Court watched Kane nod his head of golden blond hair. “It’s just a piece in the paper. No one is going to read that drivel, and even if they do, no one will believe her.”
“It’s not the article that has me so upset,” Kane stated around a mouthful of eggs. “It’s that she points out the factions and describes some of the leaders perfectly.”
Court waited until he swallowed his bite before he asked, “Who is described?”
Kane leaned over the paper and read, “Though tattooing has always been appreciated in our fair city, there is a faction who likes to tat their heads. These beings should be steered clear of at all costs.”
“At least she recognizes the Djinn are dangerous,” Riley said.
“People are going to be heading out to the Viper’s Den and Boudreaux’s looking for these tattooed people.”
Court realized that Kane had a point. “How long is the article?”
“Long enough.” Kane stabbed the eggs with his fork for a bite and held the utensil at his mouth. “This is her third article, so I don’t expect it to be her last.”
Riley swallowed the last of her biscuit while she held another piece of bacon in her hand. “Perhaps I should go have a talk with her.”
“That would be a bad idea.” Court pushed his clean plate away and scooted down in his chair as he leaned back. “If we go to her, she’ll know that we know something. I don’t want to be mentioned in any of her articles.”
Kane’s lips twisted in revulsion as he chewed. “Her first articles merely mentioned the supernatural part of the city. It seemed harmless enough until this morning. She’s visiting these bars, Court. If she’s not careful, she’s going to die.”
“That’s what we’re for.” Riley smiled when they turned to her. “I say ‘we’ because I have been helping out.”
Court stared at his beautiful cousin. Riley had long black hair and the same blue eyes that all the Chiassons and LaRues had. She was tall, lithe, and had a smile that could make the Devil beg her take over Hell itself.
He understood all too well why his four male cousins in Lyons Point had done everything in their power to keep her away from the monsters they hunted. What Riley’s brothers didn’t understand was that she was stubborn and completely immovable when she focused on something she wanted.
There was no way Riley wasn’t going to help them whether it was hunting a rogue vampire, or protecting a human getting too close to danger. All the LaRues could do was make sure that Riley never went out alone. One of them was always with her to watch her back.