KAREN MARIE MONING KISS OF THE HIGHLANDER FREE PDF

Drustan MacKeltar? Tucked behind the table near the hearth, his mother straightened in her chair, preening beneath his attention. Besseta Alexander had lost so much in her life that she clung too fiercely to what she had left—Nevin. He repressed a desire to fling back the door and flee into the serenity of the Highland morning, aware that she would only corner him again at the earliest opportunity.

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Drustan MacKeltar? Tucked behind the table near the hearth, his mother straightened in her chair, preening beneath his attention. Besseta Alexander had lost so much in her life that she clung too fiercely to what she had left—Nevin. He repressed a desire to fling back the door and flee into the serenity of the Highland morning, aware that she would only corner him again at the earliest opportunity.

A fleck of spittle foamed at the seam. This is dire indeed, Nevin. Each time I am assigned a new position, you reach for your charms.

Brushing a lock of blond hair from his face, Nevin crossed the room and kissed her wrinkled cheek, then swept his hand across the yew sticks, upsetting their mysterious design. How will I achieve success with the villagers, if my own dear mother persists in pagan rituals?

Besseta snatched her hand from his and gathered her sticks defensively. I bid you, accord them proper respect. He must be stopped. I think she will kill you. Although he knew there was no truth to her ominous prediction, the fact that she entertained such wicked thoughts confirmed his fears that her tenuous grasp on reality was slipping. Mayhap his new lady will take a fancy to you, and evil doings will come of it. A fancy to me, over Drustan MacKeltar?

Nevin laughed. He knew what he looked like. He had not been fashioned—as had Drustan MacKeltar—for warring, conquering, and seducing women and had long ago accepted his physical shortcomings. God had purpose for him, and while spiritual purpose might seem insignificant to others, for Nevin Alexander it was more than enough. Give me your word. You must promise.

God willing, his mother would forget her latest delusion by dinner. God willing. Over the next few days, Besseta tried to make Nevin understand the danger he was in, to no avail. He chided her gently, he rebuked her less gently, and he got those sad lines around his mouth she so hated to see.

Despair settled into her weary bones, and she knew that it was up to her to do something. She would not lose her only remaining son. When shortly after her alarming vision a band of wandering Rom arrived in the village of Balanoch, Besseta struck upon a solution.

Besseta might read yew sticks, but simple scrying paled in comparison to the practices of the wild gypsies who wandered the Highlands, selling spells and enchantments cheek by jowl with their more-ordinary wares. But he would be alive, by the yew! Although Besseta suffered many sleepless nights over her decision, she knew her sticks had never failed her. That much her sticks had made clear. If her sticks had told her more—mayhap how the woman would do it, when, or why—she might not have been seized by such desperation.

How would she survive if Nevin were gone? Who would succor an old and useless woman? Alone, the great yawning darkness with its great greedy maw would swallow her whole. She had no choice but to get rid of Drustan MacKeltar. A sennight later, Besseta stood with the gypsies and their leader—a silver-haired man named Rushka—in the clearing near the little loch some distance west of Castle Keltar.

Drustan MacKeltar lay unconscious at her feet. She eyed him warily. The MacKeltar was a large man, towering and dark, a mountain of bronzed muscle and sinew, even when flat on his back. When she shivered and nudged him gingerly with her toe, the gypsies laughed. The gypsies indeed possessed powerful magic.

That must never happen! You have my word. Not where we plan to hide his body. None know of the place but us. He must never be found! When the gypsies, wagon in tow, disappeared into the forest, Besseta sank to her knees in the clearing, and murmured a prayer of thanks to whatever deity might be listening.

He was, as she had promised Nevin, unharmed.

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Kiss of the Highlander

Drustan MacKeltar? Tucked behind the table near the hearth, his mother straightened in her chair, preening beneath his attention. Besseta Alexander had lost so much in her life that she clung too fiercely to what she had left—Nevin. He repressed a desire to fling back the door and flee into the serenity of the Highland morning, aware that she would only corner him again at the earliest opportunity. A fleck of spittle foamed at the seam. This is dire indeed, Nevin.

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