#SupernaturalThursday love #TimeTravel? Try this series
Cursed to live forever with neither wife nor child, Ronan
Sutherland has watched all he cherishes turn to dust—more
than once. For hundreds of years, he’s been trapped
the mists of Loch Ness, hoping to identify the one woman
is prophesied to break the spell. Now, at last, the fates
have aligned, and he’s being sent into the future to
her. After a single glimpse, Ronan knows he’s been
all his life for this passionate woman.
Unlike her time-traveling sisters, Mairi Sinclair is
perfectly content to remain in the present. As a hospital
nurse in Edinburgh, she cherishes the opportunity to put
gift of healing powers to good use. But everything
the morning a mysterious wolf darts in front of her car.
Touching the wounded creature’s tawny coat, a tingle
through her. Yet when she returns with aid, Mairi is
to find instead a man with broad shoulders and fire in
eyes—a man who tempts her to unleash the animal within.
Ronan shifted in the saddle, wishing for the thousandth
time his heritage had been different. What would life
have been like if he hadna been cursed whilst still in
the womb? A great deal shorter. His bitter laugh misted
in the cooling air of the early evening wood. Born in
A.D. 900, the curse had accompanied him through three
centuries searching for the one prophesied to set him
Damn his father—victim to an evil-hearted temptress. Old
Domnall had descended from the royal house of Alpine,
king in fact, and he’d found a rare exotic beauty to take
as his wife. Not only did the woman’s looks cause men to
stop and stare, ’twas rumored she possessed chilling and
unexplainable powers. As it turned out, the tales were
not rumors at all.
After a few short years of marriage, Domnall discovered
his wife’s many talents didn’t include giving him the one
thing in life he truly desired: an heir. The self-
professed witch and high priestess to the mighty Fates
was barren. So Domnall took another to his bed and bade
his mistress give him a son. Ronan’s mother, Iona, the
King of Alba’s favored leman, adored her king and would
grant him anything within her power.
Unlike Domnall’s wife, Iona conceived quickly. The king
was overjoyed and swore to embrace the illegitimate spawn
as his rightful heir, for the child surely had to be a
son. His queen’s jealous rage knew no boundaries. The day
she learned of Ronan’s conception, the sky darkened with
black lightning-filled clouds and all the land rolled and
shook with her anger.
Ronan urged his mount to a faster pace as his mother’s
whispered recounts echoed through his mind. Iona had told
him of the ear-splitting boom that had rattled the
mountains one last time before all fell silent. Tears
always broke his mother’s voice when she told of the
unseen claws forcing her down to her hands and knees.
Many a time, with a hopeless whisper into his thoughts,
Máthair had recounted the terrible pain as her body
shifted and changed into the form of a great white wolf.
Ronan remembered the witch’s curse as though he’d heard
it firsthand. How many times had his mentor, Graham, and
Máthair told him how the dark sorceress had cackled with
glee as she had pointed at the wolf and claimed that
Ronan’s mother had finally taken the form of the
worthless bitch she truly was?
Then the evil one had proclaimed that Domnall would die
within the next year, childless but for the bastard cub
that the wolf Iona carried in her womb. The royal line
would die out until the day the young wolf cub discovered
how to shift into the form of a man and find the woman
possessing three specific qualities: lightness of step, a
soothing touch, and sight for the unseen.
If the man able to shift into a wolf at will found such a
woman and married her, the curse would be broken and all
would be set a’right. But if he erred and chose the wrong
mate, his wife and any child she attempted to bear him
would die within a year of their ill-fated union.
A grumbling roar thundered to his left and the sound of
snapping tree trunks and branches followed. Ronan
shrugged his heavy wool mantle looser about his throat
and urged his horse onward. Graham had insisted on
escorting them to the farthest boundary the curse allowed
the mentor to go. The protective mists surrounding
Draegonmare—only passable if one knew the ancient words
to part the fog: a mundo ultra, a world beyond—grew thin
this far from the loch so Graham dared not risk taking to
the sky. Pure grace by water, soft as a melody by air,
the dragon Graham wallowed worse than a mired cow when it
came to walking across thickly wooded land.
Twenty-one summers of age and full of himself, Graham
MacTavish had been mesmerized by the spectacle when King
Domnall had ordered his crazed wife drowned in the loch
for her evil doings and witchery. Head held high, arms
lashed to her sides, and dark curls whipping about her
naked body, the enraged queen was the most intoxicating
beauty the lad Graham had ever seen. The conniving
temptress perceived the young man’s interest and in one
last attempt to save herself, she entered his mind,
whispering all the erotic pleasures she’d teach Graham if
he would but save her.
Graham nearly stepped forward, but as the rope swung the
witch out over the water, his flesh grew cold at the
hideous reflection the condemned woman cast across the
water’s surface. The beautiful witch’s truly hideous form
—the blackness of her heart and soul—was revealed by the
pure waters of Loch Ness. Flinching, Graham turned away.
Before the queen’s head disappeared beneath the waves,
she cursed Graham to become a creature even more
horrendous than the reflection he’d seen and be bound to
Ronan as they wandered through eternity searching for the
one woman to break the curse. Dragon by day, man by
night, Graham guarded Iona the wolf and her cub and later
mentored Ronan when he learned to shift into a man.
“What a trio we are: wolf, dragon and . . .” Ronan bit
back the word. Shifter. He sat straighter in the saddle,
raising one hand in farewell as his mount broke through
the last of the boundary mists. “May the gods favor us
this time, my friend. Pray Mairi Sinclair is the one.”
Graham saluted with an exploding volley of flames above
the treetops then rumbled, “Let it be so.”
“Aye, lad. Let it be so. To MacKenna Keep.”
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Highland Hearts - Greyson
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