Druid In Flight
Book EIGHT of the series, Garland of Druids
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Run. Run now.
The words pounding in her head were unmistakable.
She must run. She had to flee this house of pain and danger, and soon. She laid aside her book and sat as quietly as she could force herself. If Conor weren’t asleep she’d be tempted to leave immediately. Fear of Fergus ate at her mind and her body, and being his sister-in-law offered no protection. None at all. The menace loomed so dark as to be almost tangible to her Druid sensitivities.
She’d heard of the dark scent of fear. She now could not only smell it, she could feel the dread trying to invade her being and immobilize her.
Catriona had warned Ellen against marrying Fergus the very day the two met. He’d stopped them with some specious excuse as they walked together in Hyde Park. His aura, a muddy brown streaked with grey, betrayed his viciousness. She had no doubt of his evil character although Ellen refused to listen to her sister’s warnings. They married almost immediately, and he’d taken her to Scotland. He discouraged any visits until three weeks ago when Ellen’s illness made him relent and invite Catriona and Conor to help take care of her.
Conor at almost thirteen had held up manfully through the funeral services. He’d cried a little this evening and Triona stayed with him until he fell asleep.
She’d responded to people at the service today automatically.
No, she couldn’t stay long. She’d only come to help Ellen.
Yes, Ellen had been a beautiful girl.
Yes, it was a terrible shame.
Thank you so much for coming.
She picked up the book again, but images of Ellen, emaciated, bruised over her entire body and weakened from her last miscarriage, were hard to suppress. Fergus proved even worse than she’d suspected. The first week of their stay he’d entered her sister’s room every night, dismissing Triona with a flick of the hand. Even in her room Triona couldn’t blot out the sound of her sister’s moans as Fergus exerted his conjugal rights on Ellen’s emaciated body. Thank the goddess he’d left her alone the last two weeks. Evidently even monsters no longer desired dying women.
Merciful Merlin but she could hardly wait to leave. Perhaps she’d go to her room and start packing.
She started to rise. The door flung open, and Fergus stood blocking her exit. He slammed the door shut behind him.
“Going someplace, little sister? Or dare I hope you were waiting for my company?”
She swallowed her revulsion and answered.
“I intend to go to bed, Fergus. Right now.”
“Not alone, I hope, little sister? Not when I’m anxious to join you. Ellen was always a pitiful wife for a virile man like me. I’ve been unsatisfied for some time. I think we both need a loving bedmate. Only to console ourselves, of course.”
This time she couldn’t repress her shudder as she cast him a glance of complete disgust.
“Let me pass,” she said quietly.
He put out his arms to further block the doorway. His lewd sneer gave her little hope he’d move.
“I think not. I’ve wanted you since the day you were bridesmaid to your sister. Your shining hair and those huge pansy eyes. Now I’ll have you, Catriona. I let the housekeeper have the night off, and we’re delightfully alone. You can do nothing but hope you please me. I might even keep you here in Dublin for a while, if you satisfy me enough.”
She tried to think what to do. Her Druid mind could easily shrink the erection already pushing at his trousers, but she didn’t want him to become violent. She must concentrate on Conor.
He might as well be reading her mind.
“Don’t make me force you, Catriona. If you reject me with any success I’ll turn to Conor. You can’t always guard him. Boys don’t usually interest me, but Conor’s a handsome child and I intend to be satisfied tonight, one way or another.”
As she stared at him in horror, the door crashed open again and Conor stood there, his face white and his eyes wild and flashing. She had little doubt her young brother had heard everything. Whether he understood it all she didn’t know, but she thought so. Conor brandished a poker.
All books in the Garland of Druids series
can be read as a stand alone book.