oval face. She held herself with elegance and dignity, a noblewoman by birth.

Someone bumped into her from behind, and there was a subtle shift of awareness about her that only a Warrior would understand, only a Warrior would note.

He was intrigued more by the moment. Though Highland women were known to be strong and courageous, they weren’t Warriors.

Just as quickly as she had taken a stance, she relaxed, the perfection back in place.

Fallon let his gaze wander to his heart’s content. It had been so long since he’d laid eyes on something so … stunning. Her lips were wide and full, her smile easy and contagious as she spoke to others around her.

She had impossibly high cheekbones and a small nose that had the slightest lift at the end of it.

His enhanced hearing picked up a conversation that made him pause.

“She’s incredible, isn’t she?” a male whispered. “Lady Larena Monroe is her name. There isn’t a man in the castle that doesna want her in his bed, and there isn’t a man that wouldna kill for her if she but said the word.”

Fallon knew they had to be speaking of the woman his gaze was locked on. He wanted to hear more, but he wanted to be closer to her as well.

Unable to stop himself, he weaved through the mob around the perimeter of the great hall. He edged closer to Larena Monroe, admiring the cut of her burgundy gown and the way it clung to the swells of her breasts before hugging her trim waist. She held her hands together at her waist, her long, slim fingers intertwined as she listened to an older woman with a bulbous nose.

Fallon peered through the space of two men and watched Lady Larena. Her skin was the color of cream, and she had eye-catching blond hair that was piled artfully atop her head. She had wide, expressive eyes that captured whoever she looked at, and a mouth he couldn’t stop fantasizing about kissing.

He was enraptured, awestruck by one woman.

Fallon’s blood quickened, his heart raced, and God help him, his balls tightened. Lust roared within him, demanding he taste the unblemished skin that beckoned him so sweetly.

Then Larena turned her head and looked straight at him with eyes a dark, smoky blue that seemed to see him for what he really was. Fallon sucked in air to his lungs and held himself still. She tipped her head in acknowledgment, her golden halo of hair a beacon in the hall.

As soon as she turned her gaze away, he stepped back through the crowd and into the shadows of a corner. He recognized the yearning that flared inside him. He recognized it … and feared it.

He was here to make sure his castle stayed his, not slake his need between a woman’s thighs. Despite how comely the woman was.

The MacLeods might have lost their lands with the massacre and Quinn’s subsequent disappearance, but Fallon would fight with everything he had to secure the castle as theirs for eternity. No longer would he and his brothers hide away like ghosts. It was time to take a stand, and if others discovered what they were and tried to harm them, then they risked their own lives.

Fallon ran a hand over his jaw as he hungered for a taste of wine, anything to help dull the ache of desire in his loins. If James VI were in residence here instead of England, Fallon might be able to return to the castle soon. As it was, Scotland’s king preferred to live in England and rule both countries from there.

The rumor that James was on his way to Scotland was just that, a rumor, but Fallon needed to discover if it was true or not.

There wasn’t time to travel to London and seek an audience, despite his power to travel many leagues in the blink of an eye. Fallon could only use his power to “jump” to places he had been before. Since he had never been to London, he could end up in a field or with half his body in a wall.

Fallon would give himself the rest of the day to learn if the king was indeed coming to Edinburgh. If so, then he would stay. If not, Fallon would return to MacLeod Castle and talk with Lucan about whether they could take the time for Fallon to travel to London.

Despite the king’s absence, Edinburgh Castle still teemed with nobility and people seeking to exchange favors with powerful lords. Maybe Iver had been correct and people were converging on the castle because the king was coming.

Fallon remembered vividly the day his father had brought him to Edinburgh. It had been just a year prior to the massacre, and his father had wanted to introduce him to the king and the nobility as the future laird of the MacLeods.

Da had told him often that it was in his best interest to know everyone, especially if they influenced the king in any way. It didn’t mean Fallon had to support them, but a laird needed to know the ins and outs of nobility and royalty to keep the clan safe.

His father had been correct. It was too bad no one had known about the beautiful, evil drough who would destroy everything just a year later.

Disgusted with himself, his lust, and the hand fate had dealt him, Fallon turned on his heel and left the hall. He couldn’t stand the crush of people or the stench of sweat that hung in the air. He missed the view from the towers of his castle where he could watch the waves crash into the cliffs and listen to the birds squawking and flying with the air currents.

He made it back to his chamber, a cold sweat running down his face as he leaned against the closed door inside his room. His hands shook, but in the solitude of his chamber, he didn’t hide them.

His gaze landed on the bottle of wine he kept near him always, to remind him of what he had ignored, of what he had almost lost, and the war he had before him.

Lucan had shouldered the brunt of the responsibility while Fallon had sunk into the oblivion of the wine day in and day out. It was Lucan who had dealt with Quinn’s rages, it was Lucan who had mended and cleaned the castle to make it habitable. As eldest, Fallon should have been the one who had seen to all those things.

Fallon had neglected his brothers. Quinn, who had lost his wife and son in the slaughter of their clan, hadn’t been able to control his anger, which fueled the god inside him. It was rare that some part of the Warrior didn’t show on Quinn. He couldn’t manage his wrath, and so couldn’t command the god at will.

Instead of helping his brothers, Fallon had ignored them, intent on his own pain, his own fury.

Fallon stumbled to the table and gripped the wine in his unsteady hand. His father would be ashamed of him. He hadn’t been the leader his father had told him he was, had trained him to be. Fallon had been a coward afraid of facing the truth of his future and learning how to control the god as Lucan had.

Except now he had a chance to redeem himself.

After several moments as Fallon battled with himself, he released the wine and pushed from the table. His castle was being renovated and pieced back together. It might never shine with its former glory, but it would be a home again. A future awaited him there.

It wasn’t just the brothers anymore either. There was Cara, and the other four Warriors who had come to their aid when Deirdre attacked. And they had a second Druid, Sonya, who had been told by the trees to help Cara learn her powers.

MacLeod Castle would be open to any Druid or Warrior who wanted to fight Deirdre and the evil she wielded. If it was the last thing he did, Fallon would see it done.

Chapter Two

Larena Monroe’s heart jumped in her throat when she heard the name MacLeod whispered in the great hall. As soon as it was spoken it spread like wildfire throughout the room. Everyone wanted to know who the MacLeod in attendance was — she most especially.

“Excuse me, Lady Drummond,” she said as she turned to the woman behind her. “I thought I heard you say ‘MacLeod.’ Surely I was mistaken.”

The name MacLeod was synonymous with death, heartache, and the unexplained. The myths of the MacLeod brothers hadn’t died in the three hundred years since the clan had been destroyed. It was a story told over and over again, but not one usually heard in the middle of the day in Edinburgh Castle. It was usually saved for stormy

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