would have been enough to wound any man’s pride. Add the loss of an arm, and it could destroy a man.

“There are things I can give you to help with the ache,” Sonya said. “More magic could help your shoulder as well.”

Malcolm glanced at the Druid but continued walking. As usual, her red hair was pulled back into a single braid that fell down her back. “I need to cope with it.”

“You are still healing, Malcolm. It has only been a few days since you were brought to us.”

He halted and turned to her, his anger bubbling to the surface. “You know as well as I that I’ve lost the use of my arm. Admit it. Not even your magic could heal it.”

“I won’t admit any such thing. We won’t know the extent of your injuries until the bone has fully mended. With my magic that could be only days. The best thing you can do is keep the arm still. Larena has been through enough. Do not hurt yourself while feeling sorry for yourself, because it will only wound her.”

Malcolm blew out a breath and nodded. Her words were the truth, although he wanted to inflict pain on himself for not being strong enough to fight off the Warriors who attacked him. “I don’t need your herbs, Druid. I will handle the pain.”

Sonya watched him walk slowly up the stairs to his new chamber. She ached for the Highlander, but there was nothing more she could do for him. Her magic was strong, but she couldn’t heal everything. What was done to his arm was more extensive than she had let the others know. It was more than just a break.

Deirdre’s Warriors had crushed the bones in his hands and arm. It was why he was in constant pain, as his bones continued to mend. As much as she hated to admit it, the odds of him having the full use of his arm again were slim, even with as much magic as she had used.

She knew there was a future for him at MacLeod Castle, but to what depth she couldn’t see. It was one of the few times she wished her sister, Anice, was near so she could see into the future.

But maybe it was better this way.

Sonya blew out a breath and returned to her chamber to finish making the brew that would keep Cara and Larena from becoming pregnant. Everyone doubted the possibility of a Druid getting with child by a Warrior, but Sonya knew differently. Now was not the time for any of them to be pregnant.

Quinn opened his eyes not to the darkness of his prison, but to a room filled with light from many candles. He knew instantly where he was — Deirdre’s chamber.

He sat up slowly, disgusted to find he was naked beneath the single linen sheet. When he spotted clothes folded on a chair, he jumped from the bed and hastily dressed in the trousers, tunic, and boots.

After taking quick stock of his body, he realized he was completely healed. He had no idea how long he had been in Deirdre’s bed, or just what she had done to him while there, but he wanted out. Immediately.

“You’re finally awake.”

He jumped at the sound of the hated voice. Quinn turned and found Deirdre in the doorway. He could barely stand to look at her as she leaned against the door frame in what was intended to be a seductive pose.

“What did you do to me?” he demanded.

Her brows lifted. “Do? Why, I healed you. After I punished the Warriors, of course, for beating you as they did.”

“Isn’t that what you wanted?”

She pushed away from the door and walked to the bed. She leaned down and touched the pillow where his head had been. “I want you as mine, Quinn. You’ve always known that. I thought I could break you. When I captured you, your god almost had complete control over you.”


She lifted a thin shoulder. “I will do what I need to do to ensure you are mine in the end. I have great plans for us, Quinn.”

“And if I don’t want to be a part of them?”

“Oh, you will.”

He fisted his hands and struggled to manage his rage. It would do no good for him to lose control now. “I would rather die first.”

Suddenly, Deirdre’s hair lashed out to wrap around his neck and squeezed. Quinn wanted to claw at the strands, but he held himself still, his gaze never leaving hers.

God’s blood, how he hated looking at her, talking to her. Her shell of a body might be beautiful, but her soul was so drenched in malevolence that it made him gag.

“I offer you power beyond your wildest dreams.”

“Keep it,” he said through clenched teeth. “I’m not interested.”

Her hair tightened around his throat. “I thought showing you how things could be by my side might change your mind, but I can see that I was wrong. Maybe some time in the Pit is what you need.”

Quinn grinned. There was nothing she could do to him that would frighten him now. Not even sending him to the Pit, which he knew men rarely came out of alive. He was already in hell, already dead as far as he was concerned.

“Do your worst, you evil bitch.”

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