Authors: Amber Scott
Tags: #paranormal romance, #fantasy, #magic, #pagan, #historical romance, #fantasy romance, #fantasy adventure, #druid, #highlander, #templar, #templar knight templars knights templar sword swords assassin assassins mystic mystics alchemists fantasy romance adventure, #templar knight, #templars, #romance and adventure, #highlands, #amber scott, #highland romance, #templar knights, #romance author, #medieval romance, #romance historical, #irish romance, #fantasy action, #magic cats, #highland romance paranormal romance scottish romance time travel love story magic celtic romance scotland, #highlands historical fiction, #highlands historical fiction macleod medieval scotland scottish, #historical druid romance, #bloodstone, #northern ireland scottland romance, #historical suspence romance
~ ~ ~
“Who are you?” the man asked, sounding so
inspired that Breanne returned to his side and touched his
“Shhh. Rest now. You have a long journey
ahead of you.” Then she bent forward and kissed his forehead,
giving in to an urge to feel how soft his skin was. Part of her
knew she shouldn’t be so intimate, tender. It took advantage of his
vulnerability and compromised trust. A healer walked the fine line
of trust with any charge.
But, she didn’t regret it when her lips
pressed his skin, warm, moist with sweat. His hand covered hers on
his cheek and then touched her cheek. His fingers trembled. Breanne
inched back and lowered her gaze to his. What she saw there
startled her. Never before had she seen such intensity, such heat
in another’s eyes.
Breanne leaned her cheek into his palm and
searched his eyes. His hot gaze trapped her, spellbound and unable
to retreat or progress. She needed to do neither, as he did for
His hand slid back and into her hair. She
covered his hand with hers, her touch intrigued by the change from
stubble to smooth texture. He pulled her gently. His lips caressed
hers, a whisper of touch, and his eyes closed. Breanne’s closed as
well and the feel of his lips on hers magnified. A dizzying hunger
for more took root in Breanne and she pressed her lips onto his,
opening her mouth. The hunger grew, spreading through her limbs,
down her belly, between her thighs.
A shockwave tingled there when his tongue met
hers, soft and warm. He tasted sweet. His lips on hers were so firm
but pliant. She gripped his hand and leaned in for more. His tongue
swept into her mouth, jolting her with pleasure.
She reveled in this new experience and grew
bold. All thought beyond the feel of it, of him, escaped her. She
matched his sweep with her own, suckling his lower lip, letting her
teeth drag against it, savoring the plump feel.
The tingle warmed, changed, into an ache
unlike any she'd ever known. It made her heart beat harder, her
breathing feel desperate. She needed something more, craved a
satisfaction she could not name but sensed it there in his lips
pressing hers, his tongue twining and tormenting her mouth.
His hand stroked her jaw and explored lower,
brushing her throat, tickling her collarbone and all the while
taking Breanne's hand with it. She couldn't let go and as it drew
farther and farther down, a strange, wonderful beating of
anticipation built in her.
~ ~ ~
"This fantasy was
captivating…alluring and suspenseful. It kept me on edge of my
seat. Having so many turns, the ending was a stupendous surprise.
Personally, it is a very gratifying read. I would be delighted to
see a few spin offs from this novel as well."
Bitten By Books
By Amber Scott
Copyright 2010 Amber Scott
Cover Art by A. D. Holt
Edited by Julie Murillo
Copyright July, 2007 by
Previously released as
The Last Templar New
is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places
and incidents are products of the author's imagination or are used
fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance
to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or
dead, is entirely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No
part of this book may be used or reproduced in any form or by any
means without the prior written consent of the Publisher, except
for brief quotations used in critical articles or
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the hard work of this author.
Tir Conaill, Ireland 1315
“Quiet, Finn. I canno’
hear with all your purring.” Breanne pressed her ear back against
the gap between the heavy door and the stone wall. She swore the
cat was doing it apurpose, goading her into leaving. He did not
barely heard the voices discussing her future.
Finn licked his chest,
ignoring her, but at least he remained in his wood floor seat this
morn. Nearly every other one for the last fortnight they’d come to
her mother’s chamber door to listen. And each became a waste when
Finn grew restless and left, forcing her after him
Her mother’s only rule of tolerance for the large cat taking
residence with them was that he never be left on his own, a sure
opportunity for mischief and destruction.
Today he stayed, and Breanne’s ever patient
eavesdropping sounded as though it might bear fruit. For once, her
instincts might prove accurate.
“I see no reason to press her,” her mother,
“She is well past a marrying age. Good men
have asked for her hand. I am running out of excuses to give
Breanne O’Donnell strained to hear her mother
come to her defense. Soon, Niall would be Ula’s husband and have
fatherly authority over Breanne. For now, he spoke merely as
guardian and chieftain.
Ula replied softly but clearly. “She is
interested in her studies and has only half completed her
apprenticeship with Heremon. Allow her two more years to
completion. Then, I promise, we’ll see her settled.”
“Two more years? She’s seen nineteen
already,” Niall said, his voice rising. “You encourage the lass too
much. Following the old ways puts her at risk.”
ut pressed her ear
closer, careful not to breathe so loudly. It was worse than she’d
“But, she may not be able to tell a husband
of her training and I can’t deny her Ovate status, not when she’s
so close. Even Heremon has come to agree it is her calling.”
“She is a healer. It is well known that
Heremon is tutoring her in herbs and tonics. Why shouldn’t a
husband be aware of the same? Dinna’ forget, there is her
inheritance to be seen to.” Niall’s voice rose to a bellow.
Breanne pulled her head away a moment. She
chewed her lip, knotted a strand of strawberry blonde hair around
her finger. Her stomach clenched at the memory of her childhood
home, left so many years ago.
“The keep is hers to do with as she will. Why
not discuss the property with her instead? Mayhap she will rent it
or even take residence in it, taking a guard along to protect
“A husband will protect her.”
She would protect herself. Were she born a
few hundred years before, she’d be allowed a hermit’s life if she
wished. She’d be allowed to fight as a warrior, though she’d never
choose to. The damned English Pale seemed to be influencing even
their own northern tuath nowadays. Before long it might spread
across the Giant’s Causeway to encroach the Highland clans.
“Ula, she’s been asked for again. If I excuse
her unmarried state much longer, people will think me soft or worse
Breanne wanted to walk in
and demand answers. Who had asked? Quinlan
nother? When had she been asked
“I don’t want to force her. She is no
princess. Her marriage will not end a war or cause one. She should
choose. And let them talk.”
Breanne silently thanked
Ula. Her mother was the only one she had to stand up for her,
it well. Being stubborn went against her mother’s demure and
nurturing nature, so her firm words bespoke the issue’s importance
to her, as well.
There was a moment of silence. All she could
hear was her heart thumping hard enough that her throat quivered.
“Shane Ferguson is a good man, comes from a good family. A husband
will give her a family, Ula.” His voice became softer. “And allow
us one, as well.”
Finn’s tail swatted her skirt, shushing
across the floor, leaving her unsure she’d heard the last of it
right. She couldn’t have. Her mother was no longer young and though
she bore Breanne at sixteen years, nineteen were certainly too many
years for a womb to wait.
And allow us
, as well?
, as well? She
searched her brain for a suitable word to make sense of what she
couldn’t have heard correctly.
Alarm shot through her at
the light tap of footsteps coming up the wooden stairway. She could
not remain there. Besides, Heremon surely awaited her in the grove.
If she arrived
, she’d be punished with another
deplorable jar dusting.
Five long years of study and she was finally
nearing the topics that had sparked her ask to become an Ovate
within the nigh extinct order. The Druid master didn’t like waiting
and though her mother hadn’t finalized the decision, Breanne could
not risk lingering.
She stood summarily, scooping Finn up with
her, and shot down the hallway to the stairs. Few men lingered in
the main hall, most busy outside practicing in arms, but of all of
them, Quinlan was the last she likened to see. Reaching the bottom
stair, Breanne scowled and lifted her chin, continuing her fast
pace, hoping to look unapproachable.
She failed. Quinlan’s face lit up upon seeing
her and he stepped in pace beside her. She glanced sideways and
forced a small smile on her face. His smile grew and lit up his
face. “I’ve been looking for you, Breanne. I thought you might
enjoy an afternoon ride.”
“I canno’,” she said faster than she
intended. He was so handsome he was nearly pretty with his copper
brown hair and bright blue eyes. “I have preparations for the
wedding to attend to,” she lied. Not only were her lessons to be
kept private, she feared he would offer to escort her. She had
absolutely no romantic interest in him. Not anymore.
“These are for you,” Quinlan said, suddenly
in front of her and shoving a handful of lavender and heather to
her nose, forcing her to stop.
Breanne’s mouth fell open to speak, but she
found she could barely breathe. They were lovely, the very kind of
bouquet she’d picked as a girl to bestow upon herself, pretending
they were from him. Suddenly her childhood dreams of becoming
Quinlan’s wife took on a sickening feeling.
Thank you,” she said. She
smiled weakly and inhaled their scent. She didn’t want to hurt him.
She searched his eyes, didn’t want to see them filled with pain at
He smiled, showing even
her stomach grew more sickly. He was handsomer than St. Kevin
How could one simple kiss change so much? She
hated the question and the truth of it even more. One kiss that
she’d dreamed of she would now remove from existence, uncast, were
she able. The memory of it only worsened her urgency to leave
Thankfully, they were in plain sight of
others in the hall, assuring he couldn’t kiss her again. It was bad
enough that most were snickering and cooing over the obvious sign
Quinlan stared at her a long awkward moment
until she gestured past him. His face flooded with color. He
stepped out of her way, coughing into his fist. She glanced
uncomfortably away, no words coming to her, and gave up the effort.
What could she possibly tell him to ease such palpable tension
She ignored the pang in her chest at his
crestfallen face, held Finn a bit tighter and left through the
kitchen. Outside in the crisp spring air, Breanne slipped through
the postern in the fortress yard, confident none saw her exit the
The lightness her escape of the bailey walls
typically offered her didn’t come. The unusually sunny spring day
was perfect for a ride. Or for a walk. Alone. If she hurried, she
could reach the grove in time.
She wore a green cape attached at the
shoulders of her lighter green gown to help blend and disguise her
rushing form. She’d made the steep walk in worse weather, with less
time to spare, and feeling less harried than she felt now. A funny
nagging feeling in her belly seemed to grow with each step.
“A husband. The last thing I need now is a
husband. Who could I possibly marry, let alone why?” she asked Finn
through panting breath.