Cameron Kincaid awoke from his dream panting, pulse vibrating in his ears as sweat dripped from his temple onto the goose-feather stuffed mattress. He solemnly stared at the wooden ceiling in his
mistress's cottage. Kirrah's back was intimately pressed against him. The musky scent of their lovemaking lingered on her warm body and in the air.Her red hair shimmered like dancing flames,
wantonly displayed across a pillow as her long shapely legs tangled themselves in the sheets.
His mind should have been on the lovely woman abed with him, yet it was with another lass, a stranger who invaded his thoughts. He rubbed fingers across his aching temple. It was the only
time since he first took Kirrah as a leman that he lay restless and awake in the small cottage he had purchased for her. It was his own castle which usually haunted him, where he dreamt of a young
lass who drew him in with her sorrowful pleas. She was the reason he never brought a woman to his chambers. Her presence was ever felt.
He had found solace and peace at Kirrah cottage, and made it his habit to spend restful nights with her. After seven months of dream free nights, the spirit had finally found him.
Blasted harpy! Why does she haunt me so?
Cameron raked a hand through his coal-colored hair, but he could not shake the dream. It played out in his mind repetitively. Each time drawing him deeper and deeper into the dream, as if he
too were part of it.
Cameron stood on Bruan Forest soil, a place filled with painful memories and whispers of spirits of fallen clansmen. A full moon highlighted the scene in a most frightful aura.Scottish pine swayed
back and forth as thick blood oozed down its branches, loudly echoing when dark red drops struck the ground.
The trees stilled as waves of fog filled the grounds.Cool air caressed his skin, but did little to calm his racing heart. He wasn't a man that was overcome by fear easily, but yet he felt a
sense of unease. He inhaled, calming his anxiety as he braced himself for what was to come. Something warm, yet oddly cold touched his ear. “See what he has done,” a familiar
feminine voice whispered in fluent Gaelic.
The fog dissipated, exposing a frightful sight. A cloaked woman stood still in a black puddle of congealed blood. The blood came from a young man, now a corpse, lying at her feet.
Another man advanced towards her, claymore in hand.
Cameron watched helplessly as the man forced his blade through her petite body.He wanted to protect her, whoever she was, but found himself immobilized, rooted to the ground as if he too were one
of the trees, invisible to all. His mouth moved but was silent as he watched her slump to the ground, reaching for the dead man’s hand. Cameron’s hand tingled, coldness touching his palm, but
just as suddenly as it came, the feeling left.
The girl looked from the dead man to him, as she did the last time he visited this particular dream. But this time when she looked up at him, her lips moved and formed a weak smile.
One of her hands still clung to the corpse's hand, but the other lifted, reaching out to Cameron. The murderer kneeled and whispered something in her ear, causing her to let out a heart wrenching
scream as he tore a gold amulet from her neck.
She had stood by valiantly as the blade pierced through her, not uttering a single word. Yet, whatever the man had said to her caused her more grief than the steel laced in death.
The moment her mouth opened, Cameron somehow willed his body to hers. Something inside of him needed to reach her, take her away from that terrible place.Within seconds she was in his arms,
her attacker vanished into thin air along with the corpse, as if they were never there.
The girl's fingers dug into his shirt. “You came back to me,” she whispered. "Through eternity and a hundred life times, I will wait until my heart returns."
And with those words he had awoken. Cameron's heart broke each time she visited his subconscious. The mere sound of her voice—the raw pain and naked sorrow, plunged him into darkness.
All his dreams pertaining to her were dark and vacant, with only her voice keeping him company, except for this one. The voice now had a face, one he wasn't likely to ever forget.
He pulled the covers off, ready to rise, but Kirrah rolled over, snuggling against him. Her rosy lips touched his upper arm, and warm breath raked across his skin as her legs drifted across
his. She was the bonniest lass in all Scotland with the body of a siren; full creamy white breasts with erect pink nipples; a sleek back leading to a curvaceous backside; and an
oval-shaped face with high cheek bones and a perfectly straight pert nose. Aphrodite would envy the green eyed beauty. And yet her loveliness could not sway his mind from his current
Come back to me.
"Bluidy hell!" Cameron spun around, trying to identify were the voice was coming from.
There it was again, her voice. It seemed to come from all around the room, but how can that be possible? he wondered.
I am going daft. That was the only explanation for it.
Hearing her soft and desperate plea shifted something inside of him. The same something that had willed him to the girl in his dream. It was like layers of his calloused heart were
peeling off. Cameron groaned inwardly, considering himself quite mad for contemplating her plea.
“Come to me,” he whispered, feeling foolish.
Nothing happened, as he knew it would.
“I’m calling for you, lass,” he whispered a tad louder, causing Kirrah to shift in her sleep.
Again nothing happened.“Damn it, wench! Show yourself or cease plaguing me.”
Suddenly, a cold gust of wind swept through the cottage, causing the fire in the hearth to flicker, bringing with it an unusal scent of lavender and honey. Kirrah shivered and pulled the
covers over her head, mumbling something incoherent.
The window shutters burst open, granting a perfect view of the Bruan Mountains, illuminated by yet another full moon. A large wolf like creature stepped forth onto the edge of the Mountain’s
overhang. The animal lifted its head to the sky and let out a deafening howl, then instantly the creature vanished.
The shutters snapped back and forth frantically before crashing shut, yet oddly enough Kirrah did not stir. The temperature in the room dropped to an unnatural low, leaving his breath visible in
the summer air. He shook himself to clear his head, uncertain of how much of what he was seeing was reality.
"I do not believe in ghosts," he said. Nay, it was unfathomable. An illusion, he thought.
His eyes lowered, lit with astonishment as shadows danced across the floor and moved towards the hearth, scaling up the wall until they formed an outline of a person.
Cameron’s heart raced. It cannot be! Jumping out of the bed stark naked, he reached for his claymore, then let out a delirious laugh. What was he going to do with a sword? This
thing, whatever it was, was not made of flesh and blood.
“Drop your weapon. You could never bear harming me," said the shadow as it slowly took solid form. "I am not your enemy, Dearling. Nor have I ever been."
It was her voice. He knew it well. “What are you?”
She stood with her back to him, clad in a black cloak, exactly like in his dream. The white hem of her dress stuck out beneath it and swirled as she spun towards him, small hands pulling her hood
Cameron expected some gloomy figure, perhaps even a skull, not the face of an angel.His breath caught as he took in the golden ringlets, framing her heart-shaped face and large beautiful eyes. To
his disappointment, he could not make out the color of them, since her arrival had caused the flames in the fireplace to dim.
“Dearling.” She stepped forward, hands reaching for his face. Her touch, this time, was warm and full of life. Or perhaps it was his own temperature that rose to her touch. “Endlessly, I
have waited. Why have you not come for me?" She glaced toward the bed, eyes raking over Kirrah. "You have forgotten me," she said sadly as she briefly closed her eyes, as if Kirrah's
presence caused her pain. "How can that be?" The last was said more to herself, than to him.
Tears sparkled in the corner of her eyes. Did spirits weep? Nonsense! He was acting as if were all real, but he was obviously hallucinating. Camerondropped his sword.
It clanged loudly as it crashed to the cold stone floor. “I have gone mad!”
She shrank back, a pained look on her youthful face. She could not have seen more than sixteen summers, Cameron thought.
“Once you gave me your heart to hold, and safe I have kept it," she said as a tear rolled down her cheek. "Yet you break mine with ease."
“I am sorry, madam, but I do not know you.” Even as the words left his mouth, they felt false.Cameron had dreamt of her for the greater part of his adult life, haunted by the sweetness and
longing in her voice.
She stepped forward, resting a hand on his bare chest before resting her head there as well. He could feel the warmth from her body on his. Her touch, her scent, everything about her was
familiar. It felt right and brought him something he did not think she could bring him, a blissful peace to his ever wondering mind. Without a single thought, his arms embraced her.
He felt her smile against his chest. “Your heart does, it beats for me. It shall always know me, even if I came to you hideous and old, it would know me,” she said. "Your love for me is
what has always given me strenght, my cause for being."
What was she saying? Love? It would be his luck to be visited by a daft spirit. Women, even in death, are fanciful creatures. Bah, love indeed.
She stepped away from him. "He did this to us," she said angrily. "And I was powerless to stop him. You cannot let him be victorious. You must remember."
His brows wrinkled in confusion. What could he say?
He felt like laughing, hysterically, like the insane person he felt he was becoming. If my men could see me now, struck speechless by a lass, I would lose their respect, Cameron thought.
He was the powerful Kincaid Laird, fierce warrior and kin to the invincible Red Lion of Dunnard. It would be a cold day in hell before he would cower before some tiny ghost spirit who didn’t even
reach his shoulders, for God’s sake. His thought was interrupted by strange sounds. The hearth emitted eerie growling noises as something thumped down the chimney echoed in the chamber, shaking its
walls. Fear shone in the lass's eyes as she reached out to him. “No! I don't want to leave you! Don’t let him take me—”
A large hand covered in black and green scales emerged out of the shadows, snaked around her waist and yanked her back against the hearth before sucking her through the opening.He watched her small
body bend in ways he did not think were humanly possible, as he dashed over to the fireplace, grasping at air, trying to pull her back to him.
"Remember me!" she screamed repetitively until her voice faded into thin air, leaving no trace of her, other than the faint hint of lavender and coldness which had accompanied her.
“She is mine," a demonic voice said in a harsh whisper. "Mine!"
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