The Lady of the Loch Ness is a powerful faerie, but it was her jealousy over human lovers that imprisoned the ruggedly handsome and virile Alexander Grant to the grounds of Castle Urquhart. Emma MacPherson is a woman alone in the world, desperately clinging to anything that reminds her of home and hope. When love and trust collide under a Blue Moon, anything is possible, even great passion and the power to call forth the faeries.
“Would you like to hear a story?” he asked quietly.
“Yes, I love stories. It’s been a long time since anyone’s taken the time to tell me a faery tale.”
“Hundreds of years ago, the Lady of the Loch fell in love with a human, a braw Highlander. An honest man who worked hard protecting his clan and the land of his birth. He was a tall, handsome man who was good with a blade, but it was another blade the women all loved.”
Emma giggled, but didn’t interrupt. A strange tingling sensation rippled across her lips and then her cheeks, but she attributed it to the magic of the night. She was having a wonderful time with Alex and was looking forward to the rest of the evening, as well as the rest of his tale.
Alex continued to look down at Emma. He’d seen enough of the loch to last him a thousand lifetimes. Running his fingers across her lips painted with shadow, he traced a tiny circle on her cheek, the innocent caress shaking him to his core. It would happen any time.
He had to go on or risk losing her to his past, his prison.
“The Lady of the Loch was a powerful faery. She was also very jealous. Each time he took a woman on the shores of her loch, she became enraged and plotted to make him pay for breaking her cold heart.”
“Did she tell the Highlander of her feelings?”
“Nae, it’s what made her spell so unfair and cruel. He found out the day he met her―the day she took away all that was precious to him. He could see everyone and everything that came and went in his castle, but nobody could see him. Worse, he could never leave.”
“There was a way, only it happened so rarely that the Highlander gave up all hope of ever leaving after about two hundred years. He never hungered, never thirsted, never slept. He just was—and wasn’t.”
“Alex, that is the saddest story I’ve ever heard. Did he find a way to break the spell or are you going to tell me he is still enchanted in some old Scottish ruin?”
Looking up, the moon’s power pulsed through him as it sifted through the dissipating clouds. It was almost instantaneous. He went from being there in spirit to being there in body. But, he could just as quickly change back if the clouds returned and covered up the blue moon. Of course, it would all end before daybreak, but he was going to enjoy his temporary freedom for as long as it lasted. There was no telling how long it would be until he transformed again. If ever.
“He’s still enchanted, but he wants to break free more than anything else in this world.”
“Let’s help him do it. What do we need to do? I’m game if you are.”
“First, you must allow me to kiss you.”
Emma was about to reply about that being the cheesiest come-on in the history of beastly taverns, but when she looked into Alex’s face for the first time, it was all she could do to breathe.
Dark hair―rippling about his shoulders―fell in tendrils that danced with the wind as it skipped off the loch. His eyes were shadowed by the moon, yet their intensity sucked any resistance from her, replaced it with an energy she could only explain as magic. It was potent, powerful and everything that was passionate.
Alex didn’t move, but allowed Emma to take her fill of him, bathed in blue moonlight.
She reached up to touch his jaw. Enrapt, waves of shivers shuddered through her prostrate form. He was wearing a creamy, linen shirt tucked into his kilt, made from the familiar Grant tartan of red and green. A leather belt held the entire ensemble in place, complete with a broadsword. Leather shoes and girded stockings completed his attire. She couldn’t have imagined him wearing anything else. Of course, she’d seen countless men wearing kilts, but never had she seen a kilt wearing such a fine example of what a man should be.
Nay, what a Highlander should be.
“Lass, you must say ‘aye’, if you are to free me.”