This is the 6th excerpt from the book. I'm still waiting for my proof, I hope to get it tomorrow!!
Teresa J. Reasor
The deeper she drew Regan into the trance, the tighter Quinn’s shoulder muscles knotted. The depth of her trance during her first dive in Loch Maree had been life threatening. What if she should go so deep the hypnotist couldn’t bring her back? Was that possible? God, why hadn’t they discussed this more?
“Your eye lids are growing heavy, so heavy you can’t keep them open. So heavy you have to let them close.”
Regan’s dark lashes fluttered then lay still against her cheeks. Her breathing appeared shallow, and her skin pale against the darkness of her hair and brows.
An air current circulated around the room, cool and moist, and with it the scent of herbs, sage and rosemary. Dr. Reinhart frowned and glanced in Quinn’s direction.
Chill bumps rose on Quinn’s forearms. His heart began to pound against his ribs. There was more than hypnosis at work in the room. He swallowed back his anxiety. “Ask Regan the questions she gave you.”
“But I haven’t taken her back, yet.”
Quinn jerked in surprise at the sound of a woman’s voice interrupting their conversation. It was Regan speaking, but her vocal tone sounded huskier, and she’d rolled the R in a brogue she didn’t speak.
Dr. Reinhart’s gasp jerked Quinn’s attention to Regan’s face.
Her eyes were open, the irises no longer dark blue but a blue-green in color. Was that a trick of the candlelight? She focused on him with such intensity it sent a chill coursing down his body.
She spoke in a rush. The Gaelic syntax she used fell on his ears like strange familiar music. She repeated the question and he captured the rhythm of her words.
“Braden how is it you are here?” she asked.
Though he had spoken Gaelic all his life, the unusual cadence of her words gave him pause. Would his grasp of the language be up to the task? He drew a deep breath. He’d been a part of Braden, was a part of the man. He knew how he felt and thought. His familiarity through his dreams would help him. He could do this. “To see you, Coira, and to ask you some questions.”
“Of what would you ask me?”
“Are you well?”
“And the bairn?”
Her smile sprang free radiant with joy. Though Regan never touched her stomach, she moved her hand as though to caress a rounded tummy. “Aye, the babe is growing.”
“When do you expect him, Coira?”
“You know ’tis due the first of November.”
So he had been right. They still had time.
“What the hell is going on here?” Dr. Reinhart asked. Her features, powder pale, appeared stiff with control. A twitch worried one eye. The cool, moist air looped around the room, brushed her hair, and caused it to move against her cheek like tiny fingers. She jerked and pushed it aside. Her expression tightened with anxiety as her gaze darted around the room.
Quinn waved, motioning for her to keep her voice down. “You said you didn’t believe in past lives, but Regan has one. That’s what’s going on here. Part of that life is in the room with us.”
Her features stiffened. “That’s impossible.”
“It isn’t.” Quinn turned back to Regan. “How long have I been away?”
“Five full moons have passed since you left. I am so pleased to see you. You are well?” She reached for him and Quinn shifted his chair close to hold her hands. How would Braden greet her after so long a time apart? He bent his head to kiss her hands.
“Aye, I am well. But I have dreamed of you and the babe often. One dream disturbed me. When your time comes, if I am not there, I dinna wish you to allow Nathrach or Ross to be alone with the bairn. Keep the midwife close to you and the babe.”
Her features settled into solemn lines. “Has my gift become a part of yours, Braden?”
So Braden too had a gift. “Aye, mayhap a wee bit.” The trust, the love he read in her expression tweaked his guilt. “’Tis truly afraid for you I am, Coira. And the bairn.”
“Aye, I can see that. What place is this? Where are we?” she asked looking about. “This is a dream, is it not?”
“Aye ‘tis a dream. And ’tis a grand house. But the place doesn’t matter. The future is what is important. Your future and the babe’s.”
“Have you become a wizard now? A soothsayer of what is to come?”
“Aye, in this I have.” He paused. “The stones will play a part in that, too.”
“As we have both known they would.” Acceptance and grief flickered across her face.
“We dinna have to accept it, Coira. There are actions we may take to prevent what is to come. You can go away from the area until I return.”
“Would you have me return to Uist after all that happened there?”
Quinn revisited dream images of force fires and threats breathed against her. Were those from Uist? “No. Is there not some place you can be safe, Coira?”
“Only within the circle. The others are afraid of the power there.”
“But not Ross.”
“Nay, he is not afraid. Of late he has been more open to the ways of the old ones.”
Her tone triggered an urgent protective need. If they were to save the bairn she had to know she couldn’t trust him. “You must be wary of him. Keep yourself and the bairn safe at all costs, Coira. Trust no one.”
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