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the phasing process, each time you give in to the
quickening& especially so recklessly and without
instruction& your body will become weakened,
dehydrated. We draw a measure of our strength
from the elements.
 We& You say that as if& as if you believe I am
the same as you.
 I speak only fact. Search your feelings, Kate.
You know I speak true. He paused for a moment, as
if waiting for the obvious to sink in. Then, when she
neither agreed with nor disputed his claim, he went
on,  If you use too much power too quickly and
without control you will become disoriented. You
might even pass out& or worse. You need water. He
turned that angry, electric-blue glare on Styx once
more.  Now.
 Fine. Just keep your hands to yourself,
O Callaghan, Styx warned. Ever watchful of Cian,
Styx went to the kitchen and retrieved a large bottle
of water from the fridge. He cracked the top and
twisted the lid off as he crossed the room. Handing it
to her, his probing gaze searched her face as if to
assess for himself the measure of her strength. His
expression became oddly resigned, and he grimly
demanded,  Drink.
Exasperated, Kate complied. Neither one of
them looked as if they were about to bend on this
issue, and the sooner she got the drinking out of the
way, perhaps she could get some questions
answered. Styx sat down on the opposite end of the
sofa as Cian and pulled her down beside him,
tucking her against the protective shelter of his
body, wrapping a possessive arm around her waist.
When the bottle was half empty, she set it aside.
Without conscious thought, her hand sought his, and
she entwined her fingers with his. The heat of his
palm pressing against hers, the solid strength of his
arm around her gave her something stable to hold on
to as the world as she d known it came apart at the
seams, becoming a swirling vortex of insanity she
couldn t seem to deny or escape.
The water had helped. At least, she wasn t
shaking like a leaf anymore.
 Okay, let s start at the beginning. You re name
is Cian O Callaghan?
 Aye, Cian replied simply.
 And you are from the northern tribe 
 Clan, he corrected with a great deal of smug
pride.  The northern clan of the dioane Sdhe.
Styx s arm tightened around her, his body went
taut, but she pushed on, irrationally desperate for
answers. Fear and confusion clotted in the back of
her throat, making the words difficult to form.  And
this clan of dioane Sdhe are& 
 We are the Tuatha D Danann.
 And that is& 
Looking slightly appalled at having to explain,
Cian replied,  There are a number of different clans
of the Sdhe. There are the es Sdhe, banshee,
leanan Sdhe, sluagh, the fairy host& an slua Sdhe,
Sdhe who shift shape at will, there are the guardian
Sdhe of the lakes of both Ireland and Scotland, and
many more.
 We are of noble bloodlines, lass. We are the
Brenda Huber
People of the Goddess Danu. You and I are of the
dioane Sdhe. We are the warrior class of the Sdhe.
The royal guard. I realize the Druids were a
secretive lot, and the Veil between the Human world
and the world of the Sdhe vigilantly maintained,
but surely your Human bards have told the tales of
 Sorry&  She shook her head, shrugging
 You ve no heard the tales of the High Kings of
Ireland&  He frowned at her, plainly taken aback.
 Bres, Nuada, Lugh? Delbeth, Fiacha? Mac Cuill,
Mac Cecht? Mac Grine?
Again, she shook her head, feeling almost
apologetic for the look of disbelief on his beautiful
face. Druids& and bards? Those were terms of long
ago& she d studied her share of history. In fact,
ancient history had been a passion of hers at one
point. But she d never delved much into mythology.
The way these obviously revered names rolled off
Cian s tongue was distinctly appealing, yet struck no
chord of familiarity.
 Och, lass, he tsked, clearly horrified at her
lack of knowledge.  What of the Four Seelie
Treasures? Dagda s Cauldron, the Spear of Lugh,
the Stone of Fal& or the Sword of Light of Nuada?
Please tell me you ve at least been taught of those
even here in this place they call Tacoma? Surely
you ve heard something of our people?
 This place they called Tacoma& 
Dear Lord, he spoke as if he were from another
world& another time.
 Again& sorry?
 We are Faerie, lass, he charged indignantly.
As if her lack of knowledge of these strange names
had somehow offended his senses.
 Faerie? Kate frowned at him, unwittingly
scooting farther into the sanctuary of Styx s arms.
Much as she wanted to humor her uninvited guest,
she couldn t keep the skepticism from her voice.
 Like Tinkerbelle?
Cian blinked at her, plainly clueless. Beside her,
Styx s body convulsed, and a sharp bark of laughter
burst from his lips. As soon as the word left her
mouth, she shook her head. She should have known
better. She pinned Styx with a withering glare until
he regained control of his misplaced humor.
Think, Katie girl. Think before you speak. You
don t want to offend him.
Not until you get some answers&
No way was Cian& in any way, shape, or
form& related to that tiny, green-clad figure she d
come to associate with children s tales, the one who
gaily went about sprinkling pixie dust on inquisitive
children. No, this specimen before her was raw male.
Momentous, intimidating, in-your-face male,
brimming with copious amounts of testosterone.
He d doubtlessly left broken hearts by the legion
in his wake. Perhaps her lack of caution was because
her heart didn t flutter when he turned his steady
gaze on her. Not the way it did whenever she d
intercepted one of Styx s smoldering glances. Well,
she supposed that had to be something. At least she
wasn t attracted to the crazy guy. Score one for her.
In a way, that knowledge offered comforting
Ever since she d first taken Styx s hand in hers
and gazed into his eyes at their first meeting, her
hormones had shot through the roof like a roman
candle. Dear heavens, she all but detonated
whenever he kissed her. Her lack of control where he [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]