Authors: Mary Morgan
He stood next to the waterfall.
Beads of water glistened from his dark locks.
Brigid watched as they trailed down his chiseled torso, traveling down to where his tartan was wrapped low on his waist. The wind whipped at the folds of his plaid, the power coiling within and around him, as mystical as the land he stood on.
,” she uttered softly.
When she looked up into his eyes, they smoldered with desire, and it startled her. A sensual shiver ran through her, wanting to be crushed within his embrace. The raw desire to be in this man’s arms, touching and tasting him, was so potent, she could feel her heart hammering inside her chest.
He tilted his head to the side, as if studying his prey.
Brigid didn’t know if she should run or step into his massive arms.
He took a step toward her, and her pulse quickened. The very air around her seemed electrified. He then took another...
another, until he stood merely inches in front of her.
Her breathing became labored, as he bent his head leaning close to her ear. She was engulfed in a sensual haze wanting his lips to touch her anywhere and put an end to her torture. His mouth was so close, she could feel a dark lock of his hair against her cheek, and she shuddered.
“Bring me back
sword,” he growled into her ear.
Brigid’s eyes flew open, clutching the sheets as the last fragments of her dream faded.
Dragon Knight’s Sword
Order of the Dragon Knights Series, Book One
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales, is entirely coincidental.
Dragon Knight’s Sword
COPYRIGHT © 2014 by Mary Morgan
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission of the author or The Wild Rose Press, Inc. except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.
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First Faery Rose Edition, 2014
Print ISBN 978-1-62830-397-1
Digital ISBN 978-1-62830-398-8
Order of the Dragon Knights Series, Book One
Published in the United States of America
For John, my knight in shining armor.
You swept me off my feet when you slipped and fell that very first day.
They were an ancient order descended from the great Tuatha De Danann, a tribe from the Goddess Danu. Half human and half fae, each blessed with mystical powers. They were also given holy relics and guardianship over the dragons.
They were called
With the dawn of Christianity, the dragons were systematically hunted down and slain leaving only one. The Dragon Knights took her from Ireland to a land across the sea, settling in the great glen near Urquhart. The clan was known as the Mackay Clan, descendants from the MacAoidh.
Yet, there were those who deemed the Order had too much power, and they tried to possess it for themselves. They were evil and twisted, and their plan succeeded one fateful night.
The Clan Mackay is no longer.
The Dragon Knights scattered across the land.
Yet out of the darkness, one will fight for redemption.
He will pave the way for the others.
And before his journey ends, Duncan Mackay will witness that the power of love can heal and destroy in one swift stroke.
Standing Stones near Urquhart Castle
The air hung still with the mists swirling about them, each one gasping for breath. Their swords covered in blood, not one of them had the courage to look at the other, for their crime was too heinous. Even the nocturnal creatures that hovered nearby were shocked into silence from what they had witnessed.
Four men, brothers of the Clan Mackay, stood over two bodies lying dead beneath them, one their sister, the other an enemy. At that moment, their deed would not go unpunished. It resonated through their bones,
, through their souls. They stood on holy ground drenched with blood, tainting the place, and fouling the air.
.” An anguished shout tore from the throat of the oldest brother, Angus. “What have we done?” Angus’s sword dropped to the ground and with it, himself, cradling his baby sister, Margaret. The sob that wrenched from him made his other brothers snap out of their warrior trance, each dropping their weapons.
Duncan stood still, horror filling him with what had happened. His face a mask of stone mixed with the blood and grime of the battle.
The other two brothers, Stephen and Alastair, had collapsed against the stones, neither fully comprehending what had just happened. They only knew their sister was now dead.
“I told ye all to let me go after them,” Angus choked out. “Ye knew better, Duncan! By all the saints, why could ye not listen?” Angus shook with rage and despair. “Why, Duncan?”
“Ye know why, brother,” Duncan, tersely replied. “She would not listen to us, Angus. And after the last row ye had with her, I thought it best to handle it without ye.” Waving the air with his fist, he spat, “Christ, Angus. Did ye want her to marry the bastard? Would ye have seen the marriage of two feuding families tear apart the sanctity of the Order?”
“Would ye have seen the death of our sister in this?” Angus snapped.
Duncan reeled from his words.
Angus gently laid Margaret back down, wiping a bloodstained lock from Margaret’s face. He stood to face him. “Do ye ken where ye stand, Duncan?” His hands pointing in all directions. “It is sacred ground we have violated. Do ye not see the stones? There will be consequences, brother. All of us will pay the price. Not only is our
dead, but ye have cursed our brothers as well.”
Duncan could hear no more, realizing Angus was indeed correct. He staggered to the ground, resting against one of the standing stones. What had occurred here on this night, this place, should never have happened. They were all men of honor, belonging to an ancient order with codes, which they adhered to—not only in their lives, but in battle as well. They had crossed that boundary.
Now, all was lost.
“Wait, Angus. Ye cannot blame Duncan alone.” Stephen crept from the shadow of the stones, still stunned from what had occurred. “We also understood what had to be done, brother. It is the only way this could have ended. We are brothers, one and all. We fight as one. Did ye expect us to remain locked behind closed doors like frightened women? None of us has ever charged into battle without the other. Why was this different?”
Angus slowly raised, his fists clenched. No longer looking at his sister, he faced them all. “By all that is holy, Stephen, I expected ye to understand better than any of us. Ye ken the code, ye ken what
happen,” he spat.
Grasping Stephen’s shoulders he hissed, “We will
pay for this. Most of all, we have lost Meg...” Angus pushed back from Stephen, his grief too overwhelming.
At that moment, Duncan noticed one was eerily quiet. He looked to his youngest brother, Alastair, still slumped against the stone. His head tilted upwards, as if waiting for what he knew would be coming. If only they could have stopped their sister. But no, Meggie had a mind of her own, as did all of the Mackays.
Duncan blamed himself. He alone could have prevented this bloodshed. He glanced down at his hands covered with the blood of so many. Clenching them tightly, he forced himself to look away.
Alastair stood, and walked toward his brothers. “Angus, what happens now?”
“We wait.” Angus knelt one more time and kissed Meggie upon her brow. Retrieving his sword, he stood to await their judgment.
Slowly snaking around each of the stones, the mist grew heavier, and the winds howled like a banshee. Lightning split across the night sky, charging the air with a power not of this realm. It was as if the world split open. The brothers stood still awaiting their fate.
There from the mists she came, ever so slowly. The wind whipping her long ebony hair as she walked toward them, fury etched on her face. Her dress was of midnight blue. Along the bottom, edged with silver, were Celtic spirals. A silver torque gleaned around her neck. She seemed to be from the stars above. In one hand she carried a staff and in the other, a crystal sphere. Fear and her power had frozen them where they stood.
She stopped in front of the tallest stone and looked down at Meggie, tears streaming down her face.
Duncan tried to speak, but found he could not do so, watching in horror when the woman knelt and whispered something in Meggie’s ear.
Then with great care, the woman placed the crystal upon Meggie’s chest. It began to shimmer with an iridescent glow. The woman continued to speak and Duncan realized he heard the word
. He wanted to move, but found like his brothers, it was impossible.
The woman slowly rose up. Holding the crystal sphere upwards, and with a crash of her staff upon the ground, the sphere vanished. Instantly, all became quiet. The lightning ceased, and the wind became no more than a whisper.
The brothers found they could move again.
Stephen and Alastair dropped to the ground. Angus started forward, but the woman raised her staff to halt his approach. It was then that Duncan noticed her eyes, for they glowed like gemstones. Duncan thought her to be the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, but he also realized what she was.
She was the Guardian, and she was here to deliver their fates.
Angus stepped forward and knelt down before her. “Lady, I am the eldest of the Clan Mackay, and I beg mercy for my brothers. Spare their lives. I offer mine in payment for what has transpired here on hallowed ground.”
“Nae!” roared Alastair, pushing up from the ground. “Ye cannot take the blame entirely, Angus. I am at fault, also.” He stood between the Guardian and Angus.
Stephen moved forward and knelt beside Angus, as Duncan staggered forward, too.
“Stop little brother,” Duncan replied wearily. “We are all in this together, yet it is I who has killed our sister.” Then he placed his hand on Angus’s shoulder, kneeling before the Guardian.
Alastair, still in shock, sank to the ground, fists balled against his head in agony.
“What is done is
!” yelled the Guardian. Her words were like ice across their faces. “Blood has been shed here this night. You are the Dragon Knights, the Keepers. You have failed, and the world you know has been altered. You think I’m here to take your lives?” Anger infused her words, her rage felt by each brother. “No, you shall live, but each of the sacred relics which have been entrusted to your clan for more than a thousand years will be taken. Your names will be removed from the hallowed halls of the Order.”
She leveled her gaze at each of them. “No, Angus Mackay from the Clan Mackay, you and your brothers
Duncan gasped, comprehending this was far worse than they could have imagined. It was one thing to take their lives, but to destroy their family’s name and honor went without measure. To live with this shame would be their punishment. He would have preferred living in Hell than to live with this disgrace. He looked across at each of his brothers, knowing they felt the same as he.