Hunted Hearts 2 ~ A Fantasy Romance Short Story
Digital ISBN 978-0-9862513-7-5
Love conquers all things…
Meara ni Lomair is on the run for her life, pursued by the monster who enslaved her to steal her magic. When fate crosses her path with that of her long-lost childhood friend, trusting in hope and the man who’s always held her heart may be the difference between life and death.
Bradan mac Conall knows he’s not the warrior Meara needs to protect her from the dark fiend hunting them, but now that he’s found her again, he’ll give his all to protect the woman he loves — even if saving her requires his life.
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Hunted Hearts Series
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~ Excerpt ~
The lapse in dark magic chaining Meara was so unexpected that the sensation of freedom waking her from sleep seemed but another futile dream.
She lurched up from the bed, her throat free of the murky, bitter pressure. The despised iron torc and bracelets tumbled into her lap. She gaped at the open collar and her bare wrists. Her bonds were truly broken!
However, her high tower room, a locked door, stone walls, and goblin guards remained between her and real freedom, leaving the window open to the warm summer night air her sole opportunity for escape.
Her stomach twisted. Was this merely another of Ruaidri’s malicious games?
No. She refused to endure another moment of captivity. She would escape.
Summoning wings, she leapt through the window into the moonless night — only to tumble fluttering toward the unfriendly flagstones below.
She crashed against a jutting roof as a small white owl, and clung on with talons, beak, and splayed wings, panting through her terror. Too weak, too many years of Ruaidri’s abuse leeching her of magic and strength.
Fly or die.
She’d ached so long for freedom. She wanted to live.
Fly! Launching on hope, she swooped on desperate wings above the oblivious night watch and sped for the sheltering woods. But where to go? Ruaidri would pursue. Of that she had no doubt.
Hopefully, Ruaidri and Uncle Lorcan still assumed her ignorant of their complicity complicity in Father’s death and her captivity and would assume she’d naively run home — while she fled in the opposite direction.
All too soon, her wings trembled. Birds were her weakest form. An accidental shift while flying could be disastrous. She glided to the ground, shifting to a doe and bounding off on four swift legs, steadier, but her destination still uncertain. Once she crossed the Muad Mor River into King Muirgus’ lands, then perhaps she could find a place to hide and rest.
Time and again, she shifted to a different woodland creature to confuse her scent trail and any spying creatures loyal to Ruaidri. Please be enough. If Ruaidri caught her . . .
Fueled by that blast of horror, Meara risked the shift to her strongest, but most identifiable form, the kelpie mare, and raced for her life. Night faded into dawn and morning toward midday, and her strength flagged ever lower. Her breath burned her lungs, her heart pounded near to bursting from fear and exertion, her limbs ached, and sweat lathered and dripped. Oh, where was the river? If only she could rest, but stopping too soon was perilous. If she wanted to live, she must keep her course.
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