Read Highland Thirst Online

Authors: Hannah Howell,Lynsay Sands

Tags: #Fiction, #Romance, #Paranormal, #General, #Historical, #Vampires, #Occult & Supernatural, #Highlands (Scotland)

Highland Thirst

BOOK: Highland Thirst
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HIGHLAND DESIRE

“Brona,”
Heming groaned as he kissed her throat, “do ye ken what I want?”

“Aye,
I ken it,” she whispered. “I want it, too, although I will confess that I am
nay all that sure of what
it
might be.”

Even
as Heming began to unlace her gown, he said, “It is me deep inside ye, love.”

“Will
that include a lot of kissing and touching?”

“Och,
aye, loving, as much as I can bear ere I go mad with the wanting of ye.”

“That
sounds lovely.”

“Are
ye sure ye are awake, love, and aware of what ye are agreeing to?”

“Verra
awake and verra aware.”

Slowly
tugging her gown down, Heming followed the line of her collarbone with soft
kisses and light sweeps of his tongue. “I just dinnae want ye to have any
regrets.”

“Do
ye ken? I ne’er thought a mon would work so hard to talk a lass out of what he
wants.”

Heming
grinned against her skin and then finished tugging off her gown. As he began to
unlace her shift, keeping them both dazed with kisses, he decided she did know
what he wanted and what she wanted. In the way she gasped and trembled, even in
the heady scent of arousal on her soft skin, he could tell that she wanted him
as much as he wanted her...

Books by Hannah Howell

Only
for You

My
Valiant Knight

Unconquered

Wild
Roses

A
Taste of Fire

Highland
Destiny

Highland
Honor

Highland
Promise

A
Stockingful of Joy

Highland
Vow

Highland
Knight

Highland
Hearts

Highland
Bride

Highland
Angel

Highland
Groom

Highland
Warrior

Reckless

Highland
Conqueror

Highland
Champion

Highland
Lover

Highland
Vampire

Conqueror’s
Kiss

Highland
Barbarian

Beauty
and the Beast

Highland
Savage

Highland
Thirst

Highland
Wedding

Highland
Wolf

Silver
Flame

Highland
Fire

Nature
of the Beast

Highland
Sinner

 

Published by
Zebra Books

HIGHLAND THIRST

HANNAH HOWELL

LYNSAY SANDS

 

 

 

ZEBRA BOOKS

KENSINGTON
PUBLISHING CORP.

http://www.kensingtonbooks.com

CONTENTS

HIGHLAND DESIRE

Books by Hannah
Howell

CONTENTS

BLOOD FEUD

Prologue

One

Two

Three

Four

Five

Six

Seven

Eight

Nine

Ten

Eleven

THE CAPTURE

One

Two

Three

Four

Five

Six

Seven

Eight

Nine

Ten

Eleven

Epilogue

HIGHLAND
SINNER,

 

BLOOD FEUD

Hannah Howell

Prologue

Northern
England—Spring 1511

The
chill of foreboding swept through Heming MacNachton’s blood as he dismounted before
the inn. He frowned at the sign hanging crookedly above the door. The fact that
the inn was called The Hanging Tree only added to his growing sense of unease.
Heming no longer thought the huge old tree a few yards away was an intriguing
sight, despite how the moon turned the emerging leaves a soft silver color. At
least no one was still dangling from its thick, sturdy limbs, he thought, and
reluctantly handed his reins to the stable boy.

“I
dinnae like this,” he said to his cousin Tearlach MacAdie as they approached
the door to the inn.

“We
willnae stay long.”

Heming
nodded, recognizing that statement as Tearlach’s agreement that something felt
wrong. They could not falter in their search for information just because they
felt a little uneasy about a place, however. Their people were being hunted and
the hunters were getting more organized. The very survival of their people
depended upon gathering as much information about their enemies as possible.

Once
he was inside the inn, however, Heming’s wariness grew even sharper. He and
Tearlach found a table set away from the others, their backs to the wall, but
that did little to calm him. A burly cold-eyed man served them ale and as
Tearlach paid for it, Heming looked around. The first thing he noticed was that
there were no serving wenches to be seen. That was odd but he knew there could
be many reasons for that. What could not be so easily explained was the fact
that no one paid them much attention. Two kilted Scotsmen in an English border
inn should draw attention but aside from a few hasty, sidelong glances,
everyone continued talking and laughing. And there was a false note to all of
that talk and good cheer, Heming thought as he drank his ale with more haste
than enjoyment.

It
was not until the three well-dressed people, two of whom had actually shown a
natural curiosity about two Scotsmen in an English inn, got up and left that
Heming knew he and Tearlach had made a serious error in judgment. “The ale—“ he
began as an odd feeling started to creep over him.

“Was
poisoned,” growled Tearlach as he slammed his empty tankard down on the scarred
wood table.

“Nay,
not poisoned. Something to weaken us or make us sleep.” Heming saw that all
those fleeting sidelong glances were becoming far more intent; the men obviously
were watching and waiting for whatever potion he and Tearlach had just drunk to
take effect. “Didnae taste it at first, but the taint of it is now verra clear.
I just thought the ale wasnae a verra good brew.”

Tearlach
stood up and started for the door. Heming quickly joined him. The fact that
everyone in the inn just sat and silently watched them caused Heming’s insides
to chill with alarm. Even before Tearlach opened the door, Heming knew they
would not be escaping this trap. His thoughts were already clouding over and he
felt as if he were trying to walk through thick mud. Once they were outside,
the cool night air did nothing to ease that. Heming staggered and he saw
Tearlach do the same. They both managed to stumble along for a few more feet
although Heming wondered why they even bothered, for they would never make it
to their horses.

The
next thing he knew he was on his knees. Tearlach fell to his knees right beside
him a heartbeat later. Heming tried to fight the pull of the potion but was not
really surprised when he next found himself sprawled in the dirt, Tearlach
quickly sprawling at his side. His last sight was of dozens of booted feet
encircling them.

 

Consciousness
came to him slowly and painfully. Heming felt as if his head were going to split
apart. Then he recalled sprawling in the dirt, dragged into unconsciousness by
some herb or potion slipped into his ale. He slowly opened his eyes and stared
around him in utter disbelief. He was in a cage, thick silver chains holding
his wrists and ankles to the heavy iron bars surrounding him. He was also naked
and weaponless and there was no sign of Tearlach. Hearing footsteps, Heming
fought down his rage and the panic he felt twisting inside of him. A moment
later a tall, elegantly dressed man stood before his cage.

“Weelcome
to Rosscurrach,” the man drawled and coldly smiled.

The
name sounded familiar but it took Heming a moment to place it. Then he recalled
that he and Tearlach had stopped in an inn near the keep a few days ago. It was
the home of the Kerrs. Their laird was named Sir Hervey Kerr and he was not
well liked, if Heming recalled correctly. This slender man, dressed as if he
were about to attend the king, did not look like the cold, brutal man they had
heard whispers about, but Heming knew all too well that looks could be
deceiving.

“Tearlach,”
he began, intending to demand to know where his cousin was.

“Your
companion? I fear he is now the guest of the Carbonnels and enjoying all the
comforts of a secure English dungeon. My ally, Wymon Carbonnel, intends to make
your cousin tell us all about the hiding places of your people. We wish to
locate your many nests so that we can clean them out.”

“He
will tell ye naught. Nor will I.”

“Oh,
I dinnae intend to ask about where all of ye hide yourselves. Nay, ‘tis my
intention to find out all of your strengths and weaknesses.” He lightly rubbed
his pale, elegant hands together. “I have many an idea on how to test them. I
fear ye willnae find that as enjoyable as I will, however.”

“And
just why have ye made us your enemies?” Heming suspected the man knew far too
much about the MacNachtons already, but wanted to hear the man admit to it.

“Ye
and your ilk are the enemies of all men. Ye are an abomination. I find it an
insult that ye e’en look like a mon instead of displaying clearly the mark of
the devil as ye should. No mon of conscience can allow such spawn of hell to
continue to exist. ‘Tis time the ones ye see as prey become the hunters.”

Heming
did not believe the man was truly on some righteous crusade against evil, but
would not try to guess what his game really was. “I am but a mon,” he said
quietly.

“Nay,
ye are far more than that. Dinnae play me for a fool. Ye will soon show me all
of your strengths and weaknesses; reveal all of your secrets. ‘Tis said that
your kind can live forever and I mean to find out why.”

Something
in the tone of the man’s voice told Heming that what the man had just said was
a clue to his real intentions, but Heming’s head was throbbing too much for him
to be able to sort it all out right now. Once his head cleared, his first
thoughts were going to be how to escape and then rescue Tearlach, not about
what this swine wanted. Heming refused to think that this was how he would meet
his end—as a caged beast for this courtier to torment. When the man took a few
hasty steps back, Heming suspected his rage was revealing itself upon his face.

BOOK: Highland Thirst
4.68Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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