A Druid of Her Own: An Immortal Highlander (Druid Series Book 4)

A Druid of Her Own
An Immortal Highlander
A Druid of Her Own
An Immortal Highlander
Mandy M. Roth

A Druid of Her Own: An Immortal Highlander

(Druid Series)

by

Mandy M. Roth

A
Druid of Her Own
: An Immortal Highlander (Druid Series) © Copyright 2015, Mandy M. Roth

First Electronic Printing Nov 2015, The Raven Books

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

A
ll books are copyrighted
to the author and may not be resold or given away without written permission from the author, Mandy M. Roth.

T
his novel is
a work of fiction and intended for mature audiences only. Any and all characters, events and places are of the author’s imagination and should not be confused with fact. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or events or places is merely coincidence. This book is intended for adults only.

The Raven

Published by Raven Books

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Raven Books and all affiliate sites and projects are © Copyrighted 2004–2015

The Druid Series

Sacred Places

Goddess of the Grove

Winter Solstice

A Druid of Her Own

and more to come…

Mandy M. Roth, Online

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Reviews for the Druid Series

4
Coffee Cups

The love scenes are very erotic and sensual. I loved Korey and Gigi and this sequel to Sacred Places is every bit as good. The author deftly mixes a very sexy love story with a lot of action and a little humor. Ms. Roth is a master of supernatural stories of good versus evil and this is easily one of her best
.—
Coffee Time Romance

 
5
Hearts

I’ve come to adore druid tales and hope Ms. Roth has many more to come. Her writing style is excellent and this story one of those that left me smiling long after that last page made me sigh that it was over too soon

The Romance Studio

T
his book is a “Red Hot
” …On the level of plot and character development, Mandy Roth did a great job getting a lot in a short amount of space. I got a good feel for the characters and the whole witch/sorcerer world.—
Madame Butterfly Reviews

4
.5 Kisses

Mandy M. Roth knows how to heat the sheets, er the desk, umm wall… well wherever. She definitely knows how to build to a climax in more ways than one. This Scottish druid sorcerer had me panting and you completely understand why Deri would go for him even if she thinks he’s slept with half the county.—
TwoLips Reviews

4
Angels

Sacred Places takes what could have been a commonplace storyline of co-workers lusting after each other and adds a sensual, magical touch with just the right blend of humor. Between the hot passion, sexy dialogue, and their stubborn personalities, Coyle and Deri will definitely keep readers entertained
.—
Fallen Angel Reviews

A Druid of Her Own

Book Four in the Druid Series

I
mmortal
, seductive, able to shift into a wolf, and a downright sinful highland warrior, Kennard O’Caha has had only one mission for the past several centuries—find and destroy the dark sorcerer Athol. Now that the job is done, it’s time to park his motorcycle, kick up his boots, enjoy a few drinks, and possibly find a honey to warm his bed for a night. After all, nothing quite refuels the magik like pleasure.

T
hat was the plan
, anyways.

T
oo bad life
had something else in store for this magikal biker bad boy. When a stubborn redhead is set in his path, it’s all he can to do to keep from instantly claiming her—his mate. Evil has its sights set on his woman and he’s not about to let her go without one hell of a fight.

Chapter 1

S
pinning
, Kennard O’Caha held his sword at the ready, his entire body honed and prepared for battle. He was a warrior, and his skills were sharp. He wished he could say the same for the man nearest him. His gaze moved to his cousin, Liam, as Liam’s cell phone ringtone filled the darkened grotto. Any hope of making a stealthy entrance and catching the enemy by surprise was gone. He shot his cousin a hard look as a song about someone leading a gangster life emanated from the cell phone and echoed off the cavern’s walls. No one would be surprised to see them now. Not with the amount of noise they were making.

Okay, the amount of noise Liam was making.

Of course, the dark mage they were hunting didn’t have the same level of hearing they did, but anyone could hear the ruckus being raised by Liam. They didn’t require preternatural senses.

Kennard tipped his head to the side, his gaze fixed on Liam as the song continued to play. He sighed. “Yer a gangster? Since when?”

“Somewhere around the 17
th
century is my best guess.” Liam laughed, worrying his jaw with one hand. “The damn War of the Three Kingdoms made me hardcore and gave me street cred. Now, people see my plaid colors and they shake in fear.”

“Shake in fear, do they?” mocked Kennard. He’d have yelled at Liam for the cell phone, but there was no point. Liam wouldn’t listen or care. His cousin did as he pleased. Always had. Always would. And if Kennard dared to make too big of a deal of it, Liam would be sure to repeat the incident as much as possible.

Liam grinned, the look rather wolfish and fitting, considering. “Aye. I terrify them.”

“This explains so much,” replied Kennard, a note of sarcasm to his words. Liam was the family jokester. The one who always tried to lighten the mood. He was also the one they tended to lose their patience with first. Probably had something to do with the jokes. No one ever claimed Liam was actually funny. Well, no one except Liam, that was.

The ringtone continued to bounce off the cavern walls, echoing from far-reaching corners, coming back at them threefold. With a groan, Kennard cast a disapproving look in his cousin’s direction. “Do you nae understand we’re up against a dark sorcerer and mayhap we do nae want to let him know
exactly
where we are or even that we’ve found his lair?”

Liam pursed his lips, seeming in deep thought as his dark hair fell forward in his eyes. A devil-may-care smile eased over his face. “Aye, it occurred to me and then I said fuck it.”

Obviously.

“Must be the street cred talkin’,” said Kennard snidely.

“Want me to flash my plaid colors. That’ll teach him how hardcore I am,” answered Liam, sounding anything but comfortable with the phrase.

“Oh, please do. I’m sure he’ll quiver with fright.” Kennard squeezed the hilt of his sword tighter. Heavy use and centuries of remembered touch left him knowing every inch of it. Pure muscle memory for him now. It felt more like an extension of himself than the killing instrument it was.

Liam’s ringtone continued. Kennard stifled a growl. Had Liam not been kin he’d have entertained using his sword against him. As it was, they were blood and blood was everything to their kind—immortal druid sorcerers who were sworn to protect mankind against evil. O’Caha men stuck together through thick and thin. Hell, one of their clansmen was actually half blood-drinker and they still accepted him, even when he hadn’t been able to accept himself.

Thankfully, that had ended well.

Then there was Kennard, his brothers and a select number of his cousins who were slaves to the moon, because in addition to being druid sorcerers, they were shifters as well. It was rare but happened every now and then. Kennard’s mother and Liam’s mother were first cousins, both coming from a line of shifters. The women had married brothers—druid brothers. Though, the women weren’t the first additions of shifters or other supernaturals introduced to the long-standing line of druids. The O’Caha bunch was powerful and spread out over the world, though close-knit all the same.

“I hope we kill him quickly,” said Liam, rubbing at the back of his neck. “I’ve a need to run and the moon calls to me.”

“Aye, it calls to me as well, cousin. Are yer runes holding’?” he asked.

“For now,” replied Liam.

They’d been relying on dangerous magiks to help keep them in human form for the time being—something not recommended or encouraged—so close to finally ending the dark mage that they didn’t dare stop, even for a night. And it was wise they hadn’t. Athol was cornered now and they’d finally end his reign of terror. Too many close calls had already occurred on the hunt for the famed dark sorcerer as it was. They couldn’t risk many more. They would end him tonight or die trying.

“Are you ready to focus?” asked Kennard, wishing he’d brought the other twin in with him from the start, in place of Liam. Cillian was more by the books, less ringtones. He’d also been highly against them drawing upon dark magik to suppress their wolves, but he’d caved to the pressure and gone along with it, knowing they couldn’t risk missing the chance to destroy Athol even though the opportunity lined up with a full moon. Cillian was making sure there was no other way out for the evil dark mage. He was also probably still protesting under his breath about their choices.

Liam nodded. “Time to find and kill this bastard.”

“Agreed.”

Liam ran a hand through nearly black hair that hung just past his shoulders. The men in Clan O’Caha kept their hair longer, as had been the custom back in the days when most, such as Kennard and his cousins, were born some seven hundred years ago. Others in their clan were even older. Seven hundred years was a long time to roam the Earth, protecting it and its inhabitants from evil. It was a tireless, thankless job, but one they’d all been called to perform by Powers greater than them.

Shoving his cell into the back pocket of his jeans, Liam waggled his brows, pulling his sword from its scabbard. Shirtless, with a sword strapped to his back, wearing jeans and military boots, Liam looked like something time had hodgepodged together. He also could have gone either way with good guy or crazed lunatic. Kennard guessed most would assume the latter of the man.

They wouldn’t be entirely off the mark.

There were many times Cillian and Kennard wondered how sane Liam was anymore. He was old and time had not been kind to him emotionally. If he didn’t mate soon, they’d be hunting him in much the same fashion they were Athol.

They’ll be hunting us all
, thought Kennard.

Kennard liked dressing as he once had, with his plaid and his weapons. It felt right. As a highlander should dress. But he drew the line at the old footwear, preferring modern boots instead. In many respects he wasn’t that far off his cousin’s chosen attire.

He winced at the realization.

Looking down the blackened corridor, Kennard knew it led to the dark sorcerer in question—Athol. Evil floated over the air and it thickened around him, making him feel miserable.

The man’s heart was black and he bled evil.

Pure and simple.

Long ago Athol had been a druid too, like them. But the lure of the dark arts had proven too strong and he’d turned his back on the druid path, forgoing their beliefs. Ignoring the ethos. The innocent lives lost to the madman were too high in number to count. And all had been to feed Athol’s hunger for more power. Tapping into the darkness came at a high cost to the individual as well as those around him. Many times innocents were caught in the crossfire.

He had to be stopped at all cost. And that was what Kennard and his cousins planned to do. Kill the prick and put an end to his terror. Then go for ale and drink until they forgot their own names. They’d more than likely find some beautiful women who wanted to have their worlds rocked by them, and they’d all reconvene the next day, hungover and with their needs sated.

The hunt for Athol had been extensive. More than any Kennard had participated in over the past several centuries, making Athol a worthy opponent, even though he was a boil on the ass of humanity. Prior to the increase in his powers afforded him by the dark magiks, he’d been a weak druid. The type who would never be selected for any grand tasks. He’d been bottom of the barrel then and Kennard was sure it was why the man had turned his back on it all—hungry for more power, more status and, in his mind, more respect.

His cousins thought Kennard had become obsessed with hunting Athol—especially over the past two decades. They didn’t quite see him as the threat Kennard did. And they did not share his burning need to find and end him, as if Athol had offended him personally, rather than betrayed the druids as a whole.

Kennard couldn’t explain it and he no longer bothered trying. He just knew he had to find and end Athol. That it was imperative Athol not be allowed to live.

Cillian, Liam’s twin in looks only, entered the corridor. “He’s here. I’m sure of it.”

“Aye,” answered the other two men.

Cillian paused. “Why is it I heard music coming from the cave on my approach?”

Kennard pointed to Liam. “You really have to ask?”

“No.” Cillian armed himself as well. “We do this now.”

Kennard couldn’t have said it better himself. They’d spent too long hunting Athol and had fought too many battles to let him get away. The time had finally come. Fate was on their side.

Or so he hoped.

He felt it then, cold, evil power spreading over his feet, inching up his ankles, to his calves. The dark energy encased his lower legs, trying to hold him in place as it attempted to sap the ancient power coursing through Kennard’s veins. He was too old to permit such a thing from happening and too versed in the magiks of his kind to fall prey to such trickery. He’d dabbled his fair share in the dark arts in his younger years. He was not a novice. Far from it.

Liam lifted a booted foot, shaking off the nuisance spell. “Guessin’ dickhead knows we’re here.”

“Guid,” Kennard said, moving forward in the cavern. “I’m eager for a fight.”

The three men entered deeper into the blanket of raw power. The power changed, taking on a deeper threat, one that caused the men to glance at one another, alarmed as their personal wards were tested by the dark magik. Each man was skilled in the arts of magik, but the three druids didn’t make a habit of drawing upon the dark arts as Athol did. As Kennard entered the larger open area of the cavern, Athol was there, his arms wide, standing wearing nothing more than a dark brown robe. The air smelled of sex. Kennard’s wolf picked up on it at once and recognized it for what it was—sex magik.

Kennard didn’t want to know how many women the dark mage had gone through to gather the extra power he now wielded. More than once in their long history of hunting him he’d taken human women to his bed, using them to gather sexual energy and magik before sapping their very souls, their essence, their lives.

They’d nearly caught Athol some twenty-three years back because of the man’s weakness for women. He’d taken up with a young woman in a small town, setting up something of a life there, which was laughable. When Kennard had found Athol, he’d been standing over the woman’s dead body, covered in blood, holding something tight to his chest before he’d vanished.

Kennard stilled, remembering how he’d hesitated back then. He’d had the perfect chance to run Athol through with his sword but he’d not taken it. He’d not even thrown magik at the man—when he was more than capable of doing so. It was a truth he’d never confessed to his cousins, mainly because he couldn’t rationalize why he’d choked in such a manner.

This was his chance at redemption. A chance to finally end Athol once and for all. An opportunity to end his obsession with stopping the man. And maybe prevent whatever horrible event of Athol’s design he felt was pending.

Athol was the bringer of death and destruction. He had to die.

The mage’s hair whipped in the chilled wind that had suddenly sprung up. Symbols, each a testament to how far down the path of darkness he’d gone, covered his chest, legs and arms.

Kennard could hardly judge the man on that account. He and his cousins each wore some of the same symbols. Each had touched darkness more than once.

Athol whispered a chant, summoning additional dark powers to him. The chant wasn’t one Kennard recognized and he’d had over seven centuries to master the craft. This dark magik was different—darker even than that Athol normally wielded. Oddly, rather than raising his hackles, the new power called to Kennard. It piqued his interest, making him want to run his hand out and through it to know it better—to know where and who it really came from.

Glancing at Liam, he expected his cousin to make a comment on it too. But neither Liam nor Cillian seemed to notice it. Was it merely a trick? Something to fool just Kennard?

No.

It was real.

Kennard drew upon his natural shields to protect him from the impact and lure of darkness. As an unmated male, with as many centuries as he had behind him, he found the temptation to go the way of evil harder and harder to resist anymore, especially since he’d dared to dabble in it to help him fight Athol. While Cillian and Liam had joined him in drawing on the dark for their current expedition, they’d not done so as much as Kennard, nor as many times.

“What the hell is he doin’?” cried Liam as an unseen force knocked him backwards, his hand going to his chest.

Cillian grabbed for his brother, yanking Liam out of harm’s way by a hairsbreadth before a bolt of raw, unfiltered power followed and struck the area where Liam had just been standing. Kennard tried to advance on Athol, but was knocked back as well. The sizzling charge of power stole his breath and it took him a moment to recover, longer than it should have.

The O’Caha men pushed forward as one, their swords and their magik at the ready, creating a shield in front of them. They threw power at Athol, visibly weakening him with each strike so that he stumbled. A second before they would have run him through with their swords, the dark sorcerer burst into a dust ball of blackness that fluttered to the floor around them. A plume of the ash rose up and the men coughed, none wanting to breathe in powdered bad guy if they could help it.

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