Authors: Lily Silver
Some Enchanted Dream
Seasons of Enchantment
Some Enchanted Dream,
Seasons of Enchantment, Book 2
Copyright Lily Silver, 2015
Cover Art by Kim Killion
All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced in any manner without the written permission of the author, except in brief quotations used in articles or book reviews.
This is a work of fiction. Aside from brief depictions in this work of actual persons in history, the main characters of this work are entirely fictional are a product of the author’s imagination.
I met a lady in the meads,
Full beautiful—a faery’s child,
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.
I made a garland for her head,
And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;
She looked at me as she did love,
And made sweet moan
I set her on my pacing steed,
And nothing else saw all day long,
For sidelong would she bend, and sing
A faery’s song.
She found me roots of relish sweet,
And honey wild, and manna-dew,
And sure in language strange she said—
‘I love thee true’.
She took me to her Elfin grot,
And there she wept and sighed full sore,
And there I shut her wild wild eyes
With kisses four.
And there she lullèd me asleep,
And there I dreamed—Ah! woe betide!—
The latest dream I ever dreamt
On the cold hill side.
I saw pale kings and princes too,
Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
They cried—‘La Belle Dame sans Merci
Hath thee in thrall!’
La Belle Dame San Merci
, John Keats 1819
Dublin, May 1798
“Tara, wake up,” a voice insisted in the darkness. “Get dressed, we’re leaving.”
?” She shook off the winding tendrils of slumber. Her husband's voice was urgent, insistent. “It’s the middle of the night. What happened?”
“Edward’s been arrested," Adrian’s tense voice whispered in the darkness. He helped her into a gown in the darkness. "They say he was shot during his capture. Jasper and Horace are under arrest as well. They know my secret.”
“Where are we going?”
“France. If we can get past the English watch at the harbor and make it out to the Sea Sprite, Mick Gilamuir and the boys will take us to France. If all goes as planned, we can be in Paris before dusk tomorrow evening.”
“Are we leaving with only the clothing on our backs?”
“I had most of my funds transferred to Paris last week while awaiting news from Mick Gilamuir regarding our escape.” Adrian placed a dark cloak about her shoulders and fastened the clasp at her neck. “There now. We’re off.”
Men rowed the small skiff into the fog as Adrian sat in the middle of the rowboat holding Tara against him. Doc Riley, a man of her husband's acquaintance, sat opposite Tara and Adrian on the floor of the boat, his knees crossed as he clutched a leather case on his lap. She stared at his dark form, puzzling over the alluring quality emanating from him as they silently passed great naval ships cloaked in the ghostly, gray mist.
They could hear snippets of conversation from the decks above as they passed the British vessels. The fugitives held their breath so as not to cause alarm from the watchman.
At last, they were beyond the ships, floating blindly toward the open waters of the Irish Sea. A faint light further out flashed three times and then disappeared. They rowed silently toward it. After a brief interval the light flashed three more times and then was extinguished.
They drew alongside the hull of the Sea Sprite. Dan reached forward and pulled them to the ladder. He held the small craft fast as Adrian rose carefully in the unsteady craft. He pushed Tara toward the ladder, insisting silently she ascend first. It was slippery in the damp night air. She climbed up one wrung and wiped a hand on her cloak with distaste.
Adrian moved slowly behind her, whispering encouragement.
When she reached the top, hands grasped her arms and pulled her over the side. Within seconds, Adrian was beside her on the small smuggling craft. A dim lantern hung from the quarter-deck above them, blanketed by thick fog. Dan groaned as he was hauled over the rail, then Doc Riley and Mr. Lawless thumped to the deck after him.
“Release the main sail, haul anchor--quietly lads. We’ve no need of an escort from our friends at port.”
That voice was distinctly familiar. Tara’s heart soared at the sound.
“Welcome Aboard, Captain Midnight. One last run for the Fianna, aye?”
"Bless you, Mick. You appeared just in time.” Adrian acknowledged. “To Freedom . . . ours this time, lads.”
“Mick?” Tara stepped forward in the dim light, squeezing her eyes to focus on a fair man with white blond hair who was curiously illuminated by the golden glow of the lantern.
Adrian was smiling at his comrade. “Allow me to present Mick Gilamuir, Captain of the Sea Sprite, Smuggling King extraordinaire, Ladies Man with a golden tongue and the rare gift of glamoury, hence his name, Gilamuir.”
!” Tara exclaimed, stepping forward to take her brother's hand. The moment their skin touched, a silvery, metallic sizzle ran along her arm. “I thought I’d never find you. Where are the others?” Tara asked with awe, “Kerry and Riley?”
"Riley's right here, dear sister. And Kerry's off traversing time."
She turned to the man she'd thought was a little odd, "Doc Riley? You're
Riley?" Tara glanced at her lost brothers with awe
“Ship’s approaching,” Riley whispered, “We need to leave, now.”
“Halt, prepare to be boarded,” a voice hailed from the mists about them. “By order of the royal navy, you will cease and desist all activities and submit to an inspection.” The shouting of many voices from beyond the prow of the ship startled them into action.
“Form a circle, take our hands." Mick Gilamuir's voice pervaded in the chaos, as the sound of grappling hooks clanging in the darkness warned of impending seizure. "Tara, Riley, we must combine our powers.” He paused, looking about them sternly in the low light of the lantern as shadows began to move beyond them. “Tara, concentrate on a place and we’ll adde our magic to yours to increase its power. Think of a safe place and we’re go there.”
Tara clutched Gilamuir’s hand tight. She gazed quickly about at the handful of men, making sure Dan was clutching someone’s hand within the circle and would not be left behind to face the English soldiers. Riley was holding Dan’s hand fast and so was Mick.
“Dan, are you ready for a new adventure?” Tara asked.
Mick Gilamuir kicked over the lone lantern, and stomped the glass beneath his boot, plunging them into darkness as the advancing naval crew began boarding their ship. Mick and Riley began to chant in unison. Their Fey auras began to glow, illuminating the circle. Tara concentrated on transporting the group to another time.
“Aye!” Dan’s deep laugh rumbled as the lightning arced and crackled above the ship mast, “on to the next Fiasco!”
Crunch, splat, thud.
Tara landed hard on the wet ground and let go of the hands she'd been holding firm through their time jump. The men lay sprawled on the ground in various positions with their faces gazing up into the angry grey skies.
Thunder echoed above and the earth shuddered beneath them.
Rain pelted Tara's face with stinging needles. The soggy ground instantly began to wick into her cloak and the back of her dress.
Perfect, just perfect.
They arrived smack in the middle of a blinding rain storm.
Scratch that, a
Rolling onto her side, Tara curled her legs to her chest and shielded her head with her arms as the sky opened up to assault them with little frozen bullets.
Together, they left Dublin in late spring of seventeen-ninety eight. They barely escaped the naval officers boarding their ship to arrest her husband for his role in the United Irishmen's plot to seize the Irish parliament and overthrow the British government.
"Ouch--damn--son of a--" male voices echoed about her with indignation as the men tried to recover from their fall from the sky and the angry assault delivered by nature.
The hail ended within seconds. Thunder clapped above their heads, threatening to drench them in another punishing downpour. The trees nearby rustled with fear as the wind shook golden leaves from quivering limbs.
"Is anyone harmed," Adrian shouted above the wind. "Tara, darling--"
She rolled toward her husband and sat up as he called her name. Something hard poked into her hip. Tara reached under her skirts and pierced her finger on a shard of glass. She winced and stuck the wounded digit into her mouth. Pieces of a broken bottle were under her. The cloak and heavy skirts protected her from being cut. She picked up the jagged neck of the broken bottle with thumb and forefinger and held it up before her eyes.
Drops of bright emerald green liquid still clung to the insides of the slender column.
A horrid stench overcame her just before rough fingers circled her throat from behind. Her assailant released a string of harsh words in a foreign tongue as his hands cut off her air.
Shouts ensued as her comrades rushed to restrain the raving lunatic and pry his filthy fingers from her throat. The thumping noises behind her told Tara her attacker was being dealt with by her sturdy companions.
"My darling lass," Adrian's handsome face hovered close with concern. His eyes were squeezed to slits against the rain and his brow was plastered with inky black tendrils. He crouched on his knees before her and held her face between his palms. "Did he hurt you?"
"No," her breath came out in a cold plume of mist. She was shocked more than frightened by the attack, but the sensation of iron fingers about her neck lingered. She reached up to touch the tender flesh and rub away the pain. Adrian kissed her wet brow and released her as he struggled to his feet in the sodden grass. Once he managed to rise, he reached for her hands and pulled her to stand beside him. His arm wound about her waist, tugging her close while he clutched his silver wolf head cane in his other hand for support. Together, they watched in silence as the men of their party fought to restrain her assailant.
Ignoring the rain sluicing over her skin, Tara did a double take, uncertain she could believe her eyes.
It took three men to restrain the jerk
Dan had her attacker locked in a shoulder hold from behind while her brothers stood before the vagrant, holding his arms as he struggled to be free. Dan stood over six foot five and had a frame as solid as a stone column. His mere presence intimidated most because of his size.
The man he had seized was of average height, yet his strength seemed unnatural. Judging by the way the soiled clothing hung from a too thin frame, the stranger was a bum. His face was partially obscured by an unkempt beard. The rain did nothing to wash the layers of grime from his hair or the skin that was visible about his neck and his hands. His dark eyes were wild. He kept shouting and lunging at Tara, as if believing she posed a threat to him.
Adrian withdrew his arm from about her and stepped forward, putting himself between Tara and the crazed drunk. The rapid exchange of foreign words between them was impossible to discern. One thing was obvious, venom was spewed from both sides of the argument.
Her husband's arm withdrew from his frock coat to reveal the hard steel barrel of a pistol. He slowly lifted his arm and took aim at the intruder.
Mick, Riley and Dan released the surly fellow quickly and stepped aside.
Adrian cocked the pistol at the man and spoke one word."
The dirty man raised his hands and backed away. Glaring at Tara, he muttered an oath before racing off into the trees in an unsteady gait.
"What was that about?" she asked Adrian as he marked the vagabond's progress into the woods before lowering his weapon and replacing it in his belt.
"He claims you destroyed his only joy in life and he has no means to replace it."
"It's a failing of mine," Tara quipped. "Still, no reason to kill me, is there?"
Ignoring her comment, Adrian crouched amid the shattered glass at their feet to pick up a chunk held together by a white label. He frowned at it for a moment, and then stood with a steady grip on his cane and deposited the piece carefully into her opened palm.