Authors: Donna Grant
Tags: #romance, #paranormal romance, #historical romance, #medieval romance, #donna grant, #romance action, #romance action adventure, #romance medieval
ECHOES OF MAGIC
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters,
places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or
are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any
resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons,
living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
ECHOES OF MAGIC
Copyright© 2011 Donna Grant
Cover Artist: Croco Designs
Edition, License Notes
This ebook is licensed for
your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold
or given away to other people. If you would like
to share this book with another person,
please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If
you’re reading this book and did
purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please
return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for
respecting the hard work of this author.
Western England, near the coast
Adrianna stretched her neck
and flexed hands that had gripped the reins for far too long. When
the gypsies she’d traveled with for the past three years halted for
a rest, she gladly hopped down from the seat of her
The stretch of road they’d
journeyed was narrow and surrounded by woods. She loved wandering
with the gypsies but, for the past week, she couldn’t shake the
feeling something was wrong. Or was about to go wrong.
No amount of magic had given her a clue,
, a witch, she had spent
her time trying to decipher just what was out of alignment.
had a special gift, and hers was seeing the
Adrianna was many things,
but she wasn’t courageous enough to look into her own future. Not
when her kind was cursed and slowly fading into legend. As far as
she knew, there was only one other
. Where once they covered
all of Britain, soon no more would see the beautiful
had been around for so
long that none remembered their true origins, though some text
claimed they hailed from an ancient land of sand and
Adrianna pushed a stray hair behind her ear
and moved into the forest. She leaned against a tree and let the
beauty and nature of the area soak into her. The need to be alone
had driven her into the trees, but it would also help to calm her
and the constant fear that something...evil...was about to
she had met, Serena, had
been followed by a man drenched in evil. Ever since Adrianna had
sensed a growing malevolence throughout the land.
Her hands traveled down the
elm tree, the bark scratching her palms. She sighed and began to
turn back to her wagon when she caught a glimpse of something in
the underbrush. Adrianna leaned down and peered through the ferns
to find a bloodied hand.
With her heart hammering in
her chest, she pushed aside the underbrush and discovered a man
lying on his side. His long black hair covered his face and was
matted with leaves, blood, and mud. By the look of the fine
material of his tunic, he was a nobleman who had been ambushed most
likely by a roving band of outlaws.
She sighed at the loss of life and began to
rise to her feet when a moan stopped her.
By the saints,” she
murmured and gently pushed his hair from his face.
With her finger beneath his
nose she felt his slow, shallow breathing. If she hurried, and his
injuries weren’t too extensive, she might be able to save
Milosh! Yoska,” she
As tenderly she could, she turned the man
onto his back. Blood had pooled beneath him and stained his light
blue tunic. She saw no weapons, no jewelry.
Adrianna lifted her head when she heard the
gypsy leader call out the pet name he had given her. “Over
When the tall Romanian burst through the
trees, his brother, Yoska, was right behind him. The men had the
same black hair, dark eyes and tall, rangy build. They had welcomed
her into their family when she found them, never asking questions
of her past. For that she would be forever grateful.
Yoska said something in Romanian that made
Milosh nod absently.
Please help me get him
back to my cart,” Adrianna said. “He’s wounded, but
And soon to die,” Milosh
Please. I cannot just
The two brothers glanced at
each other before they bent down and carried the man toward her
cart. He groaned as soon as they lifted him, his head lolling to
the side. Adrianna winced and hurried ahead of the brothers to make
room for her new patient.
She quickly moved things out of the way and
cleared the bed. Then she began to tear one of her old gowns to use
Strip his tunic,” she
ordered the brothers as she dug through her herbs.
were able to heal, but
only a few had the true gift and were able to heal others without
the addition of herbs or magic.
She turned just as Milosh
lowered the man, now bare-chested, to the bed. For a moment,
Adrianna couldn’t move. The man was a giant, most likely larger
than even Milosh. His body was corded with muscles, and even
unconscious he emanated power and stealth.
She jerked and tore her gaze from the man.
“Thank you,” she murmured.
You’re going to need
help,” the leader said as he glanced at the warrior. “He’s a big
man and, even wounded, he’ll be strong.”
Yoska stepped near her. “I’ll stay.”
Milosh nodded and jumped from the cart.
“I’ll have one of the other men drive you.”
Adrianna raised her hand to
let him know she’d heard, but her attention was on her patient.
“Yoska, can you roll him to his side?”
The big Romanian pushed the warrior toward
the side of the cart, exposing his back and the wound to Adrianna.
She cursed under her breath and hurriedly wiped away the dried
blood. “It’s an arrow.”
It’s in deep. By the looks
of it, the arrow was cut off.”
Adrianna paused. “He couldn’t have done
that. Not where the arrow penetrated him.”
Nay. Most likely one of
his attackers sliced it off while taking a swing at
However it happened
matters little now. We need to get it out. Already a fever has
Yoska’s lips flattened at her words. “Hold
She crawled onto the bed
and gripped the man’s arms in a vain effort to keep him down. With
one swing of his thick arm, he could send her flying off the bed.
She found herself gazing into a face that, even covered in dirt,
couldn’t hide the ruggedly handsome hallowed cheeks, strong jaw and
chin, and wide mouth.
He murmured something when Yoska gripped the
edge of the arrow.
Make it quick,” she told
the Romanian. The last thing she wanted was to try and take the
arrow out while traveling over the rough roads.
Yoska shook his head. “I
don’t like where it’s at, Drina. We could do more damage by
We don’t have a choice. I
cannot heal him unless it’s gone. Please, Yoska.”
The big man gave a single
nod of his head to prepare her before he reached down and jerked
the arrow out. The warrior stiffened before he bellowed in pain,
his hands painfully gripping her arms. When Adrianna looked down,
she saw eyes the color of silver winged with thick, black lashes
staring at her a moment before he fell back unconscious.
For a moment, she couldn’t move, couldn’t
think beyond the man she held.
I don’t think it was mere
thieves after him, Drina.”
She turned to Yoska and the
arrow head he held up for her view. The arrowhead was unlike
anything she had seen before. The tip was thin, the sides jagged,
causing it to go deep and tear flesh, bone, and organs when it was
removed. She was amazed they had managed to get it out of the
warrior, but it explained his immense pain when they
Hold him,” she bade Yoska
as she scooted from the bed to examine the arrowhead
The metal was different, thinner, almost as
if it were made of magic. It oozed evil, making her skin crawl. She
touched the tip of the arrow, and blood instantly beaded on her
Careful, Drina.” Yoska’s
voice was low and filled with trepidation.
She set aside the arrow and licked her lips.
She wanted to toss the arrow from her cart, but decided against it
as her wagon lurched into motion. There might be a need for it
For the next few hours, she
cleaned and bandaged the warrior’s wound, trying to ignore the hard
body and warm skin beneath her fingers. Each time she glanced at
his face, she expected his unusual silver gaze to be on her and,
when it wasn’t, she found herself disappointed.
When she was done, she sighed and motioned
Yoska to lower the man gently to his back. Adrianna wrung out
another strip of bandages from the bowl and wiped the dirt and
blood from the man’s face.
I’ve a bad feeling,” Yoska
murmured. “This man was supposed to die. That much is clear.
Whoever is after him will return to finish the job.”
She glanced at her friend
over her shoulder. “I also have a bad feeling, but I refuse to
leave a man to die when I can save him.”
This has to do with the
group we met last year, doesn’t it? The one that had the woman like
you, the witch?”
Serena. Aye, I believe it
does. The arrow smells of the same evil that followed Serena and
Was this man with Lady
She was positive. There was
no way she could have missed a man so imposing and powerful...and
good-looking. “I’m sure.”
I’ll report to Milosh.
He’ll want to know how the man fares.”
Before she could respond,
the Romanian was gone from the slow
moving cart. Now that she was
alone, she could look her fill at her patient. It had been quite
awhile since a man had caught her attention. Though she wasn’t sure
if it was because he was wounded or because she sensed something
else in him, something powerful yet to be unleashed, she found she
couldn’t keep her hands from him.
She smoothed her hand down
his sculpted chest and over the ridges and valleys of his abdomen
corded with sinew. It had been a long time since she’d given her
body to someone, and she had never thought to find another who
would tempt her so, not when the curse had already touched
The man stirred, mumbling in his sleep and
tossing his head. The fever’s hold on him was strong.
Shh,” she whispered near
his ear while stroking his face. “Rest easy. You’re
Her words soothed him after
a moment, and he settled once more into a deep, even sleep. As
imposing as he was in sleep, she couldn’t imagine the warrior he
was awake. And she could hardly wait to find out.
It gave her pause, her
sudden and unstoppable interest in her patient. It was almost
enough to make her throw caution to the wind and give into the
desires awakening in her body just by looking at him. But with the
longing came the reminder of what she was, of what kept her from
While he dreamed, Adrianna’s thoughts turned
to the curse and her people.
was destined to feel the
curse. Since only women held the gifts of their people, it was the
women who were fated to fall in love with a man who would leave
them as soon as a child was born.