Love Beyond Dreams (A Scottish Time Travel Romance): Book 6 (Morna's Legacy Series)





Copyright 2015 by Bethany Claire

All rights reserved.

License Notes

All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the author except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Editor: Dj Hendrickson

Cover Designer: Damonza

Available In eBook & Paperback

eBook ISBN: 978-0-9960037-9-7

Paperback ISBN: 978-0-9961136-0-1

Love Beyond Dreams

~Book 6 of Morna’s Legacy Series~

by Bethany Claire

© 2015

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Magic lingers inside all who call Cagair Castle home.

Gillian Wright dreams of the same man every night—his kind eyes and gentle smile as familiar to her now as her own reflection. She looks forward to her nights spent with him, but when she starts to hear his voice in the winds around Cagair Castle, she can’t help but wonder if he’s more than a figment of her imagination.

Only pain comes to him when he sleeps. His dreams give him glimpses of all he can’t remember when awake. His name and memories are lost to him in a way that leaves him troubled and wanting. Then the opportunity for a new life places him in the path of a lass who seems to already know him. Could she be the key to helping him remember?

For Dad


Cagair Castle

Present Day

Eyes are the most important part of any portrait. People may not notice if you goof up a chin or if the shape of their nose isn’t just so, but they will always notice if you get the eyes wrong.

My very first art teacher told me that—the eccentric old woman with a slight hoarding problem that my parents hired to teach me when I was no more than eight. I never liked the idea of so much pressure being placed on a piece of art, so I took to painting landscapes, abstracts, anything that didn’t require me replicating the image of another person with paint and a brush.

Besides, I don’t have any real talent for portraits, or so I thought, but looking at the painting of the stranger in front of me made me think differently. Of course, I wasn’t sure talent had anything to do with the way this painting turned out. The image of my stranger was so burned into my mind that I believe I could paint him just as well even if I’d never held a brush in my life.

This man—with his dark hair and eyes so blue they looked like they were made of stained glass—was the most beautiful thing I’d ever created. I wanted nothing more than for him to crawl right out of the canvas and into my bedroom.

Maybe now that I’d placed him onto something that would last for longer than the duration of my dreams, he would stop haunting me in my sleep.

All that remained was for me to add my signature to the bottom then the painting would be complete and maybe, just maybe, I could have a night’s sleep without him invading every corner of my mind.

“Ye will run out of socks if he keeps that up.”

It took the sound of Aiden’s voice behind me to draw my attention to the needle-like teeth that nipped at my big toe as Toby pulled at my sock in an effort to yank me off my stool. I sat the brush down after my final stroke and leaned down to scoop the young pup into my arms before turning to face him.

Aiden stood tall and gangly in the doorway, his friendly, dimpled smile a welcome sight after my hours spent alone in the tower. Usually he was covered in sawdust, but he cleaned up nicely, albeit casually, with his longish blonde hair pulled into a small ponytail at the nape of his neck and bare toes sticking out underneath the bottom of his jeans. He had spent his entire life in Scotland, but at first sight I would have sworn he was a native Californian.

“I already have. I’m pretty sure every other pair already has a hole. I should really start wearing shoes. I just hate them so much.”

Aiden laughed and came over to rub Toby behind the ears before pointing to the painting. “Me as well. Is that the likeness of yer boyfriend?”

I stood and moved to stand next to Aiden, setting Toby on the ground as I did so.

“No, unfortunately, it isn’t.”

Aiden crossed his arms and tilted his head as he grinned mischievously at me. “Best not show him this then.”

I laughed and swatted his arm playfully. “Aiden, I don’t have a boyfriend. Don’t you think if I did, you would have heard something about it by now? We’ve spent pretty much every day together for the last six months.”

“Wrong answer.”

My confusion grew with each new word. “What are you talking about?”

“Gillian, I knew that ye dinna have a boyfriend, or at least I dinna think that ye did. If ye did, I’d say he was a sorry arse of a man for ye havena seen him in the last six months. Billy asked me if ye had one, ye see. I told him aye, to save ye the misery of having the man try to woo ye.”

I picked up Toby and handed him over to Aiden then went about cleaning up my mess.

“Woo me? Billy has never said three words to me. I can’t imagine how he’d ever work up the nerve to do that.”

“Oh, ye’d be surprised. A drink or two and he will talk yer ear off. Ye wouldna like it. Trust me.”

“Oh, I do. What are you doing up here? Are you already done for the day?”

“Aye, I’ve sent all the men home. Anne has a special weekend planned for our anniversary. We will be away, but I’ll have my phone if ye or Tracy need me.”

“I haven’t heard from Tracy in three months. I’ll be shocked if you hear from her this weekend.”

My sister, Tracy, didn’t need anyone except her husband, Mark. And even with him, if she ever had to choose between him or his bank accounts, I knew without question which one she would choose.

“Aye, well, I doona expect to hear from her but if she tries, I’ll have my phone.” He gestured toward the painting. “Is this a piece of work that has been commissioned?”

“No.” I bit the corner of my lip as I paused my cleaning and reached to grab onto my thinnest brush as I dipped it into black paint before quickly scribbling my signature on the bottom. “This one’s just for me.”

“Just for ye, eh?” He raised his brow and nodded teasingly.

I laughed and resumed cleaning my brushes, ignoring him.

“So why did ye paint this man? Do ye know him?”

I shook my head. “No, I don’t know him. I’m not even sure if he’s real. It’s the strangest thing. Every night, and I mean every single night since I’ve been here, I’ve dreamt about him.”

Aiden’s eyes widened as he nodded his head knowingly. “Have ye now? Ye know this castle has quite a history. Perhaps he is one of the ghosts that roam these halls.”

I shrugged. “Maybe, but I’ve been here for months, and I’ve not seen any ghosts.”

“Neither have I, but other things have happened. The lassies that owned the castle before yer sister bought it vanished no more than a month after buying the place, and that is no the only strange occurrence to take place here.”

It was the first I’d heard of anything like that, but it went a long way toward explaining why Tracy purchased the castle in the first place. “Well, that’s probably the reason Tracy bought it. She loves stuff like that—anything that screams of adventure. Although, she never loves anything enough to stick with it, hence my being here to watch over you and Toby.”

Aiden pointed to the pup now sleeping soundly in his arms.

“It will be hard for ye to give him back to her when she returns, aye?”

“Oh, that’s so not happening. She had him a whole three days before I got here to watch him and the castle. He’s known me way longer than he knew her. Toby’s my dog now.”

Aiden nodded then, seeing I was finished cleaning, stepped toward the doorway before we walked down the spiral steps together.

“As he should be. I’ve known Tracy a long time, but even I canna believe how little time she’s spent here. She’s no approved most of the work. What if she doesna like all I’ve done?”

My sister and I were as different as night and day, but even she couldn’t deny the good that Aiden and his men had done to this place. They had breathed life back into a structure that had needed it for so long.

“I doubt it. All she wants is for you to restore the property with as much historical accuracy as you can. You have more than enough consultants helping with that so I’m sure she will be very pleased. How could she not be? I can’t believe how much you’ve accomplished so quickly. It’s gorgeous.”

“I’ve no done it alone. I’ve had help.”

He had, but the rest were just hired workers that came in and out in however many days it took them to complete their specific job. Aiden had put everything into the castle, even moving him and his wife into it so he could devote his time to the castle’s restoration around the clock.

“Maybe so, but none of them have worked as hard as you have. You really have a love for this place. I can see it in the way you care for it. It’s what this place has needed for centuries.”

“Aye, I do. As do ye. Tracy shouldna own a place like this. I know she willna keep it. If I had the funds, I’d buy it from her in a minute.”

Of course she planned to sell it. Tracy and Mark never stayed in any place for more than a few months. His endless supply of money earned through some sort of self-made internet business—I couldn’t begin to tell you what he actually did for a living—afforded them the sort of lifestyle that allowed them to do exactly what they wanted whenever they felt like it. They took full advantage, never taking anyone or anything else into consideration when making their decisions.

I was truly flabbergasted the day Tracy called to tell me she’d bought the place, even more so when she called me three weeks later saying they were headed to Japan for something related to Mark’s business. Naturally, she wanted me, the artist who could work from anywhere, to come and oversee the renovations.

Tracy didn’t make commitments. She and Mark didn’t own a home. They didn’t have children. As far as I knew, they didn’t even have a consistent place to pick up their mail. Then suddenly, within a month, she purchased a castle, adopted a puppy, and passed both ginormous responsibilities over to me.

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