The Immortal Highlander (Highlander Series #6)by Karen Marie Moning, Phil Gigante
Enter a world of timeless seduction, of ancient intrigue and modern-day passion. Enter the dazzling world of Karen Marie Moning, whose acclaimed Highlander novels have captivated readers, spanning the continents and the centuries, bringing ancient Scotland vividly to life. In a novel brimming with time-travel adventure and sensual heat, the bestselling author of … See more details below
Enter a world of timeless seduction, of ancient intrigue and modern-day passion. Enter the dazzling world of Karen Marie Moning, whose acclaimed Highlander novels have captivated readers, spanning the continents and the centuries, bringing ancient Scotland vividly to life. In a novel brimming with time-travel adventure and sensual heat, the bestselling author of The Dark Highlander delivers a love story that will hold you in thrall—and a hero you will most certainly never forget.
BEWARE: lethally seductive alpha male of immense strength, do not look at him. Do not touch him. Do not be tempted. Do not be seduced.
With his long, black hair and dark, mesmerizing eyes, Adam Black is Trouble with a capital T. Immortal, arrogant, and intensely sensual, he is the consummate seducer, free to roam across time and continents in pursuit of his insatiable desires. That is, until a curse strips him of his immortality and makes him invisible, a cruel fate for so irresistible a man. With his very life at stake, Adam’s only hope for survival is in the hands of the one woman who can actually see him.
Enter law student Gabrielle O’Callaghan, who is cursed with the ability to see both worlds: Mortal and Faery. From the moment she lays eyes on this stunning male, Gabby is certain of one thing: He could be her undoing. Thus begins a long, dangerous seduction. Because despite his powerful strength and unquenchable hungers, Adam refuses to take a woman by force. Instead, he will tease his way into Gabby’s bed and make her want him just as he wants her.
Now, no matter how hard Gabby tries to avoid him, Adam is everywhere, invisible to all but her—perched atop her office cubicle in too-tight jeans, whispering softly from behind the stacks of the law library, stealing her breath away with his knowing smile…all the while tempting her with the promise of unimaginable pleasure in his arms. But soon danger will intrude on this sensual dance. For as Adam’s quest to regain his immortality plunges them into a world of timeless magic and the deadly politics of the Faery queen’s court, the price of surrender could be their very lives. Unless they can thwart the conspiracy that threatens both mortal and Faery realms…and give them a shot at a destiny few mortals ever know: glorious, wondrous, endless love.
Read an Excerpt
Adam Black raked a hand through his long black hair and scowled as he stalked down the alley.
Three eternal months he'd been human. Ninety-seven horrific days to be exact. Two thousand, three-hundred and twenty-eight interminable hours. One-hundred thirty-nine thousand, six-hundred and eighty thoroughly offensive minutes.
He'd become obsessed with increments of time. It was an embarrassingly mortal affliction. Next thing he knew, he'd be wearing a watch.
Never. He'd been certain Aoibheal would have come for him by now. Would have staked his very essence on it; not that he had much left to stake.
But she hadn't, and he was sick of waiting. Not only were humans allotted a ridiculously finite slice of time to exist, their bodies had requirements that consumed a great deal of that time. Sleep alone consumed a full quarter of it. Although over the past few months he'd mastered those requirements, he resented being slave to his physical form. Having to eat, wash, dress, sleep, piss, shave, brush his hair and teeth, for Christ's sake! He wanted to be himself again. Not at the queen's bloody convenience, but now.
Hence he'd left London and journeyed to Cincinnati (the infernally long way, by plane) looking for the half-Fae son he'd sired over a millennia ago, Circenn Brodie, who'd married a twenty-first century mortal and usually resided here with her.
Upon arriving in Cincinnati, he'd found Circenn's residence vacant, and had no idea where to look for him next. He'd taken up residence himself, and had been killing time since -- endeavoring grimly to ignore that, for the first time in his timeless existence, time was returning the favor -- waiting for Circenn to return. A half-blooded Tuatha Dé, Circenn had magic Adam no longer possessed.
Adam's scowl deepened. What paltry power the queen had left him was virtually worthless. He'd quickly discovered that she'd thought through his punishment most thoroughly. The spell of the féth fiada was one of the most powerful and perception-altering that the Tuatha Dé possessed, employed to permit a Tuatha Dé full interaction with the human realm while keeping him or her undetectable by humans. It cloaked its wearer in illusion that affected short-term memory and generated confusion in the minds of those in the immediate vicinity.
If Adam toppled a newsstand, the vendor would blithely blame an unseen wind. If he took food from a diner's plate the person merely decided he/she must have finished. If he procured new clothing for himself at a shop, the owner would register an inventory error. If he snatched groceries from a passerby and flung the bag to the ground, his hapless victim would turn on the nearest bystander and a bitter fight would ensue (he'd done that a few times for a bit of sport.) If he plucked the purse from a woman's arm and dangled it before her face, she would simply walk through both him and it (the moment he touched a thing, it was sucked into the illusion cast by the féth fiada too, until he released it) and head in the opposite direction, muttering about having forgotten her purse at home.
There was nothing he could do to draw attention to himself. And he'd tried everything. To all intents and purposes, Adam Black didn't exist. Didn't even merit his own measly slice of human space.
He knew why she'd chosen this particular punishment: because he'd sided with humans in their little disagreement she was forcing him to taste of being human in the worst possible way. Alone and powerless, without a single distraction with which to pass the time and entertain himself.
He'd had enough of a taste to last an eternity.
Once an all-powerful being that could sift time and space, a being that could travel anywhere and anywhen in the blink of an eye, he was now limited to a single useful power: he could sift place over short distances, no more than a few miles. It'd surprised him the queen had left him even that much power, until the first time he'd almost been run down by a careening bus in the heart of London.
She'd left him just enough magic to stay alive. Which told him two things: one, she planned to forgive him eventually, and two, it was probably going to be a long, long time. Like probably not until the moment his mortal form was about to expire.
Fifty more years of this would drive him bloody frigging nuts.
Problem was, even when Circenn did return, Adam still hadn't figured out a way to communicate with him. Because of his mortal half, Circenn wouldn't be able to see past the féth fiada either.
All he needed, Adam brooded for the thousandth time, was one person. Just one person who could see him. A single person that could help him. He wasn't entirely without options, but he couldn't exercise a damned one of them without someone to aid him.
And that sucked too. The almighty Adam Black needed help. He could almost hear silvery laughter tinkling on the night breeze, blowing tauntingly across the realms, all the way from the shimmering silica sands of the Isle of Morar.
With a growl of caged fury, he stalked out of the alley.
Gabby indulged herself in a huge self-pitying sigh as she got out of her car. Normally, on nights like this, when the sky was black velvet, glittering with stars and a silver-scythe moon, warm and humid and alive with the glorious scents and sounds of summer, nothing could depress her.
But not tonight. Everyone else but her was out somewhere having a life, while she was scrambling to clean up after the latest fairy debacle. Again.
It seemed like all she ever did anymore.
She wondered briefly, before she managed to push the depressing thought away, what her ex was doing tonight. Was he out at the bars? Had he already met someone new? Someone who wasn't still a virgin at twenty-four?
And that was the Fae's fault too.
She slammed the car door harder than she should have and a little piece of chrome trim fell off and clattered to the pavement. It was the third bit of itself her aging Corolla had shed that week, though she was pretty sure the antenna had been assisted by bored neighborhood kids. With a snort of exasperation, she locked the car, kicked the little piece of trim beneath the car -- she refused to clean up even one more thing -- and turned toward the building.
A fairy male had just stalked out of the alley and was standing by the bench in the small courtyard-oasis near the entrance to her office building. As she watched, it stretched out on the bench on its back, folded its arms behind its head and stared up at the night sky, looking as if it had no intention of moving for a long, long time.
Damn and double-damn!
She was still in such a stew over the day's events that she wasn't sure she could manage to walk by it without giving into the overwhelming urge to kick it. It.
Fairies were "its", never "hims" or "hers." Gram had taught her at a young age not to personify them. They weren't human. And it was dangerous to think of them, even in the privacy of her thoughts, as if they were.
But heavens, Gabby thought, staring, he -- it -- was certainly male.
So tall that the bench wasn't long enough for it to fully stretch out on, it had propped one leg on the back of the bench and bent the other at the knee, its legs spread in a basely masculine position. It was clad in snug-fitting, faded jeans, a black T-shirt and black leather boots. Long silky black hair spilled over its folded arms, falling to sweep the sidewalk. In contrast to the golden, angelic ones she'd seen earlier that day, this one was dark and utterly devilish-looking.
Gold armbands adorned its muscular arms, showcasing its powerful, rock-hard biceps, and a gold torque encircled its neck, gleaming richly in the amber glow of the gaslights illuming the courtyard oasis.
Royalty, she realized, with a trace of breathless fascination. Only those of a royal house were entitled to wear torques of gold. She'd never seen a member of one of the Ruling Houses before.
And royal was certainly a good word for him, erit. Its profile was sheer majesty. Chiseled features, high cheekbones, strong jaw, aquiline nose, all covered with that luscious gold-velvet fairy skin. She narrowed her eyes, absorbing details. Unshaven jaw sculpted by five-o'clock shadow. Full mouth. Lower lip decadently full. Sinfully so, really. (Gabby, quit thinking that!)
She inhaled slowly, exhaled softly, holding utterly still, one hand on the roof of her car, the other clutching her keys.
It exuded immense sexuality; base, raw, scorching. From this distance she should not have been able to feel the heat from its body, but she could. She should not have gotten a bit dizzy from its exotic scent, but she did. As if it were twenty times more potent than any she'd encountered before; a veritable powerhouse of fairy.
She was never going to be able to walk past it. Just wasn't happening. Not today. There was only so much she was capable of in a given day, and Gabby O'Callaghan had exceeded her limits.
Stillit hadn't moved. In fact, it seemed utterly oblivious to its surroundings. It couldn't hurt to look a little longer
Besides, she reminded herself, she had a duty to surreptitiously observe as much as possible about any unknown fairy specimen. In such fashion did the O'Callaghan women protect themselves and the future of their children; by learning about their enemy. By passing down stories. By adding new information, with sketches when possible, to the multi-volume Books of the Fae, thereby providing future generations greater odds of escaping detection.
This one didn't have the sleekly muscled body of most fairy males, she noted, this one had the body of a warrior. Shoulders much too wide to squeeze onto the bench. Arms bunched with muscle, thick forearms, strong wrists. Cut abdomen rippling beneath the fabric of its T-shirt each time it shifted position a bit. Powerful thighs caressed by soft, faded denim.
No, not a warrior, she mused, that wasn't quite it. A shadowy image was dancing in the dark recesses of her mind and she struggled to bring it into focus.
More likeah, she had it! Like one of those blacksmiths of yore who'd spent their days pounding steel at a scorching forge, metal clanging, sparks flying. Possessing massive brawn, yet also capable of the delicacy necessary to craft intricately embellished blades, combining pure power with exquisite control.
There wasn't a spare ounce of flesh on it, just rock-hard male body. It had a finely honed, brutal strength that, coupled with its height and breadth, could feel overwhelming to a woman. Especially if it were stretching all that rippling muscle on top of-
Stop that, O'Callaghan! Wiping tiny beads of sweat from her forehead with the back of her hand, she drew a shaky breath, struggling desperately for objectivity. She felt as hot as the forge she could imagine him bending over, hard body glistening, poundingpounding
Go, Gabby, a faint inner voice warned. Go now. Hurry.
But her inner alarm went off too late; at that precise moment it turned its head and glanced her way.
She should have looked away. She tried to look away. She couldn't.
Copyright © 2004 by Karen Marie Moning.
Meet the Author
Karen Marie Moning is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fever series, featuring MacKayla Lane, and the award-winning Highlander series. She has a bachelor’s degree in society and law from Purdue University.
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