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THEIR OWN ANAM CARA ... A JOURNEY OF DESTINY
By Laura Veazey
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2013Laura Veazey
All rights reserved.
The Beginning or the End?
It all began one bright, sunshine-filled afternoon when she was standing out on a cliff overlooking the ocean. As her mind wandered over the last few months of her life, a glimpse of color came into her view. It got brighter and brighter, and as she kept gazing, she realized that it was a rider wearing the Clan Drummond plaid. What an incredible and magnificent presence he was, riding with such confidence, back straight, long hair streaming, a proud and somewhat arrogant tilt to his head. As he got closer, he saw the lass, his eyes intense.
His line of sight covered the cliff, the castle, and the forest behind, searching, always searching, for members of the McCampbell clan. Over the last number of months, various members of Clan Drummond had been kidnapped, sometimes tortured, and held ransom as the Evil McCampbell continued his maniacal rise to power. The next threat, of course, was the taking of his precious lady.
Filled with relief at this particular moment, his eyes captured her every movement; the glowing smile, the bright blue eyes, outreached arms, long flaming hair blowing in the wind. Having known her since they were infants, he still continued to be amazed at the rush of emotion she elicited from him.
As he rode closer, he noticed her wonderful smile growing ever wider, as though she had not seen him for ages. His focus on her was suddenly distracted by a mass of blackbirds rising on the edge of the thick forest behind her. His gut tightened and out of experience or maybe instinct he kicked his horse hard wanting to close the distance quickly between him and his lass. The events of the last several months still weighing on his mind ...
The McCampbell Clan was one of many clans in those days that tried to keep their lands and titles by aiding the pompous English in such a way that no matter who came out on top of a dispute, the two-faced clan chief managed to be on the right side. This tactic almost ruined the chance for Scotland to be her own country and that is why Lord Aelean of Drummond had such a hatred for the maniacal and sneaky Ivan McCampbell, chief of the clan. As the skills of the father are handed down from one generation to another, so be the stories of pain and suffering from the hands of others. Sir Ailin knew all too well the feelings of his father and that of the other elder clan members.
Leif Ivanovich McCampbell, born of rape by a Viking sailor, took on the name of his mother's people. Having grown up an embittered orphan, as his mother had died immediately upon his birth, he seized every opportunity for advancement.
As a youth in Dublin (then known as Dubh Linn), he sold his body to sailors, perhaps finding some connection in his child's mind to a father who abandoned him before he was even known or perhaps only to make money to survive. As a teen, he saw opportunities in different cultures, carrying secrets from one to the other; secrets heard during sexual interludes. No man or country was protected.
Using the name of his mother's people allowed him access into Scotland, and hence, between both countries, to the English nobility. The English, illiterate to the differences in the spellings of names, trusted him as the Scot he pretended to be, not understanding that the "Mc", which in Irish meant "of", as opposed to the Scottish "Mac," which would have meant "son of," a mistake that would one day prove dire both for he and they. However, in so trusting, and as secrets were passed and confidences betrayed, he was given more and more tracts of land. As those lands were amassed, his so-called "clan," which was actually only made up of bands of outlaws, grew as well.
As the "clan" grew, so did his insane quest for power. That little embittered boy had grown into a furious, hateful man, bent only on satisfying his greed, jealousy, and fury. That fury was now directed at Clan Drummond.
Though none of his hatred made any sense to anyone but himself, in his sick and twisted mind, the peaceful and law-abiding Drummonds were the enemy. Sir Ailin had bested him for five years running, in the annual Highland games. Rather than respecting the athletic prowess and goodwill that go with the games, he felt threatened and personally attacked. Perhaps a piece of this was also the obvious love that Lord Drummond showed both of his sons and the lack of love that he grew up with.
In this vein, he began putting together a plan of revenge, and that revenge meant taking away everything and everyone important to Ailin. Because of the love and respect that Sir Ailin elicited from his own clan, sept, and those in the district, and the fear associated with the destruction continuously wrought by McCampbell, he became known to all as Evil Ivan.CHAPTER 2
If only he could do the things he had dreamed of since he was a wee lad running through the woods, playing in the fields of heather and cooling off in the crystal clear highland streams. He could only dream ...
So many things in his life had changed since his betrothed had been taken from him. It seemed that all of his dreams had died when it appeared that Angel had died. For you see, found on the edge of the grounds were her tattered and bloodied garments, making it look as though she had been mauled and eaten by the savage boars that roamed the woods. Ailin became blinded by a grief stronger than all but one emotion he had ever known; their love.
He constantly thought about all of the dreams and memories that were both his, hers, and theirs. He remembered his happiest days as those when he rode the highland trails with his beautiful Angel. Sometimes she snuck out of the castle, dressed as a boy, riding as he rode, on her own mount, a feisty mare. Other times, she rode with arms wrapped tightly around him, as they rode Ruadh, his great red steed. Always, he remembered the sound of her voice and her laughter on the wind. She was always full of mischief and could make even the worst of times something to laugh at.
He knew in his heart of hearts that she was his equal, perhaps not in the physical sense, but mentally, logically, in wit, and in cunning. They were one, each completing the other half. They fit together as a hand-in-glove, filling each other's voids with one another's strengths. Where he had brawn, she possessed herbal healing secrets passed on by her female elders.
He had grown up dreaming of owning his own lands, not just inheriting the Drummond lands and of raising a family with her; a family with many sons he could teach the ways of the clan to, as well as daughters who could bear him many fine grandchildren for his old age. However, with the constant threat of opposing chieftains and the barrage of the McCampbell on his home and family, he had, of late, become disillusioned prior to her "passing," of being able to start their family.
He had shared with Angel how worried he constantly was that one or more of his family would be captured by Ivan. Though he knew he still had some control over his life, he knew that many of their dreams had to be put on hold for a bit. His last words to her were, "Once the aggressors to the clan lands are vanquished, I can then take a deep breath without worry that it might be my or your last. Only then, M'Aingeal, can I pursue my dreams for the home and family we've always wanted."
Now that she was gone, he could only blame himself for not having protected her, and for having put their dreams on hold. All he wanted in his grief, was to join his sweet Angel in the Otherworld.
Horrified at what had happened to his woman, Ailin had fallen on the ground where her ripped and bloodied clothing had been found. His moans
Excerpted from THEIR OWN ANAM CARA ... A JOURNEY OF DESTINY by Laura Veazey. Copyright © 2013 by Laura Veazey. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
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Table of Contents
ONE—The Beginning or the End?.................... 9
TWO—What If?.................... 12
FOUR—A Queen.................... 36
FIVE—Our Families.................... 38
SIX—Selkies, the Filid, and the Like.................... 42
EIGHT—Power or Illusion.................... 65
NINE—A Time of Coming Into One's Power.................... 70
TEN—Ceidi Fields.................... 89
ELEVEN—A Princess By Rights.................... 104