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Fourth Tale of the Double Keltic Triad
Falling in love was easy.
But demons of the past and evil doers intent on destroying the present tear Carrie and Bryce from their new-found love and throw them into a world of deception, lies and revenge. Will family, unexpected allies and magic be enough to keep that love alive?
A pair of tiny arms wrapped around her knees prevented her from standing. A cherubic face, all wide, blue eyes over a rosebud mouth, surrounded by pale, white-blonde hair, smiled up at her.
~ * ~
With the magazines he had been looking for tucked under his arm, Bryce rose and moved toward the children’s magazines. The small, specially designed section was empty. A flare of anguish burst from the pit of his stomach. "Bree?" he whispered.
The anguish rushed to panic. Where was she? He hadn’t looked away for that long--had he? She wouldn’t run off; he’d drilled the dangers of such actions into her. In her four-year-old way, she obeyed him and limited contact with strangers. It was difficult for her. As a gregarious child, Breanna loved to talk to anyone and everyone.
Just as Bryce turned toward the front of the store where a security guard leisurely attended the entrance, he heard Bree’s high giggle. "Mommy!"
Whipping his body toward the beloved sound, he scanned the area designated as the store’s coffee shop. At the edge, near a low, metal divider, Bree had her arms wrapped tightly around a woman’s legs.
Relief flooded through him, cooling the hot panic, and Bryce closed his eyes. Embarrassment followed and heated his face. Generally, most people accepted Bree’s hijinks without a problem, but Bryce knew that someday she might meet someone who didn’t care to like her. It would surprise his daughter, and he dreaded the resulting loss of innocence.
Bryce rushed into the coffee shop and took a deep, shaking breath before he confronted his daughter and the woman who was now speaking softly to her. The gentle tones of her voice soothed his frazzled nerves and he released his held breath slowly. He looked at the woman.
And could not draw another breath.
Until she glanced up, noticed him hovering and flashed him a tentative smile. She stroked her hand over Bree’s hair and gave a minute tug to the ribbon wrapped around one of her short pigtails. "Is this yours?"
"I’m sorry if she disturbed you. She knows better than to run off." Bryce crouched beside Breanna and cupped her chin with a bent finger. "Don’t you?"
"No, darlin’. This isn’t Mommy. Mommy’s gone, remember?"
"My new mommy." The small girl climbed into the woman’s lap and wrapped her arms about the woman’s neck.
Bryce squelched the insane urge to do the same thing. Well, maybe he’d hold the woman on his lap, but having her in his arms definitely aroused some interesting, uncomfortably pleasant sensations.
The woman gave a small sound of surprise. Before Bryce could apologize a second time, she waved at the empty chair across from her. "It’s okay. Why don’t you have a seat while we sort this out." She leaned back to look into Bree’s face. "Do I look like your mommy?"
"Don’t know. She’s gone." Bree shook her head, unwrapped one arm, and patted the woman’s face. "I saw you. New mommy." With that proclamation, she snuggled into the woman’s lap and tucked her thumb between her lips. "See, Daddy?" She spoke around her thumb. "I finded her."
"Found her," Bryce corrected automatically.
"Huh?" The question in the single word startled Bryce. Was she interested in more than why Bree clung to her? He hoped so. "No, her mother died shortly after she was born. The strain of carrying a child was too great."
"How awful. You must miss her terribly."
Bryce lifted one shoulder in a casual shrug. "She was a good friend. Bree was an accident that strained our friendship." The smile reserved for his daughter stretched his lips. "A very happy accident."
"A-dent." Bree closed her eyes.
"I’m sorry. I shouldn’t pry. She just surprised me. Does she often pick out strange women and call them mommy?"
"I wonder why she chose me." The woman stroked Bree’s hair.
*lizzie made up games and stories to keep her company as a child. So, a witch lived in Grampa’s weather research station and was only held at bay by a certain weed. An ancient road grader became a boat carrying wild adventurers to islands filled with sheep that turned into lions and cannibals.
Now, the stories of her imagination are beginning to find their way to paper and pixels. Filled with fantasy and love, these tales take her far from the mundane world.
When *lizzie has to return to that mundane life, she’s a lead cook at a university dining service. Happily, the folks she works with have become accustomed to her writer’s ways and just shake their heads when she goes off on some fantastical tangent, asks strange what if questions, or just has to find a piece of paper and a pen that actually writes. One of her greatest delights is to watch the joy of writing fill a friend, and she’ll do anything to help them achieve their dream.
And someday, when she grows up, *lizzie wants to be eccentric.
*lizzie adores hearing what you think about her tales.
“It sparkles…” -- Margaret B Lawrence, author of Caresse: A Loving Touch
Lizzie Starr pens an original romantic fantasy with Keltic Flight. I enjoyed learning that faeries can be sexy. The winged hero Korin faced difficult, even lethal obstacles sure to destroy his chance to win Nanceen. His determination and devotion made this inter-species romance a very pleasurable read.
Book Publisher: Wings ePress
No. of Pages: 318
Paper Weight (lb): 13.4
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