Wayward Ink Publishing has a huge sale this week on their fantasy-supernatural-paranormal titles, including my Callum’s Fate!
In 1780, Scotland, following a harsh year of drought, Callum Mackenzie is forced from his father’s farm in the hopes of finding work.
But as fate would have it, Callum is lured onto the moors by the will-o-the-wisp. Lost in the dark, he falls into enchantment, encountering faeries and nymphs, until he stumbles into the arms of a licentious Barrow-Wight who lays claim to his soul.
Hearing his silent pleas, Donal sends Liam the gruagach (faery) to rescue Callum and bring him to his farm, a place of refuge from the Fae.
Callum is happy working on Donal’s farm, slowly falling in love with the beautiful, silver-haired gruagach.
Yet there’s something wrong in the nearby forest….
Despite Donal’s warnings, Callum is lured into the forest and becomes tangled in its magic, easy prey for the Barrow-Wight.
Will Liam be able to strike a deal with the Barrow-Wight to save Callum’s life, or has Callum found his last resting place instead?
“Hello?” he called, heart quickening. This wasn’t the deathly stillness of the bodach. It had sounded like a young woman, as lost and alone as he. He hurried forward, stumbling on the undergrowth in his haste. He skirted a particularly large rowan tree growing over the water, and spotted her when he came around the other side.
Callum’s heart jumped, then beat sluggishly with fear. A bean-nighe! Another terrible messenger of doom. The woman’s green dress blended with the forest, making her hard to see in the dim light. Flowing hair obscured her face as she bent over the creek and washed a bloodstained coat in the cold water. He didn’t have to move closer to see it was the cloak he’d lost on the moors.
Sweet Lord, she foretells my death. Callum rubbed his eyes and ran a hand through his hair, fighting the manic laughter bubbling in his chest. He had barely reached his twentieth year and his life was already forfeit.
Tears burned his eyes. “Liam?” he whispered, longing see the gruagach one more time. If he had the brave lovely man with him, he wouldn’t be so afraid to meet his fate. He whimpered when a hand touched his hip, terrified to look and see the gray form of the bodach there, come to claim his soul.
Warm, plump lips nibbled his ear. “She hasn’t seen you yet. Come away, my love.”
Callum sagged as strong arms clasped him close. He heard the beat of his lover’s heart under his ear, and Liam brushed the hair off his face and murmured words of comfort. “There, my sweet. I won’t let them hurt you.”
“I’ve been so afraid.”
“I know, my heart. I was on the moors or I would have been here sooner. Come away.”
Callum held the gruagach’s hand like a child as Liam led him from the creek. He shuddered as the woman sent up a piercing wail as if he’d already died. His lover slid an arm around his waist and his breath was warm on Callum’s cheek. “Pay her no mind. She must be confused. You seem very much alive to me.”
He glanced up to meet Liam’s descending lips. They kissed long and passionately, his darling’s tongue tasting of honey and warmth and life. His blood heated and he felt the satisfying weight as his cock responded to his lover’s firm touch through his trousers. He pulled back slightly to catch his breath and gasped in surprise, bewildered to find they stood on the edge of the forest. The muffled gurgle of the creek carried on the warm air as it passed the foot of a gnarled rowan tree into the grassland beyond.
Liam chuckled and tugged on his hand. “Only a few steps, darling.”
Callum hesitated. The moors spread outside the wall of trees, the barrows so close a chill of foreboding ran up his spine. “Why did you bring me here?” he asked, aching to be reassured. The sly glance the gruagach sent him frightened him more than anything that had come before.