“I don’t understand what you’re so upset about,” I grumbled at Casey as I watched our three new-found friends march toward the river. “You were the one that thought we weren’t in our own time. Shouldn’t you be gloating over the fact that you were right?”
“I don’t think I let myself process anything that’s happened,” she said.
I turned to see her staring at me with wide eyes. She was still as pale as a ghost, her heart beating an erratic rhythm, her scent stained with anxiety. With her hair running riot around her, she looked more like a banshee than a werewolf. Her distress was both infectious and unbearable to my inner Mama Bear. Trying to set her to rights any way I could, I leaned over and started smoothing out her tangled locks.
She ducked out of my reach, frowning. “Quit grooming me. I’m not a baby monkey,” she said, knocking my hands away.
I made chimp noises at her and redoubled my efforts, hoping to get her to laugh. Hell, I’d even settle for a lopsided grin. Anything was better than her current panicked state, and if I had to make myself look like an idiot to bring her out of it, so be it.
She kept batting at my hands, so I started batting hers back in an attempt to reach her head. The resulting slap fight would have made our five-year-old selves hang their heads in shame.
“Okay, stop! We’re being ridiculous,” Casey said.
We let our hands drop, both of us breathing heavy. Realizing how that might have looked to anyone not familiar with our antics, I stole a glance down the hill. Of course the men had turned back to us. Of course they were staring up at us with mingled looks of confusion and concern.
I forced myself to assume what I hoped was a reassuring smile. “Everything’s fine here, gentlemen!” I called down, waving them onward. We’re perfectly sane, I swear.
They shook their heads and turned their backs on us, muttering to each other. Thanks to my supernatural hearing, I could make out every word. Thanks to the fact that they were speaking Gaelic again, I understood none of what they were saying. Probably a good thing.
I turned to Casey. “For the love of the Goddess, brush your hair out. It’s not for your sake, it’s for mine. I’m stressed out enough as it is. If one of them makes fun of you for that hurricane victim hairdo of yours, I might snap. My jaws. Around their neck.”
Her gaze rose above me, to where my own mane crouched in my peripheral vision like the creature from the black lagoon. A small smile tugged at her lips. “In that case, you might want to see to yourself first.”
I followed her advice, watching as she likewise raked her fingers through her strands. Her scent had calmed a little thanks to our childish outburst, and performing such an inane activity had given her something to focus on aside from the fact that we were stuck in sixteen-frigging-forty, but I still didn’t like her pallor.
“So, how are we to keep you from freaking out again?” I asked. “I think it’s safe to say that finding out we’ve been sent back in time won’t be the only shock we get while on this little adventure of ours, and you freezing every time we’re hit with jarring information isn’t exactly the best response.”
“Hey, I wasn’t the only one that got a bit peely-weely,” she pointed out.
“Yeah, but I caw cannied like I was told and recovered almost immediately,” I argued.
“You don’t even know what that means,” she said, rolling her eyes at me.
I spared her a look. “Like you do? Stop evading and answer the question.”
She heaved a sigh. “I’m pretty sure I’ll be fine from here on out. I just got so excited that we might have been sent back in time that I didn’t really get around to believing that we might have been sent back in time. Hearing him say what year it is forced me to face everything that’s happened to us in the last forty eight hours. Cailleach being a goddess, teleportation, time travel,” her gaze shifted to the MacFaols, “coming face-to-face with a trio of seventeenth century Highlanders who we may or may not be descendants of.”
“Okay. So how about from here on out you try to keep your history boners from diverting all the blood from your brain so you can process things as they happen?”
She grinned, some color finally returning to her cheeks. “Deal.”
My gaze went to where the men were just now disappearing into the tree line. I frowned as her words sank in. “I should probably stop trying to look up their skirts until we figure out whether or not we’re related, huh?”
“Ew. Yes. One of those men could be an uncle, or our great-grandfather.”
“What did Gran say her brother’s names were?”
“Morgan, Teague, and Hamish MacFaol.”
“And her dad?”
A soft nickering came from behind us, where the horses had been left to graze, still saddled, with no one to guard them or the rest of the men’s belongings. I turned to spare them a glance. “These MacFaol boys are awfully trusting of strange women. What’s stopping us from robbing them blind and galloping out of here?”
“I’m guessing at some point in the process of hauling us out of the heather and plopping us down beside each other they noticed that we currently have the combined strength of a two-week-old kitten. That probably set their minds at ease about our ability to carry out grand theft horseflesh.”
I smiled at that. “Good point. And even if we miraculously recover our strength in the next few minutes, we’d still have to convince the horses to let us ride them,” I said, reaching a hand out toward the nearest one. “Here, horsey, horsey, horsey,” I coaxed.
He flicked his ears at me and took a few steps back, shaking his head while snorting, as if trying to dislodge a foul scent from his nose. I didn’t take it personally; we had this effect on most animals – which would make getting around in a time without mechanized transportation a royal pain in the ass. Or feet, since we’d likely have to walk everywhere. The men had laughed off their horses’ response to us and chalked it up to something that sounded like fey-ool-uh, letting their mounts wander where they would before turning their attentions back to us. That the horses weren’t similarly disturbed by the men’s scents meant they’d had plenty of time to acclimate to their not-so-human smell. Made me wonder how long they’d been…whatever they were.
I gave up trying to tempt one of the horses closer and turned to watch their owners’ retreating backs. They’d kept up a never-ending stream of friendly, totally unintelligible banter while they’d settled me and Casey beside each other and made sure we were comfortable. From what I’d determined before they’d left us, they were either taking a dip in the river to wash the road dust from their skin, or they were off to skin a mermaid. Really ‘skin’ was the only word I was sure of, but I thought I heard ‘wash’ too, so I was hoping they’d come back clean, and not dragging the bloody carcass of some mythical fish-woman behind them.
“You understand anything they said?” I asked my cousin.
She frowned. “Less than I would have liked. Their accents are awfully thick, aren’t they? Much worse than Gran’s.” She fell quiet then, her frown deepening.
A sense of foreboding settled over me as I recognized the look. “What is it?”
Wait a second. Why was I asking? Hadn’t I learned my lesson the last time she’d answered that same question?
She responded before I could retract it. “I think they’re the ones we need to free. I think it’s safe to assume that Cailleach does everything for a reason, and it’s too much of a coincidence that she sent us back to our own clan lands only to find that our clansmen don’t smell or act like they’re proper wolves. It’s sixteen forty, which means the second Bishops’ War, which is part of the War of the Three Kingdoms. Remember how I couldn’t find any trace of the MacFaol pack before then? What if it’s because there was no trace to be found?”
“Because they’re cursed? Makes sense. I wonder how much they know about what happened to us. It seemed like they knew exactly where to find us. What was it they said about the tai shed?”
“They said the taibhsear,” she spelled it out for me, “hadn’t said anything about us being outlanders. You know that word, Charlie. Gran uses it when she and Temperance Howard go at each other. It’s the Gaelic word for seer.”
“Suuuuure,” I said. Like I paid any attention to their words when they got snippy; I was usually too busy taking bets on whether or not their argument would end in fisticuffs. “So we need to find this taibhsear and ask her about whatever it was she saw.”
Casey nodded. “Agreed. That’s probably the best place for us to start. And if she’s a truly powerful seer, she might even be able to tell us exactly what we need to do.”
I cocked an eyebrow at her. “You really think it’ll be that easy?”
She shook her head. “No, nothing ever is, but I’m trying to be optimistic here. When they get back, we need to find out why they were sent here and how much they know. Then we need to figure out how far away their taibhsear is from us, and we need to get them to take us to her without running into any other humans. Or preternaturals. Really, if we could just avoid everything else with a pulse, that would be good.”
“What’s with the stealth mission?”
“The Butterfly Effect,” she said.
I don’t want to know, I don’t want to know, I don’t want to know…
The way she was looking at me with a mixture of eagerness and excitement made it clear that she was waiting for me to ask the question. Which meant that she was gearing up for a geek-out. Which meant that if I didn’t ask, she’d probably be disappointed.
I sighed, heavily. “What’s the Butterfly Effect?”
She straightened, clearing her throat; classic Casey pre-lecture procedure. “It’s a term used in Chaos Theory to describe how minute deviations can have an effect on a massive scale. An example could be that the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in western Africa might somehow add the last critical bit of wind strength needed to turn an atmospheric disturbance into a full-blown hurricane.”
“Oh. That not only makes a strange sort of sense, but it also didn’t make my head hurt. Carry on,” I said, grinning at her.
She shot me a look. “You know, you really don’t give yourself enough credit. I bet if you picked up a few more of the books I keep trying to get you to read, you wouldn’t need me to explain any of this.”
“Ah, but what’s the point of reading those books when I have you to summarize them for me?” I said, nudging her shoulder with my own.
She barked a laugh. “Well played. Anyway, I’m a little worried that if we’re not careful, our presence here could trigger some unforeseen consequences. What if we bump into someone destined to play a small but critical part in history and somehow manage to knock them off course? Cromwell might never defeat and execute Charles I, Charles II might never survive to reclaim the throne, and before we know it, we’ve rewritten all of history, writing our future selves out of it in the process.” She picked up speed as she spoke, anxiety creeping back into her scent. “If we’re never born to be sent back here, that might create some sort of time fluctuation that could result in the total annihilation of our planet, which could collapse into a black hole, which might then lead to the compl-”
“Woah, woah, woah,” I said, reaching over to shake her out of it. She was breathing hard, her eyes glazed over like she was having some sort of fit. I gave her another shake for good measure, only relenting when her gaze finally focused on me. “That can’t happen, Case. Remember what you said earlier? That because Cailleach was there to send us back here we must succeed in freeing her? Doesn’t the same apply to the rest? That if we were born in the first place, we must not cause the complete destruction of the universe?”
She took a few deep, calming breaths. “You’re right. You have to be right.” Her gaze went past me then, down into the valley. I turned to see the men emerging from the trees, their hair wet. That was quick. “It’s too late for them,” she said. “Whatever damage we’ve caused in their futures has already been wrought. And we obviously have to get to the taibhsear. But, just to be safe, I think we should avoid all other people like the plague.”
I grinned at her. “I get it. Because it’s sixteen forty, so they might actually have the plague? Nice one.”
She frowned at me. “No, I didn’t mean…Goddess, you’re incorrigible.”
“Just trying to get your mind off of quantum physics. Do you think they know they’ve been cursed?” I asked in a further attempt to change the subject.
She eyed them thoughtfully, a hint of pity creeping into her expression. “Depends how long ago it happened, and how extensive the curse is. What if the curse not only dulled their senses, but their magic?”
A sliver of icy realization stabbed through me. “They could have human life spans. Which means that if the curse is old enough, and they weren’t diligent about passing down legends, they might not know that they’re not really human.”
“Which will make our task all the more difficult. And dangerous. No telling how someone might react to learning they’re a supernatural creature trapped in their human form. And if, no, when, we break the curse and they shift for the first time? Let’s just pray they know what to expect.”
We fell silent as we watched the men make their way up the hill. They’d thrown their clothes back on over wet skin, and the way their shirts clung to their chests made it hard to miss the heavy muscle beneath. I let my gaze wander over them as they approached, a trickle of unease running up my spine as I realized what I was seeing.
I had learned long ago to recognize fighting men and women at a glance. There’s a sameness about those who know how to handle themselves in a physical altercation, an awareness of their bodies and what they can do with them that’s unmistakable once you know what to look for. Those who live with the daily threat of violence take this awareness to a whole new level. They betray themselves in a thousand tiny ways. In the shifting of their gazes as they constantly scan their surroundings for threats. In the unconscious movement of an arm or a leg as they reassure themselves of the weight of the weapon strapped to it. Those who excel at doling out said violence know themselves and their weapons so well that the only way they betray their abilities is by their complete and utter lack of tells. Maria was a perfect example of that. These men, surprisingly, were another. They moved with such total self-confidence that should a vampire suddenly appear behind me and try to rip out my jugular, I had no doubt that he’d find a bullet buried between his eyes before his fangs even finished descending.
The MacFaols jostled and teased each other as they approached, looking for all the world like a trio of handsome young Scotsmen out for a stroll through the heather. They were speaking Gaelic, so I understood nothing but their easy smiles and obvious camaraderie. That dangerous grace paired with such joviality reminded me of some of my packmates – hell, it reminded me of me and Casey – which made me wonder what kind of lives they’d led to end up this way.
“I doubt I’d ever be able to laugh again if I was trapped in human form,” Casey said, rousing me from my thoughts.
As if they had heard her, the men stopped laughing and looked up at us.
“We havnae haed much use fer it,” the giant said. “But tis hard tae be fashed when yer taibhsear says yer salvation has come.”
Someone with human hearing couldn’t have made our words out from such a distance. Obviously their powers weren’t so crippled after all. Just how good was their hearing?
“Guess they know about the curse,” I told Casey, my voice even lower than hers had been.
“Aye, we ken,” the dark-haired one said as they reached the crest of the hill. That answered that question. And also what ken meant. “Ahm spewin’ feathers,” he continued, pulling a leather flask from his saddle bag. He uncorked it and took a long swig, the breeze carrying the scent of alcohol to my nose. “D’ye wan ta swally?” he asked, looking back and forth between me and Casey.
I stared at him, waiting for his words to make sense. Spewin’ feathers? Come on, brain, figure it out. My brain refused. Seeing our confusion, he helpfully held the flask in our direction and shook it at us, the universal sign for Would you like some?
Note to self: d’ye = do you, wan ta = want a, and swally = …swallow? Sip? UGH.
“Pass,” I said. Adding alcohol to my current state of confusion could only end badly.
He frowned at me. Apparently our communication problem went both ways.
“No, thank you,” Casey corrected.
“Yeah, that,” I managed.
“Suit yerself,” he said, taking another hearty swig. “D’ye wan ta swally, Hugh?”
The second largest man looked up from where he was fussing with a strap on his saddle. “Aye. Gi’ us a wee nip.”
The dark-haired one tossed it to him and then ambled over to sit between me and Casey, extending his legs out in front of him as he leaned back and supported himself with his hands. “Nice troosers yer wearin’,” he said looking back and forth between us. “Fancy a pair misself. Oi, Magnus! Come hae a look at tha lasses troosers!”
The giant, Magnus, shook his head as he joined us. “Leave tha lasses be, Kieran. Cannae ye see tha they’ve naught tae say tae a man wi’ a face like a skeplt arse?”
Judging by the way Hugh inhaled a mouthful of alcohol and then spewed it out as he spluttered in laughter, Magnus had either made some sort of joke, or he’d just insulted the smaller man.
Kieran waved him off, an easy grin splitting his face. “Awa’n bile yer heid.”
This was getting ridiculous. I leaned forward to look past him at Casey. “Bile yer heid? Skeplt arse?”
She shrugged. “How should I know?”
“Because you’re the brainiac. How the hell am I supposed to insult people here if they don’t even know to be offended when I do? Or vice versa?”
She stared at me, somehow managing to both grin and frown at the same time. “Seriously? That’s what you’re concerned about right now? Finding out whether or not they’ll understand what douchecanoe means?”
Kieran turned toward me, frowning so hard that his eyebrows touched. “Douchecanoe?”
“You see what I mean?” I said, pointing at him.
Casey rolled her eyes at me before turning back to the men. “Magnus, Kieran, Hugh, I’m Casey, and this is my cousin Charlie.”
The giant winced. “Och, pardon our lack o’ manners. Tis been a lang day. Where are ye fae tae hae such names?”
Fae tae hae? I would have killed for an interpreter. Where was Gran when you needed her?
“Um…what?” Casey asked.
“Where d’ye hail from?” Hugh clarified, speaking slowly.
“From…” Casey looked at me behind Kieran’s back. I shrugged at her unhelpfully. “Far away,” she finished lamely.
“Just as tha taibhsear tald us,” Magnus said.
Casey latched on to the mention of their seer. “What else did your taibhsear say? How did she know where to send you? Did she tell you what we need to do?”
“Aye, right! Conal tell us wha’ e’s seen?” Kieran hooted, clutching his stomach as he laughed.
“Our taibhsear waud gaun his dinger o’er being ca’d a lass,” Magnus said, chuckling.
“Gaun his dinger?” Casey prompted.
“Angry,” Magnus answered.
This casual sexism was sobering. Had they been cursed so long that they’d assimilated into human culture? Goddess, I hoped not. “Why? Because it’s an insult to be a woman?” I asked.
“Nay, lass, because tis what a’bodie assumes. Taibhsears are seldom lads.”
“Oh.” Whoops. Guess that made me the asshole.
“Will ye two quit yer havering an come help me?” Hugh called, hauling the saddlebags off one of the horses.
We fell silent as the men went about unpacking their belongings and setting up a makeshift camp. Casey had a constipated look on her face that meant she was bursting with questions for them. I almost felt bad for the MacFaols for the grilling they were about to endure. Scratch that. I felt really bad for it, because it meant I’d be forced to listen to their answers and try to work out what they were saying. All these haes, havnaes, cannaes, and taes were going to drive me up a frigging wall, not to mention the other phrases and sayings that must have been some amalgamation of English and Gaelic.
Might as well make the best of what would likely be my last few minutes of headache-free bliss by enjoying the view. Since they didn’t share names with the few direct ancestors we knew about, I didn’t feel so skeevy for checking them out as they worked. Strapping was the word that came to mind while looking at them. They were solid in a way that you couldn’t achieve from lifting weights. This type of compact mass only came from years of hard, physical labor, which brought my mind back around to what their lives were like. Hopefully easier than mine and Casey’s currently were.
Maybe it was all the fiery manes in our family, but I’d never found myself drawn to a man with red hair before, and no matter how handsome Hugh and Magnus were, I couldn’t bring myself to be attracted to them now. Still, they were nice to look at. Kieran, with his dark hair and mischievous green eyes, was more my type, but I’d spied a knotted bracelet on his right arm with the moon carved into its face that meant he had a mate. At least if they had maintained any werewolf culture it did. The carving reminded me of the glimpse of the MacFaol crest I’d seen earlier, and my desire to get a closer look at it.
“Hey, Kieran,” I called.
He straightened from where he’d been rummaging around in his packs. “Aye?”
“Can I see your hat – er – bonnet? I want to get a closer look at the MacFaol crest. I’ve only ever seen a drawing of it before.”
He frowned at me, clearly confused, but obliged, pulling it out of the leather fanny-pack-thing that hung from his belt to toss it to me. Casey sidled closer as I reached out and caught it. The wool of the bonnet was lined with softer, gentler fabric that felt like cotton. I took a deep breath in. Smelled like cotton, too. I turned it in my hands until the crest stared up at us, a circular, silver disk with a small, ornate wolf’s head standing out in stark relief in the center.
“Pull not the wolf’s tail,” Casey said, tracing her finger over the words carved into its circumference.
They were written in Gaelic, but we knew them by heart, because when Gran worked herself into a full fury she would scream the clan motto before launching herself at whichever packmate had been stupid enough to piss her off. Hell hath no fury like a redhead on the warpath.
I threw the hat back to Kieran after we had looked our fill. Ten minutes later, the five of us were seated in a circle, watching as Hugh coaxed a small fire into existence. Heavy clouds were rolling up the mouth of the valley – proof of the unpredictable Scottish weather that Gran had once warned us about – and the men had wanted to get a fire going before the cold they promised would blow in arrived.
“So, the taibhsear, Conal, what did he tell you?” Casey asked, having reached her bursting point.
“T’was a fortnight past he roused me from my bed in tha middle o’ tha night,” Magnus began, “havering on about a pair o’ lasses. MacFaols come from far away tae save tha clan. Free from tha curse an’ strong enough tae fight tha Fomorians.”
“Fo…Fomorians?” Casey spluttered.
“Bad news?” I asked.
She shot me a worried look. “Uh, you could say that. Remember how I told you about the Tuatha Dé Danann? The Fomorians are another race of gods. Long story short: they’re enemies.”
“Nay, lass. Not always,” Hugh said. “Sometimes they…” He waggled his brows at us, leering.
It took me a second before his meaning sunkin. Hate sex between the gods. I found that thought as intriguing as I did disturbing.
“So it was the Fomorians that cursed you? Why?” Casey asked.
Magnus shrugged. “Hard tae say. Twas nigh on a millennia ago we were cursed.”
“Fuck. My. Life,” I said.
The men all looked at me, confused.
I sighed. “It means this sucks, hard.”
Their frowns deepened.
I tried again. “This situation is absolute shite?”
“Aye,” they chorused, nodding.
“Did Conal say anything about how to break the curse?” Casey pressed.
“Nay, just told we three tae get tae Cailleach’s Càrn tae collect ye lasses and deliver ye tae him,” Kieran said.
“We need to get back to Conal as soon as possible,” Casey said.
“Wait, Cailleach’s Càrn?” I asked. “Why did she sen –”
“Everything has a name in Scotland,” Casey rushed, giving me a look I couldn’t interpret. “And a history behind it. Cailleach is a Celtic goddess. She must have done something here at some point, sacrificed a warrior or saved a virgin from a fellow god, and so the hill is named after her.”
Magnus opened his mouth, either to tell us how exactly the hill had earned its name, or to ask me what I had been about to say, but the words were stolen from his lips as the wind picked up, saving us from a potentially awkward moment. Apparently Casey wanted us to keep some things to ourselves. Which was fine, but it would have been nice to know that before I stuck my foot in my mouth.
I frowned at her as the men shifted their backs to the wind and blocked the fire from the worst of the gusts. We all huddled closer to the flames as the temperature began to drop, and when Casey continued to avoid my gaze, I decided to watch the men as they watched the fire, trying to guess at their thoughts. Throughout our discussion, their heart rates had remained as steady as their scents. They hadn’t lied about anything, but that didn’t mean they weren’t hiding something from us. As much as I wanted to trust them, I couldn’t. Cailleach was to blame for that. It’d be a long time before I brought myself to trust a stranger again. Even if those strangers were family.
“I’m sorry if this is a difficult question, but…how cursed are you, exactly?” Casey asked. “Do you know what you are?”
“Fey-ool-uh,” Magnus said.
“Casey?” I asked.
She spelled it out for me: faoladh. “It means werewolf,” she said.
Magnus raised his gaze from the flames then, and for the first time since we’d met him, all trace of humor had fled from his face. Without the light of laughter in his eyes, something darker surfaced: pain, anguish, and a haunted knowledge that raised the hair on the back of my neck.
“You can feel it, can’t you?” Casey asked. “The pull of the moon?”
He nodded and then looked away, his mouth twisted with bitterness. I saw similar expressions on the faces of the other two MacFaols. Their scents became heavy with heartache. Shit. What an asshole I was. Here we’d been, demanding information, concerned only for how quickly we could break the curse and get back to our own time, and I hadn’t spared a single thought for what breaking it might mean to these men. To what living with it was like for these men.
“I’m so sorry.” Casey said. “How…what…” She looked at me, imploring.
Casey rendered speechless. I thought I would never see the day.
“Your hearing is better than a human’s. I’m guessing the rest of your senses are as well?” I asked, pushing forward. We needed information, and as much as it sucked to force it out of them, there was no other choice. Casey might have been too nice to do it, but I wasn’t.
“Aye,” Kieran said.
“How long do you live?” I asked.
“Hard tae tell. Most o’ us turn Lunatic an hae tae be kilt after about a century,” he answered.
His words hit me like a punch to the gut. “Lunatic? You mean feral?”
Magnus barked a humorless laugh. “Feral’s a good word fer it.”
“Imagine,” Kieran began, his voice soft. “Bein’ able tae feel tha moon’s pull, but no bein’ able tae answer her call. Knowin’ ye was meant tae be more than human. Feeling it in yer bones like a ne’er ending howling.”
“Goddess take me,” Casey whispered.
Hugh leaned over and spat. “Goddess be damned.”
As if summoned by his blasphemy, the first peal of thunder rang in the distance, heralding the storm to come.
“Kieran, your moon bracelet,” I said, pressing onward. “Does it mean you have a mate?”
“Aye,” he said.
“So you’ve maintained some faoladh culture. Do you have an alpha?”
“We’ve a laird who acts like one,” he answered.
“And your strength?”
“Enough tae keep our enemies at bay,” Magnus growled.
“Oh, no,” Casey whispered.
I turned to meet her horrified expression with one of my own. What would our lives look like if our powers were crippled and our enemies were suddenly given such a staggering advantage over us? A complete fucking nightmare, I was guessing. No wonder these men moved like Maria. Their lives hadn’t been as bad as ours; they’d been worse. Much worse.
“As soon as we get enough strength back, we’ll go in as straight a line as we can to your taibhsear. Even if we have to shift to keep up with the horses,” I promised them before turning to my cousin. “Fuck everyone else, Casey. We don’t have time to take some roundabout route. We’ll just have to figure out how to avoid people when and if we run into them.”
There was fire in her eyes when she met my gaze. “Agreed.”
“Conal said ye cannae shift,” Magnus said.
“What?” I asked.
“He said whatever we do, don’ let ye shift.”
“Did he say why?” I pressed.
Kieran answered, his expression guarded. “Aye. Yer magic could draw the Fomorians to us.”
“Shit,” I said.
“Shit,” everyone else agreed.