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Meagan McKinney - The Ground She Walks Upon

Meagan McKinney - The Ground She Walks Upon

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Published by Joanna Fabricante

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Published by: Joanna Fabricante on Jun 22, 2012
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04/20/2013

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Thegranddaughterofawitch,RavennavowstomarryonlyforlovebutfindsherfatelinkedtothatofLordNiallTrevallyan,anaristocraticmanwhowearsaserpentringthatmatchesherown.Reprint.MeaganMcKinney-TheGroundSheWalksUponInthewildernessofhersoul,Ravennaknewshecouldmarryonlyforlove.Yettheviolet-eyedgranddaughterofawitchwasinmysteriousthralltothemasterofCountyLir.HewasNiall,LordTrevallyan,whoworeaserpentring,twintoherown,anaristocratwhorejectedher,thentriedtomakeherhisslave.Shewasawomannow,butunawareoftheirshareddestiny--andtheriskofdrowninginthegreeneyesofthemanshe'dlearnedtohate.Hewantedmorethanherbody:nolessthanhersoul.TheravishingbeautywhoturnedNiallTrevallyan'sbloodtofirewasdestinedtobehis,byasecretcursehereviledandanancientsetofringsthatwouldunitethemforever.Thelordwhoruledthecountywaspledgedtowinherlove--buttodoso,hehadtosetfreethebeautyheburnedtopossess....TheGroundSheWalksUponbyMeaganMcKinneyInthewildernessofhersoul,Ravennaknewshecouldmarryonlyforlove.Yettheviolet-eyedgranddaughterofawitchwasinmysteriousthralltothemasterofCountyLir.HewasNiall,LordTrevallyan,whoworeaserpentring,twintoherown,anaristocratwhorejectedher,thentriedtomakeherhisslave.Shewasawomannow,butunawareoftheirshareddestiny--andtheriskofdrowninginthegreeneyesofthemanshe'dlearnedtohate.Hewantedmorethanherbody:nolessthanhersoul.TheravishingbeautywhoturnedNiallTrevallyan'sbloodtofirewasdestinedtobehis,byasecretcursehereviledandanancientsetofringsthatwouldunitethemforever.Thelordwhoruledthecountywaspledgedtowinherlove--buttodoso,hehadtosetfreethebeautyheburnedtopossess...."WHAT'SWRONGWITHMETHATYOULOOKATMETHEWAYYOUDO?"Thewhispermayhavelefthermouth,butitcamefromherachingheart.Hestaredatherfromhischair,sofaraway,morethananarm'slengthaway,butstillclose.Closeenoughsothatshecouldseethecolorofhiseyes.Greenstonesawashindeepwater."There'snothingwrongwithyou.You'rebeautiful.Sobeautifulthat..."Hisgazeflickereddownherfaceandfigure.SheworetheoldscratchybluedressshehadworntoPeterMaguire'sfuneral.Itwasnotadresstowinbeaux,butheseemedhardlytonoticewhatshewasclothedin.Helookedtoodeeplytonoticethesuperficial."...sobeautifulI'dliketo..."Hisgazelockedwithhers.Themessageinhiseyesscaredher.Andtheexcitementshefeltfromit,evenmoreso."Shallyoubemylover,Ravenna?"Hesaidwithwordswhathadalreadybeenspoken.PublishedbyDellPublishingadivisionofBantamDoubledayDellPublishingGroup,Inc.1540BroadwayNewYork,NewYork10036
 
Copyright©1994byRuthGoodmanISBN:0-440-21579-XReprintedbyarrangementwithDelacortePressPrintedintheUnitedStatesofAmericaPublishedsimultaneouslyinCanadaJune1995ForT.Y.R.oberson,myfather-in-law.Thanksforbeingsuchafan.AndthanksfortheothertwoToms.Withallmylove.PARTONE:BeltaineLove,allalike,noseasonknows,norclime,Norhours,days,months,whicharetheragsoftime.?JOHNDONNE(1572-1631)"TheSunRising"Chapter1IRELAND1828Thedayhadstartedoutlikeanyother.ReverendJamieDrummond,theonlyChurchofIrelandvicarintheCatholiccountyofLir,tookawalkwithhisspanielafterbreakfast.Bynoon,hewasinhisstudyreadingtheEpistles,andhehadhisteaintherectoryatpreciselyfouro'clock.Afterward,henappeduponthevelvetsetteewhilethehousekeeper,Mrs.Dwyer,cleanedthewoodworkinthechurch.ReverendDrummondsleptpeacefully.Hemighthavewakenedpastthedinnerhourifnotforthescream."Jaysus,MaryandJoseph!Tisthedivilatworkinthechurch!"Mrs.Dwyercriedoutassheranintotherectory.Hesatupstraightandfumbledforhiscoat,embarrassedthatMrs.Dwyerhadseenhiminhisshirtsleeves."Whatisthisallabout?"hegrumbled."You'reshriekinglikeabanshee."Heslickedbackhisgrayhairandrubbedhismuttonchopsasiftryingtowakehimself."'Tistheworkofthedivil!I'veneverseensuchasightinallmedays!"Theplumphousekeeperwrungherhandsinherapron.ThehemofherdresswaswetwithspilledwashwaterandherplainIrishfeatureswerepalewithfright."Mrs.Dwyer,thedevildoesnotresideinmychurch,Icanassureyouofthat,"Drummondsaidwithapatient,put-upontoneinhisvoice,asifhewereusedt
 
odealingwithpagans."'TistheworkofthedivilIsaw,Reverend,andnoonewillbeconvincin'meotherwise.Golookyourselfandyou'llseewhatI'veseen."Hestraightenedhisclericalcollarandtookasipofhiscoldtea,clearlyseeingnoneedtorush."Whydon'tyoutellmewhatyousawfirst.""'Tisthecross.Thecross!""Whichcross?Thecrossoverthealtar?Ortheoneonthesteeple?"Hescowled.TheseIrish,theywerealwayssoexcitable.Itwasawondertheycouldgetthemselvesupinthemorningandseetotheirtoilswithoutworkingthemselvesintoafrenzy.Ifsomethingwasamissinthechurch,itwasclearlythefaultofGriffenO'Rooney.ThedullIrishlouttendedthegraveyardandthechurch,andthingswerealwaysgoingawrybeneaththeman'sineptcare."'Tisthecross,Reverend."Mrs.Dwyer'svoiceloweredtoawhisper."Theolddruidpieceinthecasebythefont.'Tisglowin'.Iswearit,andifIbelyin'mayIburninhellforever."ReverendDrummondfeltthehacklesriseonhisneck.Ofallthethingshe'dexpectedMrs.Dwyertosay,thatsurelywasn'toneofthem.ButtheseIrish,theywerealwaysrunningonaboutfaeriesandghosts.Ittooklittle
aflickerofshadow,anunexplainednoise
togetthemspooked.AndMrs.Dwyerhadspookedherselfnow.Yettheveryfactshe'dremarkedontheolddruidartifactlefthimabitunsettled.Aflickerofremembranceralliedinthecornerofhisthoughts."Theolddruidcross,yousay?Isthatwhatyousawthatscaredyou?"Thehousekeepernodded,tight-lippedinfear.Drummondstaredather,histhoughtssuddenlyveryfaraway.Itsimplycouldn'tbe.Hehadalmostforgottenthetalkhe'dhadwithhisfatherwhenhehadbeenbutalad.Nowitseemedlikeadream,afadedoldmyththathaderodedbeneaththeday-to-daylivingofsixty-threeyears."Nowareyousureitwasthedruidcrossthatlookedstrangetoyou?Itwasn'tperhapsthesilverchaliceupendedonthe
""'Twasthedruidpiece,Reverend.IknowwhatIseen."Mrs.Dwyercrossedherself,twiceforgoodmeasure."Allright,"hesaidhesitantly."I'llinvestigate."Hewavedforhertogatherhercourage."Comewithmeandexplainwhatyousawindetail.""Iwon'tbereturnin'there,notwiththedivilstillperformin'hisevilwork!""Nonsense!"thereverendinterrupted."Thedevilisnotatworkinmychurch!Comealongnow.""Oh,Reverend,pleasedon'tforcemetogobackthere!"Shebegantowail,andReverendDrummondwassupremelyuncomfortable."Hush,woman."Hetookherbythearm."Wewillgointhereandseewhatthisisallabout.Ofcourseitwasatrickofthelight.You'llsoonfeelquitefoolish.YoursuperstitiousIrishnaturehasgottenthebetterofyou.I'llprovetoy

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