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Beyond the hidden gate, p.3
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       Beyond The Hidden Gate, p.3

           InkSpell Publishing
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dread that took possession of her, the moment the king assigned Aeden, Darach, and Malachi, the duty of retrieving the cauldron. Nathair would expect them, knowing the king would select his most skillful warriors. In turn, the warlock would set his most cunning trap in order to destroy them. No, her heart screamed. No. She couldn’t let that happen.

  Aeden found her in the garden, in her deepest moment of despair. He took her into his arms and held her close to his chest.

  “Don’t worry, Aynia,” he had said as he stroked her back. “We’ve devised an infallible strategy. I vow we’ll return victorious by the month’s end.”

  She closed her eyes against the pain. “No plan is infallible, Aeden. You understand this better than most.”

  He took a small step back and fused his gaze to hers. “Nothing will prevent me from returning to you. That, my love, is a promise you can count on.”

  Aeden kissed her then, just as he kissed her now. And in the same moment he left her standing in the garden, she devised a plan of her own. She needed to pass through the gate first, for Nathair would not expect her—

  The rattle of the door latch ended the kiss. Aeden leaped to his feet and dashed for the table. He took hold of a kitchen knife, just as the door swung open. As Malachi and Darach burst into the room, he dropped the blade onto the table, and let loose an exasperated huff.

  “Good way to get killed,” he said.

  “No, I don’t think so. You were a little too preoccupied to pose any kind of serious threat,” said Malachi as he flipped Aeden’s dagger into the air, caught it, and then flung it toward him. He looked past Aeden then and gave her a wink. “How are you doing, Aynia?”

  “Much better—now that all the missing pieces have returned,” she replied as she swung her legs over the mattress and vacated the bed. Aeden extended a hand toward her as she joined her handsome companions in the center of the room.

  “Did you find the cauldron?” asked Aeden.

  Malachi nodded. “That we did— along with some of Nathair’s prized talismans. Should the man somehow survive his ordeal and discover a way to escape his tomb, he won’t be nearly so dangerous.”

  “Excellent,” said Aeden and as he turned to meet her gaze, he added, “Then let’s go home.

  The moment they approached the portal, everyone dismounted their horses. Aynia then cast her gaze toward the stone gate, outlined with strands of ivy and lush vegetation. The golden lettering of the Tir na n-Og, welcomed those who could see and decipher the message etched atop the arch of the door. Malachi opened the portal and with reins in hand, stepped through first. Darach followed.

  Then, just as she moved forward, Aeden tugged on her hand, and turned her around to face him. He cuddled her close and as he gazed into her eyes, he said, “I love you Aynia, more than life itself, so promise me, you’ll never cross this gate, or any other gate, ever again, unless I’m by your side.” He brushed his lips against hers. “Promise me—”

  Her heart skipped a beat and then quickened its pace. She closed her eyes. “Only if you stop this nonsense and kiss me,” she replied in a breathless sort of rush.

  He wasted no time in complying with her request and the ardent kiss stole what little breath she had left. When at last he gave her leave to breathe, she caressed his jaw, took a deep breath, and said, “I love you, Aeden. And I promise that with each rising sun, that love will do naught but grow stronger.”

  The kiss he gave in response to her heartfelt comment, quite easily surpassed all others.

  More Books From The Author

  One man, one woman, separated by centuries,. Can their love bridge both space and time?

  Available for Pre-Order at:

  Inkspell Publishing Webstore, Barnes & Noble

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