The druid glared at his daughter. The smoky haze from the peat fire made his eyes water. He resisted the urge to cough.
“You will obey me,” he said, his voice low. “The signs – ”
“Bah,” she said. “I see signs too, Father.”
“It must be done my way, Lassariona.” He forced power into his words. “No missteps.”
She laughed and pushed unruly auburn curls from her face. “Your magic will not work on me, Ceallachan.”
Did she use his name to mock him? He could not tell. The flames in the hearth behind her shadowed her face.
“I see true signs of what will be, Lassariona,” he said. “We must follow the path the Earth Mother has laid out for us.” He fingered his gray-shot beard. “You are but fifteen, child. Where you see events, I see the entire journey. Murchad o’Ruairc must bed the fey one and get her with child before you go to him.”
“I do not understand why it must be so complicated.” Lassariona’s petulant voice carried a hint of anger. “Would it not be simpler for me to go to the o’Ruairc’s fortress and slip into his bed?” She smiled seductively. “I do have some charms.”
“Every journey is complicated,” Ceallachan said. He tried to stay calm, but impatience gave his voice a sharp edge. “The path diverges many times. I know which turns we must take to reach a satisfactory end.”
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