Sometimes they’re all rolled into one. *laughs* I figured it out though. I haven’t quite gotten all the hows and whys down yet but I will. I know who betrays the clan and I know what he gets out of it. I haven’t decided the main motivation behind wanting the clan gone though.
I know what the history books say: The Campbells and John Dalrymple, egged on by Lord Breadalbane (a Campbell & lifelong enemy of the MacDonalds), decided that the MacDonalds needed to be wiped out for their part in the rebellion and used as an example to the other clans.
But I don’t intend to stick so closely to historical facts. I am going to twist the event slightly. So for some reason John and Breadalbane want the MacDonalds gone. I think that maybe they’re being influenced by the lovely woman talking to Alasdair the Second in chapter two. Both or maybe just Breadalbane.
Either way, the answers will come and so far, I think I’m setting up the answers to my questions beautifully. Take a look:
February 15, 1692, two days post massacre:
Alasdair Og MacIain MacDonald, second son of the clan Chief, stood surveying the ruins of his clan’s central village from atop his father’s grave. The dying sun made the charred remains of the houses look as if they were on fire. He grinned savagely.
A hand clamped down on his shoulder, cold and heavy, despite its seeming delicacy. “Well, Alex darling, how do you like the results of your handiwork?”
Alasdair immediately knew who it was, just from the cold hand, he hadn’t needed the soft voice in his ear. “I’ve asked you not to call me that.” He didn’t stop to wait for an apology. “I love it. Did my brother live?”
The small Russian she stepped around him to pick her fastidious way through the debris. She fully expected Alasdair to follow him and knew that he would. She debated lying to him then decided she would gain more pleasure with the truth. “Nyet, your brother escaped.” Curses rolled from Alasdair’s mouth and in a blink she was standing in front of him, eyes ablaze with fury. “I have told you to watch your mouth around a lady!”
Alasdair rubbed his cheek. The entire side of his face burned and his cheekbone felt like she had cracked it. “I am sorry, Liliya. But you did promise me that-”
“Bah!” She slashed a hand through the air. “I promised nothing! I said that your family would be slaughtered. I did not promise that none would make successful attempts to escape.”
“Aye, you are right, as always Liliya.” He tried a charming smile on him and she snorted delicately as she turned away. “Why did you do this for me, anyway? Why are you willing to turn me?”
Liliya turned and bestowed a brilliant smile on him, one she knew made men melt. “Miliy moy, when the time is right, I will tell you.”
That was the answer she gave him every time she did something for him. He was heavily indebted to her now. Alasdair watched her prowl over the ruins of the village and gave in to the childish urge to close his eyes and do a few steps of the Highland Fling on his father’s grave. He was grinning when he stopped and opened his eyes. Liliya was standing there looking at him with amusement on her face. He blushed darkly.
Liliya laughed. “It will be such a pleasure to drain that delicious blood from you.” She lifted her nose and tested the air. She could hear better than she could smell but she was making a show of things for the man-child in front of her. “There are survivors near here. Call to them. Call and tell them you are alive. Tonight we will change you.”
Alasdair wasn’t quite sure he understood the connection. Although he knew Vampires fed on people he thought that new Vampires fed only from their makers at first. He shrugged then climbed to the highest hillock, stepping carefully through the burned out house. It wasn’t until he kicked aside a table that was little more than charred wood and ash and saw a scrap of fabric that he realized it was his father’s house. “How fitting,” he murmured. Then he lifted his voice. “Hail all MacDonalds! Come back! Come home! ‘Tis I, Alasdair!” He deliberately left off ‘the second’ and did not use the nickname the village had give him long ago – Allie. He repeated the call over and over until a few people crept in.
Alasdair looked around for Liliya but couldn’t see her. He thought she must be hiding. As beautiful as she was there was still something about her that frightened people on a very base level. One old woman spotted him and cried out, “Alasdair! Oh, my Chief, we thought ye were dead!” Soon the others’ voices were added and they were heading for him.
When the old woman got closer her joy changed subtly and she almost hid it well. “Allie, me boy! Does my heart good to see you still live! We thought all o’ the Chief’s children died.”
“Moira! I’ve missed the days as a boy at your knee.” Alasdair hugged his old nursemaid and greeted others as they came up.
Moira, for her part, could feel the evil lurking nearby. She saw the darkness in the Chief’s daughter and it broke her heart. She slipped back through the crowd and crept off unnoticed, sticking to the shadows.
Liliya let the woman go, figuring she’d be dead before the night was out. Liliya flitted through the crowd and touched faces to get them to look at her. As she looked into their eyes she compelled them to remain still and not to move until she came for them again. Soon all but the closest to Alasdair were enchanted.
And now, I’m going to go veg and work sporadically. It’s taken me three hours to finish this blog because I simply can’t focus. I’m in far too much pain and way too toxed. Enjoy the blurb and remember it hasn’t even had a cursory edit done yet, so be kind. 😉