This is it. This is the last chapter of Ghosts Afire, Highland Wolves Three.
And I’m all teary eyed again.
I love these characters. They are absolutely every bit a part of me and my heart is in every word I write about them. There is only one more book – Anna, Liam and some of the pack go to the Congo to rescue a pride of Cats from a witch.
Meanwhile, the Alpha pair are wed and the supernatural world celebrates. It’s a beautiful thing. There isn’t much more I can say about the chapter.
We are gallivanting around today so I need to leave you now.
Have a great day!
From just on the other side of the Forework, Anna stood still as the planner fussed with her gown.
“You look beautiful, Daughter. You out shine even your mother.” Cain almost regretted speaking his thoughts out loud when her eyes filled up with tears. He was relieved when she blinked them back and smiled wryly at him.
“Thank you, Father. It took a bit of magic to get the gown to fit right after this morning’s growth spurt.” Nuada had lengthened the gown and then set the pleats so that they didn’t gape open over her belly but fell properly. Everyone had been happy with the result and Anna felt stunning. They’d pinned the Luckenbooth brooch to her breast and wrapped Liam’s father’s flashes around her bouquet stems.
“She did well.” He glowered at the planner as she tried to hurry him but offered his arm and led his daughter onto the red carpet.
As they made the turn and Liam came into view Anna stopped cold. She had never seen him looking so gorgeous. He was dressed in full Highland formal wear with the Bonnie Prince Charlie Jacket, a white tux shirt, three-button waistcoat and bowtie. He had on his kilt in Taggart green, blue and red, white hose, flashes, the leather sporran and even his sgain dubh. She couldn’t help it. She grinned then started moving forward. She would have run to her groom if her father hadn’t taken an iron grip on her and slowed her to a sedate pace.
For his part, Liam’s breath was taken away. He had thought she could never be more beautiful than she was. He’d been mistaken. She glowed with pregnancy and her love for him. She lit up his world and he was filled with gratitude for the Gods that had brought them together. He answered her grin with one of his own and took the steps in one leap to meet her.
Conaire spoke after everyone but Janelle seated themselves. “Who gives this bride?”
Cain and Janelle spoke together. “We do.” Cain kissed Anna’s cheeks then put her hand in Liam’s. “We trust you with our daughter; that you will care for her, love her and keep her safe.”
“I will.” Liam released Anna for a moment to shake Cain’s hand. Cain sat down as Liam took firm possession of his bride again. “You look stunning,” he whispered.
“So do you,” she whispered back as he led her up the stairs.
They stood before Conaire, and the twins, and smiled at him. Conaire smiled back and spoke. “Today we do something unprecedented. We join together the Vampire,” he nodded at that faction, “and the Wolf.” He gave that side a nod too. “Already, the two are one within the bride but today we bring them together for the world to see. It is my privilege to marry the son of my best friend to the love of his life.”
He looked at Liam. “It warms my heart to see you so happy, Liam, and I know your parents would have been pleased. They would have loved the Princess as their own and welcomed her into their home with open arms. I have spoken to your pack and I know that they have done the same.”
Anna smiled as Conaire turned to her. “It has been my honour,” Conaire said, “to get to know the great Cain’s daughter. You are oft spoke about in whispers, with awe and fear and great affection. More so since you became part of the Four Claw Wolves. I wondered who, and what, my godson was getting involved with but you are more than I could have wished in a Mate for him. I can see why he loves you.” He pulled a tissue from his sporran and gave it to her to dab her tears. The twins tugged at his hands and he leaned down to listen to them for a moment. He smiled then nodded.
Together the girls stepped forward and spoke as one. “We love Miss Anna. She is second only to our own Mother in people we love. We are glad our Alpha is marrying her.”
There were chuckles and sounds of appreciation from the audience as Conaire drew them back to his side. “It is time for the vows. Liam?”
Liam looked down at his bride, silent for a moment. He took her bouquet from her and handed it to Marcus, who turned red at the titters from the onlookers. “Anna. Dostoevsky said, ‘So long as a man remains free he strives for nothing so incessantly and so painfully as to find someone to worship.’ In you I found my Goddess, I found a home for my heart and my soul. I found a love that has no equal, no boundaries, no qualifiers. I pray only to give to you more than you give to me. I give my life to you as I give my heart.”
Tears were running freely down the face of nearly every woman there and more than a few men were clearing their throats and the short, simple vow from Liam.
Anna’s eyes were dry, clear and shining with everything she felt for him. “Lee, my Wolfman. For all of my considerable life I have searched for a home for my heart for somewhere I truly belonged. I thought I found it twice but I was wrong. What I feel for you, what you give to me, blows away anything that has come before. I vow that no matter what challenges may tear us apart I will find my way back to you. I vow that I will protect and love our Wolves as fiercely as you do. I will live every day to be worthy of you. I give my life to you as I give my heart.”
Conaire cleared his throat. “The rings, please.” He took the rings from Marcus and Chelle as they handed them to him and passed them to the bride and groom. “Do you, Liam Andrew Taggart, Alpha of the Four Claw Pack, Protector of Glasgow and Alpha of Alphas, take this woman to be your wife?”
Liam slid the slim gold band over Anna’s finger. “I do.”
Conaire turned to Anna. “Do you Anna Connor, Princess of the Vampire, heir to Cain’s throne, Hybrid and Alpha of Alphas, take this man to be your husband?”
Anna slid the ring up Liam’s finger and the tears flowed. “I do.”
Conaire grinned and looked at the twins. He nodded at their questioning looks. They stepped up and spoke with him. “We now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss your bride.”
There was laughter as Liam snatched Anna to him and kissed her senseless. Conaire tapped him on the shoulder when the kiss showed no signs of stopping. “’Tis not the place for that. Let me announce you.”
The pair broke apart reluctantly and turned to face those gathered as Conaire raised his voice again. “It gives me great pleasure to introduce to you Mister and Missus Liam Taggart, the Alpha Pair of Scotland!”