Book 3 in the Cursed Clan Series
Part of the Cursed Clan World
The love stories in the Cursed Clan begin and end with each book. The greater quest takes place over all 5 books.
A man who always sees beneath the surface.
Logan has lived his dream of being an artist for hundreds of years. He’s painted some of the most beautiful women in the world, but none of them compare to Meghan Campbell. When they are paired up to go after the next jewel, resisting her becomes almost impossible, but he knows he must. The witch is hiding something and until he knows what that is, he cannot fully trust her.
A woman who can lure any man.
As a witch with siren abilities, Meg has never had a problem with the opposite sex. That is, until she met Logan. The irritating man seems to be the one person in the world who doesn’t succumb to her spell. Unfortunately, he is the one man she really wants. No matter how hard she tries, he resists her.
A need neither of them can ignore.
As they embark on their quest for the next jewel, tempers flare and passion ignites. But when a new layer of the curse is revealed, they discover their failure could put lives in danger. The two must work together to fight the rising power against them and hope that those who support the Clan survive the fight.
Reader Interests in
Logan watched his brother disappear behind the line of trees that protected the witch’s cabin. His chest was tight with worry, his head spinning with the revelations.
“He doesna believe.”
The simple statement pulled his attention away from the scene beyond. He turned to face the woman. If any person met her, they would think there was nothing extraordinary. A witch of her power could have much more than the tiny little cottage at the edge of the woods.
No one knew that she could destroy them. But he could tell, and he would paint her that way.
“He doesn’t want to believe,” Logan said.
She smiled, making her appear years younger. “Of course. He sees the woman, as you do.”
He shook his head. “No. I feel something, but I am not sure. It’s muddled.”
She nodded. “Yes. Your fate is not yet determined.”
The witch continued to pad back and forth, here and there. Various bowls bubbled with potions, and the pot over the fire steamed. He watched her for a few moments, waiting for her to say more. She didn’t.
“I doona understand,” he said.
She sighed but did not stop what she was doing. “You are hard to read.”
The statement came out as an accusation.
“Not on purpose.”
She shook her head as she stopped and studied him. Her eyes narrowed. “No, but I think you have something there, something more than most see.”
“No, you don’t. But, you see things. Things that people don’t see. You look at people and see something else.”
It was close to the truth, but he knew she meant something else.
“I will tell you Logan of the McLennans, you must not let that stop you.”
“Stop me from what?”
“Accepting your destiny.”
Irritation crawled into his gut. He usually liked to play games, but this one was aggravating. “You’re talking in riddles again.”
“There will be a woman.”
He found a smile. “There usually is.”
A sound filled with a strange mixture of disgust and amusement escaped her mouth. “This woman will be an enchanter, one who can accomplish anything with just the sound of her voice. But you will be her downfall.”
“Is that so?” he asked, trying to get away from her. The first feelings of dread that spoke of something bad on its way were tingling in his skull.
She wrapped her small boney fingers around his forearm to stop his exit.
He looked down at her. Her gaze was unwavering, as was her voice when she spoke. “Heed me, Logan, this woman is a relation and I warn you not to harm her.”
“A relation of mine?”
She rolled her eyes. “No, of mine. You will meet the four who can save the five. Yours will be a woman who can woo anyone…but you. Protect her well, Logan, for you are her downfall.”
It was the same thing she had said just moments ago, and Logan had learned to pay attention when she repeated herself.
“I doona understand what you are saying.”
“If you forsake her, it will be the death of her.”
“Not of me?” he asked half jokingly.
She looked away, avoiding his eye contact. “You have another cross to bear, one that will almost break you. Remember this, you are stronger than you think. If you protect her, if you accept her for who she is, then you will be able to conquer anything that comes your way.”
He swallowed, fighting the rising sense of doom that seemed to fill her small house. “I’ve no idea what you are talking about.”
“I understand, that is all that is important. Go now. Be with your family.” She released his arm. “I’ve things to do.”
Without looking behind him, Logan hurried away, his heart heavy and his mind filled with images of what was to come.
Her soft hands roamed over his body, as the scents of honeysuckle surrounded him and filled his every sense. She was killing him in the most wonderful way. Her tongue slipped over his flesh, following the path her hands had just taken. Logan’s blood heated. His cock hardened, as her mouth drew closer.
BAM! BAM! BAM!
Logan groaned, then pulled one of his pillows over his head, and ignored the knocking at the door. It was too fucking early to get out of bed. Anyone who knew him well—and that included just about everyone in the house—knew not to wake him up. Thankfully, blessed silence returned and he started to drift again. Just as he was about to fall asleep again, the sound started up once more. He shoved the pillow aside and scowled in the direction of the door. He looked at the heavy curtains and saw no sun peeking through them.
He refused to deal with anyone this time of day. The knocking seemed to dissolve, and Logan buried his head again. He wasn’t in the mood to face the day. Not after the night he’d had. There were dreams, then there were dreamscapes. He had always had vivid dreams, filled with premonitions or visions of what he would paint.
Lately, he’d had no control whatsoever and he seemed obsessed with just one set of dreams. These had centered on one very sexy, Southern Belle. Meghan Campbell had come to them in their time of need just a few months earlier and had yet to leave. Since she had arrived at the McLennan household, she’d been creeping into his dreams. At first, they had been simple enough, innocent even. After last night, there was no doubt in his mind what he actually wanted from the witch. Her voice had wrapped around him, much like the smell of magnolias, and each night the dreams became more and more vivid. There were times when Logan wondered what was reality and what was imagination. They were bleeding into each other and left him feeling slightly off-centered.
The images still played through his head and were the most erotic visions he’d ever had. He had dreamed a lot over the last few centuries.
The door creaked open slowly, and small feet padded across the floor. Normally, he would rise in case of attack. This morning, he just didn’t give a bloody damn.
“Sir Logan, are you awake yet?”
Bloody hell, Jack. Maggie’s little boy was a joy most of the time, but he kept the worst hours.
There was a pause. “But you just answered me.”
He sighed. Jack was very literal and rarely understood a joke. Knowing there was no way to avoid the boy, he opened one eye and bit back a curse. Jack had his face level with Logan’s and very close.
“Where are your parents?”
“Their door is locked. Angus said never to open the door if it’s locked.”
“Ah.” Of course his brother said that. Since marrying Maggie in a small ceremony last month, they’d been fornicating like rabbits. Considering Jack’s abilities, there was a good chance he could open that door without much trouble. And, that is how he ended up in Logan’s room. He would beat the hell out of his brother later.
“Have you had any breakfast?”
“No.” He kept staring at him in that way only Jack had. It was unnerving.
“Is there something you need?”
“I had a dream.”
Logan might be two centuries old, but he didn’t know how to deal with children. It wasn’t his fault. They rarely had a chance to interact with them. But their lives were changing. First Jack had come to them with Maggie and now, Phoebe was pregnant.
As the boy continued to stare at him, Logan realized he expected Logan to help. “Were you scared?”
“A bit. I don’t like admitting that, but I do get scared sometimes.” Jack whispered the words, as if he were ashamed of it. Logan might be an old man, but he still remembered the shame felt because of the fear.
“There’s nothing wrong with admitting that, Jack. Everyone is afraid at some point.”
Apparently Callum ranked higher in Jack’s standards of heroes. Since his cousin had almost died at Culloden, that was easy to accept.
“Even stodgy old Callum.”
Jack sighed. His entire body relaxed and relief moved over his expressive face. “Good.”
Then Jack said nothing else. He did continue to stare at Logan with that perceptive gaze. It was enough to make Logan nervous.
“Was there anything else?”
Jack shook his head. “Are you hungry?”
He chuckled. “Always. Give me a few minutes and I’ll be ready.”
Jack continued staring at him, and Logan realized he wasn’t going to leave. There was never any rest for the wicked. He slid out of bed and headed to the bathroom.
“Why don’t you wear clothes to bed, Sir Logan?”
“I doona like the feeling.”
“Oh. Okay. I guess you all sleep naked. Angus never seems to have any clothes on when he’s in his bedroom.”
“I just bet,” Logan murmured, as he walked to the bathroom. “I’ll be out in just a few minutes.”
Jack nodded, and looked at the chair beside the bed.
“Go on, make yourself at home, Jack.”
Jack smiled as Logan stepped into the bathroom. The boy was still timid around all of them, but he was getting better. Time spent in the company of four grown men gave him some more confidence, as did his mother regaining her powers.
And hopefully, that would help them with what was about to come—whatever that was.
He shook away his worries and decided to get on with the day. Starting out this early would allow him free time to draw in the afternoon. Or nap. Napping was always good.
Meghan drew in a deep breath and sighed with appreciation. One of the many things she loved about living with the McLennans was the food. They always ate well and, for a girl who had a healthy appetite, it was a beautiful thing.
With all the newly married people in the house, she often had the room to herself for at least thirty minutes. It gave her time to reflect on the day and gear up for the day. When dealing with five immortal Scots, four of them very sexy, overbearing men, she needed to prepare. Especially when dealing with one in particular. It was the same one who had teased her senses and invaded her thoughts during the day. For a witch who had worked con jobs from the cradle, she rarely had this problem. Having a man interfere with her concentration wasn’t a good thing.
Meg brushed away those thoughts and filled her plate with sausages, eggs, scones and her favorite, Devonshire cream. Since returning to the UK, she’d indulged in her favorite treat a bit too often, but Meghan didn’t care. If there was one thing her father had taught her, it was to live in the moment.
She heard the sound of feet down the hall, and knew her morning solitude was about to be broken. When Jack slid into the room laughing, she smiled in reaction, until she saw his companion.
The man brought about too many feelings to count. Dealing with him on half a cup of coffee was just not fair. And of course, he looked amazing. All that messy hair, his bedroom eyes, and the stubble he hadn’t shaved away…how was a woman supposed to ignore all that beauty?
“Morning, Miss Meghan. How are you this morning?” Jack asked, drawing her attention away from Logan.
“I’m very fine indeed, Sir Jack.”
He giggled like he always did. “I am not a sir.”
She widened her eyes. “But you are the son of Angus, are you not?”
His smile grew. “I am.”
She looked up at Logan. “Good morning.”
“That’s your opinion,” he mumbled, as he headed for the coffee. It was out of character for the artist. He’d always seemed to be in a good mood, until the last few days.
“Did you wake Logan?” she asked Jack.
“Yes, but I needed to wake him. I had a dream,” he said, sounding more like the solemn boy Maggie had told her about. She had not seen much of that boy since she had moved in, but every now and then, he would look too serious for such a young boy.
“Oh, don’t you know not to let dreams bother you?” she asked.
“Some of Jack’s dreams are premonitions,” Logan said, as he placed his coffee at the head of the table. Where she liked to sit. Bugger.
“I understand. But, if they are premonitions, there is nothing we can do about it now. Worrying about it will not stop what is destined to happen.” Meg knew that better than anyone, and had paid a steep price. She returned her attention to Jack. “So, Sir Jack, what would you like for breakfast?”
“I can get my own,” he announced.
Logan, for his part, had prowled over to the sideboard to get himself some food. As she had thought before, he hadn’t been what she would have pegged as a stereotypical artist. He had the look. But, his temperament had been one of…well, a normal, every day person. Artists, and she had dealt with more than one in her day, tended to be moody and…well, more trouble than they were worth. Meg didn’t like moody men. She liked them to be happy and somewhat needy, because that’s how she had earned her living for so long.
Still, it was hard to ignore the way he moved, or those long, artist’s fingers. She could just imagine what he could do with those talented fingers. Lord, to feel them dance over her flesh—
Jack made a sound, and he was looking at her strangely. Oh, bugger. The boy could definitely read thoughts from time to time.
“What else is on your mind this morning, Jack?” she asked, as she sipped on her coffee.
He shrugged as he sat down at the table, and started to eat his bacon. He chewed for a few seconds, then said, “Did you know that Logan sleeps without any clothes on?”
She choked, spewing a bit of her coffee. Retrieving a napkin, she dabbed at her mouth. “Does he indeed?”
“Spilling all my secrets, Jack?” Logan asked.
“I didn’t know it was a secret. You have to tell me. Besides, Miss Meghan was thinking about—”
“Never mind about that, Jack. Get to eating,” she ordered, hoping Logan didn’t notice her blush.
Jack smiled and dug into his breakfast. He was small for his age, but the boy had a massive appetite, one she could understand.
“So, you tend to sleep later, Logan?” she asked.
“No. I’ve been hit with the same affliction as Master Jack here.”
“Dreams?” she asked.
He nodded, his cool green gaze locked on hers. Suddenly, her pulse scrambled and she found it hard to swallow. Her entire body felt as if it had been set ablaze.
“It’s because you are the next of the five. It’s your turn,” Jack said, breaking the spell.
She looked at the boy again and studied him. He continued to eat as if he hadn’t said anything out of the ordinary. One of the five. She had heard the term, understood sort of what they were talking about, but she had tried not to be too nosey. If it was one thing Meg understood it was a person had a right to their secrets. She assumed they would tell her when she needed to know.
Logan said nothing, as he continued to eat, but he did nod. Meg hated silences, hated the long pauses that others seemed to have no trouble dealing with. It always seemed like bad things followed those long silences.
“Good morning, everyone,” Angus said, as he walked into the room. “I’m famished.”
“I just bet you are,” Logan said.
“She’s taking a shower,” Angus said, as he leaned down and whispered in Jack’s ear. The boy laughed.
“Sorry if he woke you up, Meg.”
She shook her head. “No problem, but he didn’t wake me up. He woke Logan up.”
Logan grunted, as he continued to eat. Really, the man was in a mood today.
“I’ve always been an early riser,” she said, as Angus grabbed something to eat. “It’s part of the job.”
Logan eyed her. “Part of the job? So, grifting forced you to get up early?”
She smiled, completely at ease with her checkered past. Unless she was on the job, she never tried to hide who she was. “You never know if you need to get out of town, so it’s just best you get up early. Or, so said my father.”
In fact, it was one of the last things he ever said to her before he was murdered.
She pushed those thoughts away and smiled at Jack. He was studying her as if, once again, he was reading her thoughts. Reaching over, he patted her hand. Her heart turned over at the simple gesture. She smiled at him.
“So, Jack, what’s on your schedule today?”
End of Excerpt
by Melissa Schroeder
is available digitally exclusively from Amazon
The love stories in the Cursed Clan begin and end with each book. The greater quest takes place over all 5 books.
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