Home > Shoulder the Skye (Skye Druids #2)

Shoulder the Skye (Skye Druids #2)
Author: Donna Grant

Isle of Skye
It was a joke.
Or a nightmare.
That was the only conclusion Elias could come up with as he stared at the two couples before him. His sister’s light blue eyes held a note of misery. Beside Elodie was Scott, the man who had helped her when he hadn’t been there. Scott’s face was as impassive as his assessment was cool, his arms crossed over his chest as he met Elias’s gaze.
Next to Scott was Rhona, the leader of the Skye Druids. Concern lined her face, but her green eyes held a fierceness that only someone of her position could have. On Rhona’s other side was the imposing figure of Balladyn. He wasn’t just Rhona’s lover and Warden of the isle, he had also once been a legendary Light Fae turned Dark before becoming King of the Dark. Now, he was a Reaper.
“Tell me it isn’t true,” Elodie begged Elias. “Tell me George is wrong about you being a murderer.”
Georgina Miller, also known as George. Just hearing the name made Elias want to punch something. Hard. He fisted his hands in an effort to control the surge of anger that bubbled up within him. Balladyn’s red eyes lowered to Elias’s hands before the Reaper quirked a black brow.
The fury that clogged Elias’s throat was so thick that it took him two tries before he could answer. “Of course, George is wrong. How could you even think that I was the one killing Druids?”
“George said—” Scott began.
“I doona give a flying fuck what she says!” Elias shouted. He closed his eyes and sucked in a breath, hating that he’d lost control. The outburst brought back memories of his youth and the father he wished he could forget. Elias didn’t open his eyes until he had his anger tightly leashed once more. Then he looked at each of the four before him. “George is wrong.”
Elodie smiled, though it looked forced. “I knew it wasn’t you.”
“I’m no’ saying George is never wrong, but she’s a seer,” Scott said.
Rhona held up a hand to quiet everyone. “I’ve yet to talk to George myself. I’ll listen to what she has to say, but I’ll also do my own investigating. Seers are a rarity in the Druid community, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t infallible or see the entire picture.”
While it wasn’t an acquittal, it was all Elias would get for the moment. He felt Balladyn’s penetrating gaze and looked into his red eyes. The Reaper could use glamour to hide the eye and hair coloring that signaled him as a Dark Fae, but he didn’t. And Elias respected him for that. He’d had few run-ins with the Light and even fewer with the Dark. He tended to steer clear of the Fae as a whole, which was harder than it sounded since they could blend in and walk among humans so easily.
“It’s going to be okay.”
Elias looked down at his sister, who had moved closer to him. She squeezed his arm as their gazes met. He’d returned to Skye for her, but in the end, she hadn’t needed him. Their family was so fucked up that he didn’t like to think about it, but it seemed that things were finally beginning to turn around for them.
Elodie had her magic once more, and she knew the truth of how she had saved their mother, sister, and both of them from their father. Her actions—and the resulting panic attack— however, had ended in their mum erasing Elodie’s memories and binding her magic while also taking the blame for Edward MacLean’s death. Elias had left Skye soon after so he wouldn’t inadvertently say something that reversed his mother’s magic and brought all the heartache back to Elodie.
But that meant leaving his sisters and his home behind for fifteen years—long years he had spent trying to outrun the past.
Now, Elias was back on Skye, Elodie’s memories had returned, and their mother, Emily, was set to be released from prison soon. The only one blessedly ignorant of everything was Edie. She was the only MacLean who had a normal life, and he was grateful for that. She had remained on Skye, gotten married, and now had two beautiful children. If anything proved that he and his mum had done the right thing the day his father died, it was seeing Edie and her family flourish.
Scott came up behind Elodie and nodded at Elias. “You’re right. George hasna given us any proof of you being a killer. I shouldna have accused you. I’m sorry.”
“Doona worry about it. You trust her. I would’ve done the same in your shoes.” It was a lie. Elias had learned long ago not to accept someone’s word—no matter how much he trusted them. He always verified things for himself.
“Then I guess we’ll see you at home later?” Elodie asked, her gaze searching his.
Elias glanced at Rhona and Balladyn. The couple had more to say to him, which was fine since he wanted to get it out of the way. He nodded at his sister, and she shot him a wide smile before she and Scott filed out of Rhona’s cottage.
When the door shut behind them, Elias turned his head to Rhona. For as long as anyone could remember, Corann had led the Skye Druids. There were no pictures of him, but if you asked the eldest of the community, they would say that he’d looked ancient, even when they were young. But his actual age was anyone’s guess.
Corann had died defeating the Others—a group of Light and Dark Fae and mie and drough Druids from this realm and another—and had chosen Rhona as his replacement. Even in his time away, Elias had kept tabs on the happenings on Skye. He knew the respect Rhona had earned before stepping into Corann’s role. But her actions with the Reapers and her connection to the magic through Balladyn set her apart from anyone on Skye—or on the planet.
Rhona might still be finding her way, but she had the wisdom of someone much older than her young years. Obviously, Corann had seen that, as well. She was a good choice as leader—especially in such turbulent times.
Because not only Druids were being murdered. There was a malevolent force on Skye. Someone was controlling the mist that had attacked Elias, though whether it was the same person killing the Druids had yet to be revealed. Then there were the Druid Others, based on the original group who had tried to take over their world.
Elias blinked and found Balladyn standing before him. The Reaper quirked a black brow again and held something out to him. Elias looked down to find a tumbler filled with amber liquid.
“Thought you could use this,” the Reaper said in his Irish accent.
“Thanks.” Elias lifted the glass and inhaled the scent of whisky. He brought it to his lips and savored the flavor as it touched his tongue and slid smoothly down his throat. Dreagan whisky, made by the Dragon Kings, an immortal group of ancient beings who could shapeshift into humans. He’d met one recently, and it had been as awe-inspiring as he’d thought it would be.