SACRIFICE

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He broke the kiss to look down at the strange drum-like sensation, rather like the pounding of another heart. Small fists pummeled his chest. The woman glared at him, her cheeks flushed. A light sprinkling of brown dots crossed her nose, each dot no bigger than the tip of a sewing needle. They were beautifully chaotic. Did all people possess such a design? Surely he would have noticed. He touched his nose. Did he?

Lightly arched brows lowered over her long lashes. “Unhand me, you…you wretch.”

He frowned back. “You always enjoy my kisses.”

Her eyes snapped up to his. “Always? Sir, we’ve never met. You’ve mistaken me for someone else.” Her beautiful face remained pinched in anger. “Unhand me.”

What a bizarre twist to his dream. He dropped her wrist and her glare relaxed. Her eyes scanned the edge of the clearing as if she were judging whether escape was feasible. Which it wasn’t.

“You are Anna Pemberlin,” he said to distract her from her futile assessment. Could this be a premonition about how they would meet? “I am Drustan, your mate.”

She blinked those amazing lashes. “Pardon?”

“I am Drustan,” he repeated.

“Not that part.” She flapped a delicately boned hand. “The mate part.” He caught her fingers, turning the finely shaped nails this way and that for his inspection. They were white and curved nicely. He’d never noticed that before.

“You are mine,” he said absently and moved his attention to the gold streaks playing through her brown hair. He slid his fingers into the heavy curtain of waves while his other hand encircled her wrist. Where had all these details come from?

“No, I am not,” she said, jerking her unbound hair out of his hand.

“Not what?” he asked softly, once again focusing in on her soft, pink mouth.

“Your mate. I’m not that,” she said, her words running too fast. “You’ve mistaken me for her,” she insisted. She took a full breath. “I’m Anna Pemberlin, sister to Patricia Pemberlin who is soon to be the new mistress of Kylkern Castle and Chief William Maclean’s wife.”

William Maclean was the chieftain of one of the powerful clans in the area. William Maclean was also the great-grandson of Drustan’s sister, Serena and her mate, Keenan Maclean. Drustan had heard the young, serious man was betrothed but had not heard to whom. A real world detail had wormed its way into his dream. 

Drustan frowned and looked past Anna. The stones stood as always, the sun edged toward the tree line in the west. On the ground, the flowers lay dry and dead from where he’d stood healing the boy. A thin hair, stuck to the moss on the stone slab, floated away on the breeze.

He inhaled sharply. “This is not a dream,” he stated, glancing at the smooth skin of Anna’s wrist.

She raised one eyebrow. “No.” Her mouth formed a perfect little circle on the word.