“We should get married.”
Maggie put her tools down and lifted her welding mask as she turned to Breandán. “What?”
“We should get married,” he repeated.
“That’s a horrible proposal, you know,” she answered, turning back to her sculpture. His arms wrapped around her waist and she sighed.
“I wanted to ask you properly, but I wasn’t sure how you’d feel about trying marriage out again.” Her eyes darkened. He held his hands up in surrender. “I wanted to test the waters, so to speak.”
“Test the waters,” she echoed. “Why didn’t you just ask me?”
“What if you say no?” he argued.
“And what if I say yes?” she retorted.
His jaw dropped and he turned her towards him. “Are you saying yes?” he whispered.
“Well, you haven’t actually asked me yet,” she pointed out with a grin.
He smiled and reached over to wipe a smudge of dirt from her face. “Will you marry me, Margaret MacGreen?” he whispered.
“I’ll think about it,” she answered and laughed as his face fell. “I’m teasing, Breandán,” she told him, kissing him soundly. “Of course, I’ll marry you.”
“Aye,” she managed before he swung her into his arms. “But I think we should wait until this business with the Fomóirí is done.”
“No,” he growled, setting her back on her feet.
“What do you mean no?”
“I want to marry you now,” he explained. He laid his hand on her belly, now showing a small bulge. “Before the baby.”
“I can’t plan a wedding that fast,” Maggie argued. “We have no idea how long we have.”
“Which is exactly why I want you to be my wife now.”
“We can’t get married right now,” Maggie chuckled.
“Tomorrow then,” he replied.
“Breandán, what’s in your head?” she giggled when he kissed her neck.
“I told you,” he murmured against her skin. “I want to get married now.”
“Now,” she repeated.
“Aye,” she answered. “We could go to Gretna Green.”
“Gretna Green? Scotland?” Maggie laughed but sobered up when he didn’t join. “You’re serious?”
“I don’t know, that’s a bit medieval, isn’t it?”
“Not at all. People still get married there all the time,” he argued.
“We could just have Ian prepare a license get married here,” she told him.
“Gretna Green sounds more romantic though,” Breandán explained. “We could stay in the highlands for our honeymoon.”
“You’ve really thought about this, haven’t you?” She rolled her eyes when he grinned. “Gretna Green,” she murmured. “It does have a ring to it.”
Breandán swung her into the air as she laughed. “I think it takes a few weeks to have the license prepared,” he told her. “I’ll phone and make arrangements.”
“How romantic,” the voice dripped with sarcasm.
Breandán put Maggie safely behind him before he turned to face the Fomóirí. “You aren’t welcome here,” he growled, calling his power to his fingertips.
“I grow tired of hearing that phrase,” it replied from the disguise of a handsome man.
“Perhaps you should heed the warning then,” Maggie growled, pushing Breandán’s guard down to step beside him.
“I do enjoy your wit, Margaret,” it replied. “You have such... attitude.”
“I’ll give you attitude,” she answered, bringing fire to her hands. Breandán gave her a look of warning. She didn’t attack but kept the fire in simmering on her palms.
“I do love a show of unity,” it sneered at them. “Unfortunately, I cannot have such teamwork disrupting my plans.”
“You’d better prepare to be disappointed then,” Breandán retorted.
“We shall see,” it replied before shooting its hand out to Maggie.
She doubled over, clutching at her stomach. Breandán turned to her and in the split second of his distraction, the Fomóirí attacked.
The darkness that flooded his mind was thick and choking and the world around him went black. He heard Maggie scream his name before the sound was cut off, leaving his mind silent.
* * * * *
“You are no match for the one that made you.”
The voice in his mind was so loud, it shook the expanse around him.
“How thoughtless of you to remove the one thing that may have given you a chance.”
Breandán realized his mistake as soon as he heard the words. He’d taken off his amulet before showering earlier. It was still on the counter in the cottage.
“It is pointless to fight,” the voice explained without malice. “You know I speak the truth. You are no match for me.”
“I’ll not give in,” he shouted in his mind.
“Not on your own, certainly,” the voice answered. “But perhaps you need only the proper incentive.”
The voice chuckled now, making Breandán shiver in the darkness.
“There are many people I could use to bend you to my will,” the voice explained. “Let’s see, your adoptive father, certainly. But he would almost be too easy being a mortal. Your adoptive mother, now there’s a thought. I’ve tasted one MacKeet woman already, so I know how sweet they are.”
“Don’t you touch them!” Breandán shouted.
The Fomóirí chuckled. “Your young brother would be another example. So new to his powers; weak with it, really,” the Fomóirí continued as if Breandán wasn’t there. “Your sister perhaps? Ah yes, a young woman, just beginning to discover her abilities. I haven’t tasted one so young since... since your mother.” The Fomóirí laughed as Breandán gasped at the words.
He and Maggie had meant to place protective spells on his family before they’d left Inis Mór but Phillip’s death at the hands of the Fomóirí had waylaid their plans. Now his family was at risk because he hadn’t protected them.
“Perhaps I don’t have to look far at all to convince you,” the Fomóirí whispered into his thoughts. “After all, Margaret is much closer, and she’s no longer alone, is she, Breandán?”
“Stay away from them,” he shouted, his voice cracking with fear.
It laughed with glee. “Are you to stop me? Trapped in your own mind as you are? I could kill your woman with a flick of my finger and tear your child from her womb.” It whispered the words as if it were a seductive thought. “And you could do nothing but scream inside your own head.”
Breandán yelled as he pounded at the invisible walls. He had to escape, had to protect Maggie and their baby. But there was nowhere to go.
“Will you give in to me, Breandán?” the Fomóirí asked again.
“Never,” Breandán growled as his fists became bloody from striking the wall.
The Fomóirí sighed. “I knew you would make this difficult,” it chided. “However, I rather enjoy tormenting you, so no matter. Let’s begin.”
The Fomóirí appeared before him, more grotesque and deformed than ever. Its bright, red eyes full of glee as it smiled. It attacked and Breandán couldn’t move to protect himself. The darkness plunged into him, filling every corner of his mind and body. Breandán’s screams echoed in the void before he knew no more.
When writing a story, it helps to have a visual of what your characters look like. Having an actual picture of someone to base your character on helps you keep track of even the most minor details.