Jasper:Stone Society Book 6

By: Faith Gibson

Acknowledgements



My writing posse: Alex, Kendall, Jen, and Nikki – thank you for taking the most important book I’ve ever written and giving it that little something extra.

My beta readers: Sharon B, Theresa M, Shannon P, Candy R, Tanya R, and Lita T, your input is always invaluable

Golden Czermak, from a brief conversation, you made my dream cover come true. You are truly golden.

Caylan Hughes, thank you for being my Jasper. No one else would have done.

Last, but definitely not least, the man for being my best friend and always having my back.





Prologue




Northern Ireland

1594

The once lush green land was now colored red. Bodies were strewn haphazardly, unmoving from where they’d been slain. Phelam O’Donnell wiped his claymore on the tunic of a fallen Englishman before sliding it home in the sheath at his hip. “Phelam,” a deep voice sounded from behind him. He turned to find the Chieftain’s second in command walking toward him.

“Aye, Bran,” he responded.

“The O’Donnell wishes a word with ya.”

“Aye,” Phelam said a second time. He followed his older brother to their father’s tent. When he entered, he inclined his head in respect to the man who was both his father and leader.

“Athair, ya wish to see me?” Phelam stood at attention until his father waved his hand.

“Phelam, my boy, ya did well today. Ya do well every day. ‘Tis why I have a mission for ya. The O’Neill is calling for our help, but I keen even with the likes of ya fighting for his cause, it won’t be enough. We might have won the battle this day, but a new day is dawning. The cannons we have secured are beyond our experience. I need ya to infiltrate the enemy and find out all ya can.”

Even though the O’Donnell wasn’t Phelam’s biological father, he had treated him fairly ever since Phelam’s own father sold him to the man standing before him. Phelam would do anything Seamus asked of him. He and the O’Donnell both knew the English had more weapons and soldiers than did the clans of their land. Still, he would set out and gain any knowledge he could. “I’ll leave right away,” he said, inclining his head before taking his leave.

Phelam returned to the battlefield in search of the largest fallen enemy he could find. Once he found someone comparable to his own size, he swapped out his clothing with that of the other man. It was a tight fit, but it would have to do. He seized the weapons and wrapped the holster around his waist. He strapped his sword across his shoulder and took off through the forest toward the enemy camp.

As he walked, Phelam’s thoughts drifted back to when his athair, Colm O’Hearn, sold him to the O’Donnell. He was fourteen years old and just coming into his body. Being the youngest male in their family, Phelam had watched his older brothers with a bit of envy, ready for the day when he would transform into the Gargoyle instead of the scrawny boy. He did his best to emulate them in most every way. When it came to bedding lasses, he had no interest. What did interest him was the lad from the neighboring land they shared a loch with. He was also a Gargoyle who had yet to transition for the first time. Phelam couldn’t help the way his body reacted when he saw the lad shed his clothes.

One day, Phelam arrived at the loch just as the lad was walking into the water. His cock sprang to life at the sight of all that pale skin. Instead of waiting for the throbbing to subside, Phelam hid behind a tree and stroked his length while watching the lad swim. Twigs and leaves crunched behind him as the lad’s brother walked up behind Phelam. When the brother saw the object of Phelam’s desire, he grabbed Phelam by the collar and dragged him to his athair’s home. His athair who happened to be King of their Clan.

Phelam was thrown into a dark room until his own athair arrived. The King demanded Phelam be executed for such a disgraceful action toward his youngest son. Colm promised he would take care of it and hauled Phelam from the King’s home. Phelam was lucky in that his athair was a greedy man. Killing Phelam would lose him not only a worker on his lands, but also a warrior in later years. Instead of his neck meeting with a sword, Phelam found himself at the feet of an Irish military man. Seamus O’Donnell not only took in the lad, but trained him alongside his other sons to be a great fighter. He taught him to read and write, as well as speak the language of the Scots.

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