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Out Of The Dark

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Author's notes: Sherrilyn/Kinley owns all canon characters. Iona and the story are mine. Since the Scot's story has not been published yet this is obviously AU. The references to Kieran's death are taken from Kinley's MacAllister/Brotherhood books, with a few tweaks from me to make it suit this story. This is a work of fan fiction, and in no way intended to infringe on S/K's copyright. No money is being made, S/K made it all. :)

Iona Logan walked silently from her mother’s small house in the early morning hour. It was not yet dawn, and the clan would lay sleeping for another few hours yet. These were the hours she looked forward to each day. No one was stirring, no one would disturb her in her time of privacy.


As she made her way to the loch, memories of the previous day filled her thoughts. The tension brewing between Kieran MacAllister and his brother Ewan finally came to a head. The bitch Isobail succeeded where no one else ever could: she had divided the MacAllister brothers, pitting one against the other.


Isobail was cunning in her bid to manipulate and create trouble in the clan. It wasn’t enough that she had gotten her claws into Kieran, making him fall in love with her. When Kieran proposed marriage, ready it seemed to settle down and have a family, Isobail turned to Ewan, claiming Kieran had hurt her, and that it was Ewan she really loved.


Poor Ewan. Ever the tender heart, he fell for her lies like a stone in the loch. He wanted to protect her, and was angry at his brother for his supposed treatment of the lass. He and Kieran had words, and when the rage consumed them, blood was spilled between the brothers. Blood that had never been drawn against them by one of their own. Then Ewan disappeared with Isobail to travel to England.


“Nothing good will come from this.” Iona muttered to herself. She knew in her heart that Ewan was in for heartbreak, one that he may never recover from. Her concern now, though was for the other brother, Kieran. No one had seen him since the night before, when he faced his brother and the woman whose lies had torn them apart.


Nearing her favorite spot, she stopped a moment, and closed her eyes. The cool breeze drifting off the loch caressed her skin, causing a slight shiver to pass over her. Taking a deep breath of the morning air, she opened her eyes, noticing something close to the water’s edge. As she walked closer, she realized it was a sword, standing tall in the grass. Coming closer, she realized the sword was pierced through a plaid, into the ground beneath.


Iona leaned down, her fingers lightly skimming the plaid, wondering who it belonged to. Then she noticed the plaid broach, with the initials sewn into the plaid itself: KM. Taking a closer look at the sword handle, she knew this was Kieran’s sword and plaid. But why was it by the loch, as if it was abandoned here?


She stood and looked around, expecting to see Kieran nearby. Nothing but the light of the moon surrounded her. A sinking feeling filled her belly. There was no reason for Kieran’s sword to be here without him. He was always careful with it, and his plaid was always worn with pride. There is no way he would leave them out in the open like this.


She walked closer to the edge of the water. The loch was calm, barely rippling with waves in the breeze. Where is he, she thought to herself. The feeling of unease still unsettling her, she turned to head back to the MacAllister keep to report her finding to Kieran‘s brothers in the hope that one of them knew where he was, and that he was safe.


She started when she saw Braden standing there, staring at the sword and plaid. The look of shock, and pain on his face crashed over her. She knew then, what she hadn’t wanted to even think about. Kieran was gone. Dead. But how?


Braden turned grief filled eyes toward her. “Where is he?”, he asked quietly, his voice shaking.


“I don’t know”, she replied. “He was not here when I found this.” She gestured to the plaid with her hand. Braden took a deep breath, and turned to walk away.


“Wait!”, Iona called out. “Where are you going? We need to find Kieran.”


Braden paused, and looked at her briefly before turning away. “Kieran’s dead. He has to be. He would never have left his plaid and sword out in the open like this. I have to tell my mother and brothers. Ewan‘s gone, and now Kieran.” his voice trailed off. Sighing, he glanced back at her once more. “Leave it. I will come back for it.” he said looking toward the evidence of his brother’s death.


Iona watched him leave, her eyes filling with tears as his words echoed in her mind. Kieran dead? He can’t be, she thought. She moved to the plaid, and pulled the sword carefully out of the ground, trying not to cause further damage to the fabric of the plaid.


She fingered the hilt of the sword, wrapping her hands around the place where Kieran would have held it. She closed her eyes as the tears fell, imagining that she could feel his skin beneath hers. Sinking to her knees, she lay the sword down, and pulled his plaid to her face. She inhaled deeply, his scent filling her, surrounding her.


She sat there alone, holding the plaid to her chest, as her grief overtook her. Years of waiting for him to notice her, watching him fall in and out of love with other women, hoping that someday he would see her, and love her, caused the tears to fall freely. The hopes, and dreams of having the man she loved become her husband, the father of her children, were gone.


Iona buried her face into the plaid, the pain of losing the man who would never know of her love filling her, she never noticed the men standing behind her.


Sin, Braden, and Lochlan stared silently as a woman in love mourned their brother. Odds were Kieran had never known that Iona had cared for him, and now, he never would.