Tears of the Moon (Gallaghers of Ardmore #2)

Ah, kiss me, love, and miss me, love,
and dry your bitter tears. (Irish Pub Song)

And not without sympathy, Aidan turned the shower on full cold and shoved his beloved brother under the heartless spray.
Oh, the scream but peeled the skin off his face, and the curse that followed battered his ears.
But Aidan held ground, dodged a fist when he had to, and clamping Shawn in a headlock, held him mercilessly under.

À noite, quando estou sozinho e a lua derrama
as suas lágrimas,
sei que o mundo voltaria a ser maravilhoso
se estivesses aqui.

Sem ti, o meu coração fica vazio,
apenas com as lembranças que guarda.
Tu, só tu, existes dentro de mim, à noite
quando a lua chora.

Because he wanted to see her face again before he took himself off to the pub, Shawn leaned back casually on the counter, then tucked his tongue in his cheek.
“So you’re walking out with Jack Brennan these days, I’m hearing.”
When her head came up swiftly and connected with the top of the oven with a resounding crack, Shawn winced, and wisely swallowed the chuckle.
“I am not!” As he’d hoped, she popped out of the oven. There was a bit of soot on her nose, and as she rubbed her sore head, she knocked her cap askew. “Who said I am?”
“Oh.” Innocent as three lambs, Shawn merely shrugged and finished his tea. “I thought I heard it somewhere, ‘round and about, as such things go.

Brenna’s lorry wasn’t parked in the street. The dog was nowhere to be seen. Apparently even Betty had deserted him in his hour of need. The only choice left was a quick and cowardly retreat. “What was I thinking?” he stopped short and clapped a hand to his forehead. “I’m supposed to be helping Aidan . . . at the house. Slipped my mind.”
As quickly as he could manage, he untangled his arm, gently nudging her hand away, as he might a puppy who was inclined to nip. Down, girl. “Things are always slipping my mind, so I don’t suppose he’ll be surprised that I’m late.

Can we go back to the part where you're in love with me?"
"No, because I'm not anymore. I've come to my senses."
"That's a damn shame, that is. You'll have to wait here a minute. There's something I need from inside."
"I'll not stand out here. I'm going home."
"I'll only come after you, Brenna," he called over his shoulder as he walked to the door.

Clever enough when it suits you, aren’t you?”
“I have my moments. That cat’s out,” he continued as he took his own jacket from the hook. “Take no pity on him should he come scratching at the door. Bub knew what he was when he insisted on moving out here with me.”
“Did you remember to feed him?”
“I’m not a complete moron.” Unoffended, he wrapped a scarf around his neck. “He has food enough, and if he didn’t, he’d go begging at your kitchen door. He’d do that anyway, just to shame me.

Fixing a sneer on her face, she deliberately lowered her toolbox and let it fall with a terrible clatter. That he jumped like a rabbit under the gun pleased her.
“Christ Jesus!” he scraped his chair around, thumped a hand to his heart as if to get it pumping again.
“What’s the matter?”
“Nothing.” She continued to sneer. “Butterfingers,” she said sweetly and picked up her dented toolbox again. “Give you a start, did I?”
“You damn near killed me.

He’s been very distracted the last few days.”
“Has he now?”
“And short-tempered.” Brenna found her appetite coming back. I’m delighted to hear it. I hope he suffers, the donkey’s ass.”

Brenna went through the rest of her workday whistling, her mood bright and her hands nimble. She supposed it wasn’t very charitable of her to take pleasure in the idea of another’s unhappiness, but she was human, after all.

He waved cheerfully, then opened the door, tripped over the threshold, and as his balance was already impaired, nearly went face down on the floor for the second time that day. He caught himself, hung on to the side of the counter, and waited for the pub kitchen to stop revolving.
With the careful steps of the drunk, he walked over to the cupboard to get out a pan for frying, a pot for boiling.
Shawn was singing in his break-your-heart voice, about the cold nature of Peggy Gordon. And with one eye closed, his body swaying gently, he dripped lemon juice into a bowl.
“Oh, fuck me, Shawn. You are half pissed.”
“More than three-quarters if the truth be known.” He lost track of the juice and added a bit more to be safe. “And how are you, Aidan, darling?”
“Get way from there before you poison someone.”
Insulted, Shawn swiveled around and had to brace a hand on the counter to stay upright. “I’m drunk, not a murderer. I can make a g.d. fish cake in me sleep. This is my kitchen, I’ll thank you to remember, and I give the orders here.”
He poked himself in the chest with his thumb on the claim and nearly knocked himself on his ass.
Gathering dignity, he lifted his chin. “So go on with you while I go about my work.” “
What have you done to yourself?”
“The devil cat caught me hand. Forgetting his work, Shawn lifted a hand to scowl at the red gashes. Oh, but I’ve got plans for him, you can be sure of that.”
“At the moment, I’d lay odds on the cat. Do you know anything about putting fish cakes together?” Aidan asked Darcy.
“Not a bloody thing,” she said cheerfully.
“Then go and call Kathy Duffy, would you, and ask if she can spare us an hour or so, as we have an emergency?”
“An emergency?” Shawn looked glassily around. “Where?

If love doesn't make a fool of us, what will?

I love you. I don't know when it started, years ago or weeks. But I know my heart's lost to you, and I wouldn't have it another way. You're what I want, all there is of you.

I'm wondering, if there was something you wanted, had wanted for some time, what would you do about it?"

"If I've wanted it, why don't I have it?"

"Because you haven't made any real effort to get it as yet."

"And why haven't I?" He arched his sandy brows. "Am I slow or just stupid?"

Brenna thought it over, decided he couldn't know he'd just insulted his first born. Then she nodded slowly. "Maybe a bit of both in this particular case."

Relieved to have the conversation turn to a safe area, he gave her a fierce grin. "Then I'd stop being slow and I'd stop being stupid and I'd take good aim at what I wanted and not dawdle about. Because when an O'Toole takes aim, by Jesus, he hits his mark.

That, she knew, was true enough. And was certainly expected. "But maybe you're a bit nervous and not quite sure of your skill in this area."

"Girl, if you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer's always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.

I’m wondering, if there was something you wanted, had wanted for some time, what would you do about it?”
“If I’ve wanted it, why don’t I have it?”
“Because you haven’t made any real effort to get it as yet.”
“And why haven’t I?” He arched his sandy brows. “Am I slow or just stupid?”
Brenna thought it over, decided he couldn’t know he’d just insulted his firstborn.

Ireland is a land of poets and legends, of dreamers and rebels. All of these have music woven through and around them. Tunes for dancing or for weeping, for battle or for love.

I thought it was just a longing for you, and that would be enough for both of us. I do long for you, but it's not enough and it's not all. Oh, this is where I want t be.

it’s left to us still living to miss those who aren’t.

It's not right," he repeated, grabbing her again and turning her to face him. "I'm not having it."

"So you said, in clear terms."

"I don't mean that."

"Oh, well, if you've decided you'd like to have sex with me after all, I've changed my mind."

"I haven't decided--" He broke off, staggered. "Changed your mind?"

"I have. Kissing you wasn't altogether what I thought it would be. So you were right and I was wrong." She gave him a deliberately insulting pat on the cheek." And that's the end of it."

"The hell it is." He trapped her against the truck, quickly and firmly enough to have both excitement and annoyance rising inside her. "If I want you, I'll have you, and that's the end of it.

It was a lie, of course, and she was prepared to confess it to her priest. But she’d be damned if she’d tell him she’d been playing with his music.
Her pride was worth the penance.
He felt a quiver in his heart that he took for sympathy. “There, Brenna darling. Have you gone and fallen in love on me?”
She jerked, whirled, gaped at him. He was watching her with such—such bloody affection, such patience and sympathy. She could have beaten him black and blue. Instead, she just shoved clear of him and snatched up her toolbox. “Shawn Gallagher, you are truly a great idiot of a man.”
With her nose in the air and her tools clanking, she stalked out.
He only shook his head, then went back to his cleaning up. With that little quiver around his heart again, he wondered who it was that O’Toole had set her sights on.
Whoever, Shawn thought, slamming a cupboard door just a little too forcefully, the man had better be worthy of her.

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, it shows?”
Before Jude could answer, Brenna was up, pacing, knocking the heels of her hands against the sides of her, moaning out curses. “I’ll have to move away, leave my family. I can go to the west counties. I have some people, on my mother’s side, in Galway. No, no, that’s not far enough. I’ll have to leave the country entirely. I’ll go to Chicago and stay with your granny until I get on me feet. She’ll take me in, won’t she?

Love birds don't always sing pretty tunes.

Love spells are nothing but wives' tales. You can't play magic inside the heart, for it's more powerful than any spell. Lust you can order up with a wink, desire with a smile. But love is love, and there is nothing can touch it.

Playing with your mind, that’s what she’s about.” Carrick waved a hand, then tossed the little star that clung to his fingertips out over the water, where it trailed silver light. “Cooking you a meal, making everything, herself included, pretty for you. A more devious female I’ve never known. You’re well shed of her.

She was a fine woman, and lived a good and long life. But it’s left to us still living to miss those who aren’t.

That had been her plan, he decided. The devious witch. She’d planted the seed in his brain, stirred up his loins, as he was only a man, after all, and now she could torment him just by being in the same vicinity.
Well, two could play this game.
Rather than waiting for Darcy to pick up the orders, he carried them out himself. Just to show Brenna O’Toole that she didn’t trouble him in the least.
The perverse creature didn’t even glance his way as he swung into the pub and wound his way through the crowd to the tables.

The second surprise came on the heels of the first when she noted the only thing keeping her from rolling off the bed was the arm that Shawn had banded around her.
He’d sprawled himself in the middle of the mattress, shoving her to the outer edge. But, she thought, at least he was considerate enough to see that she stayed there and didn’t fall on her face.

Um ano é um século quando se espera o amor.

You asked him to go to bed with you?”
“I did, and you’d think I’d smashed him in the balls with my wrench. So that’s the end of that.”
Jude folded her hands, leaned forward. “I’m going to pry.”
Brenna’s lips twitched. “Oh, you haven’t started that yet?”
“Not nearly. What exactly did you say to him?”
“I said, plain enough, that I thought we should have sex. And what’s wrong with that?” she demanded, gesturing with her spoon. “You’d think a man would appreciate clear, honest speaking.

You don't fix a man the way you do a fault in a pipe or a leak in a roof. You take him as he is, Mary Brenna, or you don't take him at all...adjustments can't be all made on one side, darling, else the balance goes off and what's being built just falls down.

You’re as pretty as she is.”
“Don’t be saying such things loud enough for herself to hear you, or she’ll skin us both.”
Touched and amused, she kissed his cheek. And Shawn came through the door.
It would have been comical, she decided, and was a pity that no one noticed but herself noticed the way he stopped dead in his tracks, stared, then jolted when the door swung back and slapped him in the ass.
I liked how she was trying to make him jealous with Jack.
Jack sighed into his beer when Brenna strode out. “She smells like sawdust,” he said more to himself than otherwise. “It’s very pleasant.”
“What are you doing sniffing at her?” Shawn demanded.
Jack just blinked at him. “What?”
“I’ll be back in a minute.” He shoved up the pass-through on the bar, let it fall with a bang that had Aidan cursing him, then rushed through the door after Brenna.
“Wait a minute. Mary Brennan? Just a damn minute.”
She paused by the door of her truck, and for one of the first times in her life felt the warm glow of pure female satisfaction stream through her. A fine feeling, she decided. A fine feeling altogether.
Schooling her face to show mild interest, she turned. “Is there a problem, then?”
“Yes, there’s a problem. What are you doing flirting with Jack Brennan that way?”
She let her eyebrows rise up under the bill of her cap. “And what business might that be of yours, I’d like to know?”
“A matter of days ago you’re asking me to make love with you, and I turn around and you’re cozying up to Jack and making plans to have dinner with some Dubliner.”
She waited one beat, then two. “And?”
“And?” Flustered and furious, he glared at her. “And it’s not right.”
She only lifted a shoulder in dismissal, then turned to open the truck door.
“It’s not right,” he repeated, grabbing her again and turning her to face him. “I’m not having it.”
“So you said, in clear terms.”
“I don’t mean that.”
“Oh, well, if you’ve decided you’d like to have sex with me after all, I’ve changed my mind.”
“I haven’t decided—” He broke off, staggered. “Changed your mind?