When Irelynn O’Malley returned to the country of her birth, she only wanted to be left alone to cry and sort out her life. She did not want a bossy young police officer dogging her every step, spouting off his opinions about nearly everything she did.
She did not want her cousin Rory hounding her to leave the shelter and go and stay with his mother. And she especially didn’t want her cousin Colleen, the one she’d been closest to as a child, to pry into her reasons for leaving Ireland.
Even if Colleen was willing to spill her guts about how she’d managed to catch such a handsome husband, that didn’t mean Irelynn was going to relax her guard. Oh, her story twas interesting to be sure, but Irelynn’s secrets were much too painful to talk about over Irish coffee and wine.
While Princess Hooligan is a brand new story in The O’Malley Series it also contains something I’ve been asked for many times, Colleen and Noah’s story. Going back in time is never easy, especially with a family like The O’Malleys, where there are so many characters.
When Colleen met Noah, Maggie was still married to her first husband Jim. Nick was a painful memory and only Jason was born. Patrick and Molly were married with their first son, Michael. Rory was still wickedly single and Bridget was a precocious adolescent.
While the entire family is present in the majority of the book, please remember there was a time before Abby and Connor, Winston and a slew of grandchildren.
Detective Rory O’Malley leaned back in his chair and planted his size fifteen shoes on his desk as he waited for his mother to answer the phone. Ian wasn’t thrilled to report he’d lost Rory’s little cousin and Rory even less so to hear it.
“I’m sorry, Rory, but she’s tricky and a liar to boot,” Ian snapped. “She promised me she’d wait right there while I got us both coffee and of course, she didn’t.”
Rory snorted and shook his head.
“She dresses like a bag lady, climbs into filthy dumpsters to retrieve bottles worth a damn nickel, has prostitutes for friends. And she gives them money! God forbid, she buys a decent pair of sneakers. Hers are so worn out I don’t know how she stays upright when the streets are slick. I think she has duct tape on the one.” Running a hand through his hair he moved to the window.
“I know you think I’m up for this job, but I’m not,” Ian insisted. “Get someone else to do it before I do something we’ll all regret.”
“Are you threatening my cousin?” Rory asked with a fierce scowl as he covered the phone with his hand. “Have you hurt her?”
“Not yet, but I’m getting uncomfortably close to teaching her a thing or two over my lap. You have no idea how badly I want to spank her and drag her to your mother’s,” Ian groaned, his face red with fury. “I’ve never met such an irresponsible woman in my entire life. She hasn’t a care for her own safety and lies with a straight face like she’s saying a blessing!”
For a moment Rory felt a pang of sympathy and almost told Ian about his own experience with his wife, Tess. She’d been much the same when he discovered her sleeping in the park. Rory held up his finger and spoke.
“Ma, we need a family meeting. See what you can do to arrange it and get back to me, will you? Yes, it’s about Irelynn. I know, Ma, but… what? No, Ian is doing the best he can. Yes, I remember she’s your niece and you love her,” he sighed, glaring again at Ian as though the entire thing was his fault. “We’ll get this straightened out. Yes, I promise, Ma. Call me as soon as you get it set. Yes, I’ll bring Ian, so you can talk to him. Okay, apple cobbler, I’ll tell him. Look, I gotta go. Love you too, Ma.”
“Do you see what I’m going through?” he demanded, dropping his feet to the floor. “My mother is not going to give me a minute’s peace until I do something about Irelynn and when I get home, Tess starts. Here I was, thinking all my sisters were settled in good marriages with men who would look out for them and then this imp from the old country shows up,” he sighed.
“I haven’t seen her since she was little, cute as a button and full of spirit. Now she’s here doing God knows what and with whom, and you, Sullivan, can’t keep track of one small woman. How are you ever going to make detective at this rate?”
“Now, that’s just not right, Rory. You know my hands are tied on this one. She hasn’t broken the law, yet. To hear her talk she’s tougher than a junk yard dog, and the worst thing is she believes it. Just what would you like me to do, kidnap her?” Ian asked angrily.
“Let’s not go that far,” Rory said, backtracking. “We need a plan and there’s nobody better at that than my sisters. I think a gentle touch is called for in this situation, much as I understand your desire to teach her a lesson about the world she’s chosen to inhabit. There’s a thug on every corner down there, but at least she’s kept her activities out in the open during daylight hours.”
“That’s true, for now, but how long can you keep me tailing her? Sooner or later someone is going to question why, and I can hardly explain that she’s your little cousin from Ireland and you’re worried about her. Why don’t you go and see her yourself?”
“I tried, and she smartly informed me that while she appreciated the family connection, she didn’t feel we owed her any special consideration and she would be sure to visit my mother once she was on her feet. For now, she preferred to be left on her own, which she was sure I would understand. Then she left the intercom. She might as well have slammed the door in my face.”
“Yes, she did and she’s lucky we are not allowed in that building or she would have been very sorry.” Digging through his desk drawer he pulled out a bottle of antacids and tossed some back. “Care for any?”
“Not yet,” Ian said, smiling for the first time since he entered the office, “but it’s comforting to know I’m not the only one Princess Hooligan is driving crazy.”
.When Irelynn O’Malley returned to the country of her birth, she only wanted to be left alone to cry and sort out her life. She did not want a bossy, young police officer dogging her every step, spouting off his opinions about nearly everything she did.
She did not want her cousin Rory hounding her to leave the shelter and go and stay with his parents. And she especially didn’t want her cousin Colleen, the one she’d been closest to as a child, to pry into her reasons for leaving Ireland.
Even if Colleen was willing to spill her guts about how she’d managed to catch such a handsome husband, that didn’t mean Irelynn was going to relax her guard. Oh, her story ‘twas interesting to be sure, but Irelynn’s secrets were much too painful to talk about over Irish coffee and wine.
Publisher’s Note: This book contains elements of power exchange and domestic discipline. If these offend you, please do not purchase.
“What have you got against the O’Malleys anyway?” he demanded, easily keeping step with her.
“Why nothin’,” she replied, surprised. “I love them, but I didn’t come all the way from Ireland to leech off me kin. Aunt Maeve and Uncle Sean have plenty of their own to care for,” she insisted. “I’ll make me own way, thank you very much.”
“Fine, be a stubborn little brat. You keep picking garbage and I’ll just keep following you,” he snarled. “Like I don’t have anything better to do.”
Irelynn picked up her pace and he smiled evilly. Her short legs were no match for his long ones, so at least she couldn’t out run him.
“That’s Rory’s doin’,” she hissed, making the street and heading for another alley. “‘Tis nothin’ to do with me.”
“It has everything to do with you. If you weren’t so all-fired perverse you could be nice and warm, eating one of your aunt’s delicious dinners tonight instead of standing in a soup line. Why I’ll bet she’s even got some homemade pie.”
Ian could almost see her mouth watering as she paused and looked up at him. Maybe this time his words would convince her, he thought hopefully. Damn, she was pretty with those wide blue eyes. For a moment he thought he had her, but she squared her shoulders and marched on.
“I don’t mind the food at the soup kitchen and I always help clean up, so I sort of feel like I’m doin’ me part. I’m sorry if me way of livin’ offends you, Officer Sullivan, but ‘tis really no concern of yours.”
“It does offend me, Miss O’Malley. It offends me very much. So much in fact, if I wasn’t a cop and obligated to uphold the law, I’d find a stoop, pull you over my knees and spank some sense into you. Then I’d cart your sorry little ass off to your aunt’s and make you stay there until you came up with a reasonable plan for your future,” he informed her darkly.
“Then ‘tis a blessin’ you’ve chosen the law for your profession, for if you tried such a thin’ I’d have to make you sorry you were ever born,” she hissed.
He watched her face flame in embarrassment as she looked around, but when her foot came up to kick him, he smiled.
“Please do, Princess Hooligan,” he drawled. “Assaulting an officer is exactly the excuse I need to take you in. Kick me hard, I want you to leave a nice big bruise for evidence. Then Rory will have to deal with you. Besides, I’m freezing.”
“‘Tis sorry, I am, Ian,” she said sweetly, lowering her foot. “Why don’t you go and get a cup of coffee to warm ya? I’m a might chilled meself.”
His heart melted a little as he watched her shiver. It was damn cold, and he was much better dressed than she. Could he trust her not to give him the slip? O’Malley wouldn’t like it much if anything happened to her on Ian’s watch and this was a pretty seedy area. On the other hand, if she was as cold as he was, she’d want that coffee.
“All right,” he said sternly. “I’m going into that little store there,” he pointed, “and you’d better be here when I get out. What do you take in your coffee?” he asked, rubbing his hands together.
“A bit of cream and sugar,” she replied, shivering dramatically.
“I mean it, Irelynn,” he warned as he backed away. “Don’t you move an inch.”
“I won’t,” she promised.
Five minutes later when he came out, she was nowhere to be seen. Hurrying back to his patrol car he drove her usual route with no luck. Returning to the shelter he pressed the buzzer.