Authors: Kathi S Barton
Tags: #The Grant Brothers
Kathi S Barton
World Castle Publishing
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locations, organizations, or person, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
World Castle Publishing
Copyright © Kathi S. Barton 2011
Library of Congress Catalogue Number 2011937305
First Edition World Castle Publishing September 1, 2011
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in articles and reviews.
Cover: Karen Fuller
Editor: Brieanna Robertson
I would like to say thank you to all my family, friends and fans.
“Sometimes you just need a bit of courage during the morning hours, don’t you?” Cait looked at the woman behind her who had spoken.
When she nodded at the six pack of beer in with Cait’s purchases, Cait looked down at the woman’s own beer. She saw that there was one missing and then saw it was in the woman’s hand. It was barely nine-thirty in the morning.
“I don’t drink,” Cait told her. Not that she had to explain to her, but she did.
“It’s for the chili we’re having for dinner.”
“Well, I do. And there are times, like today, that I need to start drinking earlier and earlier. I don’t think my nerves can take it if I had to wait until five.
But like someone once said, it’s five somewhere.” Cait walked out of the little store and to her bike, shaking her head. Small towns, she thought. She was about to swing her leg over the seat when she heard the tires of screams in protest.
Without a single thought to her own safety, Cait ran to the scene.
“Where is she? My daughter? They said that she was brought in by ambulance.” Spencer was frantic. He had torn across town and could not remember a single thing about the drive. He hoped that he at least stopped when he was supposed to and didn’t break too many laws on the way in.
“Come this way, Doctor Grant. She’s fine. You’ll frighten her if you go back looking like this. Take a deep breath.” The nurse he knew from his brother’s work here, but for the life of him, he could not place her name.
He wanted to snarl at her, to tell her that he was scared himself. His little girl was here and she was keeping her from him. When someone put their hand on his shoulder, he turned to snap at whoever it was, but found two of his brothers.
“How is she?” Devin said with a huge bear hug.
“I don’t know. I just...could I please go find my little girl? I need to see her right now.” He knew he was barely holding on to his temper, but he was not going to be able to do that much longer.
The nurse apparently saw something in his face and motioned for them to come around to the closed door behind her.
He could hear her before they got there. A woman’s voice, full of laughter and humor, was talking and making jokes. At first, he could not imagine why they would be headed that way, then he heard her speaking again.
“Yeah, kid, I’ve never known anyone who cheated at checkers before. You’re all right. I like you.”
He threw back the curtain the nurse indicated and stopped dead. He was not sure what he had expected, but a woman standing there with a gun pointed at him was not where is head was. When Devin and Nicky bumped into him, he heard one of them say, “shit.” Understatement if he had ever heard one.
“My daughter,” was all he got out before Meggie, his precious little girl, was in his arms. She had leapt he would swear from the bed. Life was suddenly all right again.
“Are you all right? Oh, baby, let me look at you.” Her hands were going a mile a minute and he finally had to close his larger ones over hers to slow her down so that he could hear what she was saying.
Meggie Grant was a vibrant, happy and beautiful six-year-old, and she was also a deaf mute. He hugged her again.
Spencer then turned to the woman who had put her gun away now and was backing away from them. He noticed a smear on her shirt, but didn’t register what it was.
“She said that you saved her life. That you kept her from being run over by a truck that was going too fast.” He had to close his eyes for a second, the terror of what Meggie had told him overwhelming. Then he looked at her again.
“Yeah, well...I’ve got to go. She’s a good kid, but she cheats at checkers.
Whoever taught her that bears watching during poker night, I think. The driver of the truck didn’t mean any harm. Everyone is fine.” She backed away a couple more steps and Spencer glanced at his brothers who stepped behind her. Spencer stood and sat his daughter on the bed again as he walked toward her.
“I don’t know how to thank you. But you pulled a gun on me, which means you had one while you were sitting with my daughter. I realize she said you saved her, but I don’t know you. I would like to know who you are and why you’re armed.”
“Caitlynne O’Malley. I have a permit for it. I have to meet the doc now in the other room. Don’t! You need to step back from me. I don’t want to have to hurt anyone, but I will if you touch me,” she warned them while raising her hands up, her palms out and fingers spread wide.
“No one wants to be hurt. You just need to explain to me why you have a gun, that’s all. Then everyone will be happy. How did you get it past security anyway?”
She swayed slightly, but stiffened when Nicky started for her. When she glanced at his brother, Nicky stepped back another step.
“I’m going to reach my left hand into my left pocket and pull out my ID.
That’s where my weapon is, as well as an extra magazine or clip. I’ll need to pull it out and I’ll put it into my right hand first before I take out anything else.
Everyone cool with that?”
Spencer nodded and his brothers backed away from her. She moved her hand very slowly to her pocket and pulled out a gun and a clip, just as she had said. She pulled it out and pinched between her thumb and finger on the butt of it. The clip as well as the weapon were transferred to her other hand.
“It’s loaded and hot. By hot I mean there is a round in the chamber, but I’m not touching the trigger. There is no safety on this particular type of weapon so I can’t place it anywhere to get my ID for you. I don’t know you any better than you know me and I’m not leaving my weapon where you can get to it. I’m going to get my ID now.”
He knew suddenly that she was a cop. And with that realization, it occurred to him that she had been acting purely on instinct when he came upon her without warning and threw back the curtain. She had protected Meggie once again.
“You’re a cop. I’m sorry, Officer O’Malley. My mother will have a fit when she finds out that I didn’t guess that first.”
She didn’t say anything, but handed him a flat, black wallet. He noticed there was no badge and looked at her name and information when he opened it.
“Detective Caitlynne A. O’Malley—Chicago Police Department—Homicide.” He handed it back to her and smiled.
“My name is Spencer Grant. These are my brothers…” He was suddenly cut off by a large, booming voice yelling down the corridor. He glanced at Cait when he heard her whisper, “Well fuck a duck and watch it waddle.”
“Where the hell are you, girly? I swear to Christ...I can’t leave you alone for ten damned minutes and you go and...where are you?” Paddy yelled again.
Cait looked at the three men and shuddered. “I’m so sorry,” she whispered before she answered the voice that was getting closer and closer. “Here you loud mouthed Irishman. Wanna keep it down a bit? They can probably hear you back at the house,” she yelled back to her uncle.
The curtain was tossed back so hard that three of the rings snapped off, leaving it hanging at an odd angle. Meggie smiled at the burly man, Cait noticed.
He had that effect on most women, no matter what the age.
“Christ, girly. Scared me, you did. Doona do that to me again.” Cait could see the tears welling in his eyes before he jerked her to him. She didn’t have time to avoid him, and pain already pulsing through her made her whimper in response.
“Christ! Let go.” She didn’t know if it was her tone or the small step she took to steady herself but he immediately obeyed. But too quickly and she felt the floor move under her feet and the walls shift. Pain shot through her body and pulsed to life like a living, breathing thing.
Before she realized it, she was on the bed next to the little girl and people were shouting around her. Her vision swam round and round and she closed her eyes. Taking deep breaths—well, as deep as she could under the circumstances, she tried to center herself and manage the pain.
“Detective O’Malley? Could you please help me before this man hurts me or my brothers?”
Cait opened her eyes again and looked up at Meggie’s dad. Her uncle had him in a head lock and rather than fight him, it looked as if Spencer was letting the shorter man hold him.
He was gorgeous, she thought, with the deepest blue eyes she had ever seen.
His dark hair looked like he had been running his fingers through it all day and there was chalk dust on his jacket sleeves. His jacket was a good cut, but it looked rumpled like he had slept in it. And if his shoulders where half as broad as they looked, she wanted to wrap around him and hang on tight.
It was not often that she met a man that was much taller than her. Cait was just under six foot and slender. But Spencer looked to be around six foot four inches easily and was built like a man who worked hard rather than hit the gym three or more times a week. His skin tone was light, but she didn’t think it was for any reason other than he did not spend a lot of time outside. If he did, he would be a beautiful, yummy golden brown.
“Oh, Christ, I hurt,” she groaned when she tried to sit up, and nearly passed out when she leaned up on her elbows to regard the room again. “Uncle Paddy, I’m fine. Please let the man go. What the fuck is wrong with you? I’m not helpless.” She noticed that four more people had joined the first group, three men and an older woman.
“Yeah? Say that to me when your shirt ain’t covered in blood. Damn it, Caddy—did—do you have any idea what happened...what I thought when he...you’re supposed to be relaxing, healing. Your captain called it rest and relaxation, remember? Doona look to me like you did much of that today.” Uncle Paddy’s voice cracked and emotion swam in his dark green eyes.
Cait tried to get up to go to her uncle to hug him when one of the newcomers, another handsome man, pushed her back on the bed. He gave her a stern look, one that she could recognize as someone who was used to people listening to him. She cocked a brow at him.
“I’m Doctor Grant. Let’s have a look at this blood, shall we? I want to see what you’ve done,” he said.