Authors: Tricia O'Malley
Tags: #new adult, #paranormal romance, #witch, #healer, #mystical, #celtic, #gaelic, #baby, #international, #beach, #psychic, #pirate
Wild Irish Roots
Prequel to the Mystic Cove Series
Copyright © 2014 by Tricia O'Malley
All Rights Reserved
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Never love anybody that treats you like you're ordinary. - Oscar Wilde
um, that man is lying." Margaret Grainne O'Brien tugged on Fiona's hand and pointed. At nine years old, Margaret was a precocious, intelligent child. She watched people closely and often offered her unfiltered opinions of their behavior.
"Shh, Margaret. Just because you can see that about him doesn't mean that other people can," Fiona said gently to her daughter. Margaret looked up at her quizzically.
"But, he is," Margaret insisted.
The man in question was, luckily, too far away for Margaret's small voice to reach him. He leaned across the table and held the hand of a blonde woman, looking searchingly into her eyes.
"Yes, he is. But some things we must allow to unfold naturally," Fiona cautioned and pulled her daughter away.
Margaret looked over her shoulder at the man as Fiona dragged her from the small restaurant. If someone had asked her, she would have been unable to explain why she knew when people were lying, in love, or hiding something. It was just how she saw the world. She'd never been told that she was different.
"Margaret, honey, let's get a cup of tea and sit outside, okay?" Fiona asked and stopped at a coffee shop next to the restaurant. She ordered cinnamon scones for the both of them and a pot of tea, motioning for Margaret to pick a table outside. Margaret picked one where she still had a view of the restaurant. Her nine-year-old brain was a curious one and she wanted to know what happened with the lying man.
Fiona came to join her at the table. Margaret smiled up at her mom, admiring her strawberry-blonde hair and sherry-brown eyes. Margaret took after her mother in that respect and she loved having Fiona braid her long hair. Even at this age, she had some vanity with her appearance.
Fiona smiled at Margaret and poured her a cup of tea, before spooning some clotted cream onto a scone for her. Together, they sat in silence for a moment as the small village of Grace's Cove bustled around them. A lovely spring day, the air was gentle with the promise of summer. The sun warmed the colorful buildings that jostled for attention on the main street that led to the harbor. At the bottom of the hill, the water spread out, the waves dancing in the sunlight.
"Margaret, honey, we need to talk," Fiona began.
Margaret tensed up. She could already tell that Fiona had something serious, if not scary, to tell her. She could read her mother's emotions and sensed her trepidation. Margaret put her scone down.
"What? What did I do wrong?"
"No, nothing like that. I want to talk to you about that man in the restaurant," Fiona said.
"Oh. Do you know why he was lying?" Margaret asked and took a bite from the cinnamon scone, letting the flavors settle over her tongue before taking a small sip of her tea.
"No. And, most people don't know that he is lying. It's time that we talked about your ability," Fiona said carefully.
Margaret felt her stomach knot up. She wasn't sure what was going on, but could tell that Fiona was tense.
"What do you mean?"
"Well, do you know how the other little girls that you play with sometimes get upset when you say things? Like how you know if they have a crush on a boy or if they are keeping a secret?"
Margaret shrugged her shoulders and looked stonily at her plate. Lately, she'd been having more and more trouble with her friends. It was hard for her to keep her mouth shut about the things that she saw. She didn't mean to blurt out the things that she knew; Margaret thought that she was helping her friends.
"Are they mad at me? Did their mums say something to you?" Margaret whispered.
"No, honey, not at all. First, I want you to know that I love you very much and always will. But, it is time to learn the truth about yourself. About us. You are an extra special girl. Just like me. Just like all of the females of our family." Fiona smiled warmly at Margaret and Margaret couldn't help but smile back even though her stomach was in knots. She could feel the love radiating from her mother and felt safe.
"What do you mean extra special? Like, because I can do math so well?" Margaret asked, deliberately steering the conversation around where she sensed it was going.
"No, because you have a special ability that other people don't have. But, if you don't learn how to keep quiet about it, people may treat you differently," Fiona said and patted Margaret's hand. "Honey, you're empathic. It is a very special gift that allows you to see other people's feelings even if they don't say anything. That man that you saw in the restaurant? Well, nobody else would know he was lying. Not even the woman that he was talking to. Most people can't see what you see."
Margaret felt heat creep through her as she began to understand all of the awkward moments she had been having at school. She
"But you said that you could see he was lying!" Margaret said, accusation in her voice.
"I can. I did. But, see, I'm different too." Fiona smiled at her.
Margaret knew this to be true. She'd heard whispers of it on the playground and around the village. Fiona O'Brien's healing skills were both revered and feared. Margaret had always wondered why someone would be scared of Fiona, when she brought so much good to others.
"So, we're weird?" Margaret asked and crossed her arms over her small chest. Shame began to build within her.
"Margaret O'Brien, stop that. Immediately." Fiona's harsh tone jerked Margaret's gaze to her face. "We are not weird. We are special. Not everyone gets to have these types of gifts. They have been handed down from a very famous woman."
Her interest piqued, Margaret toyed with her scone before looking up at Fiona.
"Well, none other than the famous pirate queen, Grainne O'Malley. Grace. Just like my middle name. Just like yours."
"We're related to a pirate queen?" Margaret said excitedly. She'd always loved the water and spent many a happy hour down in the cove with Fiona.
"That we are...the best one, at that. Grace ruled the seas with a steel fist and wide-open heart. She helped to maintain much of our Irish culture. When it was time for her to pass on, well, she chose the cove as her final resting place."
Margaret's hands stilled on the plate. "Our cove?"
"Yes, our cove. The cove is where she chose to die. In doing so, she protected it. And, through whatever powers that be, she also gave everyone of her bloodline special gifts. You're lucky to have it," Fiona said fiercely.
Margaret stared across the road sullenly. She didn't feel lucky. She felt different now.
"I don't want it," Margaret said stubbornly.
Fiona laughed at her and reached across the table to cup her chin.
"That's something you'll have to come to terms with, my love."
Ten Years Later
argaret dumped the rest of the teacups into the sink and powered the large sprayer over them. Her mind was on her date with Sean tonight, so she almost missed the cups and sprayed herself. Laughing, Margaret stepped back from the sink and went to lock the front door, calling to Sarah, the other server that worked at Grace's Cup, a small teashop in downtown Grace's Cove.
"Sarah, I'm closing up. I have a date to get ready for. You can go." Margaret smiled with anticipation as she locked the front glass-paned door and wound her way back through the small tables that cluttered the floor of the small restaurant.
"Alright then, see you later this week," Sarah grumbled as she left from the back door. Margaret rolled her eyes and moved through the small kitchen to twist the lock on the back door. Sarah always had one complaint or another. Shrugging it off, Margaret went into the back room to pull her garment bag from the closet. Smiling, she unzipped the bag to reveal a deep purple dress. She'd saved it just for this date with Sean, knowing that they would move their relationship forward soon.
Margaret changed quickly, slipping the purple dress over her curvy frame. On the taller side, Margaret held her curves well and she'd often received compliments on how she filled out a dress.
Always from the wrong people, Margaret thought. At nineteen, Margaret was still a virgin, having rebuffed all of the fumbling attempts by the inept boys that she had gone to school with. Until Sean. Sean had moved to Grace's Cove two years ago, just as Margaret was finishing school. A few years older than her, Sean had caught her eye immediately. He was everything that the boys at school weren't. Tall, muscular, and with a confidence that most guys her age had yet to cultivate. Dark brown hair, brown eyes and a bright white smile completed the package and Margaret's heart had been lost ever since.
A month ago, Sean had casually bumped into her at the pub. They had ended up talking for quite a while that night. Margaret smiled as she thought about how their friends had faded away into the background as they grilled each other about their lives and their dreams for the future. Since then, they had been stealing moments with each other—a cup of tea, a walk by the water. Slowly, they had begun to reveal their true selves to each other.
Margaret stiffened as she ran a comb through the strawberry-blonde hair that fell halfway down her back. Except she hadn't been fully truthful with Sean. She hadn't told him about her gift. Margaret never talked about that side of herself. To anyone. Ever since Fiona had taught her how to shield who she was from the world, Margaret had lived behind a barrier, never slipping up...never wanting to be different.
Since the night at the pub, their attraction to each other had grown rapidly. Margaret was already lost and could feel that Sean was on his way to loving her. Tonight was their first real dinner date. A trickle of excitement ran through Margaret. She'd never felt so connected to a boy – a man – before.
Leaving her hair to fall down her shoulders, Margaret leaned in to look in the small mirror that hung in the back room. Grabbing her makeup bag from her purse, she outlined her sherry-brown eyes with a navy pencil and smudged the makeup into the lash line. Smoothing on a lipstick shade in soft rose, Margaret dropped her hand and smiled at herself in the mirror. The touch of makeup made Margaret look older, her face edgier, as though she held a wealth of womanly secrets.
And what secrets she did hold, Margaret thought.
Brushing off her nervousness, Margaret took one last look in the small mirror, craning over her shoulder to look at the back of her dress. Satisfied, she picked up her small bag and went to meet Sean at a local restaurant down the street that they had both agreed to meet at after their workdays. Knowing that Sean probably didn't make much money as a fisherman, Margaret had picked an easygoing restaurant. Though she was probably overdressed for dinner, Margaret wanted to feel beautiful.
Sean had haunted her dreams for months now. She wasn't going to let anything mess this up. With a solemn oath to herself never to speak of her gift to Sean, lest he be disgusted by her, Margaret left for dinner.
ean waited for Margaret outside of the local fish and chips pub. He scratched beneath the collar of one of the few nice dress shirts he owned. Sean felt awkward standing here with a simple clutch of wildflowers in his hand, while people passing by on the street eyed him with a smile.
Sean did a mental groan as he thought about the town gossips. Though he'd lived in the small town of Grace's Cove for a couple years, he'd yet to grow accustomed to the nosey ways of local gossips.
Sean leaned back against the brick wall of the building and thought about Dublin. He'd loved the big-city life and longed to run a successful fishing operation out of Galway or Dublin. But, he was also prudent. Coming to Grace's Cove where some of the most prized seafood in all of Ireland rested was a smart decision on his part. Here, he was learning the intricacies of the differnt ways of fishing from gathering mussels to spearing larger fish.