Caryn pushed on the heavy wooden door for the hundredth time in as many minutes. “Arghh!” The frustrated scream ripped from her throat and echoed around her. Why had she believed that stupid letter?
Darkness pressed in on her, relieved only by the sliver of moonlight now snaking through the bars on the small window. She paced back to it and looked out. Waves crashed below her. “Help me! Somebody!”
For the first time, real fear crawled up her spine and settled at the base of her neck. Goosebumps pimpled her flesh and she realized she might be stuck here.
“Oh God, what’s going on?” she whispered. “First the brakes on my car going out, then someone trying to break into my flat? And now that weird letter has led me here. What am I going to do?”
But Patrick’s letter had sent her heart into a tailspin. He asked her to meet him at Shamrock Castle. And this time she planned to confront him about the past. Why had he disappeared on her? Professed his love for her and given her a family heirloom—then disappeared!
Her fists clenched at the memory. Well, he was home now and she planned to confront him and give him a piece of her mind.
As soon as she figured a way out of here.
A scrape sounded at the door and she startled and whirled away from the window to rush toward the sound. She pounded on the door. “Let me out of here! Let me out!”
With horror, she realized that someone had slid the two by four sized opening back and two dark eyes stared at her. Mocking laughter reached her ears and a low voice carried through. “Oh no, my dear, you’re right where I want you. And soon, dear Patrick is going to join you.”
“Patrick? But he’s the one who sent me the letter.”
More laughter. “If you say so.”
“Who are you? Why are you doing this?”
But the laughter had faded Caryn shuddered to realize she’d walked into a trap.
Footsteps sounded once again. “Caryn? Are you up here? Caryn?”
“Patrick! Is that you?” Of course it was him. She’d never forget that voice. How she’d dreamed to hear it again, dreamed of his sweet kisses and promises. And now he was here! Walking into a trap just as she’d done. She had to warn him!
“Get out!” she screamed. “It’s a trap!”
“What--?” A thud sounded followed by a harsh yell.
The small opening in the door slid to the side once more. “Get back, girl, or I’ll do more than just knock a knot on the side of his wee little head. Now move!”
Caryn wanted to confront the evil person on the other side of the door. But she didn’t dare until she saw that Patrick was safe.
She slid back just far enough so the door could open.
When her nemesis saw that she was out of his way, he open the door and shoved a woozy Patrick into the room. Caryn bolted toward him and caught him around the waist just as the door slammed shut. She heard the lock click as she lowered him to the floor.
Then all was quiet once more.
Except for Patrick’s harsh breathing and glassy eyed stare. He shook his head and grimaced. “Why would Ma send me here into danger?” he slurred.
Caryn set her jaw even as terror took root inside her. “I don’t know, Patrick, but we need to get out of here and find out.”
His hand reached up and traced her features. He stared at her like he’d never seen her before. Then his fingers entwined themselves in her auburn locks and he pulled her down until her lips met his.
When he finally stopped kissing her, he looked into her eyes. “I’ve been dreaming of that for ten long years.”
Flustered, Caryn longed to have a repeat performance, but she didn’t just go around kissing men she hadn’t seen in a decade. Especially not ones who made promises they couldn’t keep.
She scuttled away from him. “Start talking, Paddy Mulligan, and make it good because if I don’t like your story of why you ditched me at the altar, I may bean ya another one.”