The McCreedy girl glided toward the men. Had she joined Brad in his crazed state during her imprisonment? Caryn couldn't let her hurt Patrick. Not now.
Anne reached the men and kicked the gun from Brad's hand. He sagged on the floor, red seeping on his shirt. But then Caryn looked at Patrick and saw red spreading across his jacket.
Brad scrambled to his feet, knocking Anne against a wall. "This isn't over. You can't throw a priceless jewel away and expect to get away with it." He stepped toward her, foreboding filling Caryn.
Then she heard it. A small sound, but enough to give her hope they weren't alone. If she could only keep Brad distracted for a few more minutes without him killing her.
"Why, Brad? Why do all of this? Patrick was your best friend."
"Gambling debts. When some of New York City's worst crime bosses are after you, you'll do anything. Friendships are meaningless when you're threatened with certain death." He snarled at her. "Time is up. I've spent ten years side-stepping their demands, but no more. I've been guaranteed death if I don't have the money immediately."
He turned to the side and picked up the gun pointing at her with unwavering directness. Caryn screamed, loud as she could then dove for the window. She perched precariously on the wide ledge. The ground stood several stories below her. Could she survive a jump?
Brad cackled, a hideous, shrill sound. She glanced at him and stilled when she noticed Patrick creeping across the floor toward the crazy man. Could Patrick reach him and do anything to disable the man in his injured state?
"Scream all you want. Anne here has convinced the village that a ghost lives here, keening for her lost love. Fitting don't you think."
Caryn looked out again and edged closer to the drop. "Does it help to know the real brooch is resting safely in New York City."
Brad roared, his face turning red. Patrick grabbed him around the ankles, pulling him to the stone floor. A moment later bobbing lights entered the room and handcuffs were snapped on Brad's wrists.
Patrick's mum Emily smiled at them from the halo of torch light. "It's about time the two of you were reconnected." She inhaled sharply and hurried to Patrick's side. "What happened to you?"
"Nothing a little trip to a hospital won't cure." Patrick smiled, the gesture tinged with pain. "You didn't arrive a minute to soon, mum."
"Wanted to give you two time to reconnect first." She nudged Brad with her toe. "Didn't anticipate him shooting you."
Caryn slipped down from the windowsill and hurried to Patrick's side. "We've so much to talk about."
He brushed a strand of hair from her face. "Shhh. That can wait. First, though, I have a question for you. Will you marry me? It's time for another St. Patrick's Day wedding in the village, and I can't wait another minute to make sure you never disappear again."
She studied him a moment, a slow smile spreading on her face. "Oh you have a lot to explain, Patrick. But I like the idea of you not disappearing again either."
"Does that mean yes?"
"Yes, it does." She threw herself in his arms, and he groaned in pain. "But first we'll get you taken care of."
He grinned at her, the young man she first loved poking through the visage of a mature Patrick she couldn't wait to get to know and love all over again.