The Gangster’s Kiss
John O’Malley’s sister is missing. All the clues of her disappearance lead to Hayward County, Wisconsin and the crooks and questionable sheriff that reside there. Pretending to be one of them, John takes a job as bodyguard for the sheriff’s beautiful sister, Grace. It seems like the perfect way to investigate their crimes and corruption, but when someone threatens to kill Grace, the job proves harder than he thought. Is she an innocent witness to a crime, or just as guilty as everyone else?
Grace Sullivan just wanted a normal life: find a good man, get married and have a family. She has had enough of looking the other way while her brother hides behind his sheriff’s badge to conduct shady dealings. Hiring a gangster named John to watch her is the final straw. When a face from the past threatens her life, she is forced to put her life in John’s hands, but as time goes on, all she really wants is to be in the gangster’s arms.
The hair rose on the back of his neck. He licked his lips and smirked. She was spying on him. Her silhouette outlined a second floor window. A slight breeze nudged the curtain now and then to reveal the color of her nightgown. It looked to be a pretty, pale pink or peach shade of satin and lace. He removed his hat and ran his fingers through his hair. Her name suited her. She was as elegant and graceful as a dancer he’d once seen.
Eryn had dragged him, kicking and screaming, to a play. The dancer’s arms and legs swayed with the music. The vision in his mind didn’t compare to Grace though. She was one of a kind. A woman way out of his league.
His bare feet sunk in the thick grass as he crossed the yard to sit on the bench in front of the barn. No doubt she was following him with her lovely blue eyes. He had moved into the living quarters above the garage. The heat in the small room was stifling. Way too many thoughts circled in his head, and he couldn’t get any sleep.
Babysitting the sheriff’s sister was not part of the plan. Mickey had found out that Eryn was somewhere in the Hayward County area and he figured working for the sheriff, the man that he was told, knew everything that was happening in his jurisdiction. Was Grace knowledgeable about things like her brother or just an innocent bystander? He had yet to find out. At least she was a pretty thing. Pretty? She was a doll.
They finished eating but their conversation lasted into dusk. The mosquitos drove them inside where they continued to talk. He volunteered to wash the dishes while she dried. John was a lot smarter than she thought. He was quite well educated, in fact, but why was he here? Again, her lack of trust kicked in.
“Well, I think we have everything done.” John wiped his wet hands on a flour sack towel and gave the room the once over.
“Yes.” She gazed up. “Thank you for helping.” Her heart was aflutter. It was just the two of them alone. Her eyes fell to his lips. What would it be like to be touched by them? A few evening birds still crooned outside by the bird feeder and the buzz of a bee could be heard.
He rested one hand on the kitchen counter and reached to tuck a loose strand of blond hair behind her ear with the other.
“Good night.” John grabbed his hat off the table and headed to the door. “Get some sleep. We have a driving lesson tomorrow.”
“Ah, yes.” Grace shadowed behind, her fingers locked behind her back. “Good night, John.”
He paused in the doorway. “Lock the door behind me.”
“I will.” She gripped the door handle in her hand and leaned on the door frame.
“I’ll be right outside, in case you need anything,” he halted before going down the steps, “or, in case you just want to stare at me some more.” Why, the man was impossible, but he made her laugh.
“You flatter yourself, Mr. O’Malley.” She giggled and those butterflies took flight again.
He stepped closer. “But what if I steal something?” he ribbed.
“I trust you.” Did she just say that? Her heart skipped a beat.
He stood close, so close she could feel his warmth. He didn’t wear any fancy cologne but yet smelled fresh, like the outdoors. It was a clean, pine scent, and definitely all male. Her fingers itched to touch his strong jaw but she couldn’t move. She could feel the pounding of her heart in her ears.
“Then we are making progress.” He cupped her cheek in his hand, leaned in, and kissed her forehead. “Sleep well, Princess.” Goose bumps rose on her arm. She couldn’t move. Her eyes closed. Would he kiss her again? Her lips parted. His boots sounded on the steps. She opened her eyes and watched him cross the yard to the garage.
Grace sighed as she her bodyguard disappeared in the dark.
“Lock the door, Grace!” John yelled from somewhere in the shadows.
She rousted herself from his spell and locked the door. The lights turned off, she danced around the kitchen with just the moonlight to guide the way. Her feet waltzed across the living room until she stubbed her toe on the leg of a chair. Grace stopped. She was acting like a schoolgirl, giddy from her first kiss. Well, she had about as much experience as a schoolgirl. The number of kisses she’d had could be counted on one hand. She was a mature woman. She needed to act like one. Who was she kidding? Her feet ran up the stairs as fast as she could go.
In the darkness of her room, she slid on her peach satin nightgown and sat in the window seat. Was he out there watching her? Keeping her safe? A chill ran down her spine. Was Killian gone? She really needed to tell John about him.
Something moved by the tree line. Why would John be over there? The lights above the garage came on and she saw John opening the window of her room. She dropped behind the curtain. He didn’t need to know she was spying on him, even if she was.
Activity by the trees caught her eye again. She tried to focus but there wasn’t anything there. It must be a raccoon or opossum. She pulled the pink chenille bedspread back and climbed in bed. John had whispered for her to have sweet dreams. Her lips turned up at the corners. She would surely be dreaming of a tall Irishman and there would be nothing sweet about them.
About the Author
Ginger Ring is an eclectic, hat-loving Midwestern girl with a weakness for cheese, dark chocolate, and the Green Bay Packers. She loves reading, playing with her cats, watching great movies, and has a quirky sense of humor. Publishing a book has been a lifelong dream of hers and she is excited to share her romantic stories with you. Her heroines are classy, sassy and in search of love and adventure. When Ginger isn't tracking down old gangster haunts or stopping at historical landmarks, you can find her on the backwaters of the Mississippi River fishing with her husband.
Beau Coup Publishing http://www.beaucoupllcpublishing.com/ginger-ring/
Other Books from Ginger Ring
The Gangster’s Woman myBook.to/TheGangstersWoman
Red Roses Black Orchids http://mybook.to/RedRosesBlackOrchids