Home > Moonlight on Nightingale Way (On Dublin Street #6)(10)

Moonlight on Nightingale Way (On Dublin Street #6)(10)
Author: Samantha Young

I touched a strand of my long hair. “I don’t want to cut it.”

Her head jerked around, her dark eyes flashing angrily. “As long as you’re under my roof, taking my money and representing my name, you will do as I say. Understood?”

“Yes, Mother.”

“Bloody children,” she muttered, turning back to the clothes. “I’d never have had any if it weren’t for your goddamn father and his need for heirs to his bloody empire. But does he give a shit that it’s me who’s left to deal with your stupidity? No, he does not…” She trailed off, lost in thought.

Tears burned in my eyes, but like always, I fought against them and the painful lump in my throat…

“Oh fuck,” John groaned, running his hand through his hair in distress. “I’m just saying all the wrong things. I say these things, and in my head they sound helpful, but they come out all wrong.” He leaned across the table, and his elbow hit the bottom of his dessert spoon. It pinged up off the table. He didn’t even notice. “I think you’re gorgeous, Grace. I really do.”

I smiled weakly at my drunken date. “It’s all right. Let’s just finish dinner.”

Thankfully, John prattled on through dinner without critiquing me again, although he also never asked me anything about myself. He talked a lot about his job and his parents and his love of rugby. In fact, the only time he asked me a question was when he gushed, “What it’s like to be friends with Aidan Ramage?”

“Friendly?” I offered, not knowing how to answer the question when his tone bordered on sycophantic.

His “admiration” for Aidan didn’t salvage the date. I understood how hard it could be to meet new people and how nerves could make the nicest person act like an idiot. But dating a lush was just not for me. Especially not one who reminded me of my mother.

“Let me walk you home.” John swayed a little as we stood outside the restaurant. It had been a late dinner, so now the sky was dark and the moon was out. The restaurant was in Old Town and only a few streets away from my flat, and the area was still buzzing with people. I didn’t mind walking home alone despite the drizzle in the night air. In fact, I would have preferred it.

“I’ll be fine.”

“No, I insist. You’re by the university, right?” He turned and began walking.

I sighed and hurried after him. “You really don’t have to walk me home.”

“It would be ungentlemanly of me not to see you home. There are creeps out here, you know.” He threw me another lazy, drunk grin.

I just stopped myself from rolling my eyes.

“So.” John stuck his hands in his pockets and looked at me. “Do you like your job?”

I was surprised by the sudden interest in my life. “Um… yes. I love keeping my own hours and… well, I get to read and shape books for a living.”

He wrinkled his nose like a little boy. “Books. Yak. Aren’t you bored all the time?”

“No.” I huffed in annoyance.

“What about your parents? They still in England?”


“What do they do for a living?”

“My father works in the media, and my mother is a housewife.”

“A housewife, eh? Your dad must make a bob or two.”

Or a billion. “Hmm.”

“Got any brothers or sisters?”

I stared up at his profile, annoyed that he’d decided to get nosy. “A brother. You?”

“No, thank God. What does your brother do?”

“He works for my father.”

“What’s his name, then?”

“Oh, look!” I said a little too brightly. “We’re almost at mine.” I stopped. “Well, good night, then.”

“Oh no.” He shook his head and shot me a grin that caused an unpleasant shiver to ripple over me. “Let me walk you to the door.”

Knowing exactly what he was expecting when we got to the door, I shook my head. “I think we should just say good night.”

Instead of agreeing, he turned swiftly on his heel and started down Nightingale Way. The street was quite dark, shaded by all the buildings and interspersed sparsely with street lighting. Much of the light cast over the wet cobbles was offered by the ever-helpful moon. Feeling uneasy, I followed John.

“What number are you?” he called back to me.

“I’m right here.” I slowed to a stop in front of the blue door to my building. “Thank you for dinner.”

John did a little skip back to me. “I could come up for coffee.” He grinned down at me hopefully.

I gave him an apologetic smile. “I’ve got work to do.”

“Oh, come on.” He edged closer to me, and I stumbled back against the wall. “Ask me up, Grace. You know you want to.” He fingered the collar of my light coat, and I instinctively slapped his hand away.

“I’m going inside. You should leave.”

He held his hands up in a surrender gesture but took another step toward me.

My stomach flipped, and I glanced right and then left. The dark street was empty. “Really, John. I’d just like to go inside. Good night.”

“You’re nervous,” he said softly. “I get it. I had to have a few glasses of wine to loosen up tonight, I was so nervous about meeting you, but we don’t have to be nervous, Grace.” He brushed his fingers across my cheek, and I flinched away. “We’re two adults just looking for company.”

“No. You’re drunk, and I want you to leave. Now, please step back.”

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