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Authors: Lacey Thorn

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BOOK: Gaining Hope
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She snuggled down into the blankets and by pulling one up and over her, she was completely hidden from view. Hopefully, it would still just look like a pile of blankets. At five foot three she wasn’t all that tall anyway so she should be okay. She’d just stay here for as long as she could and when enough time had passed with the motor going, she would come up with a way to be discovered and take it from there. She’d always had a great imagination. She’d wait and create her story when the time was at hand. She was fairly good at that. For now she’d just take a little nap.


Shawn and Tommy stood on the shore watching the water of the Gulf lap the sand. It was a beautiful sunset. In the last three months, they had managed to mend the rift caused by the woman Shawn almost married and both agreed never to let a woman come between them again.

“You really think that we’ll find a woman who will want to spend the rest of her life with both of us?” Tommy asked, his hands deep in the pockets of his worn Levi’s.

Shawn sighed and ran his fingers through thick hair already blown about by the breeze. “I hope so. Mom seems to think that we will. Destiny and fate and all that blarney.”

Tommy laughed and shook his head. “I don’t even want to
about your mom knowing about our sex life. I’m seriously glad that I wasn’t there for that conversation. And you’re just as Irish as your mom is. How can you call it blarney? You seemed to believe it well enough when you sold me on it the first time.”

Shawn laughed and started to say something when he noticed something floating in on the tide towards them. “What the hell is that?”

“I see it too,” Tommy said and they both stared as the object bobbed closer and closer to shore. “Can you believe the way that people just throw stuff out anywhere today? Some day we’ll have no resources left because of all the pollution.”

“I know what you mean. It looks like a glass bottle or something.” Shawn almost laughed when Tommy impatiently tugged off his shoes and pulled his shirt off before heading out to retrieve the bottle. No way was Shawn getting in that water. It was only April and the water was still a little too cold for his blood.

“Hey,” Tommy called as he grasped the bottle and waded back “There’s something in here. Looks like a paper and some type of jewellery.
A necklace or bracelet of some sort.”

“Let’s take it to the boat and have a look,” Shawn suggested and bent to get Tommy’s shoes and shirt for him. “Do you think Mrs. Davis is still cleaning and stocking?”

“Nah, she’ll have headed home by now.” Tommy shook his mane of brown hair and water sprayed everywhere. “She’ll have everything cleaned and put away and all the supplies stocked for us. We should be able to leave anytime.”

“Good, I’m ready to head out of here. Ready to get back to the office and see how things are going.” Shawn still wasn’t sure about leaving his younger brother in charge while he was gone. Patrick was still young and inexperienced but Tommy kept pressing that they had to give him a chance to prove himself.

“I’m sure Pat is doing fine. He’s twenty eight now. Served ten years in the Marines. If anyone can handle the office while we’re gone it’s him.” Tommy was always sticking up for Patrick. He liked the fact that Tommy liked the kid and viewed him as a younger brother as well.
Shawn just didn’t have Tommy’s confidence in Patrick.

“Yeah but things aren’t the same in the private sector. We’re a security company and you have to use finesse in some situations and not just go in and take action. You know how hot-headed he’s always been.”

“So were we when we were all kids. Pat has grown up a lot in the last few years. I’m sure he saw a lot while fighting in the Gulf.” Tommy leapt over the side of the boat as he made this last comment and stepped out of the way to make room for Shawn to join him.

They moved about with the easy rhythm of friends who had spent a lot of time together. They both headed below deck to the galley and Shawn grabbed two beers from the fridge while Tommy worked at uncorking the bottle.

Shawn saw that the bottle was old with thick clear glass and there was definitely something inside. He felt the hair on his nape prickle with chills. Somehow he knew that whatever was in that bottle would change their lives forever.

“Wait,” he started to say but the cork slid out just then and the paper and a necklace spilled out onto the table.

Tommy picked the necklace up by its silver chain and held it up to the light. “Damn, can you believe that someone put this in a bottle and just threw it out into the water?”

It was beautiful. If he was not mistaken, and the Irish in him was pretty sure he wasn’t, the necklace was Connemara marble set in the silver setting. The silver cradled the stone, almost in a lovers’ embrace. And the silver had either been recently cleaned or was treated in something to make it appear so. There wasn’t a bit of tarnish on it anywhere.

Shawn jerked his head up when he heard Tommy laugh softly.

“You need to read this,” Tommy said and the smile on his lips sent another tingle down Shawn’s spine.

He took the parchment from Tommy’s hands and rolled it back open. He couldn’t believe it when he read the words.


A stone that’s blessed by lovers’ hands

To bless the wearer with a love that stands.

Through time and toil, no stopping fate

As lovers unite, no hand can break.

So take this token and wear it true,

Destiny awaits with love for you.

A favour I ask from you to me

Once blessed return my gift to the sea.

For others await the hand of fate

My blessing to love’s true mates.


“Hell,” Shawn said. “If I didn’t know better I’d say my mother sent this.”

“Yeah,” Tommy laughingly agreed. “It sounds like something she would say. You want to throw it back?”

“No, I…” just then there was a crash from Shawn’s bedroom and they both jumped up and ran that way.

“What the hell?” Shawn muttered as he took in the scene before him.

The closet door was hanging open and the bar appeared to have been pulled from the wall. The shelf that rested on top of the bar had been tipped and books and boxes lay in shambles on top of what appeared to be blankets. But that wasn’t what drew the two men’s attention. No, it was the woman who lay partially hidden beneath the chaos.
Her face was beautiful surrounded by a cloud of thick blonde curls and Shawn felt a tightening in his groin. One glance towards Tommy and he knew that his best friend was feeling the same thing.

“How the hell do you think she got here?” Tommy murmured softly. “And what do you think caused that shelf to fall?”

“Have no idea on either count,” Shawn muttered. “Let’s move her to the bed and then head out.”

“Heading out to where?” Tommy questioned as he squatted down to help pull stuff off of the woman.

“Heading out to sea. Getting the hell out of here.” Shawn grunted.

“You plan on taking our stowaway with us?” Tommy questioned. They both bent down in front of her, just staring.

“Well, what do you think she’s doing hiding in this closet? She was stowing away on this boat to get away from something.” Shawn shook his head, his thoughts tumbling through his head with numerous scenarios.

“Or someone,” Tommy added, putting to voice what they were both wondering.

“She was obviously planning on getting out of here for some reason.
We’ll wait ‘til she wakes up and then find out what or who she is running from. By then we should all be far enough away that she can relax and talk.” Shawn
immediately began to gently move the stuff on top of her away, uncovering her body inch by delicious inch. She had long tanned legs and high firm breasts, both of which sent another surge of blood to his cock and set his mouth to salivating.
! He wanted her bad!

“Yeah, I’ll go get started on that,” Tommy said as he stood up but his eyes were glued to the woman being uncovered and his feet were unmoving on the floor. “Need help moving her?”

“Nope,” Shawn replied.

“Coming up soon?” Tommy queried.

“I’ll be up as soon as I get her settled on the bed.”

“We’ll have to talk about what you want to do with her.” Tommy continued.

Shawn heaved a sigh. “I know. Just get this boat moving and I’ll be right up.”

Tommy and Shawn met each other’s eyes that spoke volumes with just a look.

“I won’t touch her, Tommy. Not yet,” Shawn added and only after Tommy nodded and walked away did he add the rest of his thoughts. “Not without you. Not without knowing that she’ll have us both.”


Hope almost gasped out loud at the words of the man who was lifting her into his arms. Just what had she gotten herself into? Were they gay? Damn it! Why were all the gorgeous men either gay or married? And if they were gay what did they want with her? What did he mean that he wouldn’t touch her without knowing that she would have them both? And why were her nipples growing hard at the mere thought of having sex with both men?

He eased her down on the bed and pulled one of the blankets over her. He ran his fingers down her hair, smoothing it away from her face and she wished that she had taken the time to really do her makeup before she left earlier in the day. But she hadn’t wanted to waste any of the precious time that she had left. Escape was all that mattered.

“What are you running from little one?” he murmured and Hope prayed that he was only talking out loud and didn’t realise that she was awake.

Her legs had fallen asleep and she had wanted to stand up and shake the feeling back into them. She hadn’t been in the closet too long and she wasn’t sure why her legs were already going numb. Must have been the way that she was sitting. But when she had reached up and tried to use the bar to pull herself up, the worst thing possible had happened. Instead of her going up everything else had fallen down. Right on top of her. Bringing the people on board right to her. And they weren’t even the nice older couple that she had envisioned seeing earlier. No, it was two of the hottest guys that she had ever glimpsed.
Hope sighed with frustration.
She hadn’t seen nearly enough before she decided to close her eyes and feign unconsciousness. What the hell else was she supposed to do? She needed time to figure out what the hell she was going to say to them.

She’d wait until she was certain that the other guy had motored them far enough away before she suddenly awoke. Only she had no idea what she would do when they finally confronted her and asked just what she was doing on the boat. Something had pulled her to this boat in particular. Out of all of the boats docked her eyes had kept coming back to this one again and again. Maybe it was the name,
Irish Dream
, that called to her. Whatever it was she just had to maintain the hope that these two men would help her get away from the future that awaited her on shore. And pray that she hadn’t caught herself in an even worse situation.

She did let out a sigh of relief when he finally moved from where she lay on the bed and left the room, pulling the door shut behind him. What should she do now?


Shawn joined Tommy and stood staring out at the water as Tommy piloted them further and further away from shore.

“She awake?” Tommy finally asked.

“I’m fairly certain that she was when we got there,” Shawn replied.

“I thought she was faking,” Tommy nodded his agreement.

“Not sure what she’s hiding from or what she was planning when she climbed on board. But as soon as we’re far enough away we’ll go see what we can find out?”

“How do you want to play this?” Tommy inquired.

“I’m not sure just yet,” Shawn murmured. “We’ll have to wait and see what she tells us. One thing I do know for sure is that I’m not going to send her back if she doesn’t want to go.”

“Think she’s running from someone?”

Shawn sighed and ran his fingers through the thick length of black hair on his head. “Why else would she hide on a boat when she doesn’t know who owns it? Hell she could have found herself in a serious situation if she’d gotten on a different boat.”

“Yeah,” Tommy agreed. “Instead of stuck on board with two men hornier than hell to get her under them and fuck the hell out of her. Good thing for her.”

“Shit,” Shawn muttered and Tommy laughed.

“Yeah, shit,” Tommy agreed but his grin said something entirely different.

Chapter Two




The men were gone for so long that Hope actually did fall asleep. She was in the middle of a very pleasant dream about the two men and herself in a very intimate position when she felt the gentle tug pulling her from her dream world. She didn’t want to leave. She wanted to stay in the dream until she had soaked up every pleasure implied. She wanted them. Badly.

Things were still a little fuzzy when she woke up, nothing seemed real and the dream was so fresh that when she saw the face looming above her with thick black hair and big blue eyes she did the first thing that entered her mind. She reached up and pulled his head down for a kiss, a kiss that exploded into carnal exploration with the first slide of tongue on tongue. God, he tasted rich and dark, like melted chocolate. She could drown in his taste and die a very happy woman.

BOOK: Gaining Hope
10.59Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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