Updated: Jul 7
by Cecy Robson
Published by Cecy Robson, LLC
Book #3 in the O'Brien Family Series
In Crave Me, it’s time for the sole sister in the family to discover love.
Wren O’Brien isn’t your typical female.
As the only girl from a loud Irish family with seven siblings, she prefers fast cars to lip gloss and bad boys to good men. It’s the reason she’s nursing a wounded soul and keeping her distance from a dangerous ex.
Evan Jonah is running an empire and just moved from the lavish thoroughfares of London to the gritty streets of Philadelphia. When he walks into the nearest dealership, he’s expecting to find a reliable vehicle to handle the brutal winters, not a sexy female car rep with killer legs.
Wren doesn’t know why “Hotness in a Suit” asked her out. She doesn’t expect a great time or a night of passion that knocks her on her ass. But that’s exactly what Evan shows her.
She also never counted on how hard and fast she’d fall. But men like Evan—good men with even better hearts—don’t desire tough-talking Philly girls for long.
Evan has never met a woman like Wren. But he’s up for the challenge and ready to prove her wrong.
RATED: 18+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Steamy Romance Exciting
Crave Me by Cecy Robson is the third book in the O'Brien Family series, and focuses on the only girl in the family, Wren O'Brien, and Evan Jonah, CEO of a robotics and engineering company.
I couldn't put this book down without a mental battle with myself. Last night, as I got half way through it, I had to force myself to go to bed at 2 a.m. It's not even noon and I had to finish it. It was SO good. If it wasn't the insane chemistry between Wren and Evan drawing me in, the story line and action did. There was not a wasted page in this book.
Before I get into more, I will say it again, Cecy Robson is really good at writing romance, while weaving a tale of past trauma and abuse, and highlighting bad things that happen every day, and often don't get talked about. If you have read the other O'Brien novels, as well as Once Pure from the Shattered Past series, you know Wren is a tough as nails woman. She has no problem standing up for those she loves, whether its by running her mouth, or throwing a punch. She teaches self-defense to women. She has always embodied strength. Cecy Robson shows her readers that abuse and rape can happen to anyone. I admire this about her writing, and adds so much more to her stories.
I was wondering what the story was going to be with Wren. She has always shown such strength, I was curious what kind of man could handle her fiery personality. While I hate that domestic violence exists, I am glad that Cecy Robson gave this story to Wren. As I said above, it shows readers it could happen to any one. This story shows us Wren is a whole new light. She is not just strong, and funny. She isn't just one of the guys. She is intelligent, hardworking, passionate and kind. Seeing her through Evan's eyes made me go from liking, to loving her. And Evan ... well ... oh my God. An intelligent, sweet, polite man who also has a hot as hell British accent? Kind of fell in love with him from the start. I loved his passion, for Wren, and for his company.
And those final two chapters. Holy. Shit.
I love the O'Brien books ... but I think so far, this one is my favorite. We get more of the O'Brien's all together, which always promises a laugh (I actually couldn't stop laughing at one part, and one of my teenage daughters had to check if I was okay). All of the O'Brien siblings that have been written about have had great chemistry, but Wren and Evan's was insane. I was instantly enthralled with them. Their physical intimacy is sexy as hell, and there is a lot of it in this book. A lot. But the emotional intimacy is just as sexy, which is hard to do. Some of their sexiest moments were laying in bed, telling each other things they never told anyone, and supporting one another at work on the rough days. So far, I haven't come across an O'Brien book I haven't loved, and this one is no exception. While I recommend the whole series, I especially recommend this one.
Top 3 Favorite Moments
1. Evan making breakfast after the crazy first night of passion he shared with Wren, only for her whole family to come in.
2. Wren "punishing" Evan for breaking the rules of naked Sunday
3. Evan saving Wren
4. (bonus) The proposal
Where to Buy:
Oscar: "What the fuck was that?"
Wren: "You being a raging asshole. Look, I know you have to compensate for your less than average-sized dick. But that doesn't give you the right to mistreat Penny or pounce on every client she approaches. That's bullshit and you know it."
Oscar: "Where the fuck did you hear that? I don't have a small dick."
Wren: "Suze. What was it you said about that night you went out with Oscar?"
The woman behind the counter scowls and holds up her pinky. Wren smirks.
Wren: "Looks to me you should have called her back, My condolences to your man parts."
Wren: "Were you looking at my legs?"
Wren: "Yeah, you were. You were totally checking me out."
Evan: "I was admiring your muscle tone."
Wren: "Please tell me you don't root for another team."
Evan: "Do you mean the Giants and Yankees -?"
I hold out my hands, shushing him when the table full of meatheads behind us grow abruptly silent.
Wren: "Are you trying to get us in a fight?"
Evan: "Ah -"
Wren: "Damn it, Evan. I can't kick ass in these shoes and I just paid off this suit. Don't get us in a fight."
Man: "You a Yankees fan, asshole?"
Wren: "He's from England or some shit and doesn't know better. Turn around and mind your damn business."
Man: "Someone like him doesn't belong in Sal's."
Wren: "And someone with an ass crack that matches the Liberty Belly shouldn't be so judgmental. Pull your pants up and shut up."
Wren: "I attended Saint Therese Catholic School for thirteen years where I learned valuable life lessons like the Apostle's Creed, how to hotwire a car from Valentina Sigliani, and that if I didn't go to confession I was going to hell."
Evan: "You attend confession?"
Wren: "No, which is why I'm going to hell."
He's not wearing his jacket and (bonus!) I get a nice long look at the way his tailored black pants hug the kind of ass cheeks that will barely move if spanked - not that I've thought about it, like I mentioned, I'm classy.
Sauron: "Damn it, Wren. You're supposed to marry me."
Wren: "Sauron, what are you doing here?"
Sauron: "Keeping you safe from the likes of him."
Wren: "Sauron, you're eleven. I'm twenty-eight. I know you don't want to hear this, but you and me, are never going to happen. By the time you're even old enough to drive I'll already be two point five kids in, driving a mini-van packed with diapers, binkies, and one of those bouncy chairs your little sister can't get enough of."
Sauron: "Love knows no age limits, baby."
Wren: "I'm going to stop you right there. Go home, be nice to your sister, and vacuum the house for Gloria."
Sauron: *sighs* "Will you help me with my science project if I do? I hve to build a volcano or some shit."
Wren: "No, but I'll kick your ass if you don't stop swearing."
Sauron: *whining* "Wren."
Wren: "Okay, look. I was never good at science, but me and my brother have always been good with projects. Do what I tell you, and me and him, we'll try to help you."
Wren: "I promise."
He adjusts his beanie on his head and starts to turn. But then he narrows his stare at Evan.
Sauron: "Let me ask you this. What does he have that I don't?"
Wren: "A legal age limit."
Sauron: "Okay, I'll give you that one.
We're just different. Maybe too different.
Evan: "You look stunning."
Okay. We're different. But he's still a fucking sweetheart.
Wren: "These for me?"
Evan: "I'd say they were for Sauron, but I don't typically reward children who ask me, 'What the hell are you doing here, asshole?'"
Wren: "He said that?"
Evan: It would seem I sparked his protective nature."
Wren: "And his evil side."
Wren: "I'm the only girl. I guess that explains a lot."
Evan: "I suppose I can see where your strength comes from."
Evan: "It's one of the first things I noticed about you. You're a very strong woman, Wren, in personality and demeanor. I'm stunned no one has ever pointed that out to you."
No, they usually point out my ass.
Wren: "It's not that I don't consider myself strong. But it's different to hear someone say that's the first thing they noticed about you."
Evan: "There are many compliments I can give you, and perhaps I should have shared them first. But your strength has captivated me from the start. I suppose it's why I remind you of it now."
Wren: "Yeah. there's sort of this unspoken motto in my family. Keep having them until you burst, or until your uterus drops to your ankles. That shit should be on a bumper sticker."
Evan: "And what were you doing?"
Wren: "What do you mean what was I doing? I was running for my life like everyone else! Picture this, hordes - I'm talking hordes of teens racing down the street like some kind of freak evacuation. I was knocking people out of the way, speeding ahead, and Grammie still caught me - by the hair! That tiny woman snatched me off the street, two blocks away, and dragged me back home, yelling that I was going to hell and begging the God Almighty not to strike me dead and take her with me."
She holds out her arms and throws her head back, her voice morphing to that of an elderly woman with a thick Irish accent.
Wren: "It's not me time, Jesus. Oh, sacred Mother, keep me from killin' this child."
Wren: "Just so you know, her prayers weren't answered. She still knocked me on my ass, and I spent the rest of the summer teaching the Sacraments to kids who looked like rejects from The Grudge. But it was either that or be sent straight to a convent, so I went with the creepy kids and prayed I wouldn't find one lurking under my bed. God, I think at least two of them grew up and joined the circus or some shit. You think it's funny, but you've never had your ass kicked by an old woman with ninja-like reflexes capable of wielding Catholic guilt like a light saber."
Wren: "What are you thinking? I can usually read people pretty well, but I'll admit, you have me stumped."
Evan: *lifting her hand, kissing it* "That I can't imagine a more perfect evening with a more beautiful woman."
Wren: "Did you read that shit somewhere?"
Wren: "What you said has to be from a book, movie, or some poem no one but nerds have read."
Wren: "Because men don't say things like that and mean it."
Evan: "I do, but only to you. Even though you think it's shit and called me a nerd."
Wren: "Why Alfred? Are you secretly Batman?"
Evan: "If I was Batman, I couldn't tell you. A superhero must guard his secret identity at all costs."
Wren: "At all costs? So nothing I'd say or do will make you spill the location of the Bat Cave or give me a peek inside your utility belt?"
Evan: "No, for the sale of Gotham and the world, I must protect my super secrets."
Wren: "Hmm, so you are Batman."
Evan: "I'll ... I'll respect you in the morning."
Wren: "Good. But it's not morning yet."
Wren: "I knew you had it in you."
Without thinking, my stare travels below my waist.
Wren: "I didn't mean that. That was a very big and very nice surprise. What I mean was, I knew you were a beast beneath all that business."
Wren: "How long is long?"
Evan: "About ten months."
Wren: "You haven't had sex in ten months?"
Evan: "Why do you find it so hard to believe?"
Wren: "Because you're cute."
Wren: "And smart, successful, and sexier than hell. I'm surprised you don't open up your office every morning to find a naked woman sprawled across your desk, wearing a smile and nothing else."
Angus: "Finn, Wren, where the hell are you?"
Mollie: "Stop cursin'. It's the Lord's day for fuck's sake."
Tess: "As I was saying, Curran, as an officer of the public sector, so you want to be privy to an angry mob, made up of your brothers, attacking an unarmed man who had consensual sex with your sister?"
Brothers: "Oh." "Whoa!" "Yo!"
Curran: "That's our sister you're talking about."
Tess: "Your adult sister."
Curran: "She's right. I can't watch this. Give me the baby. I'll be outside."
Tess: "Wait, what?"
Curran: "Can't be privy, if I'm not here to see it, babe."
Wren: "What the fuck? Seriously, I can't take a damn shower without you bozos picking a fight with my date."
Angus: "Date? Since when do dates involve getting naked and taking showers?"
Wren: "Not my fault you haven't had sex in two non-fucking years."
Molly: "Not my fault, either."
Killian: "Seriously, Wren?"
Wren: "Seriously, what? I'm not doing anything you guys - except for Angus - don't do all the time. And what the hell are all of your even doing here? You're supposed to be in New York."
Finn: "The press conference got cancelled. Main card and their camps got into a fight. Everyone got kicked out of the hotel and we came home. Didn't you get our texts?"
Wren: "nah, I was too busy having sex."
I ignore the hollers, protests, and choruses of "what the fucks" and reach for my niece.
Wren: "Hi, Fiona. I know, I know, your daddy and uncles are out of control, but you still have Auntie Wren looking out for you. Oh, yes, you do."
Curran: "Hey. Don't talk to my kid like that. We're just trying to do the right thing."
Wren: "Says the man who knocked up his wife out of wedlock."
Wren: "Come on, let's get back upstairs."
More "what the fucks" followed by a couple of "you have to be shittin' mes". I lead Evan around the island, my chin jutting out when Killian cuts in front of me.
Killian: "Wren, this isn't like you."
Wren: "Which part?"
Killian: "Parading half naked guys in the kitchen in front of women and children."
Wren: "Would you rather I parade him in the living room?"
Killian: "You're pissing me off."
Wren: "Am I? Hey, Sofia. You going to put up with your man being all rude like this to his baby sister?"
Sofia: "Killian. Be nice."
He steps out of our way, allowing us through. Ofcourse, my brothers aren't going to let me go that easy. They file out behind us. We don't make it halfway up the stairs before Angus starts up again.
Angus: "This isn't over!"
Wren: "Just for that I'm going to straddle him when we get back to my room."
More hollers, more cursing, more threats.
Finn: "Pass the potatoes, will ya, babe?"
Angus: "The hell, Finnie. Is that all you've got to say?"
Finn: "Oh, yeah. The ketchup, too. You brought ketchup, right Mol? We're all out."
Molly: "It's to your right, Finnie. You know, I'm sick of all youz being pissy. Wren here's done nothing wrong."
Wren: "Thanks, Molly."
Molly: "So she had some stud bend her over,"
Evan: "Dear God." pausing with the fork halfway to his mouth when more swear erupt around the table.
Molly: "She's got needs. We all do. Am I right, ladies?"
Sofia: "Please leave us out of this."
Molly: "All's I'm saying is every now and then we could use a little hair pullin' and some spanking. I mean, do you have any idea how long it's been since Angus bent me over?"
Seamus: "No. And please don't tell us."
Finn: "I can see that."
Finn meets his brothers reprimanding frowns.
Finn: "What? Don't get me wrong, I don't need a visual of Angus's big ass driving it home -"
Finn: "I'm just saying women need their share of us. Take Sol for instance."
Sol: "What do you mean take Sol?"
Finn: "I'm just saying if you don't get some -"
Sol: "If I don't get some? Seriously, Finn?"
Finn: "Baby, it's okay. We all know how bad you want me."
Sol: "Finn, last night on the drive home you're the one who -"
She shuts her mouth abruptly when she realizes we're all looking at her, except for Sofia, who's all but shrinking beneath the table.
Finn: *he winks* "You're welcome."
Curran: "Been there."
Curran: "Isn't that how I knocked you up last time?"
Tess: "Can we all just eat? Please?"
Curran: "Only if you make it up to me later."
Tess: "Is it a wonder I'm expecting an Irish twin?"
Everyone: "Nope. Nah. No."
I wait on the walkway as hell pulls onto the street, halting in place when he rolls past Sauron. The little bastard is on his bike with a stiff middle finger up in the air.
Wren: "Sauron, what the hell are you doing?"
Sauron: "Watching out for my woman."
Wren: "Get back in the house before I tell Gloria and she beats your ass!"
Remington: "I thought you were smarter than this."
Evan: "I am. Which is why you no longer work here."
Evan: "There's a lot I would do for you. Regardless of who it unsettled."
Wren: "Oh, yeah? What have I done to deserve that?"
Evan: "You helped me find my smile."
Evan: "How are you familiar with this?"
Wren: "The software? Believe it or not, we use it at the dealership. I just never realized it was yours. Although this is a better version than what I learned on. It's faster, and it looked like you worked out all the bugs."
Evan: "We try to address all complaints. There was one in particular that was especially heated and detailed."
Wren: "That might have been me. But in my defense, I didn't know you then and it was probably close to my monthly."
Wren: "I majored in Women's Studies. You can imagine how many doors that opened when I graduated."
Wren: "I have a hairstylist coming at ten-thirty to cut your hair. She's fast, good and promised to hook you up. I'll be in to supervise."
Evan: "I thought you said she's good."
Wren: "Oh, she's the best. But she's also kind of slutty, and no way in hell am I leaving her alone with you."
Evan: "In the few weeks your brother has trained me, I've had better conditioning than in the months I worked out with that imbecile."
Wren: "Imbecile? Are you still pissed at your personal trainer for saying I have a nice ass?"
Evan: "No, I'm pissed at him for telling me you have a nice ass and admitting how he'd like to 'tap it'".
Wren: "All right. But in his defense, not that I'm nuts about what he had to say about me, he didn't know we were together."
Evan: "He does now."
Wren: "Evan, everyone on the entire floor realized that when you went all caveman."
She clears her throat, attempting to mimic my accent and doing a wretched job.
Wren: "Blimey, that'd be my woman you're talkin' about, ye bloody wanker. Bugger off before I shove your tiny bollocks up your steroid injected arse!"
Evan: "I never said that."
Wren: "Close enough."
Evan: "You have no idea what you do to me."
Wren: "You're right. Why don't we hop inside and you can show me."
Evan: "You're forgetting the cameras. Not that I did a better job of remembering."
Wren: "Oh, the cameras. Yeah. Why didn't you remember? You're supposed to be the reasonable one."
Evan: "Any semblance of reason is lost the moment I touch you."
Wren: "Uh. What did you just do?"
Evan: "I'm protecting you."
A small light flashes on above my rearview mirror, extending the bright red, crisscrossing a pattern of lights across the hood.
Wren: "Evan, what the hell did you Geek Gang do to my truck?"
Evan: "Installed Alfred into your vehicle. We discussed this, thye applied our protection and intelligence to fit your needs."
Wren: "I'm not carrying the Hope diamond. You'll see for yourself when I strip down to my panties."
Evan: "I'm only assuring your safety so I can help you out of those panties."
Wren: "About your tech team."
Wren: "They're all virgins aren't they?"
Evan: "Perhaps, but I'm not."
Wren: "No, you're not, big boy."
Wren: "Okay. All this Robo Cop tech is fascinating and all, but if Darth Vader popps up in my passenger seat and starts swinging his light saber, I'm going to freak out. This is a little much, don't you think?"
Evan: "No. It took me years to find you and I'll be damned if I allow some manky bastard to harm you."
Wren: "You're all sorts of hot right now, you know that, bossman?"
Evan: "I told you, there's only one place you can call me bossman."
Wren: "I know."
Evan: "You'll be safe and in my arms soon. I swear it."
Curran: "What the hell, Wren?"
Wren: "I'm sorry, Evan c alled and didn't take what I had to tell him well."
Curran: "Is he pissed?"
Wren: "He is, but not at me. He wants me to spend the night at his place."
Curran: "Okay. Good."
Wren: "Okay? When did you get all soft on Evan? Shouldn't you be telling me not to have sex with him or some crazy shit?"
Curran: "Damn it, Wren. I mean 'good' that you won't be alone. Did you have to go there?"
Wren: "Aw, come on. You and the others kept the key to my chastity belt too damn long. I would think you'd be happy Evan bit that lock free with his teeth."
Curran: "God, Wren. Shut it already."
Evan: "Before you, sex was something of a task, an attempt to be intimate for the sake of intimacy. That's not what I feel when I'm with you. When we make love, it's just one more thing that brings us closer."
Wren: "I think I know what you mean. But when we're together like this, it's extreme. I like it, don't get me wrong. I'm just tired of having sex and not much else. It's why I've held off being with you. I want us to be better than that."
Evan: "We are. You bring out the best in me, in and out of bed. As much as I've lived, I wasn't alive until I met you."
Wren: "You really are too good to be true."
Evan: "I don't know about that. What I do know is you're the best thing that's ever happened to me."
Evan: "From the start, nothing has progressed the way either of us likely intended. But it has progressed and I love where it's taken us."
Evan: "That;s right. We gave into our physical desires rather quickly, but it didn't ruin the friendship that had begun or the feelings that followed. You mean everything to me and I want you with me."
Wren: "It's only been a few months."
Evan: "Perhaps. But I know what I feel and I want us to grow closer. Even more than we are."
Wren: "Why don't you ever talk about your parents? You seem to avoid mentioning them."
Evan: "Some things are too hard to speak of."
Wren: "I think I know what you mean. But I'll admit, I'm surprised to hear you say it."
Wren: "Because of who you are. Everything that makes you, you must've been shaped by someone special."
Evan: "And what am I?"
Wren: "You're the best man I know."
Evan: "Tell me more about Naked Sundays."
Wren: "Oh, I don't think you'll find them as easy as they sound."
Wren: "Nope. Because as a rule, you can't do anything that constitutes as work. No projects, no research, no business. That includes work around the house."
Evan: "And what happens if I do?"
Wren: "You'll be punished."
Evan: "Will I like this punishment?"
Wren: "Maybe, maybe not. I can only guarantee you'll remember it."
Evan: "You have no idea what you're doing to me."
Wren: "Yeah, I do. Why else would I want you naked?"
Wren: "You're a good man. Let the world see what I've known from the start."
Wren: "You know, when I was your age I was really shy, too."
Wren: "No. I came out of the womb mouthing off."
Finn: "You helped pick out Tess's and Sofia's, it's kind of tradition now. Besides it's either you or Angus. He and Molly have been engaged for twenty non-fucking years. You think I want that kind of Karma or whatever the hell that's called."
Wren: "He loves her. In his own non-fucking way."
Wren: "My brothers never had a real father. But I was lucky. As much as they make me crazy, I had six boys who grew into men I can count on. And because of my mother's love, they because better than anything my father ever was."
Evan: "I didn't have siblings to lean on or guide me. And as you know, I didn't have a mother I could depend on. Yet my father looked after me and protected me. In spite of his ill health and age, he was always there for me."
Wren: "He sounds like a sweetie. What was his name?"
Wren: "I love you."
Wren: "I'm not saying this because I feel sorry for you because of the way you were treated. I love you. This thing between you and me, it's what I've looked for my whole life."
He smiles, his grin widening until I think he's ready to laugh at me. He doesn't. What he does do is lift me to him and kiss me, his tongue flicking generously over mine. I pull away, only for his head to dip against my neck and for him to nuzzle be with kisses. I laugh because he's tickling me, and being so damn sexy, even though - son of a bitch - I'm actually saying something that means something, for once. He chuckles against my throat and finds that ticklish spot on my backside, making me jerk. He finds it again, this time making me jump and bust out laughing.
Wren: "Evan, for fuck's sake. I'm trying to be serious."
Evan: "I know."
Wren: "Then what are you doing?"
Evan: "Trying to show you that I'm happy ... and that I love you, too. I didn't believe in love at first sight until I saw you."
Evan: "I can't. Your face, your heart, the way you spoke, everything about you ensnared me and refused to let go. I can't sleep until I feel you beside me. And every time you leave, I'm empty and lost. It's only when I see your smile that I'm able to take my next breath."
Wren: "Quit reciting all the Shakespeare stuff."
Evan: "It's not Shakespeare. It's me, telling you how I feel. Never have the words 'raging asshole,' sounded as sweet as when they slipped from your mouth. Second only to 'mind your damn business.'"
Wren: "Oh, gawd."
Evan: "I love you, Wren. My heart and soul belong to you."
Wren, naked, and sitting in front of Evan's desk while he is on a video call, holding up a notepad:
Wren: Last Sunday, you read an analytical report in bed
Langley: "It's a generous offer. And will finally net you a profit."
I believe that's what he said. I'm too busy reading Wren's next few words.
Wren: Thereby violating the rules of Naked Sunday.
I swallow hard, though it does little to tame my desire when I read the words that follow.
Wren: You were naughty. Very naughty.
Langley: "Don't be afraid, Evan. We at Yodel are here to help you."
Wren: Now I have to be naughty and teach you a lesson.
She unsnaps her bra, using the large pad as a shield, she extends her arm and drops the transparent piece of scrap on the floor. She hunkers down, scribbling fast and lifting the pad when she's done.
Wren: You can look, but you CAN'T touch.
Evan: "Perhaps I should prepare something as well?"
Wren: "No, you already do enough. Besides, if my brothers find out you cooked, they're going to make you get a tattoo on your face, ride a bull, wrestle an alligator, or some other shit so they don't revoke your man card. This way everyone eats, everyone is happy, and no one gets inked - unless you want 'Wren O'Brien is hot and rocks my world', scribbled on your ass. If so, I'm cool with that. I'll get one that matches."
Evan: "And what will yours say?"
Wren: "'Damn right' with an arrow pointing. What else would it say?"
The corners of my lips tug into a smile as I spread the sides of my white dress shirt and read the two words written in hot pink across my torso. Two words that tell me exactly what she wants me to do while she's gone. CRAVE ME. She wants me to miss her, to crave her touch and her smile. She didn't have to write it. It's something I do every time she leaves me.
Wren: "Don't stop. God, I love it when you speak nerd."
Evan: "I have a meeting in twenty-two minutes, don't I?"
Wren: "You do, but don't blame me if you haven't had time to prepare."
Evan: "Do I have to remind you this was your idea, my love? Not that I'm complaining."
Wren: "We didn't get to play last night or this morning. My period is due in another three days and my fucking hormones are out of control. You were stressed when I brought your coffee. I was trying to help you relax. Besides, you know I don't stand a chance when you wear your glasses. Don't want me to straddle you, don't wear the glasses. It's a simple solution."
Declan: "You've worked hard on this case."
Melissa: "I don't mind. I'm happy to help."
Declan smiles, and it's real, genuine, and warm, unlike the smile he usually flashes; the one that schmoozes and guarantees he'll get laid.
Declan: "I know, but tonight, maybe you should go home and ..."
He takes a breath and motions with his hands, slapping his palms together and then pointing to her.
I have no idea what he said.
But Curran does.
And so does Melissa.
Her eyes fly open, scanning each of us as her fair skin burns bright pink.
Melissa: "You asshole."
She whips around, her steps quick and forceful, sending her hair sailing behind her as she storms away.
Curran rounds on Declan when the door slams shut, his expression split between stunned stupid and ripping him a new one.
Curran: "What the hell, Deck?"
Declan's face flushes a furious red.
Declan: "I told her, 'to go to bed'"
He repeats the motions.
Declan: "Doesn't this mean go to bed?"
Curran: "No, dumbass. This means go to bed."
He does something similar with his palms, but instead of smacking them together like Declan did he slides and joins them.
Curran: "You told her to go fuck herself."
Declan: "Jesus Christ. How many times can I screw up with her?"
Curran: I don't know. But I'm starting to keep score. Just so you know, it's the fourth quarter with ten seconds left in the game and the cheerleaders are lining up to punch you in the nuts.
Wren: "What are you thinking?"
Evan: "That the world can take my company, my money, and my health, but you're the one thing I can't live without."
Evan: "Your kindness and dedication to those around you, and the way you care for me and them comes from a pure place. If that doesn't make you innocent from harm or malicious intent, I can't imagine what does."
Wren: "You're all sorts of sweet."
Evan: "I mean it. But there's something I need to remind you of so we can move on. I love you. I love you. Just as I know you love me."
Evan: "What was so bad about Sister Hildegaard?"
Wren: "Oh, nothing, she just hated me since the time she caught me, Killian and Curran lugging the holy water tank out of the church. Long story. Let's just say Finnie had hit the terrible two's, the angry three's, and the fucking fours all at once. We were convinced he was possessed and were trying to save him. Our hearts were in the right place. But in case you were wondering, he wasn't possessed."
Evan: "I wasn't wondering, actually."
Wren: "Good, but he was still a little bastard and we all have the bite marks to prove it."
Evan: "Thank you."
Evan: "Just one thing, don't punch anyone in the face out there."
Wren: "I'm not making any promises, bossman. I've seen the way Giselle from Accounting looks at your ass."
Wren: "Alfred, call Curran."
Curran: "Where the fuck are you? We got a call about shots fired at Evan's place."
I don't answer. I can't.
Curran: "Wren? ... Wren. Talk to me ... are you there? Me and Deck, we're coming."
My lips move. The words don't come out.
Curran: "Wren, God damn it -"
Wren: "I ... hurt."
Wren: "I'm hurt. Bryant ... shot me."
Declan: "Wren, you stay with us! You hear me? Don't you fucking leave us, Wren?"
Curran: "Da hell?"
Declan: "She's in trouble. Bryant shot her."
Curran: "This is Officer Curran O'Brien, Philadelphia PD en route to 1239 Mount Pleasant Road, Villanova. Armed gunman in vicinity. At least one person shot and in need of immediate medical attention. Victim is my sister, repeat, victim is my sister."
Declan: "You stay alive - You hear me? You and Evan both - God damn it, don't you leave us."
I want to tell them that Evan is fighting Bryant. They they need to help him. I don't get the chance. More fluid leaks from my mouth and Evan is suddenly with me, cradling me in his arms. His image is blurry, but I know it's him. I recognize the way he tucks me against him and how my body conforms so perfectly to his.
Evan: "Wren. Baby, can you hear me? Stay awake. Don't close your eyes. I know it hurts, but you have to fight. For me. For us. I don't want to live without your smile.
Evan: "It's who she is to me."
Finn: "Then maybe you should ask her. You've had my blessing since you made me bacon."
Ma: "Don't fuck it up, Wrennie."
Curran: "Ma said, 'fuck',"
Evan: "Hello, beautiful."
I don't answer, crying into my hands.
Evan: "I tool Sol and Sofia out with me this morning. I hope you don't mind, but I needed their expertise in selecting something special."
Evan: "I also took your family aside, and asked them for their blessing to give it to you."
Wren: "No." batting my hands like some kind of nutcase. He keeps his grin, despite my eyes burning the way they are.
Evan: "Before I ask, I think you should know, it's something I've wanted to do for quite some time now."
Wren: "No. You can't."
He takes my hand, falling to his knee.
Wren: "Evan. You're not supposed to do this - not after everything that happened to you because of me."
His gaze softens as does his smile - as if I didn't tell him no - as if he wasn't shot in the chest. As if some psycho didn't come after him in his own home!
Evan: "All the good in my life has come because I know you. And because you chose to love me. I never laughed with my whole heart, until you filled it with humor."
Wren: "Oh, God."
Evan: "I never knew how alone I was, until I discovered I couldn't be alone without you."
Evan: "And I never understood love, until you made me feel it, and gave me aa reason to share it."
He pulls out a ring, a square pink diamond surrounded by smaller clear ones. My hand shakes as he slides it on my finger.
Evan: "The words are 'for better or worse.' We've had our worst. It's time for the better. My darling Wren, will you marry me?"
Check out the rest of the O'Brien series below!