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Ramsay

By:Mia Sheridan

Ramsay
Mia Sheridan

       A Sign of Love Novel




Dedication



This book is dedicated to Angie, Addie, Lucie, and Callie. I'm glad to call you sisters, but even happier to call you friends.





Aries



The myth of Aries tells of two children, a brother and sister, who are  sacrificed to the Gods. At the last minute, they are saved by a mighty,  winged ram. For his strength and heroism, Zeus places the ram among the  stars and his golden fleece, sought by many, becomes a symbol for that  which is most precious.





PROLOGUE




Brogan



She was waiting for me.

My feet moved softly but swiftly over the grass I'd mowed that  afternoon, driving the mower so the result was a wide expanse of grass  striped in alternating light and dark green. Sometimes I did a  checkerboard pattern, and other times I chose diamonds. My dad always  shook his head in disbelief when I told him I created the patterns  without mapping them out on paper first, or without using string, even  on the first line of my design. When he was sober enough to notice  anyway. It was true, though. I just saw it in my head and computed where  the turns needed to be, instinctively knew where I needed to move to  ensure each line was straight. I couldn't say how, I just did.

The spice of the cut grass mingled with the tanginess of the potted key  lime trees lining the garden and the sweet headiness of the honeysuckle  growing nearby. My mind blanked to everything else as it attempted to  separate the myriad of scents. My skin prickled, and I walked more  quickly. The smells weren't unpleasant to me, but I couldn't think  clearly when I was around something overly fragrant, and I wanted to  think. I wanted to think about her.

"Lydia," I whispered, loving the way her name rolled off my tongue, the  way the hard d smoothed into the soft sound of the a at the end, leaving  off like a sigh. I wanted to picture the delicate lines of her face, I  wanted to imagine her hair-a cascade of summer sunshine falling down her  back-and her eyes, a shade of blue and green so perfectly mixed I never  could quite figure out their actual color. And I wanted my mind's eye  to see the sweet curves of her body, the way the fullness of her breasts  pressed against her tank tops and spilled out of her swimsuits, the way  her waist flared in slightly and then curved out again to the feminine  roundness of her hips and arse. I felt myself swell in my jeans and  frowned. Just the image of her made me hard. But even so, I made myself  imagine my eyes moving down Lydia's slim legs all the way to her  perfectly formed feet. Even her toes were sweet.

I wanted to take a few minutes to picture all of her so when I saw her  in person, it wouldn't be obvious how arrested I was by her beauty.  Picturing her always helped soften the impact-ever so slightly-of the  reality of her right in front of me. Still, she knew how she affected  me. I could see it in the way she held her shoulders when I was around,  as if she knew very well she was being watched and liked it. I could see  in the self-conscious tilt of her head and the way she glanced at me to  make sure my eyes hadn't left her, the way she gave her hips an extra  sway for my benefit.

Lydia was a princess, the only daughter of Edward De Havilland and his  new wife-Lydia's stepmother-Ginny, multi-millionaires and owners of one  of the largest privately held construction and real estate firms in the  industry. Plus, she had a protective older brother. She was spoiled,  pampered, self-indulgent, an incorrigible flirt, and I very well knew  it. And yet I couldn't manage to stay away from her.

"Bloody eejit," I muttered to myself.

I was the son of Lydia's family's gardener. The gardener, who had taken  my sister and me from a small county in the mid-east region of Ireland  to America three years ago for a supposed "better life" after our mam  died. The gardener, who had promised things would look up for us here,  and instead was grappling with the bottle as much or more so than he'd  been doing back home. My dad. Sean Ramsay, a piss artist and useless  prick. And so I picked up the slack for him so he wouldn't get fired,  because we were desperate for the salary, desperate for the healthcare  the job provided. The doctors' visits my little sister, Eileen, needed  were endless. Endless and expensive.

He kept promising he would quit, and I kept hoping. Some days he did better than others, but today wasn't one of them.

I was seventeen, but some days I felt seventy.

When my dad still managed a good handle on his drinking, he had Mr. De  Havilland hire me to work part-time after school as one of his  assistants. So now, if anyone saw me, they believed I worked in that  capacity. Or at least that's what I hoped. What they didn't know was I  often worked late into the night on the De Havilland grounds, ensuring  no one realized my dad had already abandoned most of his duties.                       
       
           



       

Lydia's father had also noticed the patterns I mowed into the grass, and  when he asked me what my math grades were like, I'd told him I had been  taking advanced college level courses since ninth grade. He'd looked  impressed and asked me if I might be interested in working for his  company during the summer. Excitement and pride had filled me, and I'd  readily agreed. It might mean we could finally afford some of the  treatments the doctors recommended for Eileen. And maybe, just maybe,  someday I'd earn enough to date Lydia.

Yes, Lydia was a princess, but when she smiled at me, my heart did  somersaults in my chest. When she laughed, it sounded like the sweetest  music, soft and pitched in a way that was nothing except pleasing to my  ears, not in the garish way some people had of laughing-laughter that  made me grimace and want to stick my fingers in my ears. She was  everything soft and beautiful and feminine, and she made me want in a  way I both loved and hated. And despite her princess status, she never  looked at me in the way her friends did-a mixture of disdain and  lust-when they came over to swim or attend parties at her house, as if  they were interested but ashamed they were. No, Lydia was a practiced  flirt, but there was something more about her that drew me in-not just  her stunning beauty, but a depth the other girls her age didn't have.

I loved it when she'd seek me out and chat with me while I worked. I  lived for those moments. I loved the way she teased me, but never in a  way that felt mean or condescending. And no one else made me laugh the  way Lydia did-often surprising me with her wit.

I spotted Lydia standing under a sycamore tree next to the stables  before she'd turned around, but by the way her shoulders straightened, I  knew she had sensed me. She took her time turning, flipping her hair  over her shoulder and inclining her head and smiling her dazzling smile.

"Mo Chroí," I said, approaching her slowly.

"I told you not to call me that, Brogan. I'm not a princess," she said,  cocking her head and letting her eyes run down my body. I fisted my  hands to remain still, to keep my blood cool enough that I didn't harden  under her slow perusal, giving her immediate proof of her power over  me. "Thanks for meeting me." She licked her lips once, her eyes holding  nervousness I hadn't seen before. What was she up to?

I narrowed my eyes slightly, putting my hands in my pockets and leaning  one shoulder against the trunk of the tree. The sun had begun to set,  the sky behind Lydia painted in bright shades of pink and orange.

"I-" She licked her lips again, crossing her arms over her chest,  plumping her breasts. "Well, here's the thing, Brogan. I've never . . .  well, I've never been kissed before."

Shock momentarily rendered me mute, and my mouth went dry. I wasn't sure  where this was going, but the subject matter was shooting off warning  sirens. I willed my expression to go blank and took my time answering.  "I find that hard to believe. You've got every fella within ten miles  interested in ya." She was only a grade behind me, and although we  didn't attend the same school, I'd heard plenty of guys talking about  her, even though they only knew her by sight. Greenwich, Connecticut was  a small enough town.

"Ya could put out a casting call," I joked cautiously. "I'm sure there'd  be a line of lads around the block." And I'd line up, too, because I  wouldn't be able to bloody help myself. "I imagine Myles Landry would be  the first one to arrive." Myles was a neighbor and he was always over  sniffing around Lydia. I'd watched her flirt and dazzle him more than  I'd cared to. But that's what Lydia did. She flirted and dazzled and  played her little games. And all the while my stupid heart yearned for  her, wishing I was enough.

"Ha ha," she said. "The thing is, Brogan, I want you to be the one to kiss me." She took a step closer, and I took a step back.

"Why?" I demanded. Why was she doing this to me? Making me hope for  things I could never have? Didn't she know she was driving me crazy?

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