Curious about my books? Like drama, suspense, or romance?

The Downey Series consists of The Downey Trilogy (First, I Love You; Second of All; and Third Time’s The Charm) as well as the spin-off romances featuring Dom & Kate (The Bird Day Battalion , The V-Day Aversion, and The Good Life).

The Downey Trilogy novels are contemporary drama/suspense with a romance subplot set in Chicago and Omaha. The Dom & Kate stories are contemporary romance set in the Omaha-Lincoln area of Nebraska. It is not necessary to read The Downey Trilogy to understand the Dom & Kate stories OR vice-versa.

FILYversion413   SoACoverVersion513   ThirdTime

[Start reading First, I Love You for FREE here on my website: Chapter One]

birddaycover(Free!)  valentinescover (Free!)  TheGoodLifeDigitalCover

KikibannerHow are the books connected?

For starters, both Detective Tommy Gates and his criminal-mastermind father Mickey Downey from The Downey Trilogy are mentioned in The Bird Day Battalion.

Not only that, but Officer Kyle Anderson (who is in all three Dom & Kate books) is briefly mentioned at the end of First, I Love You and shows up again at the end of Second of All. Tommy Gates also makes an appearance in The Good Life.

The Bird Day Battalion  occurs before First, I Love You chronologically, but The V-Day Aversion occurs the same month Tommy heads to Chicago for his human trafficking task force in The Downey Trilogy. The Good Life is set after the end of Third Time’s The Charm

It’s not just Kyle and Tommy that connect the books; Mary Gates’ best friend Claire Underwood from First, I Love You–Agent Jack Underwood’s wife–is an Anderson by birth. Her brother, Tom Anderson, is Kyle and Katelyn Anderson’s father. When Kyle Anderson refers to his Aunt Claire in the Tommy Flashback, she is literally his Aunt, versus the fictive use of the moniker by Tommy. Claire also makes a cameo in the Mickey & Mary Flashback.

You can read MORE about the characters from the Downey series here:



You can read the free supplemental Flash-fictions here:

NEW BEGINNINGS (A Tommy Gates and Kyle Anderson Flashback)

This short scene features a young Tommy Gates and Kyle Anderson and is set shortly before the flashback scene in the first chapter of First, I Love You in which Mickey finds Mary & Tommy.


SPIN THE BOTTLE (A Dominic Valentini and Katelyn Anderson Flashback)

This is a look at the spin the bottle game that Kate references in Bird Day Battalion. Little Tommy Gates makes a brief cameo at the party.


ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS MY TWO FRONT KNEES (A Dominic Valentini and Katelyn Anderson Flashback)

This is a short holiday scene between Dom and Kate set the Christmas before they get together in Bird Day Battalion. It is very fluffy and G-rated. Published in A World of Joy Anthology.


HER PRINCE (A Mickey Downey & Mary Gates Flashback)

This scene features a nineteen year old Mary Gates, freshly arrived in New York, talking with her new best friend Claire (Anderson) Underwood about the mysterious new man she started seeing, Michael…something or another.


CONVERSATIONS AT 30,000 FT (A Maeve Downey & Ginny Sommers Missing Scene)

This is a quick missing moment from Second of All set aboard the flight to Dublin that both Maeve and Ginny are on.


SPECIAL DELIVERY  (A Kiki Downey & James Hoffman Missing Scene)

A Kiki Downey & James Hoffman missing love scene from First, I Love You set shortly after they “hook up” for the first time as Kiki puts it. Published in A World of Romance Anthology — (Warning! 18+ For Sexual Material!)


SECOND CHANCES (A Mickey Downey & Mary Gates Flashback)

A flashback to when Mary tells Mickey she is pregnant with Tommy, and Mickey persuades her to be his mistress. — (Warning: 18+ For Language and Brief Sexual Material)


LETTERS FROM MICKEY DOWNEY (Letters Mickey Downey wrote to his loved ones)

These are the letters referenced in The Downey Trilogy that Mickey wrote to his loved ones over the years. In the books, the reader rarely gets to see the contents of these letters so I have begun sharing them as periodic blog posts. Check back as I add more.



It’s September! Here’s a new Letter From Mickey for my Downey Trilogy fans:

FILYversion413   SoACoverVersion513   ThirdTimePreReveal


Dear Joey,

Your last letter gave me quite the laugh! The cheek of you! Alright then, if you want me to trust you with my jet you’re going to have to tell me what the message is hidden within this tale:

Back when Finn was still the adventuring sort and fond of women and drink — well, more so than he was at the time of this tale, in any case — he came across a young scamp. This boy said he’d take care of Finn’s horse in exchange for a few coins. Now, Finn had already spent the coin he had on the aforementioned activities, but he knew the horse was in need of care.

So, he says to the lad, “Tis true the horse needs attending but I’ve a more pressing matter that’ll earn you double the coin… if you’re interested.”

The boy’s eyes lit up at the opportunity,  for he was hungrier than a louse on a bald man, and at least three times more clever than hungry. “Oh, tell me, please,” the boy pleaded.

“Take the horse down the lane, past old man McIntyre’s, then take a right turn by the old oak and another by the raspberry thicket. There you’ll see a farm of some size. Knock on the door and say you’re delivering a message from Finnegan.”

“And what’s the message, sir?” the boy asked.

“That is the message, lad.”

The boy furrowed his brows, but agreed to take the horse. When he arrived at the place, he was greeted by an old hag rather fearsome in visage.

“Oh, ho, so Finnegan’s finally been gotten the better of, eh?” the old woman asked.

The boy opened his mouth to say something, but she waggled a wizened finger at him, “And don’t be thinkin’ I’ll be paying a thief who got the better of another thief, boyo!” Then she grabbed the horse’s reins and pulled him inside.

Realizing he had been had, the boy shouted, “Wait! I found the horse and I was just returning it. I don’t know this Finnegan. I was only hoping for a bit of bread and a place to stay. Perhaps if I clean the stall, I could rest with the horse for the night?”

The old woman paused and contemplated the offer. The boy did look rather peckish and he reminded her of her son at that age. “Alright, lad. I’ll have Moira bring you some bread and goat’s milk. Ye’ll be off at morning’s light.”

“Yes, ma’am,” he assured her.

And come the morning, her stalls shined as if they’d been built yesterday. And they were just as empty. When she returned to the kitchen, Moira asked her why she was smiling so.

“Why, because I’ve finally gotten rid of all my son’s stolen horses without having to answer any questions! What a good boy, my Finnegan is.”


I love you, Joey. Do try and be good in as much as that’s possible for any Downey.

Your loving father, Mickey.

Read the rest of the letters here: Letters From Mickey Downey

Goodbye hearts, hello shamrocks. I’m ready to let my inner Irish out.

There are lots of parts to me (and my family), but I’ve always been proud of the Irish bits and pieces. Why? Because I associate these parts with laughter, love, loyalty and perseverance. Is this exclusive to Irish folk? Nah, of course not. But every March when everyone becomes a wee bit Irish for a day, I smile and think it’s funny people think of drinking and parades. Because to me it’s always been about family and faith… that wee part of me.

Alright, enough of the pointless blither blather. I’m dusting off a Letter From Mickey that contains the sort of wisdom my grandpa was fond of sending me in HIS letters:


Dear Tommy,

First, I love you and I hope you are well!

A little birdie told me your hockey team didn’t make it to the finals. I am sorry to hear this and I know it is not from any lack on your part. You are quite talented, I am sure. Defeats are a part of life’s lessons for us I am afraid. Sadly they only get harsher as life moves on. But it is how you handle these disappointments that makes the mettle of a man. But I have no worries there, even as a young child you always brushed off disappointments with only a minimal fuss. A trait you get from your mother, no doubt, as it couldn’t have been easy raising you alone but she never complained. Even in the end shortly before she left, for as many arguments as we had she still was as loving and patient as ever. Every day I was able to spend with you, she always had a smile on her face and no matter the struggles she had, she could always find a way to spin a positive out of it. I remember one time when you were only about 2 years old, she had been ill all week with the Flu and had lost her waitressing job from the missed work. I brought her roses and the rent for the remainder of the year expecting to have to comfort her. But you know what she did? She smiled wide, handed you to me, and said, ‘I’m only sad I can’t smell these roses.’ I fed you dinner (spaghetti-os were your favorite) and I even got to give you your bath, something your mother usually did herself as I apparently made too much of a mess playing battleship with you. It was my habit each night I got to spend with you to rock you to sleep telling you stories your great grandfather, Seamus O’Malley, had passed on to me. Now, there is a man whose veins run with pure steel–he never met a disappointment he couldn’t turn into a blessing! He is a full 45 years older than I, yet he can still run circles around me in a spirited argument and still carves every day. If I possess even half of his vigor at his age I will truly be blessed. Anyway, this story was one of your favorites, or I should say, sent you to sleep the fastest, which in retrospect might be saying the opposite. You’ll have to tell me which case it is upon hearing it at an older age: 

Finnegan had been a hard working man, if the work you were speaking about was finding ways to do the least amount of work to gain the most. One of his favorite things to do was trick people in to buying his tales of magical healing wells. Now back then people had heard of Brigid’s Well but few knew where to find it. Finnegan would spin a yarn about how he had thrice been cured by it himself and he knew the secret path to get there. They would pay him in food and shelter and other such comforts to show them where the well existed. But wily Finnegan would lead them around in circles until they were good and dizzy then leave them off at the nearest spring he could find. By the time they discovered the water was just ordinary water, he would be long gone. One night he was sleeping in a barn and a Wee One appeared before him.

“Finnegan,” she said. “It just so happens there is such a well in Kildare as to make a sick man healed. Would you like to know how to find it?”

“Oh, yes, very much,” Finnegan replied, thanking his good fortune, but suspicious of it just the same. “What is it you would want in exchange?”

“You must agree never to trick others again. And, I must warn you, you can only drink the water if you truly seek healing.”

“Of course,” Finnegan agreed, while crossing his finger behind him.

The Wee One told him the well’s location and Finnegan began searching for it, out of curiosity and avarice. But every time he would get near where the well was supposed to be, he would find he was right back where he had started. But he would always begin again thinking this would be the time he would find it. He began to waste away from obsession and lack of food. One day as he was resting on a low wall along came a fair maiden. She gave him some warm bread and he told her of his quest. He figured he had been tricked by the Wee One just as he had tricked others because even now, when he was truly sick, he still could not find the water.

“You poor dear,” the girl said. “I’m afraid Morrigan left out the most important part. You must truly want to get well to find the water in the first place.”

“What foolishness is this?” Finnegan asked. “Of course I want to get well!” And he did, for she was quite beautiful and he could see himself raising goats and children with her as a good and honest man.

“Then drink,” Brigid said and waved her hand. Behind her apace was a small circle of stones with a bucket suspended atop. He drank the cool, mossy water and suddenly felt no desire to wander anymore.

He settled down and made a good life with her. But one day his past came to haunt him as these things tend to do. One of the people he had tricked in the past came seeking justice. When Finnegan offered to let him drink from their well, the man thought he was being tricked yet again and absconded with Finnegan’s bride. Enraged, Finnegan armed himself and his children and swore vengeance upon the man and all who would aid him, vowing he would not stop until he was reunited with his fair love. But he did not know Brigid had sacrificed herself rather than be used by his enemies. So, endlessly he searched, killing all those who dared try and stop him. After each battle, those who would come to claim the bodies of their kin would swear Brigid’s ghost would wander about the dead, crying for their souls, and singing: ‘Until we meet again, my love, until we meet again’.

Then one day, wearied unto his soul from his searching, Finnegan laid down his weapons and gathered his children and grandchildren near and said, ‘enough’ and breathed his last breath, thus finally being reunited with his eternal bride. But his children did not weep, for there is nothing so perfect as a thing with no ending and no beginning, such as a family of souls intertwined.

My dear boy, I think of this story often when I think of you and your mother, not just because it reminds me of when we were together, but because it gives me comfort knowing that eventually, we will be a family again.

Your loving father,


FILYversion413   SoACoverVersion513   ThirdTimePreReveal

Have you read the Dom and Kate Christmas flashback?

The following is a short holiday scene featuring Dominic Valentini and Katelyn Anderson, and is set the Christmas before they get together in Bird Day Battalion. It is G-rated and fluffy.

birddaycover (Free!)   valentinescover ($.99!)

Originally published in A World of Joy by Grey Mouse Publishing.


All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Knees

by Genevieve Dewey

Dominic Valentini dropped his Steelers bag next to the front door inside his parents’ house. He sucked in a deep breath, coughed a bit at the overwhelming scent of Christmas potpourri, then locked the door behind him. If he was lucky, he’d be able to catch a few hours of sleep on the couch before anyone woke up and wondered what he was doing in Nebraska instead of Pennsylvania.

After all, big shot pro-football players fly their parents over to see them; they don’t slink home with their tail between their legs… even if they were legs with blown-out knees. One season as a fourth round draft pick and he was already on injured reserve. That was demoralizing on its own, but Dom suspected being on reserve was a mere courtesy on his way to ‘released from contract’.

He grimaced, thinking about how he was going to break the news to his parents:

Hey, Mom, Dad, won’t be getting you that fancy mansion I promised. I’m soon-to-be unemployed and I filed for divorce. Merry Christmas!

Dom wrinkled his nose as he stretched out on the couch. He cupped the back of his head and crossed his ankles.

Nah, better to lead with worse news.

The loss of a football career was nothing compared to the fact that Dominic would be the first person in his branch of the Valentini family to ever get a divorce. To a Valentini, the ‘D’ word was way worse than unemployment, back taxes, and a proctology exam combined.

“Yay, go me,” Dom whispered at the ceiling.

He never should have married Isabel. She deserved better than a husband who was still hung up on his childhood crush. Even more ridiculous was the knowledge he and said unrequited love, Katelyn Anderson, had never been more than friends. Who left their wife for a friend and neighbor they had never actually been in a romantic relationship with? Especially one who seemed determinedly oblivious to his feelings?

Tap, tap, tap.

Dom crooked his head to look out the living room window. He could see movement, but the rainbow lights reflecting from the Christmas tree made it hard to distinguish what had made the noise. He looked around the room for a security bat then stopped and chuckled. What would be the point? This was Small Town, America. More than half this town never locked their doors, yet still left the living room drapes open so everyone could see their tree.

He got up from the couch and winced as his knees briefly buckled. He yanked the door open dramatically, expecting to shoo off some bored kids.

Except it was Katelyn Anderson, frozen mid-knock.

“Hey,” she whispered, her breath caressing her face in the frigid air.

She smiled and rubbed her hands together. “Can I come in?”

When he continued to gape at her, she poked him on the chest, and nudged her head towards the house.

“Uh, what are—I mean, yeah,” Dom replied and tugged her inside. “What are you doing here?”

“Saw you pull up and wondered why no one knew you were coming home for the holidays. Or is this a Christmas present for your folks? I mean, of course, it must be, no one in their right mind takes a flight in the middle of the night unless they want to surprise someone or there’s an emergency. Wait,” Katelyn paused.

Her eyebrows contracted and she suddenly grabbed his arms, “There’s not an emergency is there?”

He couldn’t help but grin; he’d missed her tendency to babble.

Her worried frown deepened.

“Naw,” Dom finally said and shrugged. “You were right the first time.”

“Was I?” Kate asked in a concerned tone.

When he didn’t answer, she tilted her head and narrowed her eyes.

He sighed and walked back over to the couch. Knowing someone your entire life had its drawbacks; they tended to know when you were lying.

“Not that I mind visits from pretty women at three in the morning, but I could ask you the same question; what were you doing spying on the neighborhood in the middle of the night at your mother’s house?” Dom deflected.

“You haven’t heard?” Kate asked, her eyes suddenly alight with enthusiasm. “I bought the house from my parents after they retired! I’m moving back.”

“Huh. There’s a lot of that going around,” he mumbled, enjoying the flush that excitement brought to her cheeks.

She raised her eyebrows and pressed her lips together. Then she walked over to the couch, sat next to him, and rested her head against his shoulder.

“Spill,” she coaxed.

Just rip the bandaid off, Valentini, so she can be disappointed in you, too…

“I’m getting a divorce,” he replied, trying to sound cheerful about it.

She took a deep breath then patted his leg.

“I’m sorry…” she said with a long sigh. “I’ve been a terrible friend, so focused on my Thesis and school… I’ve barely kept in touch. I didn’t even know you were having marital problems.”

“We weren’t really,” he answered honestly.

It was the truth. He and Isabel got along great, but it was a hollow sort of rapport. He had never felt so empty in his life than when he was living his perfect life with her. There was no reason for it, except his heart seemed stubbornly addicted to the girl-next-door with wild curly hair and an unnatural fondness for libraries.

“I don’t think you came home just because of that,” Kate prodded. “Does this have to do with the game last month? You looked pretty hurt when they took you off the field. Are your knees starting to feel better? I thought for sure you’d play in the last game but…”

“Nope, that’s the joy of being injured reserve on top of special teams.”

“What does that mean?”

“It means… there’s a very good chance I’ll be released from contract.”

“Oh, Dom… I’m so sorry. To have it end over a stupid torn ACL,” Katelyn replied.

Her tone was certainly more genuine than her expression of sympathy regarding his divorce.

She rubbed his knee.

His brain jammed and his heart clutched. The rest of him tried desperately to remember she had friend-zoned him ages ago.

“I didn’t realize you watched my games, or knew what an ACL is—”

Katelyn pulled away, raised her hand, and smacked him on the forehead.

“Ok, a), I’m an anthropologist; if I don’t know human anatomy, I need a new career. And, b), I watch and record every single game of yours including the pre-season clips and the highlights on ESPN. That’s what people do when they’re proud of their loved ones.”

She looked genuinely astonished and affronted that he could doubt her devotion.

Loved ones? How am I supposed to kill these feelings when she said stuff like that?

“All I want for Christmas is my two front knees,” he sang, in an effort to cover his sudden confusion.

“As opposed to your two back knees?” she countered sarcastically with an eye roll. “It’d be more like your middle knees, anyway. And please don’t try to sing again. You seriously stink at it.”

“Ok, a),” Dom mimicked her, “Why you gotta be such a know it all? And b), you seriously stink at football, yet you insist we play in the back yard every major holiday.”

She scooted on the couch until she was fully facing him.

“That’s for your sake!”

“My sake? You think I enjoy playing with amateurs who sulk when they lose?”

“Maybe if the winner didn’t enjoy rubbing it in…” she said with a glare.

She crossed her arms and pursed her lips, eyes so narrowed her lashes joined at the edges.

He chuckled. It was hard to take Kate seriously when she got upset. She looked like a freshly toweled kitten, more prone to eliciting a desire for kisses than ire.

He loved getting her riled up.

“I guess playing with amateurs is something I’ll have to get used to now,” he conceded with a rueful smile.

Her face cleared. She tilted her head again and clicked her teeth in a sympathetic manner.

“Forget professional football. You have a degree in Physical Education, and a great family, and my huge family by extension. Not to mention, selfishly, I’d be glad if you chose to move back here. I’ve missed you… crazy lots.”

Kate’s voice broke a bit at the end and Dom’s heart started galloping in response. He’d no idea she felt that way, even as just a friend. In truth, it was his fault they’d lost touch in the last few years. She thought it was her myopic tendency for studying, but he had made a concerted effort to create distance out of self-preservation.

“I’ve missed you too, Skate,” he confessed.

“Ugh, that dumb nickname…” she responded.

She pushed her unruly hair behind her ears and rolled her eyes. Then she slapped him on his thigh in an impatient manner.

“Pittsburg and Isabel didn’t deserve you anyway. If you move back here, you could consider it a public service. You’ll be raising the Good Men per capita of Nebraska. It’s our slogan and all.”

“Huh,” he managed to say around the growing lump in his throat. “And here I thought it was ‘The Good Life’.”

“Same difference,” she said with a cheeky grin and a quick shrug.

He looked down at her hand still resting on his knee. She snatched her hand back with a quick, soft huff, like an unformed laugh. He looked back up. Her cheeks had flooded red but she didn’t drop his gaze.

He deliberately turned his head and studied the Christmas tree; cheerful yet lonely with just a few presents underneath. There was something different in her eyes, and paired with her affectionate words, it gave him the stirrings of hope. Hope was something he hadn’t allowed himself in years. And if he was being honest, he hadn’t made it clear since they were teenagers that he wanted to be more than friends. Now that he thought about it, maybe moving back to Nebraska wouldn’t be about hitting bottom. Maybe it could be about new beginnings.

He looked back at her and grinned, not one of his we’ve-known-each-other-for-years friendly grins, but one of his how-you-doin’ grins. It always made the ones who were interested flustered, and the ones who weren’t, at least snort in good humor. He had never actually tried it on Kate.

Her flush deepened and she sprang up from the couch. She rubbed her hands on her legs and laughed slightly. Then she looked around the room in an absentminded manner.

Huh… how about that, he thought.

“I better get back next door before we get the local tongues wagging,” Kate said breathlessly. “You coming over for Christmas dinner?”

His grin got wider and he nodded.

Her brows contracted briefly. “Why are you smiling at me like that?”

He just shrugged, saying nothing. He was enjoying her discomfort. She looked not just flustered, but confused, and confused was something he could work with.

Yeah, there just might be reason to hope, after all…

He walked her to the door and indulged himself with an extra-long hug. Then he relaxed on the couch again and let his mind mull over Katelyn’s tell-tale flush. Maybe she didn’t think of him as boyfriend material yet, but there was definite potential to change her mind.

“So you’re moving back home, huh?”

Dominic rolled over so quickly he fell off the couch.

“Fmpblllltsh!” The carpet muffled his curse; a good thing since his father didn’t tolerate cursing in his home.

“Haaaah,” Dom finished his moan of pain as he rolled over. “Hey, Dad. What, uh, what makes you say that?”

“Well, that’s what the little Anderson girl was saying.”

“Yeah, Dad, she hasn’t been ‘little’ in quite some time,” Dom countered.

“Ok, youngest of the gaggle. Whatever,” Vincent Valentini waved a dismissive hand. “Guess if there’s gonna be all this yakkin’, might as well start the day.”

He walked towards the kitchen, flipped the light on, and started brewing coffee. Dom limped after him.

“Hey, son, what a nice surprise. Good to see you,” Dom muttered under his breath.

As soon as he sat at the kitchen table, he said a little louder, “I haven’t actually decided to move back. Exactly how much did you hear?”

“Enough to offer my congratulations.”


“I’m glad you finally saw the light. Would have preferred it to be before the wedding, but, hey, better late than never, eh?”

Vincent turned around and popped Dom on the shoulder.

“So… you’re ok with it?” Dom wondered.

“I’m ok wit’ it,” Vincent said gruffly.

He handed Dom a coffee mug.

“I was thinking you and Mom were going to freak out about the divorce…”

“Oh, your nonna’s gonna freak, sure, but me and your mother? Nah. You know what’s disappointin’, son? Watching you let your dreams slip away.”

“What do you mean? I was playing for the Steelers! Most college players don’t even make it to the Draft. I didn’t choose to have a knee injury—”

“Don’t be dense,” Vincent interrupted. “I don’t care about that. I’m talking about that girl who just left. The one you’re never able to keep your eyes off of. I don’t understand why you’re content to moon after her like a martyr instead of just puttin’ a ring on it already.”

“Put a ring…” Dom paused, pinching his nose.

He took a deep breath, reminding himself his father was from a very different generation.

“Dad, Kate and I are friends. Even if I were to—”

“No, here’s what you do,” Vincent interrupted again. “You take this week to start laying the ground work with her and then you get your affairs in order, and move back home. It’s not defeat if it’s something you want anyway.”

“Dad, I don’t even have a job lined up…”

Vincent clapped Dominic on the shoulder and chuckled.

“Son, the world’s full of signs if you’re just open to them. This is a sign it’s time to move back home and go for it with her, I’m telling you.”

Dom opened his mouth, but his reply was cut short by the sound of his mother’s voice.

“Vinnie? Who are you talking to?” Ramona shouted from down the hall. “Turn the oven on, would ya? I have to get started on the casserole I told Bridgette we’d bring for Christmas dinner.”

Vincent and Dominic shared a grimace and got to work. Valentini-Anderson joint holiday dinners were a tradition of chaos, overeating, bickering and insanity—insanity because they all kept doing it year after year despite the first three components. Everyone by this point knew never to stand in the way of Ramona Valentini and Bridgette Anderson’s deeply competitive friendship.

Dom managed to make it through his mother’s fussing and nagging in the morning, and the crazy Christmas dinner next door, all on zero hours of sleep. Feeling punchy and mellow, Dominic ducked the rest of the guests and waited by Kate’s back door for her to try sneaking out as she did every year.

“Going somewhere?” he asked, grinning at her guilty flush.

“Just to my office to take advantage of no one being there and fight through this stupor. I swear our mothers always feed us like they’re going to eat us later.”

“Yeah, nothing says ‘tis the season’ like gluttony,” he agreed.

He grabbed a football from a box in the mud room, tossed it up briefly, then tucked it under his arm. He stepped so close she had to tilt her head up to keep his gaze.

“Wanna help me burn off those calories instead?” he asked with a suggestive tone.

She flushed and blinked. Then her eyes dropped to the football and she laughed.

“Dom, honestly… you’re such a flirt. A girl might accidentally take you seriously,” she replied with a finger waggle.

Dropping her satchel, she snatched the ball out of his arms, and walked out the door.

He shook his head at her back. It was looking like getting out of the friend zone was going to be harder than getting into the end zone.

She stopped abruptly and pivoted back around. “Are you sure? Are your knees up to it?”

“If not, you can always nurse me back to health…” he bantered.

She snorted and rolled her eyes before heading out into the yard.

As soon as he shut the door, his phone buzzed. He fished it out and saw a text from his old high school coach:

Hey Dom, heard from Mrs. D you were back in town. Can you come over later? Have a job opp. next fall here at the school I wanted to float by you. Before you say no, just hear me out, OK? Dave

Dom raised his eyes to look out across the yard at Kate, squinting from the glare of the snow reflecting the sun.

The world’s full of signs… he heard his father’s voice whisper.

It would take him time to sell his place, but if he played it right, he could be here for the start of the school year. Then he could begin his campaign to win the Girl Next Door’s heart.

“Ready for the sweet taste of defeat, Valentini?” Kate asked. She had an adorable and not at all intimidating sneer on her face.

He shook his head with a chuckle. “My first order of business when I move back will be teaching you how to talk smack properly.”

Her face lit up. “So you’re coming back for sure?”

“For sure,” he answered softly.

“Eee!” she squealed, tackling him.

He deliberately let their bodies hit the ground, hugging her tight and enjoying the feel of her pressed against him.

“Best Christmas ever!” Katelyn continued breathlessly.

Snow speckled on her hair like tinsel in the bright sunshine. Her cheeks had a rosy glow against her porcelain skin.

He smiled and tucked her hair behind her ears.

Sweet taste of defeat, indeed.

“Merry Christmas, Skate,” Dominic said. “You realize, of course, even without my two front knees, I’m going to kick your—”

He broke off as her delighted laughter filled the yard.

No, the ‘Best Christmas Ever’ is yet to come, babe. I promise, he thought with a grin.

–Copyright 2013, Genevieve Dewey.

~~You can read a flashback to teenage Dom & Kate here on my website: Spin The Bottle. (Rated PG)~~

#ThirdTimesTheCharm: A Letter from a sinner to his lover

FILYversion413   SoACoverVersion513   ThirdTimePreReveal

The following is a letter referenced in Third Time’s The Charm;

Somewhere around the twentieth letter she had given up any idea of secrecy or discretion. She drank up his words until her veins felt infused with his longing, rage, bitterness, humor, nostalgia and love, so much love.


My dearest Mary,

I woke this morning with the scent of you as clear as touch in my nose. You’d say that makes no sense if you were here, smell and touch are two different things, you’d say, and then I’d delight in arguing with you. Just because. It’s a sad truth that no one argues with me these days, unless you count Theresa. But there’s no joy in that, it’s like arguing with a child, pointless and absurd. There’s no joy in anything anymore. No, that’s a lie, which, again, were you here, you would be the first to call me on.

What I mean is, I could have sworn on a stack of Bibles that you were here, so strong was the scent of you in my bed. That lightly perfumed body soap mixed with the sweat of our bodies and the detergent you used on our sheets. Sheets you bought for me, or I bought, since it was my money that you would then spend on me so we could carry on pretending I wasn’t paying for everything anyhow. I think that was probably my first mistake–hard to tell, I made so many–not being more honest with you. The irony in that is I was just honest enough to hang myself, to give you the ammunition to destroy us, but not enough to give you a reason to stay. I get that. I really do. Doesn’t change anything, you’re still gone.

But everywhere I see the ghost of you, and worse, our son. Every red-headed woman turning a corner makes that cruel burst of longing re-appear, and every little boy’s laughter, a fresh knife-wound.  The only thing that helps a bit is rocking Kiki to sleep as I did with Tommy. I even agreed to try for another baby with Theresa, thinking that would help, but it just highlights what I’ve lost. I could have a thousand children and love them all, but my heart will never stop missing the one you stole from me.

First, you stole my heart, then my child, and now I am beginning to think you’ve stolen my hope as well. On the other hand, maybe that theft would be a blessing. Hope is a worse poison than anger or hatred. At least with vengeance in my heart, I have a purpose. Would that you could come home long enough to steal my memories as well. Without them, I might be free for once.

Yes, you’re right. That’s a lie, too.

I’ll never be free of you, and I don’t think I want to be. When I was with you I felt the most free I’ve ever felt in my life. I felt like I could just be Michael Downey, the man who loves Mary Gates. Michael Downey, Tommy’s father. Michael Downey, the guy who remembers to set the garbage on the curb, call his mother, buy you flowers on your birthday. Just a regular Joe, no pun intended. See, I still hear your laughter in my ears when I would make a bad pun like that, and I wouldn’t even have had to explain that I was talking about Big Joe and how un-“regular” he is. You just knew. You just knew me, the real me, better than you can possibly realize. Just like you knew even before your mind wanted to accept it that I was a criminal. It was never that you didn’t know me well enough to know I loved you, wanted to be with you and Tommy and not her. It was that you had no faith in me to do something about it.

And that’s where I’m at now, where the theft of hope began, I’m left with the bitter knowledge that the only woman I ever let into my soul had no faith in what she saw. She saw more liar than lover, more sinner than father. If you would have had just a little more faith in me maybe I could have found a way to be all those things at once. That‘s the chicken and egg of it all, did I kill your faith or did your lack of faith make me what you saw? A man who valued power more than his family. Unfortunately, just as I’m not the only thief between the two of us, I’m not the only killer. Because your lack of faith killed that hopeful man named Michael Downey.

Oh, I can just see your eyes narrow, your nostrils flare, and your cheeks flush as fiery red as your hair at the injustice of that statement. 

Come home and argue with me about it. I dare you. 

I love you, always,


Read the rest of the letters here: Letters From Mickey Downey

#ThirdTimesTheCharm: A Letter from a father to his baby daughter

FILYversion413   SoACoverVersion513  ThirdTime

The following is a letter referenced in Third Time’s the Charm;

He let go of Kiki and fished a letter out of his pocket…


Dear Princess,

I am writing you this letter on the occasion of your seven month birthday. Why seven, you ask? Seven is a lucky number and I want as much luck infused into this letter as I can get. It’s actually my third attempt. The first was a bit too combative I think, a failure on my part to acknowledge the inevitability of certain things. The second, I dwelt a bit too much on other things I’ve lost and which should never be your concern. And so here we are, third time’s the charm, as they say. 

I’m going to hold on to this letter until you are grown and ready to start your own family. Which I hope is long after my death. Just kidding. Today your mother wants to take you to Festa di San Gennaro which I think is a horrible idea because my mind spins with all the possible ways you could get hurt by the crowd or scared by all the noises and scents. When you have your own babies I think you will understand how consumed a parent can get with protecting their child, and that brings me to the point of this letter. I want you to know that I love you far beyond any earthly want or need and that as long as it is within my power–even if that power is only my two bare hands–I will do my best to protect you from harm.

The day I give you this letter, or have it given to you, will be the day you have found someone who will love and protect you as much as your father can. I do hope I will give you this letter someday because even at seven months old I can tell you deserve nothing less than everything your sweet, joyful heart desires. I truly believe you are a gift from a God who has no reason to give a man such as me anything. But I will cherish every moment with you until the day I give you away to another and then I will cherish the memories I have of you.

Please know, in this life and the next, I will always watch over you and love you.

Your loving father,


Read the rest of the letters here: Letters From Mickey Downey


#ThirdTimesTheCharm: A letter from a mobster to his errant mistress

FILYversion413   SoACoverVersion513  ThirdTimePreReveal

The following is a letter referenced in Third Time’s The Charm;

Beneath the tray was a bundle of letters, no envelopes, about an inch thick. Mary’s hands trembled and she quickly rubbed them against her pant legs to remove her sweat. She sent a brief nervous glance at the doorway and lifted the first letter up.


My dearest Mary,

I would say first, that I love you, except mostly these days I despise you the way a man can hate only that which he once loved more than life. I take joy in that, actually, because today I realized I still have a heart. How could I still hate you this much if I didn’t? The truth is I hate you because I still love you and I would give anything if I could stop. You wanted me in prison for my crimes once, well this is a worse punishment by far. I hope you are happy, wherever you are. No, I hope you are empty. Empty like I am. I hope you ache the way I do. For everything we could have had together.

I decided to stop writing you today. It’s not fair to my children. I held my new son in my arms last night and I made a promise to myself. I will not rest until I find you. It was better to let you run and hide when Big Joe was in charge, but now I’m the man in charge and I will find my son and bring him home to his sister and brother. But until then, I have to stop holding on to the past. I thought writing these letters would help. I know now, nothing will help but to see you in front of me instead of in my memories. I’m only left to wonder, which will win out when I see you again? The love, or the hate?

Until We Meet Again,


Read the rest of the letters here: Letters From Mickey Downey

#ThirdTimesTheCharm: A Letter from (a drunk) Mickey Downey to Mary Gates

FILYversion413   SoACoverVersion513   ThirdTimePreReveal

The following is a letter referenced in Third Time’s The Charm;

Beneath the tray was a bundle of letters, no envelopes, about an inch thick…


My dearest Mary,

I struggle to write this. I guess I’m not sure if you care. I wonder if they’ll even give it to you. I guess it doesn’t matter because I’m not even sure if I’ll ever send it to you. I just can’t help but wonder if I’d stayed that night, hadn’t walked out, if I could have changed your mind. An hour. That’s the length of time it took me to lose everything that mattered. An HOUR and you were gone. I think they do that on purpose, the Feds. That way they can fill your head with lies and manip manu manipulations. Never noticed how long that word was before.

I guess I just need you to know I love you and Tommy and that’s a truth I need to make you know. But they won’t let me see you. They won’t tell me where you are. It’s inappropriate, my lawyers advise, in any case. That’s a long word too. Of course it is but you’re not just any witness are you? I know how this game works and ain’t that just the Goddamned joke of it all? For the first time I want to get to someone just because I need you to understand I was working on it. I had a plan and if you’d just waited. just waited a goddamned hour

 I don’t know what the fucking Feds are telling you but I know for sure whatever you have to say it isn’t enough, so why do this thing? Why? What could they have promised you? Tomorrow I’m going to hope seeing me in court will make you see reason. If you were tired of it I mean I know you were but like I said I was working on it and you can’t take my son from me we could have worked something out

 I hope there’s some way tomorrow

I don’t know maybe it’s best Big Joe is so pissed and Theresa just won’t shut the fuck up about getting her own baby and now I’m just alone

you’ll laugh because I just did that thing you can’t stand, lick the end of my pen. As if anyone ever died from that. I miss the way you nag. I miss tucking our boy in bed and I miss every fuckin thing

I should not write letters when I’m drunk. there. I nagged for you 

I love you


Read the rest of the letters here: Letters From Mickey Downey

“Second Chances” A Mickey&Mary Flashback (Warning: contains brief sexual material)

So a few weeks ago I asked you to tell me your favorite Mickey & Mary moment in The Downey Trilogy so far. I said I’d draw a winner and that person could request a M&M flash fiction; past, present, or future. I have two winners, Penny and Clyde. Penny wanted something “sweet”, and Clyde wanted a flashback to when Mary & Mickey got back together after finding out about the baby. He wanted to see “what has changed and what has stayed the same”.

What you have here is the bitter-sweet result. Even without reading Third Time’s The Charm, I think you will be able to see how much has changed between them, especially on Mickey’s part. And yet, when you do read Third Time’s The Charm, this flashback may help shine a light on what has not changed.

If you haven’t read the other Mary & Mickey flashback which takes place before this one, you can do so here.

And if you want even more insight into Mickey Downey’s convoluted mind, read his letters here.

Please note, this vignette contains adult subject matter, including sexual material and language.

Second Chances

By Genevieve Dewey

“But when I realized I was pregnant a few weeks later, I worked up the courage to tell him, hoping it might be just the thing he needed to make a clean break. Oh, don’t give me that look Tommy! I was nineteen! I was alone and pregnant. He said he loved me. But it was too late. They’d just gotten back from their honeymoon. But he promised he would take care of me. Foolish, foolish girl that I was, by the time you were born I had let him back in my heart and back in my bed.” – First, I Love You, Chapter Ten.
“I can remember the first night we got back together after finding out about the baby. I was overjoyed to have a second chance with you. You cried in my arms and I promised you I would always take care of you and our baby. I held you close and we would make love and sleep and make love again, never really letting go of each other. We were so close, so close I could feel more than just your heart beat, I felt like I knew the very dreams inside your soul…” – Third Time’s The Charm, Chapter Seven.


Twenty-Six Years Ago

Mickey slipped his hand into his jacket pocket again and grasped the key to his mother’s old brownstone. He closed his eyes as his fingers clasped it tight and allowed himself one more nervous, deep breath.

Nervous… over some girl. A nineteen year old girl. You gotta snap the hell out of it, he thought.

He opened his eyes to the sight of Mary frozen on the sidewalk about twenty paces away. Her face was blanched white, eyes startled and wary. He smiled tentatively, trying not to frighten her any more than his appearance outside her apartment building had clearly already accomplished. His mouth felt dry and his palms had a humiliating dampness to them.

He moved his left thumb and fiddled with the band of his wedding ring to remind himself he had no right to presume anything. No right to even hope.

“May I help you with those groceries?” he asked, remembering his manners at least.

She swallowed then nodded. He took the steps forward to take them from her, keeping her gaze. She looked not just peaked, but slightly unwell. Her trembling hand brushed her hair behind her ears then she looked down and fished out her keys from her purse.

“You, uh, you said you had something you needed to tell me?” he asked in the continuing silence.

She dropped the keys. He watched her pause on her way back up from retrieving them. He followed her line of sight to his ring. He quickly transferred the bag of groceries to his left hand. When her gaze met his again, she had lost some of her trepidation and simply looked tired. She nodded at nothing, as if having decided something then carried on into the building, still without answering his question.

He had placed almost all of her groceries in her nearly empty refrigerator before she did answer.

“I’m pregnant,” Mary said in a matter-of-fact manner.

It seemed to echo in the tiny apartment, or maybe that was his ears… or soul.

“I’m married,” he answered stupidly.

He cringed. Stupid, stupid… shit.

“I know that,” she countered, eyes finally flashing with something other than defeat.

“I just meant…” Mickey stopped and cleared his throat. “I just mean that if I could… that would be the first thing… I mean…”

He stopped speaking and rubbed his face.

“Michael…” he heard her soft voice say.

He dropped his hands and opened his eyes to see she had moved to stand a couple inches from him.

“I understand… you thought you had to marry her. Her father…” Mary began to say.

“No!” Mickey interrupted. “You don’t understand! And it’ll stay that way!”

She stepped back, a trace of fear returning to her face.

He grabbed her in that split second of shock and pulled her in for a desperate embrace. Damn words… they betrayed him, stood useless and obfuscating, against what his heart wanted to say. She struggled briefly then went limp against him. He dropped his grip only long enough to move one hand to her hair and bring her head back.

He claimed her mouth and let his lips speak far better than his feeble and contradictory words. He didn’t know whether it was to appease him or if she still returned his affections, but she kissed him back. She even seemed reluctant to part when he stopped the kiss.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered against her bruised lips. He hated how his voice shook a bit.

Her eyes searched his and a single tear escaped. He stopped it with his mouth, kissing a trail back to her eyelid. He felt her nails grip his back and she both squeezed and shook him. Silent sobs quaked within her delicate frame. He stopped holding her and grabbed her face.

He kissed her again, this time less supplicating, more frantic. He was handling this all wrong, he knew. There was nothing he wanted more in the world than a second chance with her. But he knew what she was about to say; she wanted him to give her and this baby his name. And, of course, it was the one thing he couldn’t give her.

She pushed him away.

“We can’t,” she wailed.

She wiped furiously at her eyes as if she could banish the presence of pain.

“We can’t be together until you leave her,” she continued. “But once you do, we can start over with this baby. Be our own family.”

“I want to be with you,” Mickey replied. “More than you could possibly know. But Theresa and I just got married, Mary. It’s not as easy as you make it out.”

“What’s not easy? You said you loved me, not her. I’m having your child!”

Mickey held up a placating hand.

“I do love you. I want you and this child.”

“Then leave!”

“It’s more complicated than that. It’s been over a month since you and I parted. You said we were over…”

“Because I found out you were a—”

“Businessman,” he interrupted.

“And you refused to break up with her!” she continued furiously.

“I asked for more time. You said you never wanted to see me again.”

“That was before I…” she trailed off and walked over to the couch.

She sat on the dilapidated tweed monstrosity and wrung her hands. She rocked back and forth, looking ridiculously young and lost.

He felt like the lowest of bastards.

“Mary…” he said softly. “No matter what happens between us, or not, you don’t have to worry about supporting our baby alone. I’ll take care of you, both of you.”

He reached in his pocket and gripped the key again. He’d slipped it in his pocket on the off-chance she had reconsidered being with him and that was why she had called. He was glad he had, because he could give the brownstone to her now as a peace offering. Then maybe when she realized he was serious about taking care of her, she would give in and be with him again.

He sat next to her on the couch. She scooted a bit away. He sighed and held his palm out flat, the key in its center.

“This is the key to my mother’s house, where I grew up. Not far from here.”

Her head whipped over. She looked at him in genuine curiosity. He pressed his advantage.

“She asked me to give it to my realtor so he could find her a renter. I’d be happy to just let you—”

“No,” she interrupted firmly. “If I move there, I’ll pay rent. Directly to the realtor.”

He smiled a little. She had no idea how much easier that made it on him and his mother, to have Mary’s name on the documents and not his. Even if she stubbornly used her own money at first, it wouldn’t be nearly the amount that would actually exchange hands.

“Of course,” he replied. “But, let me pay half, and half the groceries, for the baby’s sake. I have to warn you, it’s not in the greatest shape. No one’s updated it in years. But everything’s in working order, which would be an improvement over this dump.”

“That’s fine,” she said eagerly.

He was pleased to see she was looking less forlorn. He moved his hand to her thigh. She stopped it with both of hers.

“Michael,” Mary warned. “We are not getting back together as long as you’re married.”

He took his hand back and nodded.

“I understand.”

Her brows knitted briefly and she tilted her head.

“What?” he asked.

“I’m glad you’re not angry… about the baby.”

“Angry at what? My own carelessness? It was that time on New Year’s, wasn’t it?”

She flushed and smiled down at her hands.

“I’m due the end of September, so probably, yes,” she mumbled.

He frowned as he finally did the math and realized she had kept the pregnancy from him longer than a month. He reached out and nudged her chin back up.

“It’s going to be alright, I promise,” he said.

He placed the key in her cupped hands.

“Take this. I’m sorry I can’t give you more just yet. Just… not yet,” he finished and stood up. “You know how to reach me.”

She nodded. He leaned down and kissed her on her forehead then hurried to the door before he lost his strength and started promising her more things he had no right to promise her.


He turned in the doorway.

“I—I just needed some space. But I… I would like you to be a part of this baby’s life.”

She was wringing her hands again.

He smiled reassuringly. It was endearing how she thought she’d have to ask. If she only knew… he felt like he’d won the lottery; a baby would tie her to him forever.

“I’ll have the realtor drop by with the paperwork. You can move in anytime. It’s fully furnished. Just let me know when you decide to move, and I’ll send some men from the shipyard over to help. You shouldn’t be lifting anything in your condition.”

She released a tiny laugh and clicked her teeth. He thought he could hear her say something about overprotective men as he shut the door. He put his porkpie fedora back on and contemplated the nasty hallway floor. He’d give her a couple months, three maximum, alone in that three bedroom brownstone, playing the gentleman. Then he would start to show her how much better it would be with occasional company, leading to the occasional touch. No pressure.

His good intentions lasted a month.

On a bright sunny day in May, he told Theresa he’d be out of town for a week—and he would be, as Brooklyn was obviously not Riverdale. If it had been up to him, they would have picked a reasonable house on Staten Island, where he “worked”. He despised commuting. Unfortunately, one didn’t turn down wedding gifts from Giovanni Anastasio. But Theresa knew he hated that stuffy mansion, and used every excuse he could to be away, so she wouldn’t think anything of it. He wouldn’t have bothered with chicanery, except he had promised not to flaunt the fact it was a loveless marriage. And he figured a mistress and a baby might stretch the limits of her father’s patience.

Since it was Big Joe that insisted Mickey and Theresa get married in the old neighborhood, at the same Brooklyn church Mary attended, the fact they were immediately afterwards “gifted” with a home nowhere near Theresa’s rival had probably not been a coincidence. Nothing Big Joe did was a coincidence. Until now, Mickey had thought it a blessing since he seemed incapable of forgetting this slip of a girl through mere will-power.

He put in a brief appearance at the new financial office downtown then took the subway to Queens to make a very public show of visiting Luciano’s “social club”. Then he rented a car and drove into Brooklyn. He had a vague thought about changing his clothes but figured less people would recognize him in his suit and tie. In fact, they might just assume he was the realtor checking on the new tenant in the old Downey home.

It was supper time when he showed up on his mother’s doorstep—now Mary’s doorstep—with a bouquet of unopened red roses and a grin full of intent.

She had a nervous, but obviously delighted countenance.

“How are you settling in, Mary girl?” he asked.

“Mary girl!” she laughed.

Her eyes had dark circles under them, but her hair looked a little healthier, and her complexion was a bit less wan.

“That’s the second time you’ve called me that,” she continued as she tugged him inside. “The first time I almost thought you called me a marigold.”

“Well, your name’s Mary, and you’re my girl.”

“I’m not your girl,” she replied and waggled a finger like a schoolteacher.

It was totally incongruous with her youthful appearance dressed in jazzercise clothes, her hair in a bushy pony-tail. A slight thickness to her middle was the only indication she was pregnant.

“You’re a girl,” he bantered as he followed her into the little living room. “Anybody with a teen attached to their age is.”

He set the flowers on the end table nearest her and stood close enough to make her tilt her head up to look at him.

“And what does that make you?” she asked in a pert tone.

“A dirty thirty year old man,” he whispered, his lips just shy of hers.

She shuddered and caught her breath.


“Aye, the lad’s a poet and di’n know’t,” he teased in an Irish accent.

He dipped his head to kiss her neck.


He stepped back before she could push him away.

“So, do you need any groceries?” he asked quickly.

He walked towards the kitchen before she could argue. Being back in this house was making him feel… well, he didn’t know what. Alive? Young again? Filled with purpose?

He turned back around to see her contemplating him with a wary, but entranced, gaze.

This wasn’t even going to be difficult, he thought with a twinge of disappointment.

Then he felt a most unprecedented sense of guilt. It wasn’t stemming from the fact this was morally wrong, him manipulating her into being his mistress, but from the sudden clarity that she deserved much better. But the milk was already spilt. She had his child in her; she would be his responsibility regardless. He might as well make sure it would be a pleasurable arrangement for her.

Unexpectedly, she smiled.

“Would you like to stay for supper?” she asked.

There was just a hint of playful resignation in her voice, enough to tell him she recognized he had intended on wrangling an invitation from the beginning.

He ordered food to be delivered, and while they waited, he quizzed her on the status of her pregnancy and whether she was taking care of herself. He asked questions about her waitress duties at the restaurant. She seemed pleased by his interest, but he just wanted to make sure she would not be exhausting herself working in a different borough. He might see about finding her a desk job at a nice accountant’s office here in Brooklyn, or better yet, convince her she didn’t need to work at all.

After they ate, he insisted she lay on the couch while he gave her a foot massage. She was still staring at him like she couldn’t believe her own luck. He was the lucky one, he knew that. If she knew even half of what there was to know about him, she’d run for the hills. At least she already knew he was connected, so there was that.

When he heard her soft snores, he moved his hands from her feet, took his dress shirt off, and undid his belt. He tugged gradually at her stirrup pants and gently pulled them down to reveal her gorgeous, milky-white legs.

She murmured indistinctly in her sleep, but didn’t wake.

He slowly, firmly, moved his hands along her thighs, over her luscious hips, and underneath her baggy, bright-colored top. He began kissing her stomach and the under-edges of her breasts. As he gently took a rosy nipple in his mouth he reached one hand between her legs and caressed her nub.

She moaned and her hips arched in rhythm with his strokes. He lifted his head from her breast to study her face. Her eyelashes fluttered, but what glimpses he had of her eyes told him she was still more than half asleep. He dipped his mouth to her neck and nibbled just above her collarbone the way she liked. His fingers entered her and he was pleased to see she was very wet. Her muscles clamped around his fingers and she breathed out a long sigh.

He raised his head again, and just as her eyes fully opened and recognition dawned, he captured her mouth. He pressed her head down with the force of his kisses as he fumbled with his pants to liberate himself. Her hands pushed against his chest, but he scooped his other hand underneath her on the couch and pressed their bodies together.

“Oh!” she exclaimed as he entered her.

He kissed her a few more deep times then lightly dragged his lips along her cheeks. She was panting and breathless.

“Tell me to stop, and I will…” he whispered.

“You… you might’ve… asked before… oh, Michael…” she groaned in pleasure as he began to move faster.

He knew he wasn’t playing fair. But he never had before, why start now? He needed her with a desperation that felt like that last second of holding one’s breath before drawing air. There was something different when he was with Mary; he couldn’t put his finger on it. It wasn’t just the sex, it was being with her. There was no shortage of beautiful women in New York City, and she wasn’t even beautiful, more classically pretty in a wholesome, milkmaid sort of way.

But he was captivated by her.

Her smile seemed more radiant than the most cultured of society belles. Her laughter, more real and genuine than any he had ever heard. Everything about her was a novelty to him. Everything she did, unique and precious. He almost felt… cleansed in her arms. The idea someone so sweet, pure, and innocent thought him something of a prize… it was intoxicating.

He bit on her lips, drawing out gasps and squeaks, then grabbed her tight round ass and squeezed its cheek as he brought her hip up a bit. He finished a bit rougher than he’d planned, but he had been hard pressed for her since he woke up.

He allowed himself the physical and emotional release of laying on top of her for a few seconds then rolled them both over so they were side-to-side on the couch.

“Did you get a…?” he asked.

“Yes…” she breathed, eyes still closed.

He rubbed his hand up and down her back, watching the pulse in her neck and the sweat glisten against her pale, flawless skin.

“I guess that’s one advantage to you being pregnant; no need for rubbers.”

Her brownish-green eyes blinked open. She started to smile then it morphed into a frown. She looked a little nauseated.

“Are you… do you have morning sickness?”

Her frown deepened and she pushed from him to sit up. He snuck his hand under her top and ran his fingertips along her spine. She shivered.


“Are you sleeping with her?” she asked, so softly that he barely heard her.

His mouth opened a few times, but he had no words to put in it. Had they been? Yes, of course. Would they now? He had no idea. He hadn’t really thought any of this out.

“She knows I’m in love with you and not her,” he finally managed to say.

That was true enough…

Mary seemed to have enough skepticism to look over her shoulder at him with narrowed eyes.

He chuckled.

“Mary, it’s a marriage of convenience. She has trouble standing up to her father. She wants a career and he wants her to be someone’s good little wife. Since I need his support to… properly run my business, we made a deal, her and I. That’s all it is between us, just a temporary arrangement until she finishes her degree in fashion.”

She frowned again then scooted a bit so she faced him more.

“I guess I can I understand that on her end. My parents didn’t approve of me coming here, wanting a singing career. It’s hard when you don’t want to disappoint someone you love. I wish that I could have found a way to follow my dreams and keep my parents happy at the same time.”

Such a sweet girl… feeling empathy for Theresa.

Little did she know; that viper wasn’t worth her concern. Theresa was a great ride-or-die sort of friend, but she rarely did anything out of love or compassion for others’ feelings.

“But I really don’t understand how it benefits you?” Mary wondered.

“See, the way it works in my business is… well, it’s sort of like the military. You have to work your way up through the ranks by proving your worth, by people who are higher than you promoting you. I need her father to vouch for me if I want to be Boss like him some day.”

Good god, man, shut the hell up. Why are you telling her this?

“So… it’s just a temporary means to an end?”


Her tiny hand traced the Sicilian flag on his left bicep.

“Did you get this for him?”

“No, for my grandmother. She’s Italian.”

“I didn’t realize that… there’s a lot about you I don’t know,” she replied in a question laden statement. There seemed to be a catch in her voice.

He sat up and took her hands. He waited until she met his gaze. Her eyes shimmered with fresh tears.

“Mary, I would give anything if I could give you what you want right now, but I really can’t. But I do love you, and you love me, don’t you?”

“Yes,” she replied in a strangled cry.

“We can be happy here. I can spend the rest of this week with you and see you as often as I can after that. I’ll be here for our baby’s birth, to help you raise him or her, and one day, we’ll be together all the time. I swear it. Just say you’ll take me back, and on my life, I will make it happen.”

He meant that. Absolutely meant it.

He just had no idea how the hell he was going to make it happen.

She nodded, flung her arms around his neck, and cried. He rocked her back and forth for a while then lifted her in his arms and carried her into the bedroom. He laid her down on the bed and kissed and caressed her until her sobs turned into sighs of pleasure again.

They never fully slept that night, just made love and dozed, and then made love some more. He found himself yet again whispering promises he had no right to make. He needed her to believe them, believe it enough for both of them. She told him of her plans for the baby nursery, her excitement in finding out her friend Claire lived only a block away, and how much she loved the idea of raising their child on a street with so many young families.

Her eyes sparkled with youthful dreams and he wanted, with his entire soul, to make them come true.

It was a shame he’d already mortgaged his soul away.

–Copyright 2013, Genevieve Dewey.

FILYversion413   SoACoverVersion513   ThirdTimePreReveal

A Letter from Mickey Downey, Part Nine.

FILYversion413   SoACoverVersion513  ThirdTime

The following is a letter referenced in Third Time’s the Charm;

He let go of Kiki and fished a letter out of his pocket…


Dear Princess,

I am writing you this letter on the occasion of your seven month birthday. Why seven, you ask? Seven is a lucky number and I want as much luck infused into this letter as I can get. It’s actually my third attempt. The first was a bit too combative I think, a failure on my part to acknowledge the inevitability of certain things. The second, I dwelt a bit too much on other things I’ve lost and which should never be your concern. And so here we are, third time’s the charm, as they say. 

I’m going to hold on to this letter until you are grown and ready to start your own family. Which I hope is long after my death. Just kidding. Today your mother wants to take you to Festa di San Gennaro which I think is a horrible idea because my mind spins with all the possible ways you could get hurt by the crowd or scared by all the noises and scents. When you have your own babies I think you will understand how consumed a parent can get with protecting their child, and that brings me to the point of this letter. I want you to know that I love you far beyond any earthly want or need and that as long as it is within my power–even if that power is only my two bare hands–I will do my best to protect you from harm.

The day I give you this letter, or have it given to you, will be the day you have found someone who will love and protect you as much as your father can. I do hope I will give you this letter someday because even at seven months old I can tell you deserve nothing less than everything your sweet, joyful heart desires. I truly believe you are a gift from a God who has no reason to give a man such as me anything. But I will cherish every moment with you until the day I give you away to another and then I will cherish the memories I have of you.

Please know, in this life and the next, I will always watch over you and love you.

Your loving father,


Read the rest of the letters here: Letters From Mickey Downey