Maggie's Marriage (The Cloverleaf Series Book 2)(13)

By: Gloria Herrmann

“She’s so good with Melanie too.”

“Mags, I don’t need any more convincing, okay? God, you’re starting to sound like Mom.”

“Well, just adding my two cents.” Maggie yawned.

“Duly noted.”

“I’m going to head to bed, sure you are okay on the couch?” Maggie asked sweetly.

“That’s why I bought it. One of the best couches to nap on.” Liam’s eyes were already closed as he answered his sister.

“Okay, well, thanks again for a really nice night. Please let Rachel know how much that meant to me too. Goodnight, Liam.” Maggie strolled to Liam’s bedroom, and slid under the thick warm comforter next to her sleeping daughter. She smoothed Melanie’s hair from her forehead and planted a soft peck on her cheek. Maggie felt her body bend to exhaustion. She was asleep before she finished saying her prayers.

Chapter Four

When she went to Sunday dinner at her mother’s, Maggie had almost forgotten how loud it could get in her childhood home.

Grandpa Paddy was seated at one end of the ancient oak table. He faced Maggie, eyeing her sternly. “Maggie, my darlin’ lass, your mum tells me you’re having another babe. About time.” His brogue, thick as ever, was hushed so that the other members of the family dining at the table couldn’t hear him.

Maggie swallowed hard and managed a smile. “Yes.”

“I bet Michael is proud to be a papa again. Good for you two, wish he were here. I would make a toast to him for a job well done.”

“Thank you, Grandpa.” Maggie blushed and didn’t quite know how to answer her grandfather. You never knew with Grandpa Paddy, he was such a character. He could be loud and boisterous, the rowdiest one of the O’Brien men, or as tender and warm as a saint.

One of his emerald green eyes, which were always filled mischief, winked back at her.

“Maggie, dear, you get enough to eat?” Mary asked sweetly.

“Yes, thanks, Mom,” said Maggie.

“Kind of surprised to have you back in town, Maggie,” Daniel noted as he scooped another helping of corn onto his plate.

“Yeah, I just needed to get away, and what better place than home?” Maggie answered. She sent Liam a glance, thankful he hadn’t shared any of the reasons why she had returned home.

“When are you headed back?” Patrick asked, eyeing his sister with piqued curiosity.

“Mel and I are going to hit the road later this evening.” Maggie glanced at her watch and saw that it was only around two in the afternoon.

“It’s great you came out to visit, sweetheart,” Maggie’s father, Pat, added as he took a drink and held it up toward her. He gave her a wink as well, knowing what secret she held. Maggie wasn’t surprised that her mother had shared the news about the pregnancy, but she did find it a little odd that Daniel and Patrick made no mention of it. Maybe her mother hadn’t told them yet.

The family finished their late lunch, and the majority of the men retired into the den, leaving Maggie to assist Mary with the clean up.

Melanie was busy playing with her cousins, three-year-old twins Finn and Connor, who were Patrick’s children. His wife, Beth, had been involved in a car accident when she was pregnant with the boys. Her passing had shaken the entire family. Doctors were able to save the boys by performing an emergency C-section and keeping them alive in the NICU at a large hospital over an hour away from Birch Valley. That was a dark shadow in time for the O’Brien family, one that still hovered over her oldest brother.

“Sounds like you guys had a nice evening yesterday.” Mary broke the silence as she ran warm water over a set of dirty plates before placing them into the dishwasher.

“We did. Rachel brought over a bunch of fun stuff. Mel had the best time. She really adores Rachel, and so do I,” Maggie answered.

Mary smiled. “Rachel is a sweet girl, we all like her a great deal. I’m hoping things continue to work out with her and Liam.”

“Me too. I told Liam last night I think she’s perfect for him.”

“It is important to pick a spouse who complements who we are as a person.”

Maggie felt it, she knew her mother was waiting for just the right moment to bring up Michael. She had set herself up; it was her own fault.

“So do the boys not know about the pregnancy?” Maggie held her stomach and motioned to her flat belly.

“I only told your father, who, of course, ran off and told Grandpa Paddy. I figured you might want to tell your brothers. I suggest you do it soon, before one of us slips up. Maybe you can tell them before you leave tonight.”