Things We Never Said (Hart's Boardwalk #3) - Samantha Young


Eleven Years Ago

There was no way my parents could say I wasn’t willing to do just about anything to make money and stay in my degree-related industry.

My father was a firefighter, my mother a nurse, and some of their five kids wanted to go to college. Cian and Sorcha McGuire had not been happy when I announced I was applying to art school. Except for Dermot, who jumped from one job to the next like he was afraid of catching herpes from it, and Dillon, the youngest, who had gone to beauty school, I was the third McGuire to go to college. That crap was expensive enough, my parents said. Why couldn’t I choose something practical like Davina, who was studying business, or Darragh, who had studied journalism?

Yeah, so practical.

Okay, they were way more practical than art college but creating beautiful things was a huge part of who I was.

But even with a scholarship and financial aid, school was expensive, which meant I had to work several jobs throughout the year to help pay for it. I lived at home with my parents, which lowered costs, but it also made it harder to meet friends, so I tried to get jobs in the arts industry.

However, even I had to admit this job was above and beyond. The only reason I was standing there half-naked was that it paid a lot!

The exhibition in the small gallery in Allston was by the artist K. Lowinski. It was titled “More Than,” and the paintings were abstract and made to look like they were ready to burst alive from the canvas. To draw people to the exhibition, the gallery hired me and two other girls and three guys to stand in the gallery like pieces of living art. We were supposed to stand completely still on a small round platform each and move now and then. What was so exciting about that, you ask?

That we looked naked.

We wore sheer body stockings that K. Lowinski had painted and decorated but only on very strategic parts.

Now I was a short, curvy twenty-year-old and there were pieces of the art that barely covered some stuff, if you know what I’m saying. In fact, when I first put the stocking on, I thought there was no way I could go out onto the gallery floor and be seen almost naked! Then I remembered the money and the fact that no one I knew would ever step foot inside an art gallery.

My parents would never find out about it.

More to the point, my macho-man boyfriend, Gary, would never find out. We’d only been dating two months, so it wasn’t like he had a say anyway. Gary, however, was funny, hot, and the first guy who had succeeded in making me orgasm during sex. I was pretty excited about that, so I didn’t want to mess that up.

Nope. No one would find out about this little stint as an exhibitionist in an exhibition.

See what I did there?

Trying not to smirk at my own joke, I ignored the slight pain in my lower back and tried not to move too much. When I took the job, I didn’t realize how difficult it would be to stand for so long. I was not a person who stood in one place. Gary said he’d never met someone with so much energy. Not that he was complaining, wink wink, nudge nudge.

I let my thoughts turn to my project for college. This semester I’d taken a metalsmith class, and I was in love. Like, seriously, seriously in love. I think I’d found my calling. I was creating jewelry that my teacher raved over. I’d given a necklace I’d made to my mom for her birthday and even she, Sorcha “I can’t believe a kid of mine is going to fuckin’ art school’ McGuire,” thought it was beautiful. She ruined it by asking me how I expected to make real money out of jewelry-making. But whatever.

I was Dahlia McGuire, soon-to-be silversmith. How cool was that? As my brother Dermot would say, “Fuckin’ A, Dahlia, fuckin’ A!”

My musings were slowly brought to a halt as a burning sensation crept over my skin. Not literally burning. But you know that hot, tingly feeling that prickles your body when it feels like someone is watching you? Well, considering I was almost naked in an art gallery, people were watching me. I let my eyes move around the room and …


Leaning against the wall, next to one of the paintings was