Wild Chance (Wilder Irish #13) - Mari Carr Page 0,1

he’s trying to make up for lost time.”

Colm, Padraig’s twin brother, had joined them for the last two weeks of their six-week adventure. Unlike Padraig and Tris, who were out of work until the pub reopened, Colm had a thriving law practice he couldn’t leave for such an extended period of time.

Or at least, that was the excuse he gave. In truth, Colm was a newlywed with four-month-old twins—one boy, one girl—and Patrick was shocked he’d agreed to leave them for two hours, let alone two weeks. His previously confirmed-bachelor grandson was now the most doting father and husband on the planet.

“He’s determined that every single person in the family get a keepsake from Ireland. Pretty sure he’s lost his mind,” Padraig added. “Our family is ginormous.”

While Padraig was sharing the trip through photographs and texts, Colm was finding another way to ensure everyone got to enjoy a piece of Ireland. Colm was already planning a party upon their return where he could give out presents like a Gaelic Santa Claus. “It’s a nice gesture on his part and I’m sure everyone will appreciate the small gifts.”

The bartender walked over to their table. “Another pint of Guinness?”

They both nodded and as the man walked away to get their drinks, Patrick took a moment to gather his thoughts before bringing up what was bound to be a difficult subject. Glancing at his grandson, he decided there was no time like the present.

“I’m glad for the opportunity to spend a few moments alone with you, lad,” Patrick said. He’d been trying to steal some time with Padraig throughout the entire trip, but it had been a whirlwind of activity ever since they’d stepped off the plane in Dublin. And now…their grand journey was winding down.

“Oh?” Padraig asked, smiling his thanks as the bartender delivered their new pints and took the empty glasses away.

“I was wondering if I’d ever told you what the name Collins stands for.”

Padraig’s eyes widened. “Seriously, Pop Pop? I’m thirty-four years old and you’re just now getting around to telling me our last name means something? You must be slipping in your old age.”

Patrick laughed. “I am but a young man,” he teased, beating his hand on his chest in an attempt to display his strength.

Padraig nodded his head once. “I stand corrected. For you, the nineties are at most middle age. So tell me, what does Collins mean?”

“Oh, I think you’ll like this. It means young warrior.”

Padraig was clearly impressed. “Seems appropriate for our family.”

“That it does,” Patrick agreed. “That it does.”

He took another sip of his Guinness and studied Padraig’s face, hoping what he said next would be received well.

Padraig had lost his beloved wife, Mia, to a brain tumor three years earlier and since then, he’d closed in on himself, simply going through the motions of daily life without truly living.

He’d wanted to talk to Padraig about his future, about the need to move on, for the past few months, but between the fire, the holidays, and now this trip, the opportunity kept slipping away from him. Now, well…there were things that simply couldn’t remain unsaid. Life was too short.

Patrick could swear he sensed Sunday’s spirit surrounding them right now. He glanced over at the makeshift stage and it seemed as if she was standing there, guitar in one hand, the other on her hip, giving Patrick that look that told him to pull his thumb out. Their grandson needed some tough love.

“It’s time to put down the shield, Paddy, and pick your weapon back up.”

“What?” Padraig asked.

“You’ve been nursing your wounds too long, lad.”

“Pop Pop—” Padraig started, but Patrick put his hand up and shook his head.

“You’ve spent the past three years holding a shield in front of you. That’s not the way of a young warrior. Because it isn’t protecting you in battle. That’s not the way you’re using it. You’re hiding behind it. Pure and simple. It’s time to drop it, pick up your sword, and love again.”

“Are you seriously comparing love to war?” Padraig joked, though Patrick could tell his words were striking a chord.

“Yes. I am. Because it is a war you’re waging. Problem is…it’s the wrong one. I understand that you’re wrestling with grief and struggling with depression. That’s normal. But you’re also drowning in a sea of guilt.”


Patrick nodded, unsurprised that was the description that confused Padraig. It proved just how hard his grandson was still fighting against something that was clear as day to anyone else with eyes.