Catherine Michelle O'Halloran had never in her life seen a man that was gorgeous enough to make her want to weep, until her father introduced her to his new business partner, Captain Connor Anthony McDuff. Catie stood in awe at the handsome man until her father shook her out of her daze.
“Cate, stop acting rude and say hello to Mr. McDuff.” Her Father, Colin O'Halloran said. Catie hated her father, an auburn haired, blue-eyed man with tan skin and a take no prisoners’ attitude. He was so overpowering that people rarely noticed his five-foot-five inch short frame, for they were so intimidated.
Connor McDuff was extremely tall; Catie guessed he was almost six feet, maybe taller. She felt like a child compared to him, only a slight five foot two. Catie held out her hand to him.
“I'm Catie, nice to meet you,” she said softly, and he nodded, shaking her hand. His large, strong hand enveloped her small one, and the contrast of her pale skin to his bronze was stark.
“Connor.” His voice was deep and melodic, a hint of a brogue in it.
“Are you Irish?”
“Scottish.” He answered, and she nodded, staring up at him, studying his swarthy features. He had golden eyes, the most gorgeous things she had ever seen in her life. They looked like golden pools she could swim in, framed by a thick fringe of black lashes with thick, dark eyebrows.
“You don't have a thick brogue.” Catie said softly, and he shrugged.
“I live on the sea most of the time, I travel a lot. You tend to lose your accent.” She felt as if his deep, velvety voice was music, making her want to sway. She could have looked at his etched face and full lips all day, but her father stopped her.
“Go do something, Cate, stop bothering Mr. McDuff.” Her father said, and she looked down and nodded.
“Sorry. Good bye.” Catie said, sneaking one more look at Connor's glorious face before she turned to leave, promptly tripping in her haste. She earned a laugh from her father, and worse, a look of concern from the man of her dreams. She kept running, up to her room, quietly shutting the door behind her and sitting down to finish up some homework.
Catie's room, no doubt the smallest one in the house, even smaller than the maid's room, was covered in movie posters both old and new, all epic. She had a weakness for epic movies. The rest of their estate was gigantic by all means, with almost twenty rooms. Colin of course made money off of it with his crops here, having something dangerously close to slaves working on them and living on the “guest” houses on the land.
Catie decided to take a walk and go see the workers. She'd always been more than nice to them. Though well fed, she still felt Colin was far too harsh, giving them such little pay and forcing them to work so hard and such long hours. Many of them were foreign, numerous of Cuban and Mexican descent, but still all very sweet.
She walked up to a little boy and handed him a snickers bar with a smile. He was thin, but not too thin for Catie to worry overmuch. She walked to their park she herself had built with the help of the workers, and pushed a little girl on the swings. She practiced her Spanish with the workers, who all seemed very gracious.
Catie slowly walked back, glimpsing Connor and Colin sitting on the back porch under an umbrella, talking and sipping lemonade. She trembled when Connor's eyes caught hers, his golden gaze resembling a hawk, a predator. But there was something good about him under all that danger, that or Catie just was a Sado Masochist. That was of course a theory to consider.
She headed back the other way, avoiding any further embarrassment. She changed into comfy sweats and a tank top, sitting back down to maybe do her homework. She'd never had problems concentrating before, but Connor distracted her to no end. She was clenching her pen tightly, doodling. This was nothing like her. She tossed the pen angrily, wincing when there was a hole in the wall, but not much caring. Her own strength shocked her at times.
Her parents would most likely make her pay for it. Joan and Colin O'Halloran were rich, but spent little money on her. Her father had his hand in every pot, he owned ships, hotels, and stocks...everything that made money, he was part of.
Catie hated being rich, hated going to a rich school where nobody liked her, hated everything about her life. She was fourteen and she had only been kissed once before, how pathetic was that? Not that men didn't show interest in her, some did, but she never reciprocated it.
She often wondered if she was gay, since no man she had ever met excited her desire. But today she knew for sure she was straight. Connor had made her feel lightheaded, weak, and insane. As if he would ever notice her, he must've been at least twenty or older.
Not to mention he was too handsome for her. Catie looked at herself in the mirror and sighed. She wasn't ugly, but she wasn't normal looking. She wanted to be tan, tall, skinny. And she wanted straight hair, not her wild, multicolored hair that was almost to her hips and frequently messy, frizzy and wavy. It was impossible to tame. Most people called her hair red, but there were too many shades of red, brown and honey to call it just one color.
Her face was too pale, as her body was, her lack of tanning thanks to her predominantly Irish heritage and her eyes were a pale shade of green, almost a peridot. Her lips were full but not too big, her eyebrows not thick or thin, somewhere in between. She had a round face, a turned up nose and some people thought her pretty, but she never could see it. Men said she was blessed, with her breasts being Ds, but it was also a curse, considering that seemed to be the only thing anyone noticed, which pissed her off. So she usually hid them, especially since it interfered with her running.
She figured everyone disliked his or her body in some way, it was simply being a teenager. Except Connor McDuff. His body looked perfect in that billowing, long sleeved shirt and black trousers. His hips were narrow, his shoulders broad, his legs strong with sinewy calves...
He looked like a pirate to her with his deeply bronzed skin and the glimpse of his tattoo on his chest she had seen when he had bent to shake her hand. The tattoo had looked like a small anchor, but she wasn't sure.
His nose was aristocratic and straight, as if he were descended from royalty. He had thick black hair that went past his collar and looked as if he hadn't had a cut it in a while, and he had stubble on his face that looked at least three days old. For some reason that made him all the more attractive. She wanted to run her fingers...
“Catherine!” She heard her mother, Joan, yell, and she groaned.
“Come here and help me with my make up, will you?”
“Do it yourself.”
“I said come here.” Her mother yelled, and Catie grimaced and did as she was bade. Her mother was in a sheer black dress, her olive skin luminescent as always. Joan was half Italian and half French, with thick, short brown hair. Her mother had blue eyes, an elegant face, long nose, and hardly any wrinkles since she had gotten Botox.
Her mother was three inches taller than Catie, slim, and had a body very unlike Catie's. She had narrow hips, no butt, long legs, and breasts that used to be bigger than hers, but she'd now caught up and passed her.
Her mother treated her like the hired help, with no respect or love. She often gave her advice about how to get a man, but Catie ignored it for she did not want to be like Joan. The money hungry whore.
“Put on my eyeliner.”
“Can't you accomplish that feat yourself?”
“Stop being a ruffian and stop scowling, it makes you look ugly. You should put on makeup yourself; you could look pretty if you did. I wish you were prettier, Catherine. I always wanted a beautiful daughter who looked like me.”
“Shut up and widen your eyes.” Catie muttered, applying the eyeliner quickly.
“Do not tell me to shut up. God, look at your hair. Do you even brush it? I think I'll dye it brown for you.”
“You will not.”
“But it's red! You don't want people calling you firecrotch, do you? It's insane.”
“I'm done. Now leave me alone.” Catie muttered, and her mother laughed.
“You're only mean to me because you're jealous of me.” Her mother said, and Catie froze on her way to the door.
“I'm mean because I hate you.” Catie said, and cringed at her mother's laugh.
“You need to get a man. I'm sure someone must like you. A deaf man with bad vision, at least.”
“Go to hell.” Catie mumbled, walking away hurt. She hated her mother so much she at times
wondered how many years a minor would be put in jail for murder. Catie felt sick, so she ran up to the attic, and lay in the small bed of the attic, closing her eyes and imagining a different life.