"Charming" Mickey O'Connor

Mickey O’Connor is the most notorious river pirate in London. Dangerous, cunning, and without compassion, Mickey makes a devilish offer…that ends up threatening his own soul.

Hero of Scandalous Desires.

Also appears in Sweetest Scoundrel.

Read order for Mickey’s story arc: Wicked Intentions » Notorious Pleasures » Scandalous Desires

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Charming Mickey O’Connor lounged, one leg thrown over a chair arm. His black hair was unclubbed, inky curls tumbling about his shoulders and brow. He wore a linen shirt, unbuttoned, fine lace framing the bare olive skin of his chest. His breeches were black velvet and he finished his costume with polished jackboots that came to mid thigh.

Silence might have laughed at such a ridiculously flamboyant figure, if it weren’t for the fact that the men about him obviously took him very seriously indeed. To his right stood a thin little man, wigless, his bare head nearly bald, and wearing small round spectacles. To his left were a half dozen or so rough men, lounging about, every one of them armed to the teeth. At his elbow was a small boy holding a silver tray of sweets. And directly in front of Charming Mickey, a hulking man kneeled before the throne, looking as if he feared for his life.

“I’m sorry!” The man clenched fists as big as hams on his thighs. “As God is my witness, I’m so sorry, sir!”

The thin little man to Charming Mickey’s right bent and whispered something in the river pirate’s ear.

He nodded and looked at the supplicant before him. “‘An you’ll be understanding me, Dick, if I don’t quite find your apology worth as much as a pile of dog shit.”

The big man, Dick, actually shivered. 

Charming Mickey regarded him for a moment, his right elbow propped on the chair’s arm, lazily rubbing his thumb and middle finger together. Jeweled rings sparkled on his fingers.

Then he flicked his fingers at two of his men.

Immediately they came forward, even as the kneeling man began to howl.

“No! God, no! Please, I have children. My wife is expectin’ our third!”

The man screamed as he was dragged through a far door. The door closed and his scream was abruptly cut off. The sudden quiet echoed in the great hall.

Silence felt the breath she’d held suddenly escape her lungs. Dear God, what had she let herself in for?

Harry took her elbow and they began to walk to the throne. As they neared he hissed out of the corner of his mouth. “Don’t show fear. ‘E ‘ates a coward.”

And then she stood in front of Charming Mickey O’Connor, in the exact same spot where the unfortunate Dick had kneeled just seconds before. 

Charming Mickey gestured to the boy holding the tray of sweets. The boy brought it forward, offering him some. Charming Mickey’s ringed hand hovered over the tray as he made his selection—a pink iced bon bon. 

He held the sweet up between his elegant ringed fingers and examined it. “Who is she?”

Harry nodded his head, unperturbed by the abrupt question. “Lady who wants to talk to you.”

Charming Mickey’s eyes flicked up and Silence saw that they were a brown so dark that they might as well be black. “That I can see, Harry, luv. What I’m a-askin’ is more along the lines of why she’s in me throne room.”

Silence glanced at Harry, who was looking uneasy for the first time, and decided to intervene for her champion. “I’m here about my husband, Captain William Hollingbrook, and the cargo you stole from his ship, the Finch.”

Beside her, Harry drew in his breath sharply. The boy holding the tray of sweetmeats flinched, and the thin man by Charming Mickey’s side looked at her inquiringly over his round spectacles.

It occurred to Silence that perhaps she should’ve spoken with better tact. But it was too late now. Charming Mickey’s dark eyes were upon her, examining her in minute detail. He popped the pink sweet into his mouth and chewed slowly, the muscles of his jaw flexing and relaxing as his eyelids half-lowered as if in enjoyment.

He swallowed and smiled—and suddenly Silence understood where he’d gotten the epitaph of “charming.” When he smiled, Mickey was the handsomest man she’d ever seen. He couldn’t be more than thirty years old, his skin smooth and olive-toned, his black brows tilted up at the outer corners. His nose was long and almost aristocratic, his lips full and curved and elegant. A dimple played about his cheek, near his mouth. When he smiled, Charming Mickey looked almost innocent.

Except Silence knew she couldn’t fall into that trap. No matter what his smile said, this man was no innocent.       

“Stole is such an ugly word, I find,” Charming Mickey drawled. His Irish brogue made the words almost a caress. “I must warn you, Mistress Hollingbrook, that I don’t let many utter it in me presence.”

Silence bit back the urge to apologize. This man’s actions had imperiled her husband.

Mickey cocked his head, a long silky curl of ebony hair sliding across his shoulder. “What might you be wantin’ from me, darlin’?” 

–from Wicked Intentions