The Advent

The Advent by Deidre Dalton is Book #1 in the Collective Obsessions Saga.


Forbidden love and dark secrets haunt two Irish families hacking out a new life in 19th-century America. When Molly Larkin's father discovers her affair with lighthouse keeper Colm Sullivan, his reaction pitches her into madness. Yet the legacy forges a bond of blood that will endure for generations...

From Chapter Five   

MOLLY DID NOT COME to Colm that night, or the next. He was frantic and helpless. He could not inquire about her around the estate. As a paid servant, it was not his place to ask the Larkin family personal questions. Finally, desperate, three days after he last saw Molly, he took tea in the servant’s hall.

Claude was surprised to see Colm. Since getting supplies from the village, Colm kept to himself at the keeper's cottage, making his own meals, and rarely venturing to the mansion.

“Irish beauty!” Claude exclaimed. “You are here for tea? I wondered about you. All is well with you?”

 Colm stood in the back door. Claude was busy at the stove.

“I missed having tea here,” Colm offered what felt like a plausible reason.

 “Oui,” Claude replied, noticing the distress Colm was trying to hide. “It's nice to be alone, but it is good to be with others, too?”

“Yes, something like that.”

Claude shrugged. “The servants are having tea.”

“Thank you,” Colm said, turning to the servant’s hall.

Thank you for what?” Claude wondered, puzzled by Colm's behavior.

Colm saw Maureen Kelly sitting alone at one of the tables. He smiled and waved to some of the other male servants he knew, but it was Maureen he wanted to speak with. He walked over and sat next to her.

“Why are you sitting here?” she wanted to know, alarmed by his presence. “Your friends seem anxious to talk with you.”

“I need to speak with you,” Colm spoke quietly. “What's wrong with Molly? Why hasn't she come to the cottage to pose? Is she ill?”

Maureen frowned. “You must not be so familiar with her name, Mr. Sullivan. It is not seemly.”

“Yes, fine. What’s wrong with Miss Larkin? Tell me what’s going on.”

“Mistress Mary is ill,” she answered, surprised by his urgent tone. “Both she and Mrs. Larkin have influenza. Mistress Mary has been confined to her bed these last few days.”

“Why didn't you let me know?” Colm demanded.

Maureen regarded him coolly. “How was I to do that, pray tell? Come alone to your cottage? I think not, Mr. Sullivan.”

He let go of some of his tension. “Is Mol...will Miss Larkin be well soon?”

“Yes. She is much better already.” Maureen paused, glancing around to be sure no one was listening. “She thought you might come up here to ask about her. She wanted me to give you a message.”


Maureen took a piece of paper from her pocket and gave it to him. “She said it was for your eyes only.” She returned her attention to her tea.

“Thank you, Maureen.” Colm said, trying to sound grateful. He rose to leave, and leaned down to whisper: “Tell your mistress I miss her presence at the cottage, and that I wish her good health soon.”

“I will tell her.”

It took Colm twenty minutes to escape questions from Seamus Flaherty and Barry O'Toole about the lighthouse and his work there, and they telling him about their jobs on the estate. Finally, he promised to join them next Saturday at the Amber Whale, having no intention of doing so, and left the hall and the mansion.

Once Colm was on the path to the lighthouse, he stopped to read Molly's note, standing motionless in view of the mansion.



I am sorry I was unable to meet you at the cottage. I have been very ill with the flu, thanks to my mother who contracted it from the head maid of the house, Clea Barton-Brooks. God knows where she got it. This illness is taking its run through everyone.

I will try and see you soon. I miss you; I miss talking with you and just seeing you. You are so fine to look at. Maybe I should write you more often like this. I do not feel as shy! Interesting, isn't it?

Remember, I adore you, and I cannot wait to see you again.

Love, Molly


He smiled. She wrote as she spoke, only more open. She used the word “love” in her signature, and that made Colm's heart sing. He folded the note and started to whistle. It was almost time to light the beacon, and he decided to make some pork side and eggs for his dinner.

Just a little while longer, and Molly will be mine.


*  *  *


SHE STAYED UNTIL dawn. The hearth was cold and the rain had stopped. She and Colm joined together more than once before the sun began to rise on Banshee Point, and she felt deliciously tired, satisfied and warmly content. But she knew she had to get back to the mansion. The servants rose early, too, and she did not want to be seen sneaking into the house like a common trollop.

She got out of bed, picked her robe up from where it lay in a heap, and slipped it over her shoulders. He watched her, knowing she had to go, but hating it. She had no choice. Besides, he knew he was too weak from their time together to stop her.

She bent down and kissed his lips. "I'll come back tonight, but I have to go now."

"I know, and I don't like it. I feel like I'm a man now, Molly. Thanks to you."

"And I'm now a woman, Colm. Thanks to you." Molly kissed him again, and then slipped out the open French doors and disappeared into the early morning darkness.

"Back to her rightful place at the mansion," Colm's thought came, unbidden. He sat up, pulling up the coverlet. He was not used to sleeping naked, his mother would never allow it, but it felt good to him. His heart was bursting with so much love for Molly that he could die a happy man. He smiled at the rising sun, and discovered he was hungry. He wanted coffee and eggs. He put his feet on the floor, stood, and indulged in a leisurely stretch.

                As he dressed, he had to convince himself that last night had not been just a dream. "Molly and I are meant to be together," he mused as he made his bed, smoothed the coverlet, and imagined Molly naked beneath his hands. "Our night of love was proof enough for me that we need to be as one. The result of our special love would be the issue from our bodies of another human being, a child made from the bits and pieces of both of us, and from the love between us. She has gone back to her proper place at the mansion, soon to be my rightful place as her husband."



THE ADVENT ©2011-16 Deidre Dalton. All rights reserved.

"The Advent" may not be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the author. "The Advent" is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Note: "The Advent" was previously published as "Passion Forsaken" by Club Lighthouse and Tyborne Hill.