There is no such pub as the Celtic Harp in Los Angeles. Sorry it took so long to continue. Thanks for following my fiction. Hope you continue to enjoy the journey.
Flynn looked around the Harp and shook his head. The place was crowded with family and friends, many he had not seen in years. He was still having a hard time believing that his own sister, sitting with her family at a snug in the corned had not said a word about any of this to him. She glanced at him and grinned when she saw him scowling at her, again. The woman had never been able to keep a secret, ever, but she had managed to keep this one and it was a dozy. Provenza looked over at Flynn and winked. No doubt he sister was giving Provenza an ear full of childhood tails of Flynn the screw up. The next few weeks were not going to be fun.
It was a great party; truly, Aunt Mary had out done herself. The Celtic Harp was one of her favorite places in LA. She had found it the first year Andy had moved to Los Angeles. Being on opposite coasts she worried he would forget his Irish roots and spent weeks going from Irish pub to Irish tavern to bar until she found what she felt was the perfect Irish pub. Everywhere he looked in the Harp he could see her smiling face and hear her soft laugh.
The door of the Harp opened and Andy couldn't help that his heart beat a little harder in anticipation that Brenda would be walking through the door. But it wasn't Brenda but Gabriel making his way over to wish him happy birthday before moving to the bar for a drink.
Andy had told himself again and again the Brenda was married, off limits, whatever had happened between them was best forgotten. He had to find a way to return to his life before that first kiss. And so far the party was offering a light at the end of the tunnel. Surrounded by his boisterous family was making both the loss of Mary and Brenda a little less painful. It also reminded him how nice it would be to be close to them again. As boys, they had been inseparable from the day his cousins had arrived in America. Winter in New York would take some getting used to again, but he could do it, he wasn't a complete wimp.
Sean dropped into the chair next to Andy. "So what's troubling you cousin? I know you live surrounded by the beautiful people but I refuse to believe you're worried about getting another year older."
Flynn was debating talking to him about the idea of moving home. It was on the tip of his tongue when the door opened and petite blonde was coming through the door. Her head was turned away, talking to two women coming in with her.
His heart jumped at the sight of her. All thought of leaving forgotten. Then she turned. It wasn't Brenda. The three ladies walked to a table on the other side of the pub.
How did this happen? How could he get in so deep so fast? He felt like his next breath depended on her walking through the door. How did he end up with so many hours left to fill after work and AA meetings?
"Waiting for anyone in particular?" Sean asked.
Flynn smiled and laughed, "No one in particular."
Sean looked at this cousin and nodded. He gave him a slap on his shoulder, "It's all right Andy. You don't want to talk about it I understand. Just know I'm here. We all are."
Damn, there was no hiding from these people; they could all read him like a book. "You're letting your imagination run wild Sean. I'm just surprised that this shindig remained a secret until yesterday."
"Mary made us swear on threat of death." As soon as the words were out of his mouth Sean regretted it. "Sorry Andy, I…"
"No need Sean. That was our Mary."
"Indeed it was.
The music was lively, a familiar Irish tune had toes tapping and several of the girls ignored the guys and paired off to step dance. Tao and his wife Kathy and Gabriel were seated at the next table. Flynn's niece Molly walked over to Gabriel, "Care to dance?"
"Like that?" he pointed at those on the dance floor. "I can't do that." He said with a laugh.
"It's really not that hard. Uncle Andy can even do it." Three sets of surprised eyes turned to Flynn.
"In my youth," he was quick to say. "The family made us all take lessons."
Mick leaned over from his table to add, "Twas indeed handy. Kept us light on our feet."
"Aye, able to outrun the law." Sean added.
"Or a girl's father." Liam said.
"Or brother." Flynn added. "Mary thought between school, dancing and church there wouldn't be a lot of time for trouble."
All six cousins laughed. Liam said as he raised his glass in salute, "There's always time for trouble, even for an altar boy."
"You were an altar boy?" Gabriel asked without thinking.
Mick was laughing, "We all were."
"So back to my question, care to dance?" Molly asked again.
"Uh, as soon as they play something I can dance to, it would be my pleasure." Gabriel answered.
The door opened and three more people walked in and made their way to towards the three ladies in the corner. Flynn thought as he watched them, they looked like they also were celebrating. All laughing and animated. It took a moment to realize one of the females had a prosthetic hand. As one of the men turned to the waitress he saw the side of his face was severely scared and he also noticed dog tags.
Flynn said a silent pray of thanks that they had gotten home alive. Maybe it was mention of their past as altar boys that made him mindful of the silent action that was a part of him. The thought of going home again intruded. And with it his heart clenched at the thought of never seeing Brenda again. He had let himself believe a dream could be reality, let himself plan for a future together. He's let his heart rule his thinking and now would pay dearly. With a sigh he stared into his empty glass, "I'm getting a refill, you want anything?" he asked no one in particular as he stood.
Mick stood, "I could use a refill." And followed Andy to the bar.
One of the ladies from the group celebrating in the corner was at the bar ordering a Guinness when a picture hanging on the back bar caught her eye. She called over her shoulder to her friends.
"Sweeney, O'Donnell, come check this out! You have to see this."
The two ladies she called joined her. With a wag of her head she indicated the picture. Both looked surprised. Before either could comment the bartender said, "Ah, looking at our Rose are ye?"
Sweeney looked puzzled, "Your….. Rose?"
"Aye. Fiona Rose." He said with a proud smile. "She's family."
Andy and Mick looked at the picture in question. There looking back at Andy was a woman in Army class-a's with ribbons and medals covering her chest. A woman whose abilities he had questioned. He deserved the glares and comments; he'd earned them, no doubt about it. She was indeed was one hell of an impressive sight.
"Andy, isn't that the wee lass we meet yesterday at the station?"
"Ah hell." He muttered to himself. I cannot catch a break. He glanced heavenward. Okay Mary, you have my attention. You can stop hitting me over the head now. I hear you, time for that change.