Author's Note: Hello again! I started writing a prequel to Make Me Dizzy based on Valerie E Mackin's request, but this came about first. I'm still planning on writing a first meeting story, so look out for that!
This is a bit of a short companion piece to Make Me Dizzy. Murphy warned Connor their girl doesn't like surprises. This is the story of how he found that out. Murphy/OC/Connor, but mainly Murphy/OC.
Hope you enjoy! Enough to leave a comment, maybe?
It was finally slow enough at night that I could start cleaning up. Nothing made me happier, and at the same time impatient, than counting down until I could go home. Especially considering the day I'd had. I swear that every single cranky old Irish man and woman of the neighborhood had come into the store today.
Is it time to go home yet? I wondered miserably as I swept my way along one of the store's middle aisles. I glanced at my watch. Twenty minutes. Okay. We can do this. No one had come in for the last half hour, and Dana was in the back office putting together the night's deposit, so it was just me, myself, and I up front. Using the time to myself, I contemplated what I was going to do when I got home.
Both my boys had to work early in the morning, so we decided that I would see them tomorrow night, instead. Well, more along the lines of I told them as much and they protested – loudly. I almost caved at the twin looks of disappointment in the identical pairs of blue eyes. I had to be the reasonable one here, damn it. Honestly, I would have liked for nothing more than to curl up with one or both of them in bed, but that would probably result in less sleep than it should. Also, it would be a little weird, as I have not been in bed with both of them at the same time. Yet. So, instead, I was going home to sit on my ass and either watch TV or read. Yes, not very exciting, and maybe kind of sad, but a girl could use a break now and then. Especially from a pair such as the MacManus brothers.
Humming to myself, I set my broom aside and started straightening boxes of brownie mix on the shelves. No. No sweets for your ass, dearie. Yes, every woman loves chocolate. However, when you are seeing two exceptionally handsome Irishmen that could probably have any women they'd want in Boston, it does things to your sense of self. Shaking my head, I move on down the aisle, reaching for the next cluster of boxes. Cake mix.
What the fuck? Why did I wander down the baking aisle?
Putting my hands on my hips, I glared up at the shelf accusingly. The end of the night in the middle of an empty store is a really bad time to contemplate the reasons for diets, I decided. Particularly, when a pair of arms came around my waist and a solid body pressed up against my back.
I screamed out of reflex and stomped down on a foot before swinging up to land an elbow to their face. Good thing I took those self-defense classes, I thought idly before jumping away as soon as the arms released me.
"Fuck! Mother o' God!"
Oh, God. I knew that brogue. I cringed, watching the hunched over figure in a familiar pea coat and jeans hold a hand to his face. One startlingly blue eye looked up at me in accusation.
"Th'fuck was that fer, girl?"
I cupped my hand over my mouth. "I'm sorry, Murphy. You scared the hell out of me."
"Jesus, Mary, 'n' Joseph. Least me 'n' me brudder don't have t'worry much 'bout ye takin' care o' yerself," he said, straightening up.
"Self-defense for a year." I stepped closer, tentatively putting a hand on his arm. "I'm really sorry. It's not like I was expecting you."
"Guess not. Wanted t'surprise ye an' walk ye home." He lowered his hand from his face, and I couldn't help but wince.
"Oh, Murph –" His eye was already swelling. Guess I don't know my own strength. I reached out to touch his face but pulled my hand back right away. I'd done enough damage. "Here. Let me get some ice for that," I said, pivoting and heading for the back wall of coolers.
"It's all right, girl. Ye barely touched me," he said, voice following me as I hauled ass to the ice.
Looking from the large bags to Murphy, who was looking at me expectantly, I turned and headed back toward the frozen foods to find something a little more manageable. Throwing open a door, I grabbed a bag of frozen peas, and let it slam shut as I approached the darker twin.
"Here, let me just –" I gestured, holding the bag up in warning.
"I'm fine. Trust me; it'll take more than a wee slip of a thing like ye t'do some damage," he replied with a smirk.
I narrowed my eyes. I was well-aware of my short comings at five- four, thank you. But the boys loved to tease me about it all the time, especially with their roughly half a foot added heights on mine. I slapped the bag of frozen vegetables to Murphy's face, satisfied at the surprised yelp I got.
"You're an ass. And here I felt sorry for you." I left Murphy to his peas and started back toward the front of the store.
"What the hell is going on out here? I heard you scream," Dana said, holding the door to the office open.
"I'm fine," I said shortly as I passed by. "My boyfriend is a fucking asshole, though."
The older woman laughed. "Hi, Murphy."
"Always good t'see ye, Dana."
I barely registered Murphy following behind me as I went back down the baking aisle to snatch up my broom.
Did I just really refer to him as my "boyfriend"? I hadn't had that discussion with the twins yet. I had no desire to see anyone else – the both of them were more than enough for me. And I had the sneaking suspicion that they weren't seeing anyone else, either. Of course, I had no real objections to anything. I just didn't want to be the clingy bitch in this, admittedly unconventional, relationship.
And, naturally, Murphy picked up on that.
"So…I'm yer fella now, am I?"
I paused as I rounded the counter to glare at him. He was giving me that grin of his that some people mistook for charming. By this point, I know the difference between charming-Murphy and smug-Murphy. I rolled my eyes and started straightening up.
"'Course I got no problem wit' that. Beat me brudder out on it, didn't I?" he chuckled, hopping up on the counter next to me and tossing his impromptu ice pack aside.
"Your brother is looking like the better option right now."
He put a hand to his chest dramatically. "That hurts, girl. Truly."
I growled slightly, gripping the pair of scissors I was holding in my hand tightly. It had been a long day, I was crashing from the adrenaline rush, and I wasn't in the mood for Murphy's teasing. Why did I tolerate these assholes again?
A large hand covered my own where it rested on the counter. I looked up to find Murphy looking at me with a serious expression, and those ridiculously blue eyes pinning me in place.
"I'm sorry. May have taken it a bit too far, yeah? Didn't mean t'scare ye. Just wanted to see me girl, is all. That's who ye are. Mine. Connor's too." He cupped my jaw and tilted my face up a bit more. "We don't want anyone else. Just you," he said, leaning over and placing a kiss on my forehead.
Ah, fuck. That was why I put up with them. Despite being rambunctious as hell, they really were sweet, good men.
"Damn it, Murphy…" I sniffed, getting a little teary-eyed despite myself.
"Don't be crying now, girl. Ye think me brudder will ever let me hear the end of it if he heard I made ye cry?"
I couldn't help the giggle that escaped. Connor would definitely not hold back on his brother for that. Hell, I'd seen them nearly come to full out brawls for either of them doing something that simply made me wring my hands in anxiety.
Murphy smiled at me – his actual, charming smile – and caught my lips in a chaste but no less passionate kiss. Pulling away, he brushed a strand of hair out of my face. "There's me girl."
I couldn't help smiling back at him like some love-sick idiot. Well, not love-sick. Might get there one day, though. I'm just going to push that thought aside for now…
"Aw. Your sweetness is absolutely disgusting."
We turned our heads to find Dana watching us with her hands on her hips and eyebrows raised, but smirking none-the-less. At least she wasn't pissed that I was not-really making out with my Irishman in plain sight. I could feel myself blushing.
"Yeah. You better be sorry. You've got him and his brother. Every other woman who works here is incandescent with jealousy. Myself included."
Oh, God. Please kill me now.
Murphy – being Murphy – laughed. "Well, thanks for that, Dana. Can I take her home now? I promise on me honor I'll be good."
"I highly doubt that," I mumbled to myself.
"'Course I will! Got t'get up early in th' mornin', ye know." He smirked.
"Go on. Get out of here. I'll lock up," Dana said, shooing us off with one hand.
Hopping off the counter, Murphy was all smiles as he motioned for me to join him. "Come on, girl. We'd best get movin' 'fore she changes her mind."
Rolling my eyes, I grabbed my hoodie from under the counter and shrugged it on. "Thanks, Dana."
"No problem," she answered with a wink.
Murphy threw an arm around my shoulders and kissed my cheek soundly. "Come on. We'll go home an' watch some shitty TV an' fall asleep."
"What? No plans on trying to get me into bed?"
"Me brudder's the planner, girl. Remember?" His grin turned positively wolfish. "'Sides, we don't really need a bed, now do we?"