I knew it being Saint Paddy's Day that it would be a good day for me. As I lit up a smoke outside the church with my twin brother Connor in the South Boston morning light, I couldn't help but crack a smile. Walking through the streets of Boston, my playful side got the best of me as I laughed and joked with Connor as we walked to work at the meat packing plant.
"Hey Conn, how 'bout after work we head on up to Doc's and have a few beers with the boys for Saint Paddy's Day? Celebrate our Irish blood?" I reached over socking him the arm as we walked side by side.
"Aye Murph, it sounds like a fine plan to pass the evening. A few pints would hit the spot after working all day." Connor stopped walking, pulling out a smoke as I flicked open my lighter for him.
My practical joke at work had everyone rolling laughing, but Connor stole the show when he pinned me down, beating me with a cow tongue. The place was rolling laughing. The best part of the day at work was seeing my brother get kicked in the balls by the behemoth of a woman he was training. I couldn't let that shit go down, even though our Ma taught us never to hit a woman, I think Ma would be alright with me making an exception in this case. I right hooked her in the jaw; she went down like a sack of potatoes. Connor and I headed home after that, to clean up and head to the pub. Nothing drowns your pain or sorrows like a pint with the boys.
We were sitting at the bar shooting back pints and shots when our pal, Rocco, walked in. "Hey Fuck Ass! Get me a beer!" Connor and I leaned behind us to give our pal a proper greeting. It was good to see our friend, his company was always welcome. We took up three barstools as we chatted with Doc, my eyes ever watching the crowd around us. I saw a group of paramedics at a table by the dart boards; they were fairly regulars at McGinty's. But tonight there was someone new with them, or at least I'd never noticed her before. Her auburn hair was pulled back into a tight bun at the nape of neck, sunglasses sitting high on her head. Her eyes lit up with her smile and laughter, the tan of her skin matched perfectly to her hair. The light blue of her uniform shirt fit her nicely; it was a lovely color for her. Her eyes met mine over her pint of Guinness; I quickly looked away as I felt heat rising in my skin.
Connor and Rocco must've seen me staring the woman down, as Connor cleared his throat. "Jesus Murph, take a picture why don't ye? The lass is just here havin' a pint with her pals. They probably had a tough day at work." Connor shot back another Jameson as Rocco motioned behind me with his beer.
"Well Murphy looks like she's heading this way, you musta caught her eye ya bastard!" Rocco laughed as he clapped me on the shoulder before walking off to carouse with some of the other lads in the pub.
Connor sat next to me, his head turning as he caught sight of the woman as she sided in between us. "Happy Saint Paddy's boys! How 'bout I buy you a round?" Her eyes turned on Connor, as a smile lit up her face. I had to admit I felt a pang of jealousy directed at Connor, who intently held her gaze with his.
Connor spoke first, "Happy Saint Paddy's to you as well! Well I don't think me brother and I would insult a pretty lass as yourself by sayin' no to a pint now would we Murphy?" I felt Connor's elbow in my side as I came to. "No we sure wouldn't. Thank ye lass. This here's me brother Connor and me name's Murphy. What do we have the honor of callin' ye by?"
Her eyes were the color of the rolling hills of my homeland, I could get lost in her eyes. She smiled sweetly at me as she spoke in an Americanized brogue. "Ana, my name is Ana O'Brien. Nice to meet you Murphy and Connor. Doc how 'bout a round of Jameson and pints for my new friends here? Some Irish car bombs eh?"
Doc grinned at Ana, "N-now Ana, I can g-get you the pints and the shots, b-but you're gonna have to come over here and make that other drink, c-c-c cause I don't know how. Fuck! Ass!"
"I can do that Doc, no problem. Mind givin' me a hand here boys?" Ana grinned right at me as she held put her hands on the bar, hoisting herself up. Connor and I both caught a booted heel in our hands helping her the rest of the way over the bar. I felt like a lecherous ass for watching her body move, and it was evident that every man's eyes were on her as she went over the bar.
Doc set up the shots and the pints as Ana pulled three glasses of Guinness, letting them settle on the bar. I watched her hands work at mixing the shot of Bailey's and Jameson together, she had control and dexterity I could only imagine procured from her line of work. Doc watched Ana work as she explained the ingredients, setting a shot and a pint down in front of Connor and I.
I grin mischievously at Ana, "And just how ye suppose we're supposed to drink these dear Ana?" Her eyes meet mine, as her own grin crosses her lips "My dear Murphy, hasn't anyone taught you how to drink?" The entire pub watched as Ana dropped the shot into her glass, raised it to her lips and proceeded to chug it like a champion. Connor and I started cheering her on about half way through with the pub joining in. I was thoroughly impressed with her show of bravado, I could see meself falling for a lass like her that was certain.
Ana slammed the glass down on the bar, wiping her lips on the back of her hand. "And that my friend is how you drink an Irish car bomb!" her voice rang out through the pub, amidst the cheering. Connor and I dropped the shots into our glasses and chugged our drink as Ana cheered us on. I slammed my glass down on the bar, feeling very triumphant in my success, I reached over the bar and took Ana's face in my hands, pressing my lips to hers. Ana's lips were soft and warm against mine; she didn't fight me on it.
"Well there ye go folks! Murph here got the kiss o' an Irish lass for Saint Paddy's!" Connor was beaming with pride as the crowd cheered. I pulled away with a grin on my face as if I were the King of Ireland. Ana's face broke into a heated blush as Doc patted her back. I took Ana by the hand and helped her back over the bar, my arm instinctually wrapping around her waist, as she stood between us, Connor patting her on the back
"Well that was a fine drink Ana, I'll definitely remember that one all me days!" I couldn't help but praise her, it was a good drink. The bar started emptying out as we sat nursing our pints, to where there were less than ten people in there. Ana sat very close to me on her stool between Connor and I, keeping up the conversation with both of us equally. I learned that she was fairly new to Boston, had been here about six months, working in Chicago before that. Her Ma was still in Ireland, her Da had been passed almost ten years. She was a couple of years younger than Connor and me, enjoyed the outdoors along with her taste for a pint and a decent meal.
We joked and laughed late into the night, until Doc spoke up. "Listen Listen boys I've got some very bad news, it looks like I'm gonna have to close down the bar. The Russian's are buying up building's all over the town, including' this one. Fuck! Ass! And they're not letting' me renew my lease." The entire row groaned in sympathy, the muscles in Ana's waist grew tight under my arm, as she leaned forward.
"Uncail tá a bheith rud éigin is féidir liom a dhéanamh chun cabhrú?"(1) I'd never heard a plea as heartfelt in my life as I did leaving her lips in my mother tongue. Doc waved Ana off, as Rocco spoke up "Maybe I can talk to my boss? Maybe there's something he can do?" Connor and I looked at Rocco, Ana's eyes questioning me. "I 'll a insint duit níos déanaí grá, nuair a tá sé ' s ach dúinn."(2) Ana nodded as I whispered so only she could hear me. Connor looked over at Rocco, "What the fuck's your boss gonna do?" I nodded as I jabbed Rocco in the arm.
Doc hushed us all up "Listen up fellas, I don't want anyone to know, so you keep your traps shut. You know what they say; people who live in glass houses sink s-s-ships!" We all had a laugh at Doc messing up the proverb about people living in glass houses, and then poked a bit of good fun at Doc. Ana giggled beside me at her uncle, until I heard her go silent in my shoulder, her entire body rigid as steel. Connor and I turned seeing three Russian soldiers walk into the bar. I pulled Ana's head close to my lips, kissing her lightly behind the ear, "Ana Éasca, muid ll 'a láimhseáil seo. Uimh imní." (3)
The bald Russian bastard in the middle announced himself, as I stood up and cracked a joke alluding to Star Trek and his name with Ana cracking up between Connor and I. Checkov motioned to Doc telling him to stay and the rest of us to go, "Why don't you make like a tree and get the fuck outta here!" Leave it to Doc to have the biggest balls in the pub. Connor and I tried reasoning with the Russian, till he slapped my pint out of my hand. Connor tried one more time to reason with the Russian, as Rocco made a crack on the guy's mother. Checkov sucker punched Rocco in the jaw, as Connor and I chastised the bastard in Russian. I pushed Ana behind me, tossed back a shot as Connor and I rushed the goons, taking them back into the wall.
I saw Ana out of the corner of my eye tending to Rocco, as Connor tossed one of the goons up into a picture on the wall. I saw Ana rushing towards me as one of the Russians had me cornered against the wine rack. Connor held her back "Stay away lass! He can take care of himself!" At that moment as Connor held her, one of the Russians stabbed Ana in the ribs with a switchblade. I busted two bottles over the Russian who had me cornered, as Connor dropped Ana to pounce on the Russian. I shoved Connor out of the way, jumping on top of the Russian, my fists connecting in his face and chest. My rage quelled when I saw Connor pulling a dazed Ana up into a standing position, leaning her against the bar.
The Russians hauled ass out of the bar when they realized they had been beat, especially after Connor and I tied Checkov to the bar and lit his ass on fire. Ana was slowly walking around the bar checking people over, bandaging wounds, putting together icepacks.
I watched Ana bid her Uncle goodbye with a hug and a kiss as she stumbled out of the bar, clearly in pain. If she was bleeding, she wasn't letting anyone know it. I nudged Connor, "Conn, Don't wait up fer me. I'm gonna make sure she makes it home alright." Connor grinned, "Feeling like a knight in shining armor eh?" "Something like that. See ye later." I grabbed my pea coat, following Ana out into the night.
I caught up with her across the street from the bar getting into a black Jeep. "Ana! Wait up!" I hollered; her head whipped around as her eyes set on me. I jogged up to the door of the Jeep, seeing her leaning heavily against it.
Ana smiled weakly, "Ye needin' somethin' Murphy?" I reached out, lying my hand against her cheek, "Aye, I want to make sure you make it home ok. That's all." Ana popped the lock on the passenger door as I ran around jumping in. Ana sighed as she put the jeep in gear, heading away from the bar into the night.
I was mildly surprised when we pulled up outside a house in a nicer Boston neighborhood. Ana stepped out of the jeep, making sure the doors were locked before unlocking the front door of the house. I followed her into the living room, hanging my pea coat on the hooks by the front door. Ana plopped onto the couch, wincing as she leaned down to untie her boots.
"Here let me help you. I can get it." I knelt down on the floor in front of her, gently untying her boots, pulling them off her feet. I looked up seeing her green eyes watching my every move with gratitude. "Thanks for everything Murphy. I appreciate it." I could hear the exhaustion in her voice, yet here I was still on an adrenaline high from the fight. I set her boots by the door, as I turned around I saw her unbuttoning her blue uniform shirt as she struggled to free it from her pants. I couldn't help but obey the silent plea in her eyes as she gently raised her arms for me to help her. I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw the black stab-proof vest against her tanned skin. I released the catches on the back, as the vest fell away from her body in two halves. My eyes followed her skin, past the straps of her bra, seeing the purplish bruise on her ribs, my fingers gently palpating it. She was lucky, wearing that vest, which I was sure was part of her uniform of the day for her job as a Paramedic.
Ana sucked a breath between her teeth, "Fuck it hurts!" "Ana love, where do ye keep your medicine?" "In the bathroom down the hall, second door on the right." I walked into a rather large bathroom, seeing a medicine cabinet built into the wall. I came back to Ana with a couple of Tylenol and a glass of water. I watched her swallow the pills, as she got up off the couch. Ana's legs were wobbly under her, the adrenaline had worn off quick for her.
I tucked an arm behind her legs and one hand onto her hip, slinging her up into my arms. Ana whimpered against my neck, as her arms came easily around my neck. "Where's ye bedroom Ana?" Her words came out a breathless whisper against my neck, "Down the hall, last door on the left." Ana tucked herself into me as I walked down the hall, careful not to jostle her too much. I pulled back the covers on her bed, laying her down against the cool sheets. Ana fumbled at the catch on her uniform pants, I laid my hands over her, gently unbuttoning them as she slowly kicked her legs out.
Ana's half lidded eyes laid upon me, as I pulled the blankets up over her. "Stay with me tonight Murphy?" I could tell she was nearly asleep. I knelt down next to the bed, taking her face in my hands, pressing a kiss to her lips, Ana tenderly kissed me back. I placed a chaste kiss on her forehead as I untied her hair from the bun at her neck.
"Am eile mo banphrionsa. Tonight codlata. I \ mbainfidh tú a fheiceáil arís go. Luath"(4) I whispered, laying my hand against her cheek, as Ana sighed.
I turned the light on in the kitchen, grabbed my pea coat, and locked the door from the inside as I walked out into the chilly night air. I lit up a smoke as I walked, thinking about the beautiful woman I had just left to rest in her bed alone. I would see her again that I was sure of, even if it meant I had to seek her out. Aye, Saint Paddy's had been a good day for me indeed.
(1) Ana to Doc- "Uncle, is there something I can do to help?"
(2) Murphy to Ana "I'll tell you later love when it's just us."
(3) Murphy to Ana "Easy Ana, we'll handle this. No worries."
(4) Murphy to Ana "Another time my Princess. Tonight sleep. I'll see you again soon."
Ana and Murphy do speak some Gaelic to each other, I'll always provide a translation at the bottom of the chapter.
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