Author's Note: Hello again all! So, here's the demanded first meetings story for my previous two stories - Seeing Stars and Make Me Dizzy with Murphy/OC/Connor. I need to say thanks for the words of encouragement from Valerie E. Mackin, Penelope Sweet, and xNotGingerx. Thanks so much, guys. I'm not entirely happy with how this came out, but I hope it at least meets your approval.
As usual, enjoy!
I hate my job. I hate my job. I hate my job, I repeated to myself sullenly as I restocked shelves.
It wasn't the most high-end job, but it was a job, I guess. Finishing college a couple years ago with a history degree had left a lot of time to kill and loans to repay. More than once I reflected that perhaps I hadn't picked the best major as I looked for something to do with it. Even now, I was debating whether or not I should just put life on hold for a bit longer and go back to school. But then I decided having some money was good, so I put that decision off for another day. And round and round it went.
"I need to get a better job at least," I muttered to myself. "This shit's getting old."
Finishing the shelf of chips, I gathered the empty boxes and stuffed them together in some order before hefting them into my arms to take to the back. And, of course, the pile happened to tower just above my head. It probably would have been easier to make more than one trip, but that didn't mean I wasn't going to attempt one trip anyway. Call me ambitious. Or lazy. I'm not picky.
At any rate, I shuffled along with my load on a more or less straight path down the aisle. Peeking out to my left, I saw the coast was clear and turned right toward the back of the store. I really should have looked to the right but the store was dead in the middle of the afternoon, so I naturally assumed I was fine. Until I bumped into something with the boxes, which wobbled and started to fall.
"Shit! Shit! Shit!"
Attempting to compensate didn't help, and the next thing I knew, my cardboard tower was falling around me as I failed to try and catch any of it. I pouted, looking at my mess. I was so close!
"Are ye all right there, girl?"
Ah, crap. I hate my life.
I glanced up to see who I'd managed to run into in a freaking empty store. (Honestly, how the hell I hadn't heard someone come in is unbelievable. I'm always hearing those stupid bells over the door.) And I felt myself immediately go red in the face. It's cliché, and I know it, but I found myself standing in front of one of the most gorgeous men I'd seen in my entire life. He was very tall, dark and handsome in a simple pea coat and jeans, with the most amazing blue eyes staring straight at me.
"Umm…I'm fine," I squeaked unintentionally.
The man smirked, one corner of his mouth tilting up – and with it, a charming little mole perched above very pink lips. I think I might have died a bit there.
"Fine! Fine! Everything's fine!" I yelped, thinking it was my co-worker, Dana, up front. "Nothing broke!"
"Well, that's good t'hear, lass."
And then I realized the voice was coming from behind me, making me wince and bite my lip hard. Turning from the ridiculously handsome man in front of me, I found an equally handsome one standing behind me. While dressed in an identical pea coat, jeans and boots, this man was the light to the other's dark. Spiky blond hair, tanned skin, and a rugged jaw coated with stubble were the obvious differences. But this man had his own pair of very blue eyes that pinned me in place.
"Murph, yer supposed t'be gettin' th' beer, not flirtin'," the blond said lightly to his friend before turning back to me. "Though I can't really blame ye there."
"Oh, fuck you. Th' poor girl dropped 'er stuff. Hadn't gotten a chance t'flirt wit' 'er yet."
I blushed slightly as the two men bantered. They definitely knew each other at least. I dropped to my knees to try and gather up my mess while I let them argue as if I wasn't there.
"Here, lass. Let us help ye," the blond said before crouching down next to me, followed by his dark-haired friend.
"No. I got it. I'm fine," I protested.
"Nonsense. Our Ma'd fuckin' kill us if she found out he didn't help a damsel in distress."
I frowned and glared at him. "I hardly qualify as being a 'damsel in distress.' And who says 'in distress' anymore, anyway?"
He looked slightly taken aback at that while 'Murph' laughed and clapped him on the back.
"Sorry 'bout me brudder. He's a bit out o' his mind like that."
Wait. They were brothers? There were more than one set of amazing genes in this world?
"We really would like t'give ye a hand though, girl."
I looked from one man to the other. Both looked back at me expectantly. I was a little surprised, considering how often people didn't help each other with even little things in this city. And they said chivalry was dead. Honestly, I was not used to offers of help from attractive men. I was very aware that I'm the plain girl that those men see but don't typically notice.
"All right. Thanks," I said, ducking my head as I felt my cheeks heat.
"Yer welcome. Name's Connor, and th' human wall ye walked into is Murphy."
Murphy's lips turned up in a half smile that made my stomach flip pleasantly. "It's all right. Nobody's hurt. An' more importantly, I didn't drop th' beer," he replied, gesturing to his case of Guinness.
I smirked and couldn't help the chuckle that escaped me.
"Ye've got a very pretty smile. Doesn't she, Connor?"
"Aye. Not as pretty as 'er laugh, though, Murph."
Oh, God. When they decided to put on the charm, they apparently pulled out all the stops. I tried to push back my blushing as I stood, gathering boxes in my arms.
"How often do you guys pull this on women?"
The duo looked at each other and then back up at me. Two pairs of blue eyes stared up at me from where they were crouched still. "Pull what?" they asked at the same time.
Both my eyebrows shot up. "What are you two? Twins?"
Connor smiled. "Aye. We are."
Oh. Well, that explained a few things.
"But we don't pull things very often. Promise."
"Our Ma raised perfect gentlemen."
I snorted. "I don't know if I believe that or not."
Connor stood, a box in each hand. Murphy followed, with a box in one hand and the case of beer under his other arm.
"Hey, that's our Ma yer talkin' 'bout."
"I'm not insulting your mother."
"Sure sounded like it," Murphy insisted, eyes narrowed.
"Actually, I have a feeling your mother's a saint."
The brothers grinned, and Connor let out a small chuckle. "Th' woman's evil, but she's still our Ma."
I smiled at that. "Come on. You helping me or what?"
"Lead th' way." Murphy gestured me ahead with his box.
Tipping my head, I stepped around them and moved toward the back, gripping my boxes tightly so I didn't drop them again. I could hear Connor and Murphy following me, their voices soft in something that did not sound English. It sounded…Italian? Oh, dear. That was interesting. But I had a terrible feeling that I was the topic of conversation. I hope it wasn't too bad, if I was.
I must admit, their mother really did raise gentlemen. Murphy held the door for me, while Connor took my boxes from me to toss in the bin of empties. Then, Murphy held the door for me a second time, letting it close on his brother as he followed me out right on my heels. He smirked at my snicker, until his brother smacked him upside the head, making me laugh outright. Yeah, they were definitely related.
"Thank you for the help."
"Our pleasure, lass."
"So, did you need anything else other than that?" I asked, shoving my hands in my pockets and nodding to Murphy's Guinness.
The twins looked at each other for a second, seemingly holding an entire conversation in one instant.
"Nah. I think we're good," Murphy replied.
My stomach dropped at that. They were very nice and I was kind of disappointed to see them go already. "Okay," I said, trying to hide my displeasure. "Well, have a good day, boys."
"Yer not gonna walk yer customers out? I feel insulted," Connor remarked before turning to his brother. "You, Murph?"
Murphy nodded. "Aye. Very under appreciated. We may not come back again."
I was pretty sure my face reflected the shock I felt. What'd I do?
The pair stared at me for a moment before breaking out into laughter.
"Ye should see yer face!" Murphy laughed.
"Ye look so devastated!" Connor added, nudging his brother.
I frowned at both of them as they laughed. "Assholes," I muttered, turning away.
I felt an arm wrap around my shoulders and I stiffened, not used to contact with people I barely knew.
"Don't be like that," Murphy said, squeezing me to his side before releasing me. "We wouldn't do that."
"Yeah, we like ye," Connor said with a grin.
"You guys suck."
"A bit harsh, don't ye think, lass?"
I looked from one to the other with their matching grins and mischievous eyes and sighed, reflecting on their mother again. The woman must definitely be a saint.
"Fine. I'll walk you out. Come on."
Murphy bounded to my side as I started toward the front of the store, leaving Connor to follow behind us.
"Thank ye, girl."
I rolled my eyes at Murphy's cheekiness, but the corner of my lips twitched up anyway. Charming bastard. And his brother apparently wasn't any better.
"So, when's th' next time ye have t'work?" Connor asked as we approached Dana at the counter.
"Why?" I asked, watching Murphy set down the case he was carrying.
"Call me curious."
"Us," Murphy corrected, leaning against the counter.
"Us," Connor agreed, flashing me a grin that I was quickly learning meant 'I'm going to get what I want.'
Dana widened her eyes slightly and nodded frantically out of the corner of my eye.
"I have to open tomorrow."
"Well, then. We might be back t'see ye again after Mass tomorrow."
I couldn't help wrinkling my nose in distaste.
"What was that?"
"That." Connor gestured vaguely. "That - " He scrunched up his face in a poor mimic of me. "Got a problem wit' church?"
I could feel my face getting warm. "I'm not a fan is all."
"An' why's that?" Murphy asked, retrieving a pack of cigarettes from his pocket before shaking one out to put behind his ear.
"Spent twelve years in Catholic school. I've had my fill of it being shoved down my throat. Haven't been to a church in…I dunno, at least five years."
They looked at each other. "Huh. An' here we thought ye were a good God-fearin' girl."
"Hey, I never said anything about not believing in a God, just not in an institution," I said as Murphy paid for the boys' beer.
Connor nodded thoughtfully. "I can see yer point."
I smiled in thanks.
"Ye ready t'go, Connor?" Murphy asked, turning towards us, case of alcohol under his arm.
"Yeah," he replied, pulling out a pair of sunglasses and putting them on. "See ye tomorrow, lass."
"What else could you possibly need in less than twenty four hours?"
"Dunno. Maybe we'll just want t'come back," Connor said with a grin before pushing the door open and stepping out into the mid-day sun.
"Bye, girl," Murphy added with a wink, following his brother out the door.
I gaped at the exit for a moment before turning toward Dana, who'd watched the exchange with an amused smirk.
"How long have they been coming in for?!"
She shrugged. "A while on and off. Sometimes you're here, sometimes not. The blond one's a cutie, isn't he?"
"They're both gorgeous," I blurted out without thinking. I slapped a hand over my mouth. "Oh, God. Dana!"
I turned to go back to my re-stocking with my cheeks red and Dana laughing behind me. Why did I have the feeling I was going to be embarrassing myself more than I already did?
I hope you liked. Please leave a little note behind, if you did!