Pre-BDS June 1998

Lots of tongue-in-cheek BDS & BDS2 references This starts off easy and then slowly...burns. If you're looking for the smut, skip to 22 and thereafter...but you'll lose a lot of the story if you do. I've spent a lot of time inside the boys' heads and they in mine. This is a Connor-Saoirse-Murphy three-way all the way story. Personally, my favorite chapters are 49 & 58.

Connor was the brother that roped me in. I freely admit it. When I first saw him, he was just 26 years old, young and dark-blond and free; a prankster full of fun. When it was cold, he favored black turtlenecks and blue jeans with a black pea coat. As the weather warmed, he switched to black T-shirts and blue jeans with wide black buckled belts. He also wore what I suspected were rosary beads; they would occasionally peek out from the neck of his shirt, making me think he was Catholic.

I watched him on the Red Line of the Massachusetts Bay Transport Authority—otherwise known as the T-for months, following through the seasons from a wet and freezing winter to the first warm days of summer in Boston. He had interesting tattoos which I studied surreptitiously through my lashes as he sat on the train across from me. Later in the spring, when he switched to T-shirts, I noticed the almost Art Deco interpretation of the Mother Mary on the left side of his neck. He had an amazingly intricate Celtic cross on his left forearm that was one of the most beautiful tattoos I had ever seen. But the most intriguing mark, the one I had been studying the longest, was one that said VERITAS on his left index finger.

I wondered why a young man would have a tattoo like that on what appeared to be his dominant hand. I also wondered at one point in the late spring if he was stalking me, but laughed it off as paranoia at seeing the same people every time I went home. Why would a hot man like him stalk me? I was only 27, but felt like I was 67 riding home from the hospital in my scrubs, covered in other people's germs and angst and filth.

I finally met Connor in the early summer. I rode home to South Boston from Massachusetts General Hospital every evening between 7:40 and 8:10, depending on how easily I extracted myself from my nursing duties in the emergency room. I saw the worst cases in the city and was becoming bitter and jaded after seven years working the ER. We seemed to get every gunshot wound and stabbing and rape victim in the city dumped in our laps. Our hospital was a bleeding sore on the side of a dying city; I knew it in my bones. I wasn't sure how much longer I could stand staying at the same job. I was facing burnout and was seriously considering leaving nursing. The problem was, what to do instead? Run home to mama in San Francisco? Things were no better at San Francisco General. After one particularly bad shift, I looked up to see a pair of stunning blue eyes staring into mine—for the third time this week. This candid eye contact after almost four months worried me. There was so much crime and drugs and evil in the streets, I decided taking the direct route might head off a potentially volatile or dangerous situation.

"What do you want?" I demanded. I could see the surprise on the beautiful dark-blond man's face, either because I had spoken at all or at the tone in my voice; I couldn't tell. I felt a bit aggressive tonight after the day I experienced. I was used to taking command of conversations and forcing outcomes. This strange man was irritating me—scaring me a bit, if I'm honest-and I wanted him to go away, regardless of how good looking he was.

"Well now, lovey, dat's a loaded question, now, id'nt'it?" He answered me with a genuine grin, mischief in his eyes, and an Irish brogue that flowed like honey. "Would ye care'ta come down t'the pub an' have a pint an' bit'o conversation? Ye look as though ye need a bit of a ceilidh." I felt my knees go weak at the brogue. How can any woman resist an Irishman's accent? I laughed a little, surprised.

"A ceildh? What is that?" I asked, trying to buy time to evaluate him and his motives. The dark-blond man smiled winningly at me, moving to sit directly across from me, but careful not to invade my space. I wasn't picking up any creep vibes and he was exceedingly good looking. He held eye contact and knew about body space issues. I watched his non-verbal behavior—the set of his shoulders, the way he smiled and crinkled his eyes, the way his hands danced when he spoke.

"Ah now, Lass, tis a bit'o a party if ye will. T'celebrate maybe gettin' off work? Tis'it yer Friday den?" he asked gently. I hesitated. Why was this man after my grubby ass? And how did he know my schedule?

"Yes. How did you know that?" I asked with conspicuous suspicion.

"Ah, Lass, I've a fair bit'o experience wit' hospitals an' de like due'ta scrapping a mite in me yout'." He joked. "Dis is de t'ird night I've seen ye on th'T in yer scrubs. I'm assumin' yer a nurse? Dinna nurses usually work t'ree shifts n'a'row?" I nodded and he continued. "I've been watchin' ye because me brudder an' I, bein' what we are, always ha'need fer a nurse." I smiled back at him. What he said was entirely plausible, very observant, and likely truthful.

"Due to the scrappin', no doubt." I trailed off, calculating. "Hmm. And where are you suggesting this ceildh, as you call it, be held?" I inquired, trying to ignore the idea of busted knuckles, cut eyebrows, and bloody lips that scrappin' usually entailed. Though, on second thought, his face was amazingly unmarked by scars except for the small mark in his left eyebrow; his face was almost angelic in its beauty.

"Ah, a wee pub in Southie a'called McGinty's. Tis just a short walk off de train. I'll see ye home safe after, if dat's what yer worrit about." Again he flashed that winning smile. I could feel my resolve weakening. What could it hurt? He seemed nice enough. We would be in a public place. I was lonely and tired and cranky and I didn't have to work for the next four days. An invitation by a hot Irishman was just what I needed. And whisky; let's not forget the lure of good Irish whisky.

"Aye," I copied his accent, joking, "But sure an'I'd like dat."

"Ooooh, she speaks wit' th'accent too. I t'ink I'm half'in love a'ready." The young man grinned widely and scooted across the aisle to sit to my left. He picked up my left hand in his right and I noticed his left index finger again. I had enough Latin from school to know that his tattoo said truth.

"Hello, me lovely lass, an' what should I call ye?" He said while stroking my fingers and pouring on the charm.

"My name is Saoirse." I said with a grimace of embarrassment.

"Now den, 'Sair-sha'," He pronounced it with a sweet Irish lilt, "tis a lovely Republican lass's name t'match a beautiful girl. Why should ye be grimacin' like a gargoyle den?" I couldn't think of a single way to answer that one. I also wasn't sure my face being compared to a gargoyle–one which would feel right at home on top of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross—was all that flattering. I laughed instead and chose to be direct, ignoring his comment.

"What's your name and why do you have truth tattooed on your finger?" The man had game. He smiled mischievously and squeezed my fingers.

"Ye know yer Latin, I see!" He smiled, crinkling his eyes and batting ridiculously long eyelashes. "M'name's Connor, Connor MacManus. Me brudder's name is Murphy, an' I guarantee ye, he's goin'ta love ye on sight." He said, apropos of nothing. I raised my eyebrows in question, waiting for further explanation.

"Our tattoos match, ye see. Mine is veritas an' his aequitas wit' a wee nod t'our Celtic Catholic faith wit' de crosses." He angled his left forearm for a better view, preening a bit. His words seemed to imply much more by this simple statement than what he said aloud, but I let it go. I began to see how my night might turn out. Two tough, pretty, tattooed Irish Catholic bad-boys in Southie, lots of whisky, laughter…I made a snap decision. I would let him take me to the bar for my ceilidh as he called it. I could always call a cab if I needed to get back home.