This is my first attempt at writing. It was written for a three word challenge at Orlando Love. The three words were mountain, moon, farmer and to me they just screamed for a Joe story. Writing about Joe wasn't as hard as I thought. In fact, I quite enjoyed it!
Banner by Erendira
I don't know what I thought was going to happen. I guess curiosity got the best of me. I hadn't seen Joe Byrne in near five years but those eyes were always in my dreams. And lately his name had been on everyone's lips. The legend was growing larger by the second but to me he'd always be that young, intense lad who the boys wanted to be friends with and the lasses wanted to kiss. He was my first kiss. He was my first everything. I still remember how soft his mouth was on mine at first, asking sweetly "May I kiss you, Lass?" and then more forceful, always making you do more than you had planned. I hadn't realized at the time he was having "firsts" with many a lass.
A voice brought me back to the present. "So, are you coming Molly?" Am I coming? Just try and stop me! I thought to myself. "Aye" was all I said. We walked slowly to the bar, guided by the soft light of the moon. As we entered I looked down and nervously grasped my hands to keep them from shaking. Jesus, what am I doing here? I wondered in silence. We made our way to a table and pints were passed around. I eagerly drank in an attempt to calm my nerves and relax. In truth I should have tried harder to keep my wits about me. Two hours and a few rounds later I was sure Joe wasn't coming and began to enjoy a night out with friends, dancing, laughing and telling stories. It's for the best, I reasoned.
I could feel him before I saw him. The mood in the bar had shifted. Joe had such a presence about him and it made everyone take notice. I hadn't turned to see him yet but my friends were blushing and whispering that Joe Byrne was there and Oh how handsome he was and look how he fills out those trousers! They were urging me to take a look and as I did he glanced my way. I quickly turned, praying he wouldn't recognize me. However, I knew he was coming my way by the wide-eyed looks on the faces across from me.
"Aren't ya even going to say hello, Molly?" As I turned to meet his gaze I saw he was smiling and his eyes were crinkling around the edges. "Hello Joe" I said almost in a whisper. My friends quickly excused themselves when Joe asked for a moment alone. He sat down and took my hand. "It's been what, three or four years?" "Five" I answered a little too quickly. "You weren't very fond of me when last we spoke." "Water under the bridge, Joe." "Aye" was his response.
"So what are you doing these days?" I asked wondering if I'd get the truth. "Well, I'm not a farmer but I reckon ya already know that." "Aye."
So we talked a while longer laughing about the past and when it was time to go Joe offered to walk with me a ways. As we walked the mood began to change in ways I remembered all too well. A suggestive wink here, a touch on my arm, his eyes dancing with mischief and passion. Christ he looked fourteen again. Joe gently steered me into the darkness, pointing towards the mountains, telling me they camped up there most nights.
"Unless you have something more comfortable to offer me, Lass?" he said with a grin and a wink. Looking into his eyes, I lifted my hand to his forehead to brush a wayward curl to the side, twisting its silkiness between my fingers.
"May I kiss you, Lass?" Joe asked with a twinkle in his eyes, already knowing the answer.