Categories > Original > Romance > Wanting0 Reviews
Brannon bids goodbye to his neighbor Eryn, and Eryn has some thoughts.
Torrents of rain fell down onto the green fields of Limerick, a county in the Irish province of Munster, as Brannon McAlister prepared his horse to leave. He had neglected to push up the hood of his cloak, and the water matted his dark red curls to his forehead. It didn't bother him though. He had spent most of his nineteen years gallivanting around outside with his three older brothers, and he was used to the elements.
Finally he was ready to go. He mounted his horse, a tall speckled gray gelding called Storm, and set out off at a brisk walk. He had already bid goodbye to his family. Now, he was ready to see the world. If he traveled at a good pace, he knew he should be able to reach the port at Kerry, Munster's southern most county, within two weeks.
Excitement, coursed through his veins. He was finally out on his own. He wanted to see everything, visit every place. He longed for knowledge and adventure. Hopefully, some of that longing would be satisfied.
He rode for about an hour. Then he saw the O'Connell place up ahead. As he neared their home, he saw a small figure sitting on their fence.
"What are you, doing out in this weather, lass?" he called out when he recognized the figure to be ten year old Eryn O'Connell, the youngest daughter of the O'Connell family brood.
Her head whipped around towards him and a large smile spread across her pale face, and she jumped down from her sitting place and began racing to meet him. Her long auburn hair hung in a sodden tangled mass around her body. Brannon grinned. The girl looked positively wild.
"Why, I didn't want you to leave without saying goodbye, Brannon," she said as she came level with the horse. He stopped Storm and peered down at her.
"But look at you!" he laughed, "Your Ma's going to redden your wee bottom when she sees what a mess you've made of yourself."
The small girl frowned up at him. "I don't care," she said stubbornly.
"You don't care?"
"Aye. That's what I said, wasn't it?"
Brannon laughed again and reached down to ruffle her already disheveled curls. "Of course, why would you worry about getting into trouble. I've always said that you're a troublesome little changeling."
She wrinkled up her freckled nose. "I'm not a changeling!"
"Why, yes you are. The fairy folk took your Ma and Da's real baby when it was born and gave them you instead, little fairy girl."
She stuck her tongue out at him, and he couldn't help but burst into laughter yet again. "I've got to be off," he told her, "Tell your family I said hello."
"But where will you go, Brannon?" she asked him.
He shrugged. "I don't know. Spain. France. Greece. Italy. Anywhere." He gave her a wink. "I'll tell you all about it when I get back."
"When will you be back?"
He sighed exasperatedly and rolled his eyes. "You ask too many questions. I don't know. Now, let me be. I need to go. And you need to get inside. Your dress is soaked through."
Hurt crossed her emerald green eyes, and Brannon regretted his harsh words. He figured he would ask her a question to get her spirits back up. "Have you seen Gerald lately?" Gerald Boyle had been Brannon's best friend since they were barely out of the cradle. Brannon had seen him the night before at a pub, and he had bid him farewell then because he knew that Gerald would be working and wouldn't have time to see him that day.
A look of disgust crossed Eryn's face. A ghost of a smile came to Brannon's mouth. He knew Eryn didn't like Gerald. Gerald had tormented and teased her for most of her young life. "He brought Da some vegetables from his Ma's garden earlier," she said, "But he didn't stay long. He said he had some work to do."
Brannon nodded. "Well, then I guess I might as well go. I'll see you when I get back, lass." He tapped his heels into Storm's sides, and he was gone.
"I'll miss you, Brannon!" he heard Eryn call from behind him.
He waved at her and then disappeared over the hill.
Eryn rug out her long curls and watched as large droplets of water pattered onto the wooden floor of her home. She knew her mother wouldn't be happy about her dripping water all through the house, but right then that was far from her mind. The only thing she could think about was a pair of laughing blue eyes. Brannon McAlister.
She had known Brannon since she was a babe, and never had he been purposely cruel to her. Yes, he teased her about being a changeling fairy child, but nothing he teased her about was said with ill intent.
Her young heart ached with love for him. It ached because of the hopelessness of that love.
How could he ever love her? She looked down with disgust at her own body. There was no shape. She was as thin as a reed and bony at that. She was short. Her skin was marred with freckles. Her long hair was unruly and almost always in a mess. She was not beautiful like her older sisters and their friends. She still had the awkward look of a girl near but not yet at the age of womanhood.
And he was going away. She didn't even know when he would return. Or if he'd return. What if he found that he like those far away places he was off to better than Ireland? What if he never wanted to come back?
He probably wouldn't think a second thought about her. After all, she was just 'Little Eryn the Changeling.' He was a man. She hadn't really thought of it that way before, but now it was apparent. He was a grown man. Soon, he would get married and have a family. She didn't think there was any room for Little Eryn in his life anymore.
"Eryn, you troublesome little girl! Look at how wet you've gotten my floors!" Her mother's harsh voice sounded right behind her, calling her from her thoughts and making her jump. She turned and stared up into her mother's stern face. "What were you doing out in the rain anyway?"
"I'm sorry, Ma," Eryn said meekly, "I wanted to catch Brannon before he left."
"So you went out in this downpour?! You'll catch your death of cold if you're not careful. Now go change and hang those soaked clothes by the hearth."
"Aye." Eryn ran to the room she shared with her two older sisters as quickly as she could, eager to be away from her mother's scrutinizing gaze. She stripped out of her wet dress and shift. She shivered with the cold. She had been so lost in her thoughts that she'd hardly noticed it until then.
When she was dressed again in a dry outfit, she ran back into the main room and hung up her wet clothes to dry by the hearth. Her mother was in the kitchen with Maura, her oldest sister, making supper. She joined them.
"So you say the McAlister boy left today?" her mother questioned as Eryn walked up beside her and began to help slice up potatoes for a stew.
Eryn winced, not wanting to speak of something that was such a delicate subject for her. "Aye, just now."
Her mother shook her head. "That boy was always too adventurous, if you ask me," she said critically, "He needs to stay here where he belongs, helping his family. What's his poor mother going to do without him?"
Eryn didn't like to hear Brannon talked about so negatively. "Patrick is still here." Patrick was Brannon's older brother. He had two more, but Brian was moved out and married with his own family to take care of, and Abel had died of a fever that past summer.
"Aye, but one son isn't enough to run a farm like the McAlisters'," Her mother maintained, "And Annabel and Braden have that little girl to take care of too."
Eryn rolled her eyes. "Ma, McKenna is two years older than me."
"I still don't think it right of him."
Eryn opened her mouth to argue again, but Maura cut her off. "Oh, hush up, you two. Let's just get this dinner made without a fuss." Maura was the oldest child of all of the O'Connell's seven children at 23 years old, and she often had to play the peacemaker of the rowdy family.
Silence descended over the kitchen, and Eryn was left to her thoughts. Would she ever see Brannon again?
Okay so that was just a little introductory chapter. I'll get the next one up soon. Please if you read this review or rate. It would be very helpful.