Nulli hesitated outside the Irish pub next to her favorite Chinese take-out place. In front of the door was a cut-out of a Leprechaun. It had a speech bubble saying “Come in!”
It was a tempting proposition even though she really wasn’t a pub kind of gal. She worked 8-10 hour shifts and adhered to a gym routine, so the prospect of drinking the night away made her shudder. Her feet hurt. Part of her wanted to go home, curl up on the coach, and watch her favorite episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
But five straight days General Tso’s chicken was stretching the limits of culinary stagnation. This pub made awesome fish and chips. It was St. Patrick’s Day. How bad could it be?
Pretty bad, she thought as she stepped through the heavy black door. The air was saturated with smoke. Men in green hats stood shoulder to shoulder with beer in hand. It wasn’t worth it. She immediately backed up toward the exit and hit a solid male chest.
She turned and sniffed. Burberry–the guy had good taste. She tilted her head up and looked past the shadowed square jaw to meet his dark green gaze. A blush crept over her cheeks. She felt her heart speed. With red hair and a boyish grin, he was exactly her type.
“Excuse me,” Nulli murmured as she tried to step around the delicious male specimen. “I’m trying to–”
“Let me seat you.” His voice was low and commanding.
He was holding a leather-covered menu. It was odd since she didn’t remember seeing it in his hands before. He wasn’t wearing a server uniform, so he must be the host. She was tempted to stay, just for the added benefit of eye-candy, but logic won. “I didn’t expect it to be this crowded. I’ll come back–”
“There’s outdoor seating,” he interrupted.
That made a difference. She eyed the jam-packed general vicinity. “How long’s the wait?”
His smile was a flash of white teeth. “None. Just follow me.”
He started walking before she had time to respond. Leaving now would be impolite, so she followed him through the crowd. After what felt like a life-time of elbowing her way through, they reached the back door. He held it open.
She frowned. It was pitch dark on the other side. The city was never that dark. Survival instincts kicked-in and she opened her mouth to scream. A large rough hand closed over her mouth. Another arm manacled her torso. Body heat hit her back. Too much heat.
Not one to give-up, she stomped down hard on the foot behind her. She heard a grunt, but his hold on her didn’t relent. She elbowed his stomach as hard as she could. Her efforts had no effect.
She struggled as the man lifted her body off the ground and stepped through the door. He continued into the dark, and she heard it slam shut. In a flash, the darkness melted away against a cascade of gold and orange light.
In that same instant, Nulli was free. She pivoted to face her captor, whose suit jacket had changed from black to green. He had a wide grin on his face and his eyes sparkled. He was holding a stein of beer. When he spoke, his tone was far too amused. “I thought you’d never come in.”
She turned a full circle and confirmed she was in a room with no exits. Curved metal walls surrounded her. No doors, no windows. “What the hell is going on?”
The man shrugged. “This is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.”
“Why am I in it?”
He cocked his head to the side and seemed to consider her question very carefully. “I wanted to ask you out on a date, and it was too loud in the bar.”
“So you kidnapped me?” Her voice sounded like a shriek as it echoed in the pot.
He had the gall to roll his eyes at her. “I see the future. We will live happily ever after. I thought we could skip over the boring bits.”
She crossed her arms. “And you think I’ll just take your word for that? Leprechauns are known for playing tricks.”
He shook his head. His eyes widened into an expression of innocence. “Who? Us? You must have me confused with…”
Nulli lifted her hand to demand silence. She needed convince this lunatic leprechaun to let her out of his pot. “I’ll go on a date with you, and may be after a few weeks,” but probably closer to a few centuries, “I’ll come back to this pot with you.”
The leprechaun heaved a dramatic sigh. “Humans make things too complicated. Fine, but I get one kiss before we go.”
She opened her mouth to argue then stopped herself. It was a small price to pay for freedom.
Her acquiescence must have been apparent. The beer stein in his hand went away with a pop. He disappeared before reappearing right in front of her a moment later. His finger was on her chin, tilting her face up. Before she had time to think, his mouth closed over hers.
She didn’t know what she expected, but a soft brushing of lips wasn’t it. It startled her enough her lips parted to inadvertently give him access. He teased with his tongue, nibbled and sucked, but he didn’t push. She felt her body relax, and only then did his hands circle her waist. The tug was gentle, but she was lured by his heat. Her hands rose to rest against his chest. She lifted onto her toes. A soft moan escaped her throat. Her eyes drifted shut.
When they opened, she was in front of the pub. The man who had just kissed all thought from her mind was standing where the leprechaun cutout once was. He looked smug, but utterly kissable.
The decision was far too easy. “Why don’t we skip the boring bits and go to my apartment?”
Check out this month’s other bloggers, all of whom have posted or will post their own responses:
Participants and posts:
orion_mk3 – http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to post)
robeiae – http://thepondsofhappenstance.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
writingismypassion – http://charityfaye.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
Sudo_One – http://sudoone.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
randi.lee – http://emotionalnovel.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
pyrosama – http://matrix-hole.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
katci13 – http://www.krystalsquared.net/ (link to post)
MsLaylaCakes – http://taraquan.com/ (me)
Angyl78 – http://jelyzabeth.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
KitCat – http://twilightasylum.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
Bloo – http://www.emergencyroomproductions.net/ (link to post)
dlclary – http://davidwclary.com (link to post)
ConnieBDowell – http://bookechoes.com/ (link to post)
Lady Cat – http://carolsrandomness.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
Araenvo – http://www.simonpclark.com/ (link to post)
MichaelP – http://portablemagicblog.com/ (link to post)
Ralph Pines – http://ralfast.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
Mdgreene50 – http://gettotheinside.blogspot.com (link to post)
SRHowen – http://srhowen1.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
meowzbark – http://www.lizzylessard.com/ (link to post)
areteus – http://lurkingmusings.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
dolores haze – http://dianedooley.wordpress.com/ (link to post)