The harsh smell of cooked meat assaulted Andy's senses as she tossed and turned in her new bed. She held the back of her hand to her nose as her stomach turned. Andy hardly ever ate breakfast, she firmly believed that it was only the most important meal of the day for those who actually ate breakfast. The teenager couldn't look at food until she had been awake for at least two hours. Lately her 'breakfasts' consisted of a coffee and cookies. Breakfast of champions, she always said. She sat up on the bed, wiping her eyes to try to waken herself further.
She thought about the previous night and if her aunt and uncle would say anything to her about it but was rudely pulled from her thoughts as her uncle Mick yelled from the kitchen that breakfast was ready and that the day was wasting away. No need for an alarm clock here she thought to herself.
Even though she wouldn't eat, Andy rose from bed, knowing she would never be able to get back to sleep or even allowed to. She grabbed an oversized grey hoodie and pulled it over her head while tugging the curtains open to reveal a not completely horrible day outside, it was grey but not raining which was great for November.
The view from her new bedroom left a lot to be desired, it was a hedge. Something that she was sure would have little birds nesting in it in Spring and she would be woken by them at the crack of dawn. But then again, she didn't plan to be there that long.
As she padded to the kitchen the smell of bacon, eggs, sausages and black pudding nearly knocked her over. She wrinkled her nose entering the kitchen to the same sight she had encountered the night before. They hadn't left.
"Good morning", a smiling Mary warmly said as the three men in the room sat looking at her, all for different reasons. Her uncle shook his head at her clothing and coughed loudly to grab the two boy's attention. He succeeded as they both resumed hanging their heads low over the table, waiting for their first meal of the day.
Andy rolled her eyes at her uncle and headed straight for the coffee that was still brewing in the pot and poured herself a liberal mug before turning to the table to find everyone now seated looking at her, apparently waiting on her to take her place.
"Oh, I don't do breakfast…" she mumbled as her uncle took his turn at rolling his eyes at her and made a gesture which told everyone to begin eating. He didn't know anything about teenage girls but he supposed she didn't want to eat in front of the boys, maybe she was on a diet or was one of those vegetarians.
As his niece disappeared back to her room, Mick watched his two best players watch her leave and then proceeded to give each other nods and half smiles before he had enough and pounded his fist into the table and told them to eat.
Kieran was the best full forward that Mick had on his team. The best in the county and could be the best in the country. He had skill oozing from every pore and Mick looked on him like a son. Mick had great relationships with all of his players.
Connor was a little less focused but still great and Kieran and he had been friends since they were little so they were practically inseparable. They could communicate with just a look and were trouble when they got together but it also meant that they were great for the team. The two always told Mick that they were 'keeping him young' with their antics.
The bleach-blond twenty-one year old still didn't dare look at Andy. He couldn't. Even though last night was a complete blur to him, he knew what had happened because his coach had given him and his friend a good talking to early that morning.
Kieran was embarrassed; he was so drunk that he jumped into bed with his coach's teenage niece. It had been a rough Friday night, a long day drinking, his last before his exams started in college but it hadn't ended well.
Kieran didn't appreciate Mick giving him a telling off. He was suffering enough. Firstly, from a hangover and secondly from a very bad migraine that he gave credit to the small cut above his left eyebrow.
He was pulled from his thoughts as the petite brunette once again appeared, still in a pair of very short grey pyjama shorts and hoodie that was a couple of sizes too big. Her hair was pulled into a messy high ponytail and now she was holding a cigarette in one hand and her coffee in the other as she began rummaging through the cupboards.
Kieran stared as she bent over looking in the low cupboards and then stretching high to look in the top ones. Kieran grimaced and tore his eyes from her legs as he received a kick under the table from Connor.
"No ashtrays?" Andy asked, looking at both her aunt and uncle in turn. Mary stood from the table taking her coffee mug and going to refill it. "We don't smoke so there is no need for an ashtray." She faced the brunette and gave her a look to say 'figure it out for yourself'.
Andy, getting seriously frustrated looked around the room once again not giving up in her search. Coming up empty, she grunted and slammed a cupboard door and passed her uncle at the head of the table to get to the patio door that took up much of one wall of the kitchen.
Andy tried the door and when she found it locked she looked around for a key but couldn't spot one. Andy spun around, annoyance and anger building in her.
"Am I locked in this house too?" she spit out, looking only at her aunt but it was her uncle who told her, in a monotone voice, that the key was under the mat that she was standing on.
She quickly retrieved it and let herself out of what seemed a very stuffy kitchen but not before hearing one of her uncle's younger friends whisper "Not much of a morning person huh?"
Andy stormed down the path in her bare feet while lighting her cigarette, only now really noticing the beach and the sea that was only a hundred yards away. She had forgotten that her aunt and uncle lived on the coast. It really was beautiful.
Andy strolled down the beach taking long drags of her smoke in turn with the fresh sea air. A huge smile took over her face as her bad mood seemed to be washing away with the first wave that hit her feet. She didn't care that the water was freezing cold, it was refreshing.
Stumping out her cigarette in the sand, she went further and further into the water, letting the waves lap around her legs. She stopped just before they would reach her shorts. Andy stood for what seemed the longest time, just letting the water splash around her legs and watching the waves keep coming, one after the other.
It didn't even seem like a decision she intentionally made but before she could stop herself she began wading out deeper and deeper until the water lapped around her shoulders and she began to struggle to stand. The brunette just let herself sink, her legs buckling as she immersed her whole body in the sea.
Watching from the house, Kieran laughed out loud in the now empty kitchen as he saw the short brunette appear from the water, dripping wet but laughing as she tried to pull her hair from her face. She was short, five-three he figured, which meant that if he were actually to stand next to her, he would be a good head and shoulders taller than her. She was thin but curvy in all the right places which he could really appreciate.
"Shower's free." Kieran was interrupted as his friend came up behind him. Connor followed his friends eyes and shook his head when he seen the teenager, soaked to the bone and running towards the house, her hoodie and shorts clinging to her petite frame.
"Mick would cut your balls off so don't even think it." he laughed as he slapped his friend on the shoulder playfully. Kieran stepped away from the patio door and held his hands up in surrender. "Don't accuse me of thinking" he laughed, shaking his head at the taller man standing next to him.
"Right, um…" Kieran stuttered, still trying to shake the image of a drenched Andy from his mind. ".. shower." He concluded as Connor just smirked at him. "Might want to make it a cold one." Connor laughed, just ducking in time to miss the oven glove that Kieran hurled at his head.
Andy stepped into the kitchen, soaked to the bone and now shivering. She smiled at the two men as they both looked at her. "Good swim?" Connor asked, laughing. "I'm Connor by the way, I didn't get the chance for an introduction last night, not like Kieran did." He smiled as he gave a little wave to her while ignoring the death glares his friend was shooting at him over Andy's shoulder.
Andy gave an awkward smile and stepped again and again on the mat to try and dry her feet so she wouldn't trail water through the house. "Andy." She said pointing to herself, ignoring the jibe to his friend. Before Kieran could say anything Andy spoke again telling them she need to shower or she would freeze to death.
Half running out of the room clutching her arms around her, Andy missed the smile that Connor gave Kieran as the blonds head dropped. "O.K. I guess I can wait." he said, mostly to himself while he sat again at the kitchen table having to wait again for the shower to be free.
Andy let the hot water stream over her face, now feeling relaxed after her swim in the freezing cold water of the Atlantic. She had forgotten that her uncle was the county football coach. She was never one for watching the Gaelic on Sundays but she realised now that she would probably have to watch a lot of it.
The two boy's wern't too bad, she thought, friendly enough. The brown haired man, Connor, was the only one who had actually spoken to her but they seemed to be nice, from what she could gather from her whole ten minutes of being in the same room.
Andy was pulled from her thoughts as her uncle knocked on the bathroom door and informed her that they would be leaving soon and to get a shimmy on and to stop wasting all the hot water. She rolled her eyes at him but began rinsing the conditioner out of her hair.
It wasn't long before the teenager had put shape on herself, she didn't bother fully drying her hair. Her hair was so thick that it could take an hour to dry properly so she just made sure it wasn't dripping and tied it into a messy braid that hung to the side of her head. Makeup never took her long either. Foundation, blusher, mascara.
"BadaBing BadaBoom. Finished" she muttered to herself as she rose from the floor, putting her makeup away. Andy hadn't had time to ask where she was going so she just threw on a dark pair of boot cut jeans, her converse and a little navy tank top that made her waist look tiny and did the opposite for her chest. 'Never know who ya might see' she mumbled to herself, grabbing her leather jacket and heading out her bedroom door.
Andy appeared in the kitchen to the three men who had obviously been waiting, her jacket and handbag filling her hands. "Are you trying to catch a cold?" Mick asked, rising from his seat at the table, shaking his head at his niece and her choice of outfit but said nothing more as they all packed into her uncle's car.
Andy just watched out the passenger window as the trees and fields finally turn into houses and buildings but she still didn't know where they were headed. Connor and Kieran had given her the front seat and were sitting chatting animatedly about the night before. The fact that they both came home at around two in the morning, drunk and happy, gave Andy some hope of a night life in this town.
Mick finally came to a stop as the three men threw off their seatbelts and got out of the car. Andy looked around and it finally clicked with her where they were. At the local GAA grounds. Andy swiftly got out of the car and stared at her uncle, "And what exactly am I supposed to do here?" she asked calmly waving her arms at the building and the pitch behind her.
The red haired man scrunched his forehead in thought and coming up short, he finally looked to his two players for any ideas. "Is cheerleading an option?" Connor piped in with a wicked smile on his face as he winked at Andy. Not finding him amusing Mick stood squarely in front of the two boys and smiled wickedly. "Might not be a bad idea with what I have in store for you two today." With that he turned to the building and just started walking away.
Andy shook her head and smiled at her uncle before turning back to the boys as Connor raised an eyebrow, obviously waiting for a reply. The brunette smiled, clicking her fingers together "Oh shoot, I forgot to pack my pompoms." She deadpanned, turning then to follow her uncle.
The two other young men followed them in, as Connor flung an arm around his best friend and whispered that he wasn't joking about the cheerleading. Kieran laughed, half at his friend and half at the idea of her as a cheerleader.
Kieran had known that this training session was going to be grueling. Being hung-over and running laps didn't go well together, he wished Connor would have a bit of sense. He could have tried to minimise the torture but that man had no sense of self-preservation and now he had probably made things one hundred times worse.
"God, he is going to run us into the ground!" he laughed, as he could see their coach push angrily into the building. Connor smiled at his friend, knowing exactly what he had been thinking. "Just keeping things interesting." He chuckled as he lightly shouldered Kieran.
Andy walked quickly after her uncle, never quite catching up she followed him through door after door in what seemed to be a maze of a building. She called after him but he seemed to be ignoring her. "Mick, seriously? What am I going to do here?... Ah, OK naked!"
Andy had obviously followed her uncle into the changing room and it was full of around thirty men, hardly any of which were fully dressed. She quickly covered her eyes, blushing a little and muttered that she would wait outside. Turning quickly to make her exit she met an amused Kieran and Connor who swiftly separated and got out of the embarrassed teenagers way as she scurried out of the locker room.
Mick smiled a little at Andy's embarrassment but turned to his team and announced that his niece would be staying with him for a while and asked them to be nice to her but not too nice. He continued with a small pep talk ignoring Connor's snigger that Kieran had already given her a very warm welcome.
After Mick had finished his talk and left the room to let the men finish getting kitted out for training, Connor's older brother and fellow player joined the two late comers. "So fill me in. What happened?" he asked, slapping Kieran on the shoulder.
Connor, to Kieran's embarrassment, relayed the previous night's events to his brother and the others who were listening while Tommy just laughed and shook his head. "Getting restless already Kieran?" he asked laughing before following the rest of the team out of the locker room.
Mick found his niece sitting on the steps outside the building with a cigarette in her hand, her red cheeks only fading to their natural shade. "Sorry, should have warned you." he laughed, taking a seat beside her and explaining that she wouldn't always have to come to training with him but he didn't think she would want to sit in the house by herself all day.
He stood up when all the boys were exiting the locker room and asked her to give him a hand with balls and the like from the storage room. Andy looked up thankful for something to do as boredom was already setting in. Her uncle wasn't too bad, funny at times even when he wasn't trying to be. Andy thought that for the first time she might have an ally in a relative.
The seventeen year old watched the clouds start to darken as she lay on the dry concrete steps that led to the GAA pitch. She lay an even distance between the goals and her uncle who was yelling instructions to the entire team as they practiced.
Getting bored Andy pulled out her phone but with no waiting messages and no one to text or call she started to play a game. The concrete was hard and lumpy and obviously not meant for lying on.
Andy's back began to ache a half hour later and as she sat up stretching it in all directions she noticed the while ball flying straight towards her and in reflex she punched out and sent the ball flying to her left, her other hand on her chest in shock.
Connor watched as Kieran pulled Tommy back as he moved to retrieve the ball and muttered that he would get it. The brunette, rubbing her now red knuckles nodded as Kieran stopped in front of her after getting the ball.
"I could have done with a 'four' there." she said shaking the pain from her hand. The bleach blond shuffled the ball in his hands laughing that she put their goalie to shame. "Already make an enemy on the team, have I?" Andy joked, as Kieran then looked back at the team on the pitch and shook his head indicating the negative.
"Well, it's either I have an enemy or you're all shite." She said plainly, now watching the men on the field kicking at the goal posts which were a hundred meters away from her. "Well if they are my only two options… maybe you want to try smiling, might make you a few friends." He replied with a wide smile on his face showing straight white teeth. Obviously not a smoker or coffee drinker, Andy thought.
The small brunette lifted her head to look at him once again, a little annoyed at him for thinking that she needed help making friends but she plastered a smile on her lightly tanned face. "Better?" she asked before she let it slip from her again.
"Ha yeah. Look, um, sorry about last night. I was pissed and I shouldn't have jumped into bed with you like that-" he mumbled glancing to see if Mick had noticed his absence from the pitch.
Andy scrunched up her face at his words as she looked up at him. "..like that?..." She responded questioningly. "Next time, buy a girl some flowers." Andy mocked as she moved to lie down again.
"Ok, that came out wrong, you know what I mean." He said a little defensive, glancing around again to make sure Mick couldn't hear them. Andy rolled her eyes at the older man in front of her. "I'm messing with you" she stated plainly. "And anyway, I don't do blonds."
Kieran's jaw dropped. He stood staring at the teenager in front of him, waiting for a laugh or a wink, anything to say that she was again joking but she was just lying in front of him, her eyes on his and her face a picture of sincerity.
The blond swallowed the lump in his throat and nodded, finally realising that Andy was being serious. "Yeah, well, just so you know. Your smile a minute ago," Kieran waited for her to remember what she had just done before finishing. "… was about as natural as my hair."
With that Kieran turned his back on the teenager as she sat up, annoyed that he would make a comment about her like that. He didn't know her.
Angry that she didn't have time for a come-back, Andy's mouth hung open, trying still to think of one. She came up blank which annoyed her even more as she watched his tall muscular frame walk away from her.
Kieran turned quickly back to Andy who was staring after him and smirked at her realising her frustration. Before kicking the ball to a teammate, Kieran pointed to his eye and half shouted to her "Nice right hook by the way!"
Hi, thanks for the reviews! Made the writing go a hell of a lot faster! I really appreciate them so please please keep them coming!
Just a few random bits that some readers may not know.
1. Legal age to drink in Ireland is 18.
2. GAA - Gaelic Athletic Association
3. Gaelic is the national sport of Ireland. ( and is bloody brilliant!) Its kind of like soccer but they can handle the ball and there are soccer and rugby goal posts. I won't be doing any writing about the actual games because I would be shite at that so anything I say I will explain as much as I can! Also, Gaelic is an amateur sport so all the players have jobs or are in college etc.