Her Irish Surrender
her out of her thoughts.  She didn’t want to start imagining what Lorcan would do when he saw her working behind the counter.  He was out helping his friend Finn again today, and wouldn’t be home until late afternoon.  With any luck, she will have finished her work by then, and be back safe and sound at Upton’s Boarding House.
    But Adaline had no such luck.
    “ Maither, what’s this?” Lorcan asked as he invaded their corner. He stared at her, his eyes wide, as if seeing her for the first time.
    Adaline swallowed, feeling the same way he looked. “Good morning, Mr. Brody,” she told him.
    He stood and continued to stare, before he pulled his cap from his head. “Good morning. I … I didn’t expect to see you.”
    She looked away for a second, then turned back to face him. “Surprise.”
    A hint of a smile tugged at his mouth, then was gone. “Aye,” he said. “I best be about purchasing tickets to get you home.”
    “You’ll do no such thing,” his mother admonished. “Miss Dermont is staying.”
    Lorcan’s eyes fixated on her, and Adaline tried not to squirm under his scrutiny. “What was that?”
    “You heard me, she’s staying.”
    “But, how will she live?  What will she do?”
    “It may interest you to know, Mr. Brody,” Adaline began with a smile, “that I’ve already found employment.”
    “What?” he croaked. “How did you …” he looked to his mother, his eyes wider than before. “ Maither? ”
    “She’ll start immediately. In fact, she’ll start right now.”  Mrs. Brody stood. “Come Miss Dermont, I’ll show you where we keep everything.”
    “But Maither …”
    “Don’t you but Maither me, Lorcan Brody. I’ve made up my mind!”
    “We don’t need the extra help …”
    “We do if I say so, and today, I’m saying so.”
    Lorcan slapped his face with hand and held it there. “Saints woman, what are you trying to do?”
    Mrs. Brody walked over so she could look up at him. “My job.” She shoved past him with Adaline on her heels, and headed for counter at the front of the shop.
    A daline couldn’t help but look at him as she passed, and gave him a small nod. He watched her go and swallowed hard. “What is that supposed to mean, your job ?” he called after them, his face a mask of confusion.
    Adaline peeked over her shoulder at him, and shrugged. She had no idea what Mrs. Brody meant either, but was glad the woman said it.  The look her words put on Lorcan Brody’s face, was priceless. 
     

 
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Four
     
    Several days passed before Adaline saw Lorcan again. He avoided her by leaving the shop early to help the Mullanys, and came home after she was gone.  But today was different as Mrs. Brody mentioned Finn’s family no longer needed the extra help, and Lorcan would be working in the shop today.
    “He’ll be down any minute,” Mrs. Brody whispered as if it were some great secret.  She finished putting fresh baked cookies into the display case and stood. “I’d best go make another batch , these will be gone within the hour.”
    Adaline nodded as the bell above the doo r rang.  Men came into the bookshop early to buy the treats and take them to work to munch on.  Mrs. Brody’s baking was more popular than the local bakery down the street.
    “Good morning, Miss Dermont,” a voice called. 
    She looked up, Mr. and Mrs. Van Cleet were coming toward the counter. “Good morning, what brings you here?”
    “Mrs. Brody’s cookies of course,” Mr. Van Cleet told her. “That and Polly fancies a book about Scotland. Do you have any?”
    “Oh, I’m not very familiar with the entire inventory yet, but I know where I can look,” Adaline said as she came out from behind the counter. They followed her toward the back of the store to a low shelf.  “Let me see, yes, here’s something.” She pulled the book out and handed it to Mrs. Van Cleet.
    She took it and smiled, then glanced at her husband. “Do you thin k

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