backpack and threw an apple at me, which I caught with a deft hand.
catch,” he said, grinning.
flung the apple up into the air and caught it in my other hand. “I played third
base. Little League.”
seen a game myself.”
gaped at Finn. “You mean you live in Chicago, and you’ve never been to a Cubs
shrugged. “Not interested.” Finn’s eyes lit up, and he shoved me playfully with
his shoulder. “Now hurling. That’s a
“Well, they’re totally
different. That’s not even a fair comparison,” I said with a sniff.
“Fair enough,” Finn said,
wistful. “Really, nothing can compare
laughed. “Moiré tried to explain the rules to me once, but she lost me after
it’s simple, really.” Finn jumped down and rummaged around the rubble until he
found a large branch. He swung it, the stick cutting through the air, slowly at
first, but then with more force. Finn’s chest muscles rippled between the flaps
of his leather jacket, and my blood pulsed in my ears at the sight of him,
dancing from foot to foot as he practiced his swing.
the point of hurling,” Finn began, “is to use this stick, the hurley stick.” He
raised the old branch in the air. “To get a little ball called a sliotar either over or under your
opponent’s goalpost.” Finn picked up a handful of small rocks and, using his
“hurley,” sent a pebble whizzing over the stone wall, inches from my head.
smiled up at me. “You with me so far?”
Finn said. “If the ball flies under the goalpost into the net, it’s worth three
points.” Finn sent another pebble skittering against the wall, right next to my
boot. “But you have to get it past the keeper, and that can be a challenge.”
His eyes glittered at me as he swung his stick again. He threw a rock up in the
air and with a loud thwack sent it
zooming over the wall. I held out my hand and caught the stone, the look on
Finn’s face making up for the sting of impact.
he’s out!” I cried, jumping off the wall and doing a mock victory dance. “Cubs
win! Cubs win! Wooooooooooooo!”
stalked over to me and grabbed my fist. “Will you settle down!” he said,
attempting to pry the pebble from my grip. “I’m trying to teach you a
three-thousand-year-old art form and you’re nattering on about the fecking
giggled, snatching his hurley stick from his hands.
foul!” Finn barked behind me, but I sprinted away, swinging the hurley over my
head as I climbed the wall.
back here, you brat!” Finn bolted after me so quickly, he lost his footing on
the stone wall and tumbled to the ground.
I laughed as he came to his feet, his hair loose, chasing me.
made a snatch for the stick, but I feigned to the right.
“Tanner’s up to bat.”I climbed a set of old stairs to nowhere and tossed up
the stone. I popped out my hips and, following through on the turn, sent the
stone flying over the hill and down the cliffs below. I jumped down, swinging
my baseball/hurley bat. “Homerun by Tanner! And the Cubs win the pennant!”
smacked into me, and I collapsed to the ground, his wide body over mine as he
grasped for the stick.
O’Connell!” I gasped beneath Finn, his whole weight crushing my chest. “Now I know
for a fact hurling is not a contact
sport!” I laughed as I squirmed to get away, holding out the stick just beyond
With a devilish grin, Finn
tickled my armpit, and I curled up in a fit of giggles. He made a grab for my
wrist, pinning me to the ground, and his gray eyes danced as he looked down at
me. My laughter faded, and running my other hand through his hair, I pulled his
face to mine. He kissed me, a low moan rumbling deep in his throat.
nipped my bottom lip with his teeth, and my back arched as our hips melded
together, my better judgment forgotten. He slid his arm beneath my shoulders
and pulled me close against him, kissing me long and hard, and I gasped,
gulping for air as he lowered his mouth to my neck.