Ellie and her sister Maria are in Murphy's pub in Clifden. Maria is sure she's seen a famous TV actor in the pub, but Ellie isn't sure it's him.
Ellie glanced at her watch. “It’s time we headed back to work. We still have three million things to do, and the Fire Safety Inspector is coming at two o’clock.”
She stood, pulled her black jacket from the back of her chair, and stretched her arm into one sleeve.
“Ellie!” came Maria’s warning cry.
She turned just in time to see the dark-haired man duck out of the way of her arm and spill some of his beer in the process.
“Oh! I’m so sorry!” she gasped.
He flicked his hand down his thigh to brush away the beer splashes. “No harm done, my trousers will dry.”
As she looked up at him, a dozen confused thoughts crashed through her mind. Yes, he was definitely Dan Nicholas, and yes, he had the darkest eyes she had ever seen, and yes, the deep, rich timbre of his Irish voice left her lungs short of oxygen.
“I-I’m so sorry,” she stuttered again.
He put his glass on the nearby table where he and the other man had obviously been heading, and smiled. “Let me help you with this.”
She only remembered to start breathing again once she slid her arms into her jacket, and turned to him. “Thank you.”
A fire of embarrassment heated her cheeks. “Sorry again about spilling your beer. I hope your trousers won’t be stained.” She glanced down at the wet patch on his thigh, but wished she hadn’t when she looked up to see the slight twitch of his mouth and the amusement twinkling in his eyes. Struggling to salvage a few shreds of dignity, she mustered what she hoped was a calm and collected smile. “Well – goodbye.”
Outside the pub door, she stopped and blew out a huff of annoyance. “Jaysus, how to make a complete fool of yourself in ten seconds flat.”
Maria giggled. “It’s not every day you cause a star of stage and screen to slop beer down his trousers, is it?”
“First and last time, I hope.”
It isn't the last time. Next time, it will be coffee ...