tagRomanceThe Hiring Fair

The Hiring Fair

bysweeteuphoria©

A note from the author:

This story was inspired by a song of the same title.

Special kudos as always to michchick98, my editor; along with baddaddy42 for introducing that song to me.

To my readers, thanks for reading me, I hope you enjoy!

*

An early morning rap upon the door awakened Padraig from a sound sleep. "Ah bloody hell, who could it be at this ungodly hour? The roosters are still asleep for Christ sake." Sleepily, he shuffled to the door and opened it. It was then he remembered about the plans for the day. "Sorry Michael, I forgot. I 'll be ready in a moment though," Padraig said as he scurried from the room to dress himself for the fair. "Daniel kept me awake 'til the wee hours of the morn with his drunken gibberish, I hardly slept at all."

"If we're going to have any luck at all today, we best get a moving along," Michael said, slightly aggravated about the delay.

Padraig pulled his boots on and buttoned his shirt as they walked along the long dirt road to the grounds where the hiring fair was to be held. "I heard at the pub that there are supposed to be plenty of farmers as well as other's looking for help during this planting season. I hope I am chosen for a long, steady job," Michael said when he brushed the hair from his face and the sweat from his brow. "With the wife expectin' another little lad, I truly need the money."

"Yes, you and me, both. Daniel, that lazy bloke, is going to freeload from us as long as he is able. I can see it now," Padraig spouted.

A knapsack tucked neatly under their arm, easily identified the men and women seeking labor. Michael and Padraig picked up their pace when they rounded the bend and had seen the crowd. The sun beat down upon them as they mingled their way toward the front of the long line. Several rows of laborers filed in, awaiting the same; the hope for a job that would carry them through the planting and harvest season.

The hiring fair was an annual event in this small town in Ireland. Partially to celebrate the end of the winter months, but also for the farmers to find seasonal help to get them through the harvest months. The farmers would wander through the crowds in search of young healthy servants.

The cool breeze was a welcomed change from the baking heat on that spring day. The heat wasn't the only thing hot that day though. A woman in the next row caught Padraig's attention. He couldn't take his eyes off her. She's too beautiful to be standing out here in this heat. Perhaps if we get to the front at the same time I'll be lucky enough to have her as a neighbor.

A farmer with a cart half loaded walked into the crowd and as he tapped shoulders, the blokes and maids climbed into the cart. To Padraig's delight, the woman he had his eyes on was chosen to work at the same farm as he. The ride to the farm was quite noisy, although Padraig seemed speechless. His heart beat in his throat every time that woman smiled at him.

"Hey lad, what's the matter with you?" One man asked then laughed as another shouted out, "He looks like he's never seen a woman before, at least not this close anyhow." The workers on the cart busted out in laughter at Padraig's expense and he just settled in the hay, trying his best to ignore them and not show his frustrations to that one woman who had him so speechless.

As the cart slowed the men and woman readied themselves to greet the farmer and his family. Michael and Padraig hoped they would be put in the fields together. "Don't let those blokes intimidate you, my friend. They are just jealous that such a beautiful woman is looking at you instead of them. They'll get over it and move on as the days grow long, I guarantee it."

As the men and women jumped from the cart and brushed the hay from their clothing, the farmer's wife walked around in search of a young, healthy servant to assist with household chores. "What's your name miss?"

"Finola Kelly, ma'am."

"You'll do fine. Follow me and I'll show you to your living quarters."

Finola smiled sweetly at Padraig as she walked past. "I think she's got a liking for ya, my friend!" Michael whispered, his head bowed and a pat on Padraig's back.

"Hey, you two lads, come here," the farmer called out, pointing to Michael and Padraig. "You two seem young and healthy enough to handle hard labor. You will be in the fields. Go to that shed over there and unpack your things. We must get started immediately."

Mr. McGee was sell off, however not as wealthy as some, so the lodging for the men was an unused byre with wooden cots stacked in one corner. Hay was scattered about the floor, blankets were neatly piled on bags of seed in another corner and makeshift pillows were supplied as well. The roof was solid and the building was big enough to house all the men.

Padraig and Michael each took a cot, blanket and pillow then set up their bedding. They placed their knapsacks on the cots before heading back to the fields where the farmer told them to meet.

"Okay men, my name for those of you who don't know yet is Mr. McGee. You can just call me McGee. I will be your master for the next seven months. If you give me a hard days work I will give you good pay and three meals a day. If you have any dirty clothing you need laundered, the women will collect them each Thursday evening after supper. All meals will be served in the dining room. You are expected to clean up after yourselves and there will be no eating unless at meal time. If you have a medical emergency, you will be taken care of here on my land…."

The farmer continued with all the rules and expectations of his men while on the job and off. The men listened intently, except for Padraig, that is. Out of the corner of his eye he noticed Finola being shown around by the head maid. His eyes diverted from the fields to the back of the house and even from the distance he was away from her he could still see that warm smile, which had his heart beating furiously again, the same as it had while riding in the cart earlier that same day.

"So now, does anyone have any questions?" The men shook their heads. "Okay then, you two go over there and start at that end." The farmer ordered pointing to Michael and Padraig. "The rest of you follow me. I expect to have this field cleared in two weeks time."

Most of the men worked diligently with their hoes, shovels and scythes from sunrise to sunset that first week and by week's-end, they had the soil ready for the planting of the new crop of corn and potatoes. "I do thank God for this marvelous machinery. I remember doing all this by hand not that long ago," William said as he handed each man a bag of seed. "Padraig, come here lad," the farmer called out to him and he swung his tools over his shoulder.

"Yes, Sir, you called me?"

"Enough with the formalities, boy."

"Yes, Sir, er…McGee."

"I need for you to go work over by the edge of the field. I had to let some blokes go because they weren't productive enough. I've been watchin' ya son, and I'm very pleased with what I've seen so far. You're a good lad. Your father must be a proud man to have you as a son."

"I'll get right on it, McGee." Padraig waved to his friend and pointed to where he was headed yelling out, "I'll meet with you for supper," then continued on his way. Fortunately for Padraig, the area at which he was told to work had a perfect view of the master's house.

He'd seen Finola several times that very afternoon. Her duties had kept her indoors the majority of the time, but today, she had to carry water to the animals and then get them from the byre to the grazing field. She disappeared into the house after the last trip for water.

That woman sure is a treasure, he thought to himself. That night, Padraig's dreams were filled with visions of his treasure. He'd dreamt of her body. What she might look like without all that clothing. Her curves beneath his fingertips and the firmness of her breasts excited him in his state of rest. The gentle flair of her hips when he would see her from behind as she walked away, her long brown hair cascading down her back only added to the pleasure, the torment. Knowing full well that when he'd awaken, she would be out of his grasp once again.

Padraig envisioned her full lips pressed passionately against his in a heated kiss that neither expected. And these visions combined would carry him through the long hot nights.

Morning came all too soon and after a hearty breakfast, the men returned to the fields to plant the remaining crops. After all the seeds had been sewn, the farmer acknowledged their hard work and gave each man the afternoon off. "I am curious what he has for us to do for the next few weeks," Michael said as he curled up on his cot for a welcomed afternoon nap.

"I'm not certain, but I have seen that the byre needs a new roof and so does the house. I'm sure he has plenty of work for most if not all of us. Although I did see a few blokes leaving with pay in hand today. I doubt they will be back."

"Well, I am guessing that we are in good now, since there are only a few of us left. McGee will need all of us if he's to get the crops harvested in time before the first frost."

Padraig settled on his cot, closed his eyes and a smile crossed his lips, once again thinking of Finola.

This time, he was in the fields and she had brought him something cool to drink. It wasn't the usual water; which was abundantly supplied; instead, a tall cold glass of lemonade. "Please forgive me for it being so sour," she said quietly with a blush. "There wasn't enough sugar left. I have to go into town with the mistress and purchase more tomorrow."

In Padraig's mind it was the sweetest tasting drink he'd ever had, but it wasn't the lemonade he had tasted, it was Finola's lips, the encounter of her flesh against his tongue. He smiled in his sleep, but was abruptly awakened by the sound of the dinner bell and Michael tapping his shoulder.

"Are you going to come eat supper or just stay here with that silly smirk on your face?"

With a heavy sigh, knowing he had to leave his dreams behind, Padraig scooted off his cot and ran to join up with his friend. Now with so many workers gone there was plenty of room for everyone to sit and enjoy a hearty meal. To Padraig's delight, Finola was seated directly across from him this particular night.

The mealtime conversation covered everything from the workers' backgrounds, family and expectations to what lay ahead for them. Everyone had contributed to the conversations; that is, except Padraig. His heart beat in his throat each time he'd opened his mouth to speak. He didn't know why he was so nervous every time he was around Finola, but he couldn't get a word out. Some of the men began teasing him. Finally the farmer's wife stood and asked everyone to simply leave Padraig alone.

"When he's ready to speak, he will. Until then I will hear no more of this teasing. Is that understood?" She knew exactly why Padraig couldn't speak. The same thing happened to her husband the first time he'd seen her and again when he'd met her family.

Michael also knew what was the matter and didn't harass his friend either. He'd seen this particular behavior just last summer when a group of females stopped in town during their travels. Nothing happened, but Padraig was smitten with one of the girls from America, yet he knew it wouldn't last long because they were merely passing through.

"That was a mighty fine meal, ma'am," Michael offered as he stood to leave the table.

"Are you sure you've had enough? There's still plenty of stew in the pot and bread in the basket, not to mention the apple barley pudding Finola made special for tonight's supper."

Padraig nudged Michael before he could answer and he was unsure if he wanted him to stay or leave. Only he, Michael and Finola remained at the table. Michael returned to his seat and accepted one more bowl of the pudding. Finola served them both a generous portion then poured the heavy cream over the top before seating herself back at the table.

"This pudding is just like my mother's," Padraig managed to blurt out.

Finola was gracious with his utterance and thanked him, "I'm glad to see that you enjoyed it enough to have a second helping, Padraig." She wanted to learn more about him, but was hesitant to ask for fear that she'd embarrass him; so she quietly ate the rest of her pudding then watched as the men finished theirs. Padraig's heart beat wildly at the sweet sound of his name from Finola's lips.

Michael let a yawn escape him and excused himself from the table for the final time that night.

"Yes, I should be getting back to my sleeping quarters as well. Tomorrow promises to be another busy day," Padraig said quietly looking at Finola's hands as she cleared the table. He still couldn't look her directly in the eye and speak at the same time. He was definitely smitten with her, as she was with him.

The men excused themselves and returned to their byre for a good night's sleep.

"Mr. McGee informed me that we would be doing the work of a handyman until the crops sprout, so I am going to get some sleep. I suggest you do the same, my friend."

Michael left the house as soon as he'd said his final goodnight to Finola. He was settled in his cot and almost asleep by the time Padraig arrived, which was a good thing for Padraig. His young hormones were raging from his time spent with Finola and he was in need of release.

The heat of the night combined with the heat he'd felt when near his treasure caused a sudden film of perspiration on his aroused flesh. He walked to the byre where the cows were bedded and to the right was the well. He dropped the bucket into the hole and turned the crank, bringing up a fresh pail of clean, cold water, which he washed himself with.

Knowing everyone in the house was asleep, or at least not going to venture outside any longer, he felt safe to remove his clothing to wash up a bit before he retired for the night. The water cleared the film from the dirt and the perspiration as he poured it over his body.

He rubbed roughly over his chest, around his neck, shoulders and arms. The coolness of the water did nothing for his state of arousal and when his hand grazed his rigid cock he jumped. He knew he had to relieve the pressure that had built inside him. He finished washing then grabbed his clothing and jogged back to his byre. He set his dirty clothing beside his cot and grabbed his boxers.

Padraig slipped out behind the shelter, leaned against the worn wood panels as he grabbed his shaft once again. A quiet sigh escaped his mouth when he pictured Finola holding his member as he stroked it. He envisioned her lips around the tender head and his hands grasping her soft locks.

With these visions in his mind it didn't take him long to fulfill the urge. Padraig held back the loud grunts when his fluid let loose and when he'd finished, he slid the flaccid member back into his boxers. A smile raised the corners of his mouth with another vision of his treasure smiling her sweet smile as she licked her lips clean of his fluids. He returned to his cot, falling asleep immediately when his head hit the pillow.

Dawn came all to soon for each man and they sleepily rose from their cots to greet another morning when the breakfast bell rang loudly. Michael searched for Padraig in the byre after noticing his cot had been made.

"What's gotten you up so bloody early, my friend?" Michael asked, still wiping the sleep from his eyes as he stumbled from the byre.

"I've been up for a while already. I heard a loud noise before daybreak and thought someone might be tampering with the crops. But, to my delight it was only Finola chasing around a chicken that had escaped her clutches in her attempt to gather the eggs for breakfast. I couldn't bear watching her chase that bloody animal or return to the house empty handed, so I gave her a hand."

"It'll be a fine day, begorah! Providing we finish the roof before the night rain sets in." The farmer said when he greeted the workers as they filed in for the morning meal.

The moment Padraig saw Finola enter with the platter of eggs and bacon, the memory of his activity the previous night returned with a jolt. He felt the pressure build immediately. Slightly embarrassed, he quickly seated himself and ate silently then excused himself as soon as he cleared his plate. "If you will excuse me, there's work to be done." With that, he left the dining room and headed to the tool shed.

For the next two weeks the men, all given various jobs, repaired the roof of the house, byre and some things inside the house itself. The work was hard, sometimes tedious, but within the two weeks the farmer gave them to complete the work the men had done a fine job of that which the farmer requested. Padraig always chose the outside work because he knew he wouldn't be able to concentrate on his job with Finola so close.

At the end of the two weeks, the men were given a day off from labor and to rest up before returning to the crops. Another dream intensified Padraig's yearning for Finola. When that morning bell rang, indicating breakfast was being served, Padraig just couldn't help himself; as the crops grew, so did his envy toward the farmer.

He was envious that the farmer was able to have Finola so close whenever he needed a hand with something a female was good at. She was exceptional at mending socks and tattered overalls. Padraig knew that she was responsible for some of their meals and the woman of the house had been teaching her how to cook. He often daydreamed about what her other duties were that had kept her inside most of the day and she had always retired before him.

Finola was young, barely eighteen and had come to the fair alone for the first time in her life. She was quiet and reserved. Although she'd never flaunted herself to him, he knew she was gorgeous beneath her clothing; he could see her beauty each time he gazed in her eyes.

After breakfast the men were directed once again into the fields. "We need to get the crops back into shape again. The plentiful rain and abundant sunshine has fortified more than just the crops we planted." The farmer directed each man to a specific duty. Padraig's duty for the day was to go through each row of corn and pluck the unwanted plants and thin the crop of the struggling stalks. It was a tedious job, but Padraig was thankful to be left alone with his thoughts and daydreams of his treasure.

Padraig worked steadily in the hot sun. The corn wasn't tall enough to provide the shade he would have liked. When the lunch bell rang he returned to the byre with a basket full of unwanted plants. He dumped them into the pile for burning later in the season.

He placed the bucket back on the hook near the door before walking to the well. His shirt was soaked with perspiration from the heat of the golden rays from the morning sun, which beat down upon his back, not to mention the heat of his desire each time he had envisioned Finola.

Padraig removed his shirt just as Finola walked out of the house to fetch fresh drinking water for the thirsty men. She gasped at the sight of this virile young man, shirtless. His muscles toned, his flesh tanned. She hid behind the byre when she saw him move. She didn't want to startle him, but wished she had the nerve to walk up to him, wrap her arms around his trim waste and tell him exactly how she felt.

She too had visions of Padraig, but lacked the confidence to show him. She secretly wished he would approach her, yet was frightened that she would be a disappointment. While she waited for him to finish what he was doing she remained behind the byre, her legs spread slightly allowing the gentle breeze to cool the dampness between her thighs.

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