Mount lifts his chin and glances up. “You’re missing the good stuff.”
I look where he indicated. It’s a glass sign that reads:
This is the storehouse where, for almost a century the magic process of fermentation took place. Construction began in July 1902. Four years later, fermentation began and continued until 1988.
My curiosity about the black, white, and gold is pushed aside for a moment as the history of where I’m standing washes over me. It might not have a damn thing to do with whiskey, which is my passion, but my roots and their ties to the city feel stronger than ever.
Mount and I wander up each floor, reading the placards and listening to the holograms describe the history of Guinness. What impresses Mount the most is that Arthur Guinness had the foresight and confidence to sign a nine-thousand-year lease for the storehouse property.
“That took balls. Have to respect the man for that, if nothing else.”
“It was crazy! They must have thought he was insane,” I say.
Mount shakes his head. “Brilliant, more likely.”
After learning about how to properly build a pint and tasting a sample, we finally make it to the Gravity Bar, and I’m able to see the famous 360-degree view of Dublin beyond the glass. It’s surreal.
Mount positions himself behind me. He places his hands on either side of mine, resting on the tall table with the remains of our pints between us, protecting me from the jostling of the massive number of people crammed into the space.
“I can’t believe I’m actually here.” I turn my head to meet his gaze. “Thank you. I know this isn’t what you would’ve picked to do today, but it meant a lot to me.”
He doesn’t answer but his dark gaze pierces mine, making me wish I had another peek into this man’s head. He’s an enigma.
Mount’s palm slides against the small of my back once more before he replies. “Finish your pint. We’re not done with Dublin yet.”
I want her to kiss me. Right there in the bar, I want her to turn around and fucking kiss me of her own free will. When she doesn’t, I force down my disappointment and lead her down the stairs and out of the building, telling myself that at least she’ll never think of Guinness without remembering this trip. And me.
When we drive past the famous Saint James’s Gate as we leave the Liberties, Keira reaches over and grabs my arm.
“There it is! That’s it.”
It’s the shiny black-lacquered gate with the golden harp and Guinness name beneath it that I’ve seen in many an ad for the company, but Keira doesn’t care. She’s practically bouncing in her seat at experiencing it for herself, and her excitement is contagious.
I’ve been to Dublin before. It wasn’t pleasant business, but it had to be done. I couldn’t tell you a thing about the city after I left except it was gray and rainy, and the river looked an unhealthy shade of green.