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Wrangler Scorpio

Joined: 21 Aug 2010

PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 5:36 pm
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BAHAHAHAHAHA! Guy on Guy action... 'sif!

Maybe you could be the worm that steals the players girl? Wink haha

C'mon Mel... the suspense is killing me!

****Now i've never had a type 'cause i know what i like some variety now and then... Bad Boys, Good Guys, Tattoo's, Black Ties... Always up for anything!****
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Joined: 28 Aug 2007

PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:55 pm
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sorry guys, I haven't written any more since last I posted cos I've been just a little bit busy with kids at home on holidays doin' stuff and what with the Granny and all... lol. Plus I've had family down from QLD. I will try and get a few more chapters down now the kids are back at school. As for the guy on guy action, Dave, who with? LOL my brother's got a man-crush on Darren Jolly. Guess we've got more in common than just our genes! Although I'm kinda liking Leigh Brown's form at the moment. Any objections to writing Leroy in?
A Pie for Life.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 2:01 pm
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Chapter Seven

Holly woke up the next day wondering if it had all been one long, incredibly vivid, incredibly wonderful dream. She stared up at the ceiling and smiled as she thought about the way his full, kissable lips had felt against hers. How his kiss had her entire body buzzing, and it hadn’t stopped until long after he’d left. The taste of him – pizza mixed with Coke mixed with a tinge of blood left over from the accident on the field – lingered on her lips. That was how she knew she hadn’t dreamed it all.
Holly closed her eyes and tried to go back there, at least in her mind, but her alarm went off, reminding her that there were more pressing issues at hand.
‘Oh crap’ she said, slapping her forehead. She had to go pick up her mother from the airport in a couple of hours. Jumping up out of bed, she grabbed her jeans and a random top, and headed for the bathroom, but was waylaid by Tori.
‘How was last night? Although judging by the ear-splitting grin on your face, I shouldn’t have to ask’.
‘Better than expected’ Holly admitted. ‘I’m meeting him for coffee after training tomorrow’.
‘Good for you’ Tori said. ‘I just wish I could snare me a Travis Cloke that easily! I heard a rumour he’s got a girlfriend’. She pouted. ‘That would be just typical! Hey… you wouldn’t… be able to find out if there’s any truth to it, would you?’
Holly raised an eyebrow. ‘What… you want me to ask Darren?’
‘Yeah. Don’t tell him I want to know…’
‘Oh, no I’ll just casually ask him whether Travis has got a girlfriend and he’ll wonder why I want to know! How about I don’t tell him which one of you wants to know?’
Tori chuckled. ‘You’re gonna let him think it might be Steph?’
Holly frowned. ‘What’s wrong with that? You know, you’re too hard on her, sometimes. She can’t help being who she is’.
‘Yes she can! She can stop eating so bloody much, for one thing! Christ, if I ate as much as her in one day my stomach would split’.
‘She doesn’t eat that much’ Holly corrected. ‘Okay… she’s got a big appetite but it’s not like she doesn’t know when to stop’.
‘True’ said Tori. ‘I don’t know why, but lately, she’s just been bugging the crap out of me. So if I seem bitchy, that’s why’.
‘I know why’ said Holly, suddenly. She glanced over at Steph’s bedroom door. It was still shut tight, but that was no guarantee she wasn’t listening. ‘You hate the way she lies about stuff. I do too. But what can we do about it?’
‘We can catch her out in a lie’ Tori suggested. ‘It’s not as if she goes to any great lengths to cover her tracks’.
‘That’s what gets me’ Holly agreed. ‘She lied about putting money on the phone bill the other day. I checked the bill. There’s been no extra money put on it’.
‘Exactly’ Tori said. ‘Why would she lie about something dumb like that? Does she think we’re idiots, or something? Like we can’t add up? I know how much I’ve put on the bill’.
‘So do I’ said Holly, thoughtfully. ‘We’ll have to talk to her about it, though. We can’t go on like this. I say we call a house meeting’.
‘Good idea’ Tori agreed, then glanced at the clock. ‘Shit. Got to go. Oh hey, didn’t you have to pick up your mum from the airport?’
‘Yep… gotta go!’ Holly replied, and rushed out the door.

Maria was wiping down the massage tables when Dids and Heath Shaw wandered in after training on Monday morning.
‘Hi, Maria’ the boys said, simultaneously, and she gave them a nonchalant wave, but inside, felt anything but. Why couldn’t she stop thinking about Alan Didak? It wasn’t as if he was available, or even interested in her. Oh, here he goes again, she thought, as she spotted him ripping his training top off. It’s as if he enjoys torturing me! God I hope I don’t look as desperate as I feel!
She snuck glances at the team mates as they joked around about something that had happened out on the training track. Heath Shaw was a bit of a cutie too, but not in Alan’s league, at least, not as far as Maria was concerned.
‘I’m gonna go and jump in the ice baths for a bit’ Heath told Alan, and in a fairly good Arnold Schwarzenegger impression, added, ‘I’ll be back’.
‘So… how’s it going?’ Dids asked her, the second they were alone.
‘How’s what going?’
‘I don’t know. Life. Whatever’.
She managed a half smile as he laid face down on the massage table. ‘Not too bad. What about you?’
‘Cool’ he replied, resting his cheek on his folded hands. Maria started kneading the muscles in his shoulders, trying to ignore the way her stomach was churning. As she worked her way down his back, the butterflies intensified. The feel of his muscles under his skin, which was warmed by the sun and strenuous activity, was a total turn on. Get a grip, she told herself. You’re acting like some man-starved cougar!
When she got to his lower back, Maria was a mess of jangled nerves. If she didn’t stop now, her hands would start shaking and he’d know something was up.
‘Um… I have to duck out for a second’ she told him. ‘Back in a tic’.
‘That’s okay’ he murmured. ‘I’m nearly asleep, anyway’.
Sighing with relief the minute she turned the corner, she bumped straight into Heath Shaw, who was wrapped in a towel and dripping ice cold water everywhere.
‘That was a quick dip’ she observed, anxious to pull the focus away from herself.
He grinned. ‘Yeah… got a bit crowded in there, so I bailed. There’s something not quite right about eight guys crammed in a spa with a tonne of ice. Plus, Dane Swan was wearing Speedos. I got more of a look at his ink than I ever wanted to’. He shuddered. ‘Not to mention other parts. Hasn’t he ever seen that broadies over budgies ad?’
Maria laughed. ‘He must be pretty confident within himself, taking a dip in a pool of ice wearing Speedos!’
‘Mate, even horses would shrink in those temperatures’ Heath said, wrapping the towel around his shoulders more securely. ‘Hey… where are you going? Thought you were giving Dids a rubdown?’
‘I am. I’ll be right back’ Maria replied, thinking, did you have to remind me?! I was just recovering from that!
‘You don’t mind doing me as well do you?’
‘That’s my job’.
As he plodded around her toward the change rooms, leaving wet footprints in his wake, Maria sighed. So why don’t I feel very professional?

Darren’s black eyes were receding and the swelling on the bridge of his nose had gone down since she last saw him, but Holly barely noticed. They were going into town after training for a cup of coffee and a light lunch, and she’d been looking forward to seeing him since he’d left late Saturday night. He was all she could think of – how he’d let her sit in his lap and press herself against him as they kissed. This morning, he pecked her cheek almost as if she were a relative down from Queensland instead of…. A possible girlfriend? What was she to him? Was it too early to ask?
Twice while walking down Swan Street his mobile buzzed in his back pocket; and he took it out, frowned at the message, deleted it then put the phone away.
‘Go ahead and answer it if it’s important’ she told him.
‘Nah’ he said. ‘I’ll deal with that later’.
Deal with what? Holly wanted to ask. ‘Okay’ she replied, instead.
‘It’s just that… its boring footy stuff’ he explained. ‘You wouldn’t be interested’.
‘You don’t know that’ Holly informed him. ‘And it’s your job. I wouldn’t want to get in the way of that’.
‘It’s just a leadership meeting… I totally forgot about it. It’s in about a hour, so we can’t be too long. Sorry about that’.
‘No, that’s cool’ Holly replied. ‘Lunch is fine. And maybe we could get together later, like… at your place this time?’
Darren bit his lip. ‘Um… my place is still a bit of a mess…’
‘Darren – why don’t you want me to see your place?’ Holly blurted. ‘It’s like… I don’t know… you’ve got something to hide’.
He stopped in the middle of the footpath. ‘That’s because I kind of have. I mean… well, not really, but…’ He sighed. ‘I’ve been keeping something from you, Holly. I shouldn’t have, but…’
Holly stared up at him. ‘Something like what? Oh god… you’re married, aren’t you? I knew it’. She fought to keep her composure. ‘I am such an idiot!’
‘Well, actually’ he said, wincing, ‘Yes. I am. But… before you re-break my nose for me… we’re separated. I just… wanted to see how things went with us before I told you. I should have just come clean about it to begin with’.
‘Yes, you should’ Holly agreed, feeling some of her anger and disappointment melt away. ‘But why were you trying to stop me from visiting your house?’
‘Because I um… I still live with her… my ex… we’re in different rooms, but we decided to keep it amicable. For the kids’.
Holly’s eyes widened. ‘The kids? Let me get this straight – you’re married, and you didn’t bother to tell me; she had your children, and you didn’t think that was important enough to fill me in on either… and you’re still living in the same house as her?!’
‘I know’ he said, lamely. ‘I just… when I met you, I really liked you. I couldn’t tell you ‘cause I thought you’d run a mile’.
Holly gaped up at him. ‘Of course I would! Fair enough if you’d moved out, that would be a step toward divorce, but you’re still living with her! What happens if she wants to work things out? Where does that leave me?’
‘I know… It was stupid of me. But she’s seeing someone else… at least, I think she is’.
‘That’s no excuse, Darren’ Holly tried to keep her voice from rising. She didn’t want to sound like one of those women who scream at their significant others in public. But she was so close to tears it was hard to remain calm.
‘I know, Holly, and I’m sorry’. He really did look contrite. Holly bit her lip so hard it almost bled. She knew she should walk away from this. It was a disaster waiting to happen. What was to stop his ex-wife from trying to put her family back together? She certainly had more of a claim on Darren than Holly did. Not to mention history… and kids!
‘I’m sorry, too’ Holly managed to choke. ‘I have to think about this. Alone’. She started to walk away, and when his hand fell on her arm, she brushed it off angrily.
‘Holly’ he called, in vain. She wasn’t listening. She was too busy crying.

Chapter Eight

Steph was gagging to see how her little plan worked, and she knew Tori was going to watch the Pies train on Monday morning, so she waited until both flatmates were out of the house then slipped out, herself. With any luck there would have already been fallout from the letter in Travis’s bag, and if not, at the very least he would have found it and wondered who this psycho bird Tori is, who was having erotic delusions about having slept with him, and trying to get him in trouble with his girlfriend. When he learned her name was Tori, he’d want nothing to do with her. I’m such a genius, she thought, stifling a grin as she approached the Pie’s training ground. There were only a few players milling about, as it was almost one o’clock by the time the tram dropped Steph off at her destination, but she saw Tori talking to a couple of supporters a fair distance away, and watching Travis Cloke, Brent Macaffer and Sharrod Wellingham jog around the boundary. Ah, Steph thought. Here’s my chance!
Waiting until the small group of players reached earshot, Steph hurried over to Tori and called out her name, not once, but three times. Travis’s head turned automatically. But instead of just glaring at Tori, he headed right for her!
‘Are one of you girls Tori?’ He asked, arriving at the trio of stunned supporters seconds before Steph did.
Tori nodded. ‘Yes. I was here last week. You signed my jumper’.
He glowered at her, and to Steph’s private horror, shook the letter she’d written, (on Tori’s stationery, no less) at her housemate!
‘My girlfriend found this in my bag! She thinks I’m cheating on her! Thanks to you, she broke up with me last night! She wouldn’t even believe that I didn’t even know a Tori!’
Tori, for her part, was speechless. This was worse than her worst nightmare! What the hell? She hadn’t written any letter, and yet, that was her stationery, wasn’t it? A second later, it dawned on her.
‘I didn’t write that letter’ she told Travis, trying to keep the shakes out of her voice. He looked so mad; she wouldn’t have been surprised if he threatened her with a restraining order. ‘But I think I know who did’.
She turned to look at Steph, who had just reached the group, and Steph didn’t need to be a psychology student to decipher the look on her face. Travis and the two girls Tori had been chatting to, followed Tori’s gaze. Steph felt about two feet tall, but pretended she had no idea what they were staring at her about.
‘Oh there you are’ she said, feigning relief. ‘So glad you told me you were coming here. I headed up the shops then realised I’d locked myself out of the house’.
Tori’s expression didn’t change, one bit. If anything, her eyes got narrower. ‘Don’t lie to me, Steph. Just stop lying, altogether’.
Steph blinked. ‘What are you talking about?’
‘Travis here says his girlfriend found a letter from me in your bag! I don’t know what it says – how could I, I didn’t write it – but it must have been bad, because she broke up with him! Tell him it wasn’t me, Steph! Or I’ll vote at the next house meeting to have you evicted. Then you’ll be out on your fat, lying arse’.
Steph took another tack. ‘Forcing me to confess doesn’t prove anything’.
‘You wouldn’t have anything to confess if you didn’t do it’ Travis pointed out. ‘Did you?’
Steph felt tears prickle the corner of her eyes. Four people – three of them practically strangers to her, and one her supposed friend – were glaring at her like she’d just said something totally unPC.
‘Okay, okay’ she said, finally breaking down. ‘I did it! All right?’
‘But Steph… why?’ Tori asked, looking confused and hurt. ‘Forget me, why would you do that to Travis? He hasn’t done anything to you! Now you’ve wrecked his relationship’.
Travis looked sheepish. ‘Actually, that’s not entirely true. I have been neglecting her a bit. Been totally focussed on my footy; and trying to fix my goal-kicking. We want a premiership so bad this year; it’s the only thing most of us have been thinking about. It’s no wonder she thinks I’m preoccupied… I am. Just not with another girl’.
Tori felt her heart slump at the admission. So he obviously still cares about her, whoever she is. Lucky girl!
Travis turned to Tori, and held out his hand – the one not holding the letter. ‘Look, I’m sorry I yelled at you’ he said. ‘I was just so angry. We get some weird fans sometimes… but that was just malicious. Or completely deranged. Not sure which is worse, actually’.
‘Can I read the letter?’ Tori asked.
He passed it to her, and she tried to ignore the way his brief touch made her feel. He obviously had a pretty steady girlfriend, and wanted to sort things out with her. She shouldn’t stand in the way of that. Crazy to even think she could.
Reading it, Tori shook her head, and turned to stare at Steph again, but Steph, despite saying she’d locked herself out of the house, (although that was probably another one of her lies) was nowhere to be seen.
‘She took off’ one of the onlooker said. ‘Crying. So she should; meddling cow’.
‘Don’t be too hard on her’ Tori said. ‘I think I know why she did it. I told Dale Thomas she had a crush on him. It embarrassed her pretty bad. But I didn’t mean to. It just slipped out’.
‘Wow’ said the second girl. ‘Harsh’.
‘I know’.
‘No, I mean, going to all this trouble to make Travis hate you’.
‘I don’t hate you, by the way’ Travis interjected. ‘And I’m not just saying that because I need your help’.
‘Huh?’ she stared up at the Pie’s giant centre half forward, puzzled. ‘You need my help?’
‘To get Bethany back. You have to meet with her… tell her we’re not fooling around behind her back. Explain the whole thing. Please? It would really mean a lot to me’.
Is he serious? Tori thought. He wants me to help him get his girlfriend back? He must know Steph wouldn’t have involved him if I didn’t like him. It was all a ploy to embarrass me like she’d been embarrassed, only her plot had more victims, in the end.
‘Okay’ Tori found herself saying. ‘I’ll tell her’.
The relief in Travis Cloke’s face was immediate. ‘Oh, thank you! You’re a lifesaver’.
Blushing, Tori shrugged. ‘I’m not promising she’s gonna believe me, but I’ll tell her the truth. The whole truth’.
Before she could draw another breath, Travis had thrown his arms around her and was giving her a bear hug.
‘I’ll set it up’ he said. ‘If you don’t mind, I’d rather you meet her in person than do it over the phone. She might think I just got one of my team mate’s girlfriends to lie for me, otherwise’.
‘I don’t mind’ Tori said, then added, ‘Uh… oxygen becoming an issue’.
He let her go, but she almost wished he hadn’t, despite not being able to breathe. That’s likely as close as you’ll ever get to him, Tor, she thought to herself, wistfully. Better get used to it. You ain’t never gonna tap that ass!

Steph was still wiping tears from her cheeks when she walked into a brick wall. Looking up, she realised it wasn’t a brick wall, it was just Leigh Brown, Collingwood’s Mr Fixit, utility-man, and general flag-flier for the put-upon (off field as well as on). The first thing she gauged about him was how bright his blue eyes were. And god, was he tall! Not quite as tall as Holly’s latest man, Darren Jolly, but close enough. Steph liked ‘em tall!
‘What’s the matter?’ he asked her. ‘Why are you crying?’
‘I’m a terrible person’ she blurted. ‘My friend humiliated me, so I thought I’d get her back, and it’s exploded in my face’.
He raised an eyebrow. ‘I’m sure you’re not a terrible person. Hey, I’m Leigh. My team mates call me Leroy. What’s your name?’
‘Stephanie, but everyone just calls me Steph’ she replied, wiping away tears with the heel of her hand. He pulled a hanky from his tracksuit pants. It was neatly folded, so it was a pretty safe bet it was clean. ‘I haven’t used it yet, I promise’ he said, passing it to her. ‘Keep it. I’ve got heaps’.
‘Prepared for anything, huh?’ she joked.
‘Yep. I was a Boy Scout once’ he kidded back. ‘Actually, I carry one of those around so I can give it to the next damsel in distress I see. And that’s you’.
Steph felt an odd flutter in the pit of her stomach. Is he flirting with me? No…. surely not! I mean… I’m me. Football players don’t go for girls who make Bridget Jones look like Rebecca Twigley!
‘You’re sweet’ she told him. ‘But I’m not a damsel in distress. I’m a life-ruiner’.
‘I’m sure whatever you did, isn’t that bad’.
‘I don’t know about that’ Steph replied. ‘I think I just broke up Travis Cloke and his girlfriend’.
She glanced up at him, but he didn’t look shocked or disgusted, just… well, kind of amused!
‘How did you manage that?’
‘I’m not sure I should tell you. You’ll probably think I’m a total cow’.
‘Oh I doubt that. I’m pretty easy-going’.
Pretty easy on the eyes, too, Steph thought but didn’t say! Instead she went for a more subtle form of flattery. ‘But you’re a nice guy, and you probably don’t like injustice, either. I planned on hurting one person and hurt three, instead’.
‘Four’ Leigh pointed out. ‘You’re crying. Shows that you’ve got a conscience, at least’.
‘Or maybe I’m just crying because I got caught, did you think of that?’
He laughed, and she liked his dimples and the way he put a consoling arm over her shoulder. ‘You’re really determined to beat yourself up over this, aren’t you?’
Steph nodded. ‘I deserve it’.
‘Well… I don’t know about that, but why don’t you tell me what you did, over a cup of coffee?’
Steph blinked, and looked up at him. ‘Coffee… with you?’
He shrugged. ‘Why not?’
It’s a pity date, she told herself. Shut up, it’s not even a date; he’s just hanging to find out what I did! Still, it’s an opportunity to sit across from him and stare into those blue eyes some more. Got to be worth the humiliation of telling my sordid story!
‘Okay’ Steph decided. ‘Coffee, it is’.

Coming up…

Will Tori help Travis get his girlfriend back?
Will Holly forgive Darren?
And is there romance in the air between Steph and big, bad Leroy Brown?

A Pie for Life.
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Wrangler Scorpio

Joined: 21 Aug 2010

PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:13 pm
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more? haha
****Now i've never had a type 'cause i know what i like some variety now and then... Bad Boys, Good Guys, Tattoo's, Black Ties... Always up for anything!****
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Wrangler Scorpio

Joined: 21 Aug 2010

PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 7:10 pm
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haha halt everything and give us what we want or we'll hold Jols to randsome =)
****Now i've never had a type 'cause i know what i like some variety now and then... Bad Boys, Good Guys, Tattoo's, Black Ties... Always up for anything!****
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Joined: 28 Aug 2007

PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:45 pm
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I think his wife might have something to say about that, lol...

Okay okay, here it is!

Chapter Nine

‘So… that’s it. That’s everything’.
Steph had spent the past ten minutes staring down into her cup of coffee while she told Leigh her shameful story, instead of gazing into his eyes like she’d wanted to. It was all too much, and as if he’d be interested in her that way, anyway! Especially now you’ve shown him what you’re really capable of, that inner voice reminded her. What guy would want to be involved with a slag like you?
‘I swear I didn’t mean to hurt anybody… not really. I honestly didn’t think his girlfriend would see the note. I thought he’d find it and think, ugh, who’s this Tori person, and think she had a screw loose, or something. But it’s all just been blown right out of proportion’.
‘Sounds like it’ Leigh mused.
‘You probably think I’m a total cow now, right?’
He blinked. ‘No. But I fail to see where I fit into things. I thought I was just a shoulder to cry on’.
Steph bit her lip. He was right. He’d never given her any indication that he was going to get involved in any way, other than to just listen. Why was it so important to her what he thought of her? She found the courage to look him in the face and found an open, friendly expression instead of the confusion or annoyance she expected.
‘You really want to know what I think about all this?’ he asked.
She nodded. Yes, she thought. Desperately!
‘I think the first thing you should do is apologise to your flat mate. You have to share a house with her. Smooth things over’.
‘If I can’ Steph said, bitterly. ‘What if I’ve stuffed everything up?’
Leigh shrugged. ‘I don’t know. But if she’s any kind of real friend, she’ll see what she did to you was pretty ordinary as well, and she’ll forgive you’.
‘I hope so’ Steph sighed. ‘Otherwise, I’m going to be looking for a place to live, and rent in Melbourne is ridiculous’.
‘Well, I can’t help you there… I wish I could, but I’m in a share house with a couple of my team mates at the moment’.
Steph gasped. ‘Oh… No… I wasn’t expecting… I…’
Leigh laughed. ‘It’s all right! I’m pulling your chain! I know you weren’t expecting me to come to the rescue with somewhere to live!’ He scratched the back of his neck, and looked sheepish. ‘It’s just my sense of humour. Sorry about that’.
Steph felt embarrassed that she’d even brought up the subject. Had she sounded like a total moocher, or what?!
‘Don’t worry about it’ he said, with a smile that brought out his dimples and the blue in his eyes.
‘I’m not’.
‘It’s just that you looked totally mortified just then. It was a bad joke. Sometimes I run off at the mouth before I think about what I’m saying…’
‘Forget it’ Steph said. ‘Well… thanks for listening, anyway. I really appreciate it. I hope I haven’t kept you from doing anything important…’
He laughed. ‘There you go, still apologising for yourself… Stop it! The only apologising you should be doing is to your flat mate, Tori. As far as I’m concerned, I should be thanking you’.
Steph frowned, puzzled. ‘For what?’
‘For an interesting afternoon – or rather, part of an afternoon! I’d probably be at home playing Halo right now, otherwise’.
That got a smile out of Steph. ‘So I got you out of the house, huh? Guess I’m good for something’.
‘I’m sure you’re good for lots of things’ he said; then blushed. ‘I mean…’
Steph giggled. ‘Now who’s apologising for himself?’
As they strolled outside the café and headed back toward the Westpac Centre, he turned to her, and stopped her in her tracks. ‘Well… this might sound really weird, because of the circumstances, but I had a good time today. I hope you get everything sorted out, I really do’.
‘Thanks’ said Steph, suddenly feeling shy under the constant scrutiny of those blue eyes of his. ‘And thanks for listening’.
‘It was my pleasure’. He held out a hand, and she took it, expecting him to shake it, then turn away and be done with her, like most men in her life had, and probably would, in the future. But instead he lifted her hand to his lips and kissed the back of it like a gentleman from another age.
‘See you later, Steph – hopefully not too much later’.
Steph watched him go with a wistful sigh. Wow, she thought. As Gran would say, they broke the mould when they made him!

Chapter Ten

Travis pulled up beside a block of flats in a nice, leafy street in Brunswick. ‘God, I hope this works’ he said, aloud. ‘Thanks so much for doing this, by the way. Even if she still hates my guts, this is still pretty good of you’.
‘Hell, it’s my mess, isn’t it?’ Tori shrugged. ‘Well – mine by association. If I hadn’t opened my big mouth and embarrassed Steph in front of her crush… uh, I mean, Dale, none of this would have happened’.
‘She doesn’t go halfway with her revenge tactics, does she?’ Travis said, sounding amused. ‘If Bethany hadn’t found the letter, it probably would have sat there in my bag for the next six months, though, to be honest. I never look in that front pocket’.
Typical male, Tori thought, but didn’t say! She followed him to his girlfriend’s flat and watched him knock on the door, all the while chewing his bottom lip with anxiety. The door opened a crack, and a pair of blue eyes peered out. Then it slammed shut just as quickly, when the owner of the eyes realised who was at her door.
‘Go away Travis’ a voice cried. ‘I’m not in the mood for excuses!’
‘Aw, Beth! I’ve brought someone here that can explain everything, if you’ll just give us a chance’.
‘Get your slut out of here! I don’t want to hear it! I’m not going to fall for you crap just so you can have you cake and eat it, too’.
A low growl emitted from his throat. ‘You actually think I’m capable of that?’ he yelled back through the door, and someone from the floor above screamed ‘Shut up!’
‘Ah, bite me’ Trav called back. To Beth, he said ‘Look. Just hear us out, okay? Then you can decide whether to trust me or not. But frankly…’
‘I’m gonna call the cops’ warned the neighbour upstairs.
‘Be my guest’ Travis hollered back. Tori winced. He was losing his cool. This was not going to end well. Pushing past him, she knocked on the door.
‘Hey… Hello? Look… he’s telling the truth, okay? We’re not together. We barely know each other. It was a prank by a so-called friend of mine who was just trying to get revenge on me for something I did to her, and it’s wound up hurting everyone else’.
Finally, Bethany opened the door, albeit cautiously. Standing there in a pair of yoga pants and a halter neck top, she looked like she’d just spent the last half hour doing her nails and hair instead of practicing her Lotus pose.
‘Is that true?’ She asked the both of them.
Travis nodded, and Tori said ‘Yes. I mean, seriously. Do you honestly think Trav would cheat on you with someone like me? I’m a total tomboy. I couldn’t give a stuff about manicures and pedicures…’
‘Mani-Pedis’ Beth interrupted
‘…Or getting foils in my hair, or spray tans all year round!’ Tori continued. ‘I take a grand total of five minutes to get ready in the morning! I like hiking, and swimming, and NASCARS, for Christ’s sake! I’m a tomboy. And by the looks of you; totally not his type’.
‘Actually’ Bethany pouted, ‘You’re closer to his type than I am. His first girlfriend was a tomboy’.
‘That was back in high school’ Travis objected. ‘I’m totally into you now, Beth. Honestly’.
She looked like she was considering things for a moment; then scowled at Tori.
‘So… explain yourself’.
‘I thought I already did’ Tori sighed. ‘Okay… it all started when…’

‘I really thought she’d believe you’ said Travis, stunned, as they headed back to the car. ‘I mean, it’s the truth! What does she want?’
‘I don’t know, but whatever it is, she’s really bent on making you grovel’ Tori told him. ‘I’m sorry it didn’t work, Travis. But I’m out of ideas’.
‘She’ll come around’ he said, sounding as though he was trying to convince himself.
‘And if she doesn’t?’ Tori prompted. ‘How long have you two been together, anyway?’
‘Shit… a few years now. Four, maybe?’
Tori laughed. ‘Well, if you can’t remember a simple thing like that, no wonder she’s cracking the shits! First rule about women, Trav – do sweat the small stuff. You might think little things like facts and figures are trivial, but to some girls, they’re everything’.
Travis looked pained. ‘Yeah. Beth does kind of freak out if I forget anniversaries and stuff’.
‘Exactly. So how many years have you been together?’’
‘Since 2006, so… four years’.
‘Go and buy her a bunch of flowers. The most expensive you can afford. Get them delivered to her work. She’ll melt. Trust me. Not of course, that I have any right to expect you to’.
Travis stopped the car outside Tori’s house and turned to her. ‘Hey… what your friend did was not your fault, okay? This is my mess. I took her for granted, now I’m paying for it. I just wanted to say thanks for going out of your way to try and fix things’.
Tori shrugged. ‘I wish I’d helped more’.
He managed a smile in the midst of his pain, and Tori felt her heart skip a beat. She told herself not to get too worked up, he was obviously dead set about getting his girlfriend back, and just saw her as a means to an end. Still, he was being awfully nice considering the predicament she and Steph had put him in.
‘Don’t worry about it’ he told her. ‘You tried to help. That’s all you can do’.
‘Yeah…’ Tori said, ‘I guess so’.
‘Well… thanks, anyway. I better go, I’ve got an early training session tomorrow’.
‘Okay. Bye’.
When she got inside, Steph was sitting on the couch, her legs drawn up under her, and a bucket of KFC on her lap. ‘Eating her feelings again?’ Tori whispered to Holly, who was eating popcorn chicken. ‘Hey, where’s mine?’
‘Put in for it and you can have the rest’ Steph said, getting up and practically throwing the cardboard bucket onto the kitchen bench. Without waiting for an answer, she marched to her room and slammed the door shut behind her.
‘I take it she’s still pissed’ said Tori, sarcastically. ‘About what, I don’t know. I’m the one who should be stomping around here, slamming doors’.
‘Oh please don’t’ said Holly, her voice sounding weird.
‘What’s wrong?’
Holly bit her lip. ‘Darren’s married’
‘What?!’ Tori blurted; aghast. ‘You’re kidding me’
‘Nope’ Holly replied. ‘Oh, he says he’s separated, but what does that mean when he’s still living with his wife and kids? For all I know, I could be boffing him while he’s still sleeping with his wife’.
‘So you guys are…’ Tori let the end of that sentence dangle.
Holly gasped, then tried to laugh but it came out sounding more like a sob. ‘No… Not yet, and probably never, now’.
‘Oh Hols, you poor thing’ said Tori, sympathetically, and put an arm around her friend’s shoulders as she burst into tears, and said something that sounded like “I really liked him, too”.
‘I know you did’ Tori sighed. ‘Men! They’re so…. Arrrrgggghhh…’
‘Frustrating?’ Holly managed. ‘Infuriating?’
‘I was going to say indecisive, but yeah’ Tori replied. ‘Want another chicken drumstick?’
That set Holly off on another barrage of tears, so Tori let her be, and went into the lounge to see what was on TV. ‘Oh, bloody Sea Patrol! I can’t believe Steph watches this crap’.
‘She likes what’s-his-face… the buff one’. Holly said, drying her eyes and sniffing.
‘Which one? They’re all buff… they’re just not all that good looking’.
‘I don’t know… the dark haired one. Used to be on Neighbours’.
‘Oh, him’ Tori pointed the remote at the TV and turned it to 7. ‘Ah, Criminal Minds. That’s more like it’.
‘So… when are we going to call that house meeting you were talking about?’ Holly asked, coming around the kitchen bench and taking a seat on the couch. She seemed to have recovered pretty well from her crying jag, but Tori had a feeling that the slightest reminder of Darren could set her off again.
‘I don’t know… I think we’ll let things cool down a little first’ Tori decided. ‘She’ll just think we’re ganging up on her if we hit her with it, now’.
‘Good call’ agreed Holly, and was about to grab another piece of chicken out of the bucket when the doorbell rang.
‘Hell’ said Tori. ‘Who could this be at… 8.30 at night?’
‘Probably the next door neighbour again. Her cat’s been jumping over our fence and getting caught in the rosebushes, the poor little idiot’. She frowned at her chicken. ‘Do you suppose cats have very good short term memories?’
‘I don’t know. Are you going to get that, or am I?’
Holly put the bucket down on the coffee table. ‘It’s okay. I will’.
She really thought she was okay; that she was starting to adjust, minute by minute, to the fact that her love-life was back on the fritz again, until she opened the door to the very person she didn’t want to see.
‘What are you doing here?’ She asked him. ‘I told you I can’t do this. It’s too weird’.
He was looking damn fine as usual, but he could wear a pair of dirty denim cut-offs and a t-shirt with an offensive slogan on it and still look fine. Damn him! What he was wearing – faded jeans and a Van Hueson Non-Iron shirt – made Holly want to pull him inside and attack him like a woman who hadn’t had a man in a decade. Then she remembered she was angry with him.
‘I’m sorry’ he said. ‘You gave me a lot to think about today, and… you’re right. I can’t keep staying at the house for the kids. I’m going to move out’.
Holly’s jaw dropped. ‘Really? When?’
‘As soon as I can find somewhere else. I just wanted you to know so that… I don’t know… we could maybe take up where we left off?’
Holly bit her lip. It was tempting… but she had to stick to her guns. ‘How about you find a place, and then give me a call?’
He sighed, and nodded. ‘Okay. Fair enough. Well… I guess I’ll see you around, then?’
‘I don’t know how long it’s going to take me to find a place. What if you meet someone else in the meantime?’
‘Darren… I’m not fickle. I will wait’ she told him, determined not to let his brown, puppy-dog eyes suck her in. ‘I’m not just going to go off and shag the next guy who gives me a second look’.
‘Okay. Point taken’ he chuckled. ‘I’ll let you know as soon as I’ve found somewhere, then?’
‘Sounds like a plan’ Holly agreed.
He took a step back; then hesitated. ‘Can I kiss you good-night, at the very least?’
Holly didn’t have to mull over this for a second before nodding! ‘I suppose so’ she said, and opened the screen door. Before she could draw a breath he’d stepped over the threshold, grabbed her up in one of those Gone With the Wind embraces, and was kissing her like there was no tomorrow…

Coming up:

Holly meets Mrs Jolly
Steph has a new crush
Maria and Dids have a Kodak moment
And Tori becomes the middle-man… but is she above a little sabotage of her own?

A Pie for Life.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2010 10:51 pm
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b]Chapter Eleven[/b]

Maria slowed down as she passed the oval where the boys were training. She was never usually so early for work – Greg tended to keep her busy in those last few hours, being male and completely unable to find anything he was looking for and then accusing her of hiding it when she produced the stray sock, car keys or whatever else it happened to be. To give him credit, he actually seemed to be making an effort to look for work in the last few days, instead of sitting around on the couch watching The Circle so he could perve on that Georgie Coghlan. Anyway, this morning he’d actually left the house before she did, so the extra time before work was a novelty Maria didn’t intend missing out on! Her eyes found Alan almost straight away, and watched as he and the forward group did some cross-training. After doing three sets of sprints and some jumping jacks, he picked up a ball from near the boundary and sent it sailing through the goalposts in his usual effortless, freakish manner. Laughing at something Travis Cloke said, Dids gave his team mates a trademark shimmy. Maria grinned and shook her head. Show off, she thought. Still, she couldn’t help feeling those butterflies again. Men with supreme confidence like that were a turn-on for her. There’s nothing worse than a whiny, “woe-is-me” bloke who’s always blaming others for his inadequacies, Maria thought, then wondered whether Alan even had any. Greg certainly had his share.
Stop that, she told herself. Don’t compare the two. One’s an elite footballer and the other hasn’t played footy since he tore his knee in high school! You know Greg will come off second best. It’s not fair on him. And it’s just making you more frustrated…
Suddenly, Maria realised the ball was flying in her direction. Putting her hands out at the last possible second, she just managed to stop it from hitting her in the face. Blinking, she looked at the Sherrin like she’d never seen one before in her life, then heard her name being called.
‘Hi’ Alan said, squinting at the morning sun over her shoulder. ‘Good hands! But then, I knew that already’.
Maria couldn’t stop herself from blushing. ‘Oh… uh… the catch?’ she stammered. ‘It was a fluke’.
‘The mark, you mean’ he corrected her.
‘Oh, I know’ she said, feeling stupid. ‘You really think it was good?’
He nodded; then grinned. ‘For a girl’. His eyes flashed mischievously.
She supposed she should feel irritated or offended or something, but she knew he was just trying to bait her. She kept her voice steady even though it felt wobbly whenever her eyes coasted south of the border. He was wearing those tight black leggings that didn’t leave a hell of a lot to the imagination.
‘Thanks’ she said. ‘I’m usually pretty unco, actually’.
He chuckled, as though laughing at a private joke.
‘What?’ Maria asked. ‘Being clumsy isn’t funny. Believe me. It’s a giant-sized pain in the…’
‘I wasn’t making fun of you’ he told her. ‘I actually think it’s cute that you’re unco, and are not afraid to admit it’.
Cute? Maria had to wrap her brain around that one. He’s not actually calling you cute, she reminded herself. Just the fact that you’ve got the co-ordination of a newborn giraffe!
‘Um… thanks’ she said. ‘I think’.
‘So, are you going to give the ball back, or am I going to have to come and get it?’
Maria considered trying to handball it back over the waist high boundary fence, but decided to ditch that idea, because of the whole lack of co-ordination deal. It was one thing to own up to being athletically challenged. It was quite another to prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt. She gazed down at the ball, then back up at Alan. ‘You’re going to have to come and get it’ she told him, and held it behind her back.
God, what are you doing she asked herself, as he ducked under the rail and jogged toward her. You’re openly flirting with him, now?
Apparently so, because when he got close enough to reach around her, she passed the ball to her left hand and held it above her head, but slightly behind her. He leaned in and grabbed her around the waist, pulling her close to him, then took full advantage of the fact that she was completely shell-shocked, and plucked the ball out of her hand.
‘Too easy’ he scolded, with a smirk on his gorgeous dial. ‘You could have put up some resistance’. Their faces were mere inches apart. If she moved even an inch forward, they’d be kissing. The idea made her dizzy with longing.
‘Like what?’ she asked. ‘Run?’
‘And you would have chased after me… in front of your mates, and all?’ she replied, thinking that she might not actually mind that scenario – as long as he managed to catch her in a tackle!
He shrugged. She couldn’t help but notice he still hadn’t let go of her. Being so close to him was turning her into a physical wreck, but she wasn’t about to start complaining! She just hoped he couldn’t feel her heart pounding against her ribcage, as if it threatened to break right on out of there!
‘Maybe’ he repeated. ‘We’ll never know now, will we?’
She managed to meet his dark eyes then. ‘I… I have to get to work’.
He released her, and Maria wasn’t sure if she was more relieved or disappointed.
‘I’ll see you after training’ he said, one corner of those lips she’d imagined kissing turning up in a smirk.
Maria nodded; her tongue in a tangle; her mind and body too completely overwhelmed by his presence, to utter a reply. It wasn’t until he was safely twenty or thirty feet away that her heartbeat got back to normal, and she was able to let out the breath she’d been holding.

Chapter Twelve

It was around about the same time of morning when Steph arrived at Bob Gosch Paddock, dressed in her best casual gear, and hoping to catch a glimpse of Leigh before she had to head off for an interview with Centrelink. She hadn’t been able to stop thinking about the way he’d kissed her hand the other day, or how he’d seemed interested in seeing her again. Well, here I am, she thought. Please, please be here! She knew that they didn’t all go through the same training drills every day, so he could be anywhere. Inside, working out, or maybe boxing. The thought of the big guy going to town on a punching bag, all wet with perspiration, muscles gleaming, was enough to make Steph weak in the knees!
‘You’re drooling’.
Steph blinked in shock. ‘Huh?’ What the hell was Tori doing here? She turned to face her house mate. ‘What did you say?’
‘You’re drooling. Seriously’. Tori made as if to wipe her own lip with the back of her hand, and Steph followed suit. ‘You might want to keep a lid on the enthusiasm. I know the guys are hot, but geez’.
‘I didn’t realise. Oh god, do you think any of them saw me?’
‘Nah. They’re too busy warming up’ Tori assured her. ‘Listen, Steph… can we talk?’
‘I suppose so’ said Steph, defensively. Leigh had said she should straighten things out with Tori, and he was right. Maybe he’d spot them talking and come over…
‘I just wanted to apologise for embarrassing you in front of Dale. It was a bitchy thing to do, and I feel like shit about it’.
‘It was bitchy’ Steph agreed. ‘But what I did to you was worse. Even if Beth hadn’t seen the letter, and Travis had, he would have thought you were some kind of deluded whack-job. And that’s not fair. He should at least get to know you, first. And remove all doubt’.
Tori grinned. ‘Bitch’.
Steph smiled back, relieved. ‘Cow’.
Their apologies made, Tori turned back to the visual feast in front of them. ‘So…’ she said, ‘Are you still lusting after Dale, or have you got a new target in your sights?’
Steph bristled silently at the insinuation she was some kind of stalker, but held back. They’d only just mended their bridges. The last thing she needed was more tension around the house.
‘No, and yes’ she replied. ‘I um… actually met someone the other day. After I stormed off when you confronted me?’
‘Oh yeah?’ asked Tori, interested. ‘Who?’
‘I’d rather not say just yet’ Steph said, mysteriously. ‘I want to just see where it goes’.
‘Either that’ Tori said, frowning, ‘Or you don’t trust me not to blab’.
‘It’s not that. I just really don’t want to treat this one like I have all the others’ Steph told her. ‘Every time I like a guy, I carry on like a school girl with a stupid crush on a celebrity or something. I’m frigging twenty years old. I have to grow up, sometime’.
Tori looked at her with renewed respect. ‘Good for you, Steph! Gee, he must have really made an impression! Okay – I’m not going to ask who he is. I’ll let you tell me in your own time’.
‘Thanks’ said Steph. ‘With any luck, you won’t be waiting long’. She stared out at the boys; then thought of something. ‘But why are you here?’
‘I had a idea last night – a way to try and get Beth to take Travis back’ Tori explained, and seeing the doubting look on her friend’s face, sighed. ‘I know, I know – but if you saw this chick, you’d know I had no chance whatsoever, so that’s the end of it, okay? The least I can do is try to fix the damage I – err… you did’.
‘So what’s the plan?’ Steph asked. ‘Maybe I can help’.
Tori seemed to mull this over. ‘Yeah’ she said, at last. ‘Maybe you can’.

The two girls caught up with Travis after training and ran Tori’s idea by him. He seemed sceptical, but was at least willing to give it a shot. ‘What have I got to lose?’ he asked them, glumly. ‘She won’t answer any of my calls, she threw the roses I bought her in the bin outside her work just so I’d see them there and get the point. I’m running out of ideas, so I might as well go with whatever you’ve got’.
‘Gee thanks for the vote of confidence’ Tori joked. ‘Honestly though, Trav… I really do think romance is the way to lure her back. Roses on their own aren’t enough. Anyone can spend a lousy thirty; forty bucks on a bouquet…’
‘Try a hundred n twenty’ Travis revealed, downhearted at the thought of his moderately expensive gift lying in a council rubbish bin. ‘Roses aren’t cheap, these days’.
‘It’s not the amount of money that counts’ Tori told him. ‘It’s the effort. That’s what I’m trying to say’.
‘It is a pretty far out idea’ Travis said. ‘How are we going to pull it off?’
‘Trust me’ Tori said, and winked. ‘I have my ways’.
‘No… I mean, how am I going to pull it off?’ Travis asked, wincing. ‘I’m the one who has to sing!’

Chapter Thirteen

She’d promised herself that she was going to wait until Darren had found himself a nice little apartment of his own before agreeing to go on any more dates with him, but after that kiss in her hallway Holly just couldn’t say no to him any longer. She was aware that her willpower was for shit, but she didn’t care anymore. Depriving him of her company was having more of an effect on her than she’d anticipated. Why should she punish herself, she reasoned? If the guy says he and the missus are kaput, then why shouldn’t I believe him? Oh, her inner voice argued, there’s that little fact that he’s been lying to you about not being involved with anyone. How much more involved can you get than being married?
She stood outside his house and took a deep breath. This is it, she thought. He wanted me to come and see that everything was above board. Well, here I am. Meet the wife, he said. She’ll tell you they’ve split (amicably) and everything will be hunky-dory. He made it sound so easy. So why am I sweating like a pig?
The door opened even before she’d finished knocking. A woman with long blonde hair and a face with perfect, even features stared out at her. And she was smiling. ‘You must be Holly’ she said. ‘Come in. Darren’s still getting ready, but you can come and have a coffee…’
As she followed the Other Woman into the house, Holly’s gaze was drawn to the many photos on the walls in the hallway. Most were of their children, but one was of their wedding day, and Holly felt her heart sink just looking at the loving way her new man had his arms around his wife. They might say they’re separated, her inner voice reminded her, but it’s still pretty stiff bloody competition. What if she decides she wants him back?
Deanne, or Dee, as Darren called her, spun around in the lounge to face Holly. ‘And here we are! Make yourself at home and I’ll go get the coffee. How do you take it?’
‘Uh, white with two’ Holly managed to say, with great difficulty. This was easily the weirdest situation she’d ever been in, hands down. Actually no, she thought, remembering a time an old boyfriend wanted her to take part in a threesome with his cousin (another male, thankfully, not that she’d appreciated the gesture). Second weirdest!
While Dee was in the kitchen organising coffee, the door across the room opened and Darren walked out, shirtless, with a towel wrapped around his waist. He didn’t appear to notice that he had a visitor, instead turning to head toward the kitchen. Holly had to wonder if he walked around half naked like this all the time. How could Dee stand it, being that close and not being able to just grab him and…
‘Holly! God, I didn’t see you there!’
Holly’s heart leapt into her throat and adrenaline shot through her system as she took in six feet seven or eight inches of the best looking man she’d ever laid eyes on, in naught but a towel. She found herself wishing it would fall off, but figured that would probably send him packing back to the bathroom in record time.
‘Yeah um… sorry I’m early’.
‘Oh, well, not really. I’m kind of running late. We had a full day at the club today. Meetings and stuff. I would have called you, but I didn’t really have time…’
‘It’s okay’ she assured him, her eyes travelling from his dark hair that curled when it was wet, to his broad shoulders, nicely toned chest and discernable abs. She was glad he wasn’t totally ripped. That would be both off-putting and intimidating. Especially once he got a look at her totally unimpressive abdominals!
She managed a sly grin. ‘Don’t hurry on my account’.
Dee reappeared then, totally ignoring the fact that her estranged husband was standing in the lounge looking like a model in an ad for Gillette shavers, and handed Holly a coffee cup. ‘Is he trying to make you crazy? He used to do that to me, too’ she chuckled. ‘Go and get some clothes on, Darren’.
Used to? Holly thought. How can you ever get used to that?!
Dee turned back once Darren was out of the room. ‘Seriously though, I’m really glad you decided to give him another chance’ she was saying. ‘He’s been so down since we called it quits. I thought he’d never move on’.
‘Don’t you find it weird though…’ Holly had to ask, ‘Living with the guy and seeing him go out with other people?’
‘Considering this is the first time he’s actually tried going out with another woman… actually… Yes’. Dee’s cheery disposition vanished. ‘It is weird. But who am I to stand in his way?’
‘His wife?’ Holly pointed out.
Dee blinked. ‘You sound like you’re trying to talk yourself out of this’.
‘It’s a weird situation’ Holly explained. ‘But I like him, a lot. I think he’s worth it’.
‘He is’ Dee nodded. ‘Ah – here he is. My god, what am I doing, divorcing this guy? So handsome’.
Even though it sounded like she was joking, Holly could see why Dee would be silently kicking herself that her marriage didn’t work out. Out of clothes, the guy was sensational, in them; he was quite literally heart-breaking. Holly gulped and stood up; feeling inadequate in her green sparkling top and black skirt next to Darren in a midnight blue shirt with the sleeves rolled up, and black pants. ‘Where are we going?’ she asked him.
‘Bellissimo’ Dee and Darren replied, in unison.
Holly felt her heart take another dive. ‘Is that… one of your favourite restaurants… as a couple?’ she dared to ask.
Dee laughed. ‘No! It’s actually a new Italian place. I told him about it. I uh… went there, recently. On a date’.
Whoa, thought Holly, as Darren escorted her out to his car. This just gets weirder!

Chapter Fourteen

It had all gone to plan so far. Beth had been picked up in a limousine, taken to the designated drop-off point in Alexandra Gardens, where Tori and Steph had left a trail of metaphorical breadcrumbs that were supposed to lead her to Travis. At the end of the trail was a table for two, a picnic basket and a bottle of the most expensive wine the well-paid footballer could afford. Then would come the real surprise.
Beth walked into the gardens looking like she wanted to turn and run at any moment. Spotting a white ribbon wrapped around a tree, she frowned and walked over to it.
‘Ah’ whispered Tori. ‘She’s spotted the first marker’.
‘She’s not as dumb as she looks’ Steph had to admit.
Tori gave her a funny look, but said nothing. ‘She’s reading the note’.
‘I can see, you know. I don’t need a play-by-play’ said Steph, narkily.
‘Okay! Gee, touchy!’ Tori quit the running commentary and watched as Beth headed down the path toward the next ribbon.
‘Uh-oh… what’s this?’ Steph whispered, nodding at an unforeseen fly in the ointment. A person of unknown gender had entered the park at the same time as Beth, dressed in dark jeans and hoodie, and seemed to be following her!
‘Oh shit’ said Tori. ‘What is he up to?’
‘It could be a she’ Steph pointed out. ‘Should we scare him/her off?’
‘That would ruin the whole thing’ said Tori, pouting. ‘What if Beth hears us?’
Steph glared at Tori. ‘And you think that’s the worst that could happen? We have to help her. He could be a mugger… or worse’.
Tori didn’t have to ask her to define “worse”. ‘Okay’ she said, ‘what do you suppose we do? Run out of the shadows and jump him… her….it? What if they’re totally innocent?’
‘How many people do you know follow someone into the gardens dressed like that at this time of night, with their hands in their pockets, if they’re just going for an innocent stroll?’ Steph pointed out. ‘Let’s ambush him’.
‘What if he’s got a knife?’
In the light given off by the moon Tori could just see Steph bite her lip. ‘Well… we’ll just have to make sure he doesn’t have time to use it’.
‘Great plan’ said Tori, sarcastically. ‘Let’s go’.
They were about to follow the suspicious looking stranger when he/she/it broke into a run, and grabbed Beth’s handbag by the shoulder strap. Given a huge shock, the girl screamed and tugged on the bag, refusing to just give it up. ‘Let it go’ whispered Tori as the two girls floundered some twenty metres behind, not knowing what to do. ‘It’s not worth it’.
Beth apparently thought it was, because she wasn’t going to let the mugger get away with her handbag without a fight. Suddenly there was a flash of steel and a yelp of pain.
‘Shit!’ Steph hissed, ‘I think he stabbed her’.
That did it. Tori and Steph began to run at the mugger, when all of a sudden a figure came crashing out of the darkness to their left and tackled Beth’s mugger to the ground. The knife fell out of the guy’s hands (it was a guy, his hoodie fell off to reveal an Asian male of barely eighteen) and Travis got both his hands behind his back. ‘Get the knife’ he yelled at Tori and Steph, ‘And call the police’.
They obeyed, and then Steph went over to console a shaken Beth, who had sustained a small cut to her arm but was otherwise okay. She looked at Tori, and recognised her right away. ‘You’re the girl who came to my flat the other night’ she said. ‘What is all this?’
‘It’s Travis’s last ditch attempt to win you over’ Tori admitted. ‘We were helping him’.
‘By getting someone to mug me?’
‘That was so not part of the plan, I assure you’ Tori said, quickly. ‘But Travis was a hero. You can’t deny that’.
Beth sniffed and nodded. ‘I suppose so’.
‘He was’ Tori reiterated. ‘And he deserves a second chance’.
As the girls watched the police haul the teenage mugger away, after taking statements about what happened from all four of them, Travis approached Beth looking wary, but concerned. ‘Are you okay?’ he asked. ‘Did he hurt you?’
‘It’s just a small cut. I’ll survive’ she said, defensively. ‘He sure as hell wasn’t getting my bag. It’s a Prada original’.
‘A designer handbag’ Tori scoffed, in a low voice. She and Steph had decided to give the estranged couple their space and had found a park bench under a tree. ‘What some girls will risk death for’.
‘She definitely has to learn to prioritize’ Steph agreed. ‘Prada is so 1997’.
Tori chuckled. ‘You really don’t get enough credit for your sense of humour, Steph’.
‘Oh look’ Steph said, in a wistful voice. ‘They’re making up’.
Tori grimaced. ‘Do I have to?’
‘You were half hoping she’d give him the flick, weren’t you?’ Steph teased. ‘Go on, admit it’.
‘I was more than hoping’ Tori confessed. ‘Now I guess I’m gonna have to do the unthinkable’.
Steph raised an eyebrow. ‘Sabotage?’
‘I was actually thinking I should get over it; go out with somebody else’ Tori replied.
Steph pouted. ‘Oh, you’re no fun’.
Tori grinned. ‘We just helped get them back together. I’m a patient girl. Look at them. They’ll never last. Xander on Buffy said it best: a guy can only talk self-tanning lotion for so long before his head explodes’.
‘You’re gonna wait til his head explodes?’
Tori bit her lip. ‘You’re right. Sabotage, it is’.


Leroy smells a rat
Holly gets cold feet
And the house meeting from hell gets underway

A Pie for Life.
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Wrangler Scorpio

Joined: 21 Aug 2010

PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 5:08 pm
Post subject: Reply with quote

woop woop! Hmmmmmm I guess you could always set Tori up with some other famous guy... like... JACK PERKINS? hahaha

I really wanna see how this all pans out... =)

****Now i've never had a type 'cause i know what i like some variety now and then... Bad Boys, Good Guys, Tattoo's, Black Ties... Always up for anything!****
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 9:06 pm
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yeah, I could. Or I could set up a love triangle... Jack, Trav and Tori?
A Pie for Life.
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Wrangler Scorpio

Joined: 21 Aug 2010

PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:22 am
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You get more and more evil the longer I know you Mel! Hows about I leave it in your hands!? Just google "Jack Perkins" and you'll learn some stuff... or I can PM you muahahaha (that might be slightly more biased though!)

I reckon the messier the better!

****Now i've never had a type 'cause i know what i like some variety now and then... Bad Boys, Good Guys, Tattoo's, Black Ties... Always up for anything!****
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:32 am
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Damn straight. I'll get to it. Got a few other things going atm so apologise if new chapters are taking their time.
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Wrangler Scorpio

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 10:07 pm
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Speak for yourself! haha No... believe me I don't need any more distractions from studying than what I am already providing!
****Now i've never had a type 'cause i know what i like some variety now and then... Bad Boys, Good Guys, Tattoo's, Black Ties... Always up for anything!****
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 8:57 pm
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LMAO... you're providing yourself with distractions from studying?! You sound like me! Queen of Procrastination, I am!

Anyway, here goes it, the next few chapters...

Chapter Fifteen

Steph gazed out at the players, who were doing tackling drills on a cold, drizzly Monday morning. She’d brought her Collingwood parka along, so she wasn’t afraid of getting wet; just of not seeing Leigh. He was all she could think about lately. What was wrong with her? Why couldn’t she just bite the bullet and ask him out? After all, it was the 21st century and women were making the first move more and more these days. Tori would do it, she thought to herself, bitterly. I wish I had her guts! Not to mention her “ah well, who gives a shit” attitude! I just know that if I ask him, and he says no, I’m going to wallow in misery and triple chocolate ice cream for weeks! Until I find a new guy to fixate on. Steph sighed. That’s just my problem, right there, in a nutshell. Maybe I should just get a life?
‘Hi’ someone said. The voice was coming from less than ten feet away. Steph blinked and rejoined the real world. And nearly fell over backward.
‘Aren’t you supposed to be training?’ she asked Leigh. ‘Not that I’m not glad you’re talking to me… it’s just that, I’d hate to get you into trouble’.
He was wearing those tight training pants she liked, as well as a tank top over a longer-sleeved jumper. But the lack of available flesh to ogle didn’t bother her. His gorgeous blue eyes more than made up for that!
‘I’ve been running for the past half hour’ he explained. ‘We’re allowed to take a break now and then’.
‘Oh well, that’s all right then’ said Steph, suddenly feeling shy. Remembering their last conversation, she said, ‘I took your advice. Apologised to Tori, I mean. It’s all sorted, now’.
‘That’s great’ smiled Leigh. ‘See, it wasn’t as hard as you thought it would be. So… what are you doing out here on such a miserable day?’
‘Actually…’ Steph said, feeling her cheeks warm up as she launched into her pre-prepared spiel, ‘I was looking for you’.
‘Well, you found me’ he chuckled. ‘What can I do you for?’
‘Uh… err… I just… um…’ Steph stammered, totally lost for words, now that the moment of truth was finally here. Bugger it, Steph, she thought. Just have at it!
‘Steph? Are you okay?’ he asked. ‘You look like you’re going to be sick’.
‘I’m fine’ she assured him. ‘Really’.
‘Well, if you’re sure…’ he said. ‘What was it you wanted to see me for?’
Steph felt like a giant-sized idiot. There was no way this gorgeous, elite footballer was going to want to go out with her! She was kidding herself! Racking her brain to come up with a reasonable excuse for wanting to speak to him, she had a brainwave.
‘School’ she blurted. ‘I’m doing psych at uni. Sports psychology, specifically. And we’ve got to conduct an interview with an athlete. And you were the first person I thought of’.
‘Oh… cool’ he smiled. ‘I’d be happy to help. What about I meet you for lunch, in the member’s lounge?’
‘Okay, great’ Steph smiled. ‘Thanks’.
Crap, she thought, the minute he’d turned and run back to the group. Now I have to go and get an exercise book and pen, and think up some valid questions, or he’s going to know I’m full of shit!

Holly had had the time of her life out with Darren the other night but something kept nagging at her conscience. She knew she shouldn’t worry about him living with his ex, but nevertheless, it bothered her. What man could live side by side with a woman like that without wanting the extra benefits of a relationship – ie, the sex? And more to the point, what woman could live under the same roof with such a dead set spunk, and not want to bang his brains out on a nightly basis?! Things between herself and Darren were certainly heating up but it was too early for anything so intimate. The last thing Holly wanted was for Darren to think she was easy. It was harder than she expected to stick to her guns, though, especially when he saw her up to her door after their date and kissed her goodnight, one hand on the small of her back and the other tangled in her hair as their kiss got more passionate by the minute. She almost gave in, and asked him in for “coffee”, but came to her senses at the last minute. Breaking away, she’d made some excuse about having to be up early the next morning. He looked disappointed, but not crushed. And he didn’t try to change her mind. Holly wasn’t sure what to make of that. Was he still interested? Or would he go back and get what he wanted from his ex-wife? Stop it! She told herself. He’s not like that!
After a couple of lectures at uni the next day, she turned on her mobile to find a message from Darren. “Really want to see you” it said. “Can I come over?”
Holly bit her lip, her stomach in turmoil. She knew what was likely to happen if he did drop over and neither of her flatmates were home. But did she want that, so soon in their relationship?
“Okay” she found herself texting. “I’ll see you when you get here”.

Chapter Sixteen

Walking along the street towards her mother’s place, and minding her own business, Tori was abruptly shaken from a daydream about Travis by a loud rumble behind her. She turned to see a hotted-up V8 Commodore coasting along the side of the road at a leisurely pace, a guy staring at her from the passenger side window. He was kind of cute – strawberry blonde hair and wire-rimmed glasses aside – but the very fact that he and the driver seemed to be following her was giving her the heebie-jeebies.
‘Hi, sweetheart’ he called out, when he realised she’d spotted him. ‘Want a lift?’
‘Hardly’ she called back. ‘I don’t even know you guys’.
‘Ah, we’re all right, aren’t we?’ he said to his mate. ‘We’re not axe-murderers’.
Tori raised an eyebrow. ‘That’s what all axe-murderers say’.
He laughed, and she liked his dimples. ‘Well’, he replied, ‘I can’t speak for my mate here – he could be Bundy in disguise – but I know I’m not a killer’.
‘That doesn’t exactly make me feel any better’ she told him. ‘I’m only a few blocks from my house, anyway. But thank you for the offer’.
‘So… what’s your name?’ he asked. ‘So I know what to call you in my dreams’.
Tori burst out laughing. ‘Is that your idea of a pick-up line? Seriously?’
‘No, but it’s my idea of a compliment’ he told her. ‘Was it really that lame?’
‘Believe it or not, it wasn’t as bad as some I’ve heard’ she assured him. ‘I’m flattered, really… but… I’m kind of seeing someone’. That was a bald-faced lie, but it was better that he knew there was no hope. Being picked up by a guy hanging out of a V8 Commodore was not a promising start to a relationship. In fact, it was more like the start of a lot of B-Grade horror movies she’d seen.
‘Bugger’ he said. ‘Oh well… can’t blame me for trying’.
A small part of her was disappointed he’d given up so easily. ‘Do you live around here?’ she asked him. ‘I’ve never seen that car before’.
‘You into cars? This is my mate’s. We built it from scratch’.
‘Yeah, I like cars’ she told him. ‘I’m into V8 Supercars, actually’.
‘Woman after my own heart’ he crowed. ‘Do you go to the races at all?’
‘Yeah, sometimes’ Tori admitted. ‘Why?’
‘Just in case I see you there. Come on, babe, what’s your name?’
‘Tori’ she told him. ‘And I’m not your babe’.
‘Okay, fair enough’ he sighed. ‘Hope to see you again, Tori’.
‘Hey wait’ she said, before the car had a chance to speed off, ‘I told you my name, now you tell me yours’.
‘Jack’ he said, ‘Jack Perkins. Look me up at the track. I’ll be the one racing’.
‘You’re a driver?’ she started to say, but the Commodore had already taken off with a screech and the smell of burning rubber. Whoever Jack’s friend was, he was certainly a bit of a show-off, Tori thought. But that Jack… now he was interesting. Smug and just a smidge over-confident… but interesting! Tori made a mental note to go to the races that weekend. Then she remembered the plan she and Steph had made to start sabotaging Travis and Beth’s relationship. Somehow it didn’t seem all that important anymore. Tori walked the rest of the way home with a smile firmly plastered on her dial!

Leigh was waiting for Steph at a two-seater table in the member’s lounge, just as he’d promised. She took a deep breath, prayed to God that this was going to work, and headed over toward him.
‘Hi’ she said, nervously. ‘Thanks for meeting me’.
‘Oh, it was no trouble’ he said. ‘Would you like a drink?’
‘Nah. I’m fine, thanks’.
‘So… what’s this assignment about?’ he asked, as she took a seat and put her binder on the table.
‘Oh… just sports psychology. You know, what do you do to get mentally ready for a game, stuff like that’ Steph said. ‘Do you have any superstitions?’
‘Okay’ he chuckled. ‘One question at a time, though’. He looked like he’d just had a shower. His dark hair was still wet, and he smelled amazing, like one of those Lynx shower gels she sometimes liked to get a whiff of in the supermarket. It made her want to climb over the table and straddle his lap!
After answering a couple of questions (which Steph had literally made up on the way over), Leigh had a couple of his own, for her!
‘So… how come you never told me you wanted to be a sports psychologist?’
‘It never came up’ she said, quickly. ‘All we’ve ever talked about is what I did to Travis and Beth. I actually… didn’t think you’d be interested. In anything about me, personally, anyway’.
He frowned. ‘Why would you think that?’
Steph shrugged. ‘Well I’m not exactly Miranda Kerr, am I?’
‘Who is? And who said I liked Miranda Kerr?’
‘Doesn’t every guy?’
‘She’s a bit too skinny for my liking’ Leigh admitted. ‘I like a girl with a bit more meat on her bones’.
The way he was looking directly at her made Steph blush. God if he’s thinking what I’m thinking, can we find a supply room somewhere? ‘That’s nice to know’ she found herself saying. ‘I mean, great that some guys like us women just the way we are. Not stick figures’.
‘Stick figures aren’t sexy’ Leigh said. ‘Give me a woman shaped like a guitar any day of the week’.
‘I’m more shaped like a ukulele’ Steph joked. ‘Or a banjo’.
‘Why do you keep putting yourself down?’ he wanted to know. ‘You’re not fat’.
‘I’m not thin, either’.
‘That’s true, but like I said… who wants that? Not me’.
Wait…. Is he saying what I think he’s saying?
Steph looked back down at her notes. ‘Maybe we should tackle a few more of these questions. Um… Do you use visualisation in your pre-game routine…’
Before she knew it, his hand was over hers on the table.
‘Don’t change the subject’ he said, abruptly. ‘Steph, look at me’.
Gladly, she thought. God, he’s gorgeous!
His blue eyes were darker today, serious. And he’d had a shave.
‘You’re not really doing psych at uni are you?’
‘Huh? What do you mean? Of course I am’.
‘Seems a little bit… convenient, that’s all’.
‘Why do you think I’ve been hanging around here?’ she asked, defensively. ‘To try and get someone to help me with my assignment, that’s why’.
‘So… why didn’t you just ask Darren Jolly those questions? You said your house mate was going out with him’.
Steph shrugged. ‘I don’t know… they’re kind of off and on at the moment. Anyway, I wanted your help. What’s wrong with that?’
He grinned. ‘Nothing. Can I look at your questions? Maybe I could just write the answers. That might help’.
‘Uh… well… um…’ But he’d already taken her binder off the table and was reading the six or seven questions she’d quickly scrawled on the back of a handout from her last Powerpoint class. Hoping in vain that he didn’t turn it over, and realise she was full of shit, Steph racked her brain for a way to divert his attention. Ah, she thought. You could always do what you came here to do. That’ll take his mind off the stupid fake psych questions!
‘Do you… want to go out with me sometime?’
Leigh almost dropped the binder in surprise. ‘Oh! Um… Sure! Okay! When?’
Steph felt so happy she could barely keep the smile off her face. ‘Oh… whenever you want’.

Chapter Seventeen

He’d come straight over after training, and smelled like soap and liniment, or whatever it was the physios rub on the players during massages. Holly had to restrain herself from grabbing him and pulling him forcefully into her bedroom.
‘What did you want to see me about?’ she asked him. ‘It sounded serious’.
‘It is’ he told her, touching her cheek with the tips of his fingers. ‘I can’t handle it any more. I want you, Holly’.
Her lips suddenly drier than a sand dune in the desert, Holly took a step backward.
‘I don’t know if I’m ready’ she replied. ‘We’ve only known each other a couple of weeks’.
‘But… after that night on your couch, I thought… well… I hoped…’
‘You thought I was some kind of slut?’ she finished for him. ‘Well I’m not’.
‘No! Nothing like that! Honest’.
‘The thing is, Darren… since I found out you were still living with your wife, it’s really kind of changed things for me’ she told him. ‘I really like you, but…’
‘Don’t’ he said, his voice cracking a little. ‘Don’t say it’.
‘I think it’s probably better if…’
But she didn’t get the rest of the sentence out. His lips were suddenly on hers, gentle but insistent. She didn’t want to argue. In truth, she’d been waiting for this since the moment they met. The wife thing had thrown a spanner in the works, but it hadn’t stopped her from wanting him in the worst way. It wasn’t long before she was kissing him back, just as passionately, if not more so. Her body melted against his, her arms snaked up and around his neck. She had to stand on tiptoes to kiss him, but it was worth the strain! One of his hands – which to that point had been around her waist – slid down her hip and up the inside of her leg. She didn’t try to stop it. He backed her up against the wall in the corridor and kissed his way down her throat to her collarbone, his hand working its way inside her jeans. Within minutes he had her gasping, and she pushed the front of his t-shirt up feverishly. He pulled it off obligingly; then went back to working on making her squirm. Holly ran her hands over his upper body, loving the feel of the muscles as they moved under his skin. He nibbled her earlobe as she reached orgasm, which just made it that much more intense.
‘Bedroom’ she whispered in his ear. ‘First on the le… oh God’ A wave of pleasure washed over her, and she let him lift her off her feet and carry her into the bedroom…

Steph let herself into the house at half past one that day. Everything was quiet so she assumed she was the only one home. Making herself a coffee in the kitchen, she remembered the book she’d asked Holly if she could borrow, but had never gotten around to actually reading. Putting down her coffee cup, Steph decided she’d have a look for it, on her housemate’s bookshelves. Not bothering to knock on the door, since Holly’s car wasn’t in the driveway, Steph recoiled in surprise, gasping, when she realised what she’d walked in on. Half covered in sheets, Darren and Holly quickly realised they’d been sprung, and he slid off her to the side, grappling with the doona to make sure Steph wasn’t getting an eyeful. Holly’s face was bright red – with anger!
‘Steph! Jesus Christ! Knock next time, will you?!’ she cried.
‘I’m sorry! I thought you weren’t home! Your car’s not in the driveway!’
‘My car’s in getting serviced, that’s why’ Holly grumbled. ‘Like me, until a few seconds ago’.
Darren burst out laughing, but Holly didn’t join in. She was too mad.
‘What were you sneaking into my room for, anyway? You know the rules! You helped draw them up, when we all moved in’.
‘I was looking for that book you were going to lend me’ Steph said, averting her eyes. ‘I’m sorry… I’ll get it later’.
‘Damn straight you will! And make sure you’re around when Tori gets home’ Holly yelled as Steph pulled the door shut behind her. ‘We’re going to have that house meeting! It’s long overdue!’

The three housemates sat around the kitchen table in silence. None of them wanted to make a start on what was looking like being a free-for-all. Steph bit her lip and refused to meet Holly’s eyes, while Holly was too embarrassed to look at anybody. Finally, Tori took the reins, standing up and knocking on the table, signalling the meeting now in session.
‘We’ve got a few things to discuss, obviously’ she began, glancing at her housemates, who still refused to face each other. ‘And the bulk of the problem seems to be due to one of us in particular’.
‘That’s not fair!’ Steph raged. ‘What did I do, other than accidentally walk in on Holly and Darren…’
‘That sentence ends right there, thank you very much’ Holly snapped, her cheeks burning. ‘You had no right to go barging in my room, whether I’m there or not’.
‘I know, and I’m sorry. I’ve already apologised like, a million times’.
‘Okay. So that’s that dealt with’ Tori said, in an authoritative tone. ‘There’s no point banging on about it. She knows she was wrong, she apologised. Do you accept her apology, Hols?’
‘Yes. I suppose so’ Holly grumbled. ‘But I’m still putting a lock on my door’.
‘I told you, I won’t…’
Tori cut the air with her hands. ‘Enough! We’ve got other problems… like the phone bill’. She looked at Steph pointedly. ‘What’s with the 1900 numbers to Tara the Medium?’
‘I was trying to find out if I was going to meet someone’ Steph replied, sheepishly. ‘I’ll pay, don’t worry’.
‘Damn right you will’ Holly muttered. ‘That’s nearly two hundred dollars worth of phone calls! To a frickin’ psychic! I’ll say you’re gonna meet someone. He’ll be tall, dark and handsome, and wearing a Telstra uniform. Yeah, that’s right – the guy who comes and disconnects our phone when we can’t pay the bill in time’.
‘I get it! All right? I’m a total screw up’ Steph sobbed. ‘I’ve never lived on my own before, okay? You guys have. And whenever I tried to talk to one of you about what’s happening with Leigh Brown, no one wants to know. You think I’m full of shit; that I’m lying to you again… but I’m not! We're going out on an actual date! But you two don’t want to know, so who else have I got to talk to? Oh yeah – Tara the Medium!’
Tori blinked. ‘You've got a date with Leroy Brown? For real?’
‘Yes for real!’ Steph bawled. ‘Not like you care!’
‘Of course we care’ Holly said, sighing. ‘We’re your friends’.
‘When is this big date?’ asked Tori. ‘Is he picking you up? Because I want to meet this boy’.
Steph giggled amid her tears. ‘Are you going to ask what his intentions are?’
‘Too right’ Tori joked. ‘And if he doesn’t have you back at a decent hour, we’ll be waiting up, on the couch’.
‘With a shotgun’ Holly added, winking.
Steph wiped her eyes. ‘Oh! You guys are the best’.

Next time…

Tori goes to the races
Maria makes her move
And the girls help Steph get ready for her date… but will he show up?

A Pie for Life.
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Wrangler Scorpio

Joined: 21 Aug 2010

PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:59 am
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hahaha Oh dear! This is going to get interesting for poor steph! He better have a good excuse if he doesn't show!
****Now i've never had a type 'cause i know what i like some variety now and then... Bad Boys, Good Guys, Tattoo's, Black Ties... Always up for anything!****
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 6:22 pm
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lol mate, i was getting all flustered writing it! Especially the Holly/Dazzler action! That guy is gorgeous!
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