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Authors: Amy Daws

Tags: #sports novel

Challenge (46 page)

BOOK: Challenge
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“Not really. I mean…I have…well, a date I suppose.” I look down and cringe.

“Who the fuck—?” Tanner barks while Camden finishes his sentence, “What’s his name? I better not bloody well know him.”

“Why wouldn’t ya just spend it with us?” Booker asks quietly beside me.

“He better not be a prat like the last one,” Gareth’s voice booms loudly over all of them. “I won’t tolerate another wanker like him stepping inside our home. I’ll fucking lose it, Vi. You better not bring him around.”

I turn my wide, accusing eyes on him. He’s the oldest one…He should be more mature about this! “Do you hear yourself right now? You’re nearly thirty, Gareth! I expect more from you. All of you! Christ, I’m twenty-five years old and you lot are going mental over your sister having a date! I’m going to date! This is why I moved out. This, right here. You guys can’t just let me figure things out on my own. Do you want me to end up alone forever?”

“Stop being dramatic. You’d hardly be alone,” Tanner bellows. “You’d have us!”

“Are you fucking dense? You lot are going to find nice girls to settle down with someday, and I’m not going to be the lonely sister tagging along with you on romantic holidays.”

“Oh Christ, be serious. We’re not going to settle down,” Camden mumbles into his glass.

Gareth at least has the cheek to look contemplative.

“You know what’s worse?” I groan. “I don’t even have a date. I made it up as a test and you buggers all failed miserably.”

I see Camden exhale with relief as Gareth murmurs, “Thank fuck for that.”

Booker turns his quizzical brow to me. “This is good, then? So you don’t have a date?”

“No, I don’t have a date!” I shriek. “Let me out.” I shove against Tanner to move over. He eyes me sternly and doesn’t budge an inch. “You know what? I’m going to start throwing punches if you all don’t let me out of this booth right now.”

Tanner bursts out into a hearty laugh. “I love when you throw punches. You get that weird vein in your forehead that looks like Harry Potter.”

This sets Camden off too. “Fuck, you’re right! She does! It’s like a little bitty lightning bolt of ineffectual fury!”

When I see Gareth start chortling too, it makes me see red. “You know what? It’s my birthday and you guys are ruining it. I don’t have a date. I have nothing. I just wanted a quiet day at home and the opportunity to move on with my life. There’s nothing bloody wrong with that.” I’m surprised when I feel the sting of tears pricking at my eyes.

Tanner’s face drops instantly. “What’s this? No tears! Christ, Vi, we were only messing about.” I fight his huge embrace as he pulls me under his arm and rubs my shoulder.

“Bugger, I didn’t think you’d get emotional over it,” Camden says, reaching out and gripping my hand in an apologetic gesture.

“Vi, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it,” Booker says, which only makes me laugh.

“Book, you really need to stop apologising for these prats,” I giggle and sit up, dabbing the corners of my eyes.

“Camden’s the prat,” Tanner mutters. “He’s the one who always makes you cry.”

I hold my hand out and stop Camden from unleashing on Tanner. “Just stop. I’m fine. I’m just feeling a bit emotional today. It’s probably my period.”

I look up and see all their faces frozen in horror and disgust. “I thought you boys were all supposed to be tough footballers!” I exclaim, erupting into a fit of giggles.

They all shake their heads and, in unison, pick up their glasses and take long gulps of their beers. They even set their drinks down at the same time. Now my eyes are wet from tears of laughter instead of pain. These brothers of mine are a pain in the arse, but they’re mine. And the truth is it isn’t just them that upset me today.

They have no clue how incredibly hard it is to share a birthday with a ghost.

 

 

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BOOK: Challenge
3.73Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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