Lean on Me (The Mackay Sisters)

BOOK: Lean on Me (The Mackay Sisters)
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Lean
on Me

 

By

 

 Angela
Verdenius

 

 

(The
Mackay Sisters book 2)

 

 

(BBW
Romance)

 

 

Copyright
2013 Angela Verdenius

 

cover
image courtesy of  iconogenic &
istock.com

cover
by Joleene Naylor

 

 

ebook Edition
License Notes

No
part of this book may be reproduced or copied without prior consent of the
author & publisher.

All
characters and towns are figments of the author’s imagination and bear no
resemblance to any person living or deceased.

 

Foreword

 

I
found that some overseas readers were having difficulty with the Australian
slang, so I thought a list of the slang I’ve used will help while reading the
following story.  If I’ve forgotten any, I do apologise!  Also, you’ll find
some of our Aussie words have different spelling to the US.

 

*
please note that sizes in the US and Australia differ, so when reading of a set
dress size, check the conversion on-line if you want!

 

 Cheers,

Angela

 

Australian
Terms/Slang

 

Arvo
- afternoon

Barbie
- BBQ

Beaut
- beautiful, awesome,
great, wonderful

Biccies
- biscuits.  The
same as cookies

Bikie
- biker, person who
rides motorcycles.

Bloke/s
- man/men

Bloody
- a swear word ‘no
bloody good’, in place of ‘no damned good’

Boofhead
- idiot,
simpleton, etc.  It’s an insult, though sometimes we use it as a term of
affection.  It depends on how it is said and meant.

Boot (of a car)
- trunk

Budgie smugglers
- men’s
bathers, small, brief and tight-fitting

Buggered
- many Aussie use
it as a slang word for ‘broken’ (it’s buggered), ‘tired (I’m buggered), and ‘no
way’ (I’m buggered if I’m going to do that).  Just some examples

Bung/Bunging
- as in
‘bunging onto something’, putting on something (bung veggies on a plate,
putting veggies on a plate), usually in a careless or ‘easy’ manner.

Chemist
- pharmacy

Chips
- in Australia we have cold crunchy chips from a packet, or hot chips known in some countries as
French Fries 

Crash cart
- resuscitation
trolley in a hospital or medical setting - used for life threatening situations
such as cardiac arrest

Dander
– temper

Dill
- silly, idiot

Doona
- like a padded quilt
that fits inside a cover and lies on the bed.  Can have the warmth of two,
three or four blankets, etc.

Donger
- penis.  Also
another meaning is a place people sometimes sleep in, such as ‘dongers’ on mine
sites.

Dunny
- toilet.  When used
in the terms ‘built like a brick dunny’, it refers to something built solid,
unmoveable.

Giggle-box
- TV, television

Got his/her/their goat

annoyed him/her/them

Hoon/s
- person/people who
indulge in antisocial behaviour.  Great explanation in Wikipedia

Iced coffee/chocolate
- a
milk drink flavoured with chocolate or coffee

Lolly
- sweetie, candy

Loo
- toilet

Lug
- face

Milo
- chocolate malt
drink.  Can have it hot or cold. Yummy!

Moosh
- slang for
face/mouth

Mobile phone
- cell phone

Nong
- idiot

Nooky
- sex

Panadol
- paracetamol,
similar to Tylenol in the US

Pav/s
- Pavlova/Pavlovas -
best dessert ever!

PCYC
- Police and Citizens
Youth Club

Pedal Pushers
- three
quarter pants/knickerbockers

Porking
- having sex

Primapore
- sticky patch
with a pad in it, a medical dressing

Pub
- hotel

 
RAC
- Royal Automobile
Club of Western Australia.  Covers insurance, holidays, loans, etc

Red backs -
poisonous
spider, black in colour with a red stripe on its back.

Rubbers
- condoms

Servo
- service station

Shag
- sex

Sheila
- female

Snaggers
- sausages

Soft drink
- soda, fizzy
drink

Tea
- some people call the
evening meal dinner.  In my family, we’ve always called it tea, as in breaky,
dinner and tea, or breaky, lunch and tea.

Thongs
- worn on the feet,
same as ‘flip flops’

Tickled pink
- delighted

Tim Tams
- a brand of
Arnott’s Biscuits. Yummy!

TLC
- Tender Loving Care

Torch
- flashlight

Tucker
- food

Ute -
small truck

Vegemite
- most Aussies
find this spread yummy, many non-Aussies find it too salty.  Here’s the hint -
if you ever have Vegemite, use it spread thinly, never thickly!

Yamaha & Suzuki
-
‘brands’ of motorcycles.

You wally
- silly

Wanger
- penis

Waterworks
- crying

Whopper
- a lie

 

Driving
- In Australia, you cannot get a driver’s licence to drive a car until you are 17 years old. 
You get your Learner’s Permit (which requires you to drive only in the company
of a qualified driver), then at 18 you can go for your Probationary licence (you
can drive on your own but at restricted speed limits), and then finally you are
a fully qualified driver.

 

 

Chapter 1

 

She was standing in the rain.  The
clouds were dark, the wind starting to pick up, and the rain was pattering down
more earnestly.  And she was just standing there with an umbrella; head tipped
back, one hand outstretched. 

In the rain.

Situated at the window of his
friend’s second story house, Matt looked across at the woman in the backyard
next door.  At her feet sat an old cat.  He knew the cat was old, because he
knew the owner.  Wanted to know her a lot more, in fact, which was easier said
than done.  She wasn’t exactly the outgoing type.

“Lori’s standing in the rain,” he
observed, frowning.

Ghost glanced up from where he was
trying to stop Abraham, the big tabby, from pawing the spring from the
printer.  “Damn it.  She shouldn’t be.”

“Shouldn’t be,” agreed Matt.  “But
is.”

“What’s she doing?”  Picking
Abraham up, Ghost deposited him on the big armchair as he crossed the room.

“Standing in the rain.”

“I know that, genius.”  Drawing to
a stop beside Matt, Ghost peered through the window.  “Oh.  I see.”

Matt raised his eyebrows.

“Minx insists on a last walk
outside before nightfall,” Ghost explained.  “And as usual, Lori spoils her.”

“Because you wouldn’t do that,”
Matt said dryly, casting his eyes over the cat toys littering the floor, one of
which was a new feather duster that Mort had decided was dangerous and had
immediately dragged upstairs, depositing on the floor when he grew bored
attacking it.

Ignoring him, Ghost frowned. 
“Minx is getting a little senile.”

Returning his gaze to the figures
in the yard, Matt winced as the rain started to come down harder.  “Lori
shouldn’t be out there.  Nor should Minx.”

“Tell that to Lori.”  Ghost
stepped back.  “Not that she ever listens to me.”

Maybe she wouldn’t listen to
Ghost, but there was no way Matt could watch her standing in that hellish rain,
umbrella and gumboots or not.  Swinging away from the window, he started across
the room, only to find Ghost heading the same way.

“Where are you going?” Matt asked.

“To talk to Lori, of course.”

“What’s the point if she never
listens to you?”

“It’s never stopped me before.”

They both went down the stairs a
whole lot faster than they’d come up.

“I have to go home anyway,” Matt
said.  “No sense both of us getting wet.  I’ll call on Lori.”

“Front door will be locked,” Ghost
informed him.  “She won’t hear you.”

Matt arched one eyebrow.  “So how
were you going to get her attention?”

“Jump the back fence, of course.”

“Of course.”

Jumping the back fence in the rain
wasn’t exactly tempting, but seeing as how his friend spoke the truth in
regards to Lori not being able to hear him above the rain, it looked like
jumping the back fence was the only was he was going to gain her attention.  If
it meant getting wet to move her out of the rain, then it looked like the back
fence was his route of departure.

Not his first choice, but still…it
was Lori.

Opening the kitchen door, Matt
stepped out onto the veranda.  The rain was really starting to pour down now.  Good
grief, surely she wasn’t still standing out in the rain?

Matt glanced at Ghost, who
shrugged and said, “She’s a Mackay,” as though that explained everything. 
Seeing as how he was an old school friend of the Mackay sisters and was, in
fact, engaged to the oldest sister, Matt supposed Ghost would know what he was
talking about.

“You sure you want to do this?” 
Ghost glanced towards the fence.  “Maybe I should-”

“I’m doing it.”  Taking a deep
breath, Matt looked out at the rain.  Damn, it was going to be cold.

“Yeah, but-”

“She won’t listen to you, but I’m
a whole other story.”  And with that, Matt strode out into the rain.

Cripes, it was
freezing
!   Bolting
for the fence, Matt grabbed the top of it, pulling himself up and over easily
to land in the Mackays’ backyard.  A quick glance around showed the backyard to
now be empty, so without hesitation he dashed for the veranda.  The long, wet
grass slapped at his jeans, his sneakers disappearing into a couple of wet
puddles.

Swearing, he skipped over a couple
of steps until he was running on the cement slabs leading from the clothes line
to the veranda.  Finally he leaped up the several steps to come to a gasping
stop in the shelter of the back veranda.  Shoving his dripping hair back from
his face, he noticed the gumboots neatly sitting side-by-side not far from the
raincoat that was hanging from a hook.  The open umbrella was lying on the
wooden bench to dry.

“Matt?”

He looked up to see Lori regarding
him in surprise from the back security screen door.  “Hi, Lori.”

“What are you doing?”  Her gaze
slid down him.  “You’re soaked.”

“Yep.”  There was no doubting
that, not when he was dripping huge puddles on her veranda.

Looking past him to the rain now
teeming down, she frowned slightly and opened the door.  “You’d better come
in.”

Best invitation he’d had all day,
except… “I’ll make a mess on your floor.”

“Take your sneakers off.”

He looked down at himself.  “I’m
afraid it’s a bit more than just my sneakers that are wet, love.”

“So take off your shirt and…”  Her
cheeks coloured.

“Pants?” he finished dryly.  He
had no doubt she’d go right up in flames of embarrassment if he did that. 
“Maybe I better just hike over the fence to my side.”

“Um…”  She bit her lip.

That luscious lip, so plump and
pink.  His gaze dropped down to where she worried the tender flesh with small,
white teeth.  Nibbling on those lips was a huge temptation that he refused to
contemplate.  Except in his daydreams…his very hot daydreams.

For now.

There was always later, if he
could ever get past her shyness and reserve.  He just had to go slowly so as
not to frighten her off.  Taking off his pants to reveal his semi hard boner
was not part of the plan.

Yet.

So instead of just ripping off his
pants and shirt and waltzing right into her kitchen as he really wanted, Matt
smiled at her.  “It’s all right, Lori.”

“You’ll catch a cold.”

He winked.  “You can’t catch a
cold from getting wet.  Old wives tale to get the kids inside out of the rain.”

Okay.”  Those big, beautiful green
eyes suddenly took on a wary light. “Um…Matt?”

“Yeah?”

“Exactly why are you here?  On my
back veranda and soaking wet?”

“Oh.  Well, I spotted you standing
in the rain with your cat.”

She didn’t blink.

“I jumped the fence because you
wouldn’t hear me knocking on the door above this rain.”  He pointed at the
veranda roof upon which the rain beat down loudly.

One slow blink, the heavy black
eyelashes sweeping down and up again as she continued to watch him curiously.

“You shouldn’t be out in the
rain,” he finished, immediately realising how dumb that sounded.  “You’ll get
sick.”

“I won’t catch a cold,” she
replied.  “You just told me that.”

“Well yes, true, but-”

“And I wasn’t technically
in
the rain.  I had on a raincoat and gumboots and stood under an umbrella.”

Okay, put like that…

“So what was the concern?”

For that, Matt actually didn’t
have a reply.  When he’d seen her from Ghost’s window standing in the rain and
so, well, unprotected, it had seemed like a perfectly reasonable idea to come
over and tell her off.

Tell her off, a grown woman in
protective
rain gear who had the sense to go back indoors with her old cat as soon as the
rain got too hard.

Closing his eyes, Matt pinched the
bridge of his nose.  “Uh…”  Opening his eyes again, he found Lori regarding him
steadily.  “Okaaay.”

Her eyebrows rose in query.

“Now I feel like a fool.”  Taking
a deep breath, he tipped his head back and regarded the veranda roof, absently
noticing several cobwebs high up amongst the exposed beams.  Hopefully not the
cobwebs weaved by red-back spiders.  He’d have to come and check it out later.

“Matt?”

“Yeah?”

“Are you all right?”

At the note of concern in her
voice, he tipped his head back down to look at her.  Yeah, she was watching him
with concern. Opening the security door completely, she stepped out to move a
little closer.

Man, was she built like a woman. 
All woman.  Her light jumper hugged those big breasts, following the indent of
her waist to end at those generous hips which curved out and down to her legs
clad in long, cotton pants. When she moved, the ends of that thick brown braid
that fell over her shoulder curled around the bottom of her left breast.  She
had no idea how much that affected him, because he could just imagine that it
was his hand curving under that full, heavy breast.

She was all curves.  All luscious
curves he itched to lay his palms against, to follow the hills and valleys, to
draw that rubenesque figure against him and revel in all that soft, woman flesh
and her sweet, sweet scent that made him want to bury his nose against her warm
neck and just breathe her in and-

A cool hand pressing against his
forehead snapped him right out of his unbidden daydream.  Refocussing on Lori,
he saw her smooth forehead creased in a worried frown.  “Matt, are you sick?”

“What?  No, of course not.” 
Managing a laugh, he caught her hand and pulled it down.

Such a soft little hand, the stain
of oil lingering on the side of her little finger regardless of how she must
have washed it after her shift at the only service station in town.  Well, soft
except for a few small callouses on her palm.  A working hand.

Keeping his much bigger hand
securely wrapped around hers, Matt smiled down at her.  “I’m in perfect
health.”

Going by the dubious expression on
her face, she wasn’t so sure.

“Honestly.”  He rubbed his thumb
against her palm.

Almost immediately she stiffened,
tugging at her hand.

Damn it
.  Releasing her
hand, he stuck his own into his pocket, the cold wetness a rather unpleasant
sensation after her warm skin.  “So.”  Trying to appear nonchalant, he rocked back
and forth in his soaked sneakers.  “Any plans for this evening?”

She stared at him.

Couldn’t blame her really, here he
was standing on her back veranda, drenched to the skin and trying to win her
over with his friendly smile and sodden body, and there she was undoubtedly
thinking he’d lost his mind.

But he was a desperate man trying
to appear very un-desperate.

Then his salvation wound her way
slowly past Lori’s legs to come to a halt at his feet.  Gazing solemnly up at
him out of big, gold eyes, Minx looked exactly what she was - a very old cat. 
Frail, a little tatty, with a wise expression on her furry little face.

Unable to help himself, Matt
squatted down, reaching out to let her sniff his fingers.  “Hey, old girl.”

Minx sniffed his fingers before
suddenly butting her head against his hand.  With a smile, he gently rubbed
around her ears and under her chin, rewarded almost instantly by her purring.

“How old is she?” he asked.

“Twenty,” Lori replied.

Glancing up, he caught her
expression as she gazed down at Minx.  Love, softness, and a touch of concern.

“Hey.”  He straightened, unfolding
to his full height which was a head taller than Lori.  “Everything all right?”

“Sure.”  She smiled.

“You just seemed a little…I don’t
know, sad?”

“Oh, it’s nothing.”

Not liking that answer, he
continued to watch her.

Lori sighed.  “For a cat, Minx is very
old.  She’s been having some trouble getting around lately, more so than usual.
 I know it’s natural for an elderly cat, but still…”  Voice trailing off, she lowered
her gaze to Minx.

Yeah, there was a definite
huskiness in her tone now.  She was worried about her old cat and Matt could
relate to that, having had animals most of his life.  He knew how devoted she
was to Minx, how close they were, and it was more than evident in the way she
gently scooped Minx up into her arms and cradled her close.

Minx continued to purr and blink
slowly at him.

If anything happened to the old
ginger cat it would devastate Lori.  They were close. 

Reaching out again, Matt rubbed
under Minx’s chin, smiling as she arched her neck up to take full advantage of
the caress.  “She’s a cutie, all right.”  His gaze switched to Lori.  “She’s
had a good innings, Lori.”

“I know.”  Lori lifted her chin. 
“I’m fine.  So, you aren’t working tonight?”

It was a definite switch of topics
that Matt accepted without comment.  “I am, actually.”

“What time do you start?”

He glanced at his watch.  “One
hour.”  Which meant he had to leave so he could shower and change, have a bite
to eat and get to the substation on time.  Damn it.  This was the first chance
he’d had in a while to talk to Lori and it was already over, thanks to duty
calling.  “Guess I’d better go.”  He started to back away.

“You could come through the
house.”  She gestured to the door behind her.

“And drip all over your floors? 
Not likely.”  He grinned.  “I would never forgive myself.”

“It’s no problem.”

“Nah.  I’ll just pop over the
fence.”

“You’ve been spending too much
time with Ghost.”  Amusement glimmered in her eyes.

Those beautiful green eyes he’d
like to see glimmer with passion.  But he’d go with amusement for now, it was a
hell of a lot better than the wariness with which she’d regarded him earlier. 
He’d take it as a sign of progress.

“I know.  He’s a bad influence.” 
Heaving a mental sigh, he turned and strode down the veranda steps.  “Night,
Lori.”

BOOK: Lean on Me (The Mackay Sisters)
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