You met Darcy and her man-bun-wearing, yoga-doing, biggest supporter Levi in Part I yesterday. Not enough?
Well, we can help with that.
‘Unhand me, DC, you’re making a spectacle of yourself.’
Darcy laughed at the gruff humour and unlocked her legs, sliding to her feet. He handed her the balloon and grabbed for her bag.
She took a step back. ‘I can take it.’
He didn’t answer, just reached for it and slid it off her shoulder, slinging it over his own with quiet efficiency as they turned towards the exit. ‘Are you sure you’re female, DC? Most chicks’ make-up bags are this size.’
Darcy laughed to cover the sudden deflating realisation that after seven years of platonic cohabitation, Levi had probably never seen her as a female.
As a woman.
It’s true she wasn’t much of a girly girl. She was a sporty girl who worked a manual job, preferred loose comfortable clothes to anything fashionable, and lived for her Aussie Rules. But bloody hell, she had two C cups that pretty much put her femininity right out there.
They’d been squashed against his chest a moment ago.
Annoyed at her train of thought and why it seemed to matter so much suddenly, Darcy gave herself a mental shake. Since when had she given any fucks about this crap? ‘Not only female but a goddamn Brisbane Banshee, so watch out, Levi.’
He laughed and high-fived her before stepping around a toddler who was drunkenly navigating the airport corridor. ‘What did your parents say?’
Darcy sighed as she also took evasive action to avoid the toddler. ‘They said they were proud but could the name be changed to something less ghoulish.’ Levi laughed. ‘I explained the team names weren’t up to me.’
‘They mean well.’
‘They going to go to your debut game?’
She shook her head. ‘Dad’s got a convention in Cambridge in February and Mum’s going with him to catch up with family.’
He didn’t say anything for a moment, then slid his hand onto her shoulder and gave her a squeeze as they walked companionably side by side. ‘Sorry.’ His hand fell from her shoulder as quickly as it had appeared.
Darcy didn’t mind. Her parents were proud of her, in their own way. It wasn’t their fault she’d strayed from the plan. That growing boobs and thighs at the age of fifteen had stymied her mother’s Royal Ballet ambitions for Darcy. And taking up soccer and football had added insult to injury.
They were the arts and academia. Darcy was dirty hands and football on Sunday. The two were hard to reconcile.
‘Well, I’ll be there.’
‘I should bloody hope so.’ It wasn’t strange that Levi’s presence at the game meant more to her than her own parents being there. He’d been her number one cheerleader for years. He got it. ‘
All of Brisbane’s going to be there, DC, just you wait and see.’
Darcy smiled at him. She hoped so. She really did. Everyone had such high hopes for the women’s game taking off and being supported by the same fans who’d been watching the blokes do it for decades. There were detractors, of course. The people who said nobody wanted to see chicks playing football and why didn’t they just stick to netball?
But, overwhelmingly, reaction had been positive. It was a gamble for the powers that be—no one was disputing that—hopefully one that paid dividends.
They’d all know in four months…
‘So, how’re you going to celebrate? Going out with the girls?’
‘No. Tomorrow night. Big night in Melbourne last night with the team.’ All the Banshee draft picks had painted the town red and Darcy grinned, remembering again, and gave herself a mental pinch. She was part of a national women’s team!
‘Can’t party too hard.’ She patted her stomach. ‘Gotta keep match fit.’ Levi threw back his head and laughed. The man knew the type of crap she usually shovelled into her mouth on a regular basis.
A woman coming towards them glanced at Levi, totally checking him out as she passed by. And why not? He may be just a friend but Darcy was still a woman and the man was very easy on the eyes. He didn’t seem to notice her appraisal, though.
He never seemed to notice how women looked at him. And they looked at him. A lot.
Not that he ever seemed to partake. Darcy couldn’t be absolutely sure—they weren’t the kind of friends who talked about their sex lives—but she did live with him and if she was a betting woman, she’d say Levi had been as celibate as she had these past couple of years.
He’d dated, in the past—she’d met a few of his women at the breakfast table when Tony still lived with them. But she hadn’t seen him with anyone in a long time. Not at their place anyway.
Which was a crying shame. The man practiced yoga every morning and taught it three nights a week—for damn sure he’d have some mad, crazy skills between the sheets.
Tune in tomorrow for Part III!
Darcy Clarke would do anything to play for the new Women’s Aussie Rules league, even put up with her ex, Tony, who just happens to be the coach of the Brisbane Banshees. Tony stomped out of their apartment – and all over heart – two years ago, but she’s moved on, and she deserves her jersey.
As his best friend’s girl, Darcy has always been out of Levi’s reach, even after Tony dropped her and moved out of the apartment they all shared. Now, two years on and still sharing the same apartment, she should be fair game. But Levi is no closer to getting Darcy to think of him as anything but a roommate and a friend.
But when Darcy injures herself in play, Levi’s qualifications as a sports massage therapist are put to good use. Suddenly, their relationship becomes very hands on, and Darcy sees a whole new side of her old friend. A pity he seems immune to her charms. When Tony makes it clear he wants back into her life, she has a decision to make: between the man she once loved and the man who never left her side.
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