Someone Like You

By: Victoria Purman

‘I like the way you think,’ she whispered, her lips close to his ear.

‘I’m just a man with a plan.’ Ry’s eyebrows quirked. ‘And Dan is probably cursing me right now, calling me the most pussy-whipped man in Australia. Maybe even the world.’

‘Oh, you are.’ She leaned closer. Her breasts were almost in his face and he grabbed her, twisting her into his lap. The chair wobbled and they clung on to each other as they laughed.

‘And I wouldn’t have it any other way.’

Julia glanced at her wrist. ‘I’ve got fifteen minutes before I meet with a very important client.’

‘It’s a deal.’ Ry touched his lips to hers softly, warm and tender at first, and then searching for more. Julia pressed into him and returned every inch of the kiss.

Ry was glad the door to his office was firmly closed.

When Dan opened his front door at lunchtime the next day, Ry barged right in with a six-pack of beer.

‘Danny Boy, what’s the score?’ He took time to slap Dan’s shoulder as he passed him. ‘I need to stick the beer in the fridge. It’s been sitting on the backseat all the way from Adelaide and I refuse to drink warm beer when we’re playing England. It would be unpatriotic. Like some kind of bad omen.’

Ry swung open the fridge door and stopped. ‘This is it?’ He looked back at Dan with contempt. ‘Vegemite, two apples and a dead cucumber? You really do need meals on wheels, don’t you?’

‘Ever heard of online shopping, you dick? I get what I need.’ Hell, it wasn’t much of a comeback but it was a start. Dan had been anxious about today, had felt pounded by the pressure of creating a happier version of himself to stop Ry from pushing, from probing. Creating that person was exhausting.

Ry stashed the beers in the freezer instead of the fridge. ‘I’d better tell Lizzie to keep up the deliveries.’

‘Mate, about that. You don’t have to.’

‘Oh, shut the fuck up, Dan. It’s the least I can do.’ Ry looked him in the eye. ‘In ten minutes, those beers will be cherry ripe. Now, turn on the telly. I need a score.’

In the big glass house next door, Lizzie sat barefoot and cross-legged on one of the white sofas, a champagne glass in one hand and a dip-covered water cracker in the other.

‘Really, Jools, it’s fine. It’s no trouble. I just put the food on the doormat, knock three times and leave.’ More like run. She crunched down, hoping the basil pesto dip didn’t fall onto the leather. It splattered on her knee instead.

Julia spluttered and clapped a hand to her mouth to stop the bubbly spray. ‘You do what?’

‘Don’t look at me like that. I promised you and Ry I would take Dan something to eat every night and I’ve kept my promise.’

‘You just drop and run,’ Julia said, disbelief in every word. ‘Without even saying hello?’

‘I said I would take him food, not sell him insurance.’

‘God, Lizzie, he can’t be that scary.’

‘I’m not scared of him,’ Lizzie scoffed. At least not in the way you think.

‘So why the knocking and running? Don’t you think he might just want a little conversation or a “how’s the weather”?’

‘Dan? Conversation?’ Lizzie shook her head. ‘Those two words don’t go together, Jools. He’s made it pretty clear that he wants to be left alone.’

‘All I know is that if I was still footloose and fancy free, I’d be knocking at his door every few minutes just to get a look at him. He’s about six kinds of handsome, don’t you think?’

So what if he was? Hell, Lizzie knew he was. But that didn’t mean he was uncomplicated. Lizzie shrugged her shoulders. ‘He’s all right, if you like that gruff, red-blooded, wild man thing he’s got going on.’

Oh God, don’t think of that!

Julia angled her head in the general direction of Dan’s house. ‘How do you think it’s going in there? Do you think he’s opening up to Ry?’

‘Your fiancé hasn’t come back yet, so I figure that’s a good sign.’

‘God, I hope so. Ry’s in serious need of some male bonding. If he tries to talk batting averages with me one more time, I might have to distract him with sex.’ Julia reached for the bottle and lifted it with a question on her face. ‘Another one?’

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