The Outback Heart

The Outback Heart by Fiona Palmer Read Free Book Online

Book: The Outback Heart by Fiona Palmer Read Free Book Online
Authors: Fiona Palmer
Tags: Fiction, General, Romance
realised that his drills were too complicated for the new players so he pared them right back to the basics. Indi just did her best to help the guys with their techniques.
    ‘All right, lads, time for some contact drills. Two lines. You and you,’ Troy pointed to Pat and Killer. ‘Over here.’ On the first round Pat laid Killer out flat with a harmless shepherd.
    ‘Killer, stand your ground,’ Troy said. ‘Pretend a ewe is trying to charge past you. Feet firm and brace. Got it?’
    Killer scratched the back of his neck and nodded.
    ‘I always thought it was shearing that was going to kill my back but I’m starting to have second thoughts,’ he joked. Troy laughed, deep and husky, as he slapped Killer on the shoulder.
    Indi had just finished helping Kiwi Two with his kicking. She stood back and watched the chaos of balls. Lucky dropped the ball onto his foot, kicking it hard, but it took a sharp turn and hit Brick in the back of the head.
    Brick – built like a brick shithouse – picked up the ball and walked towards Lucky, whose eyes widened in fear. ‘Arms straight. Like this, see?’ said Brick as he began to show Lucky the finer points.
    Indi laughed as the relief flooded Lucky’s face when he realised Brick wasn’t going to deck him.
    ‘So what do you think?’ A warm voice surprised her. Troy.
    She didn’t turn to face him, but she could feel his body next to hers. She tried to focus on the team. After his earlier insult she wasn’t sure how to take this question. She pursed her lips, deciding how to reply.
    ‘I mean, well, you seem to know these blokes, and Jasper’s right – you have more skill than most of them,’ he said, clearing his throat.
    Wow. Was that an apology of sorts?
Indi wondered. Had he been watching her that closely? The thought sent shivers up her spine.
    ‘Um, thanks.’ She risked a glance and was caught off guard by the intensity of his stare. Nothing like the condescending look he’d given her before. This time he was being open, almost warm.
    Troy was still watching her, waiting for an answer.
    ‘So? What do you think?’
    I think you’re really handsome
was the first thing that came to mind. She dragged her eyes away and focused on the team. ‘Well, honestly, it’s better than last year. And that’s because we have some numbers. But I’m surprised by James – he’s got form – and the others, well, yeah. Let’s just hope my brothers and the Duckworths can keep most of the play,’ she said with a chuckle.
    Troy’s eyes were still on her. She could feel his gaze like static along her skin. ‘So, I’m guessing you’d know what position some of these guys would be good at, right?’
    Indi shrugged. Yeah, she had her opinions. ‘Well, Limp goes great in the ruck and Jasp is good midfield, while Patrick is a brilliant centre-half forward. Patrick has been best and fairest the last five years running,’ she said proudly. She wasn’t going to point out that he didn’t have much competition, but at school Patrick had been quite talented too. He got that from their dad, who’d also been best and fairest in his day.
    ‘Thanks. Good to know. So, ah, you’ve been helping out the club for a few years, then?’
    ‘Yeah. I’m not a fully qualified physio – I don’t have the bit of paper. I had, um, family stuff come up. But I’m close enough to qualified for this mob. And you can use me as your runner. I like being involved.’
    ‘So I see,’ he said before blowing his whistle and calling the guys in.
    Troy wasn’t being rude, but he wasn’t friendly either. She wasn’t used to it. She usually got along well with all the guys.
    ‘All right, lads. Good training,’ he said, which got a few laughs.
    ‘You’re being nice, Yoda,’ said Jasper. ‘I’d call it a shambles.’
    ‘Well, that’s why I was thinking we could have a meeting before training next week to go over the positions and rules. And that’s for all of you, new and old. We’re a team. We

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