Tigers & Devils

Tigers & Devils by Sean Kennedy Read Free Book Online

Book: Tigers & Devils by Sean Kennedy Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sean Kennedy
Tags: Romance, Gay, Contemporary
that means a lot of sneaking around. What’s in it for you?”
    “It’s just coffee, Rog. I’m not thinking any further than that.”
    “Well, maybe you should!”
    This was getting too soap opera for me. Like Home and Away levels of bad. “I thought you guys were the ones who wanted me to see someone? And now that I have a date, you’re acting all pissy.”
    Fran hesitated and then mustered up the courage to say, “We just want you to be careful.”
    “You have a look,” Roger said.
    “A look?” Now I was the one who was dumbfounded.
    “Yeah, a look!”
    “Describe this look.”
    “I don’t know, look in a mirror!”
    “Lately you haven’t cared about dating.” Fran was trying to choose her words carefully. “And now all of a sudden, you look… excited, but trying hard to hide it. You really want to do it.”
    “And there’s something wrong with that?”
    “It’s just… he’s a celebrity… well, as much of a celebrity as a sports player can be.”
    Spoken like someone who didn’t know one end of the field from the other. “It’s not going to be easy.”
    “You got that right,” Roger mumbled.
    I stared them down. “It’s just coffee.”
    But I knew, and they knew, that I was lying. I was looking forward to it, too much. I had no more idea than they did about what could happen. All I knew was that I wanted to go and see how it went. I couldn’t really imagine any consequences; it was all too abstract.

    I DIDN’T hear from either Roger or Declan the next couple of days. My good mood had all but vanished when I met Fran for lunch on Wednesday.
    “He cares about you, you doofus,” Fran said over her chicken roll. “Just you two are guys, so you have stupid ways of showing it.”

    28 | SEAN KENNEDY

    “It’s my life,” I said childishly.
    “And as your friend, he will always butt into it, awkwardly to be sure, and then back off instantly,” Fran replied.
    “Do you think I shouldn’t go on this date?” I asked, half-scared of what her answer would be.
    “Of course you should.” She fished a bit of scraggly looking shaved carrot out of her lunch and inspected it with disgust. “Just go into it with your eyes open.”
    I think no matter which answer she had given, I would have been half-scared regardless.
    “So what are you going to wear?”
    I looked at her, wondering if she thought I had suddenly grown a vagina in the past five minutes. “Clothes.”
    She sighed. “ Men .”

    THAT night I could barely sleep, and I cursed myself for being so stupid. I was awake at four-thirty in the morning, and I pictured myself trying to be cool and debonair over coffee with Declan — and then falling comatose into my latte and drowning before him. He was a footballer; he had quick reflexes. Hopefully his resuscitation skills would be just as good. I giggled dreamily while I remembered what his lips tasted like and thought that I had to stop such thoughts immediately or else I would never get through the day.
    Even the unwashed denizens of the public transport system couldn’t stop me from beaming like Pollyanna as I rode the light rail into the city. Nyssa handed me my first cup of coffee of the morning suspiciously.
    “Hello, Cheery McCheer.”
    “Morning, Nyssa.”
    She watched me closely. “Why are you so happy?”
    “No reason.”
    “There’s a reason! You’re never this happy! You’re surly even when you’re happy.”
    I saw a light cross over her eyes as realisation dawned upon her. I took a step back, thinking she had cottoned onto me and my hypocritical ways.
    “You’ve gotten another job!”
    Okay, that stumped me. “What?”
    She was now going into full hysterical mode, practically wringing her hands. “I knew it was too good to be true, that you’d stay here forever! You’ve been headhunted by some larger festival! Or maybe even a studio! I’m going to get a new boss who will be feral and probably make me sign up on a workplace contract, and there’ll be no

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