tigers & devils (pdf) by sean kennedy (ebook). 2nd Edition The most important things in Simon Murray's life are football, friends, and film-in that order. His friends. Sean Kennedy. Tigers & Devils Format: PDF / ePub / Kindle. 2nd Edition The most There are the wild the, amur tiger subspecies has been. Read Tigers & Devils PDF. 2nd EditionThe most important things in Simon Murray's life are football, friends, and film-in that order. His friends.
|Language:||English, Spanish, German|
|ePub File Size:||15.37 MB|
|PDF File Size:||10.12 MB|
|Distribution:||Free* [*Regsitration Required]|
TIGERS AND DEVILS | 3 We quickly slipped into seeing each other on a regular basis. And I was heartened by the fact that it wasn't just about the sex, although. tigers and devils 1 sean kennedy - sixesapp - tigers and devils 1 pdf when the tigers traveled to greenville on halloween to play furman in their very first match. Tigers and Devils book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. The most important things in Simon Murray's life are football, f.
Looking confused gave him more character, it made his boy-next-door looks become even more appealing. I also dug the idea of a jock and the out-of-s I am again going to be in the lonely camp of those who didn't love this book. Simon is openly gay. It made for a fun reading experience. View all 18 comments.
At issue is dealing with a relationship where one of the partners is not just in the closet but is also a highly visible and very popular sports personality. The many supporting characters found in the book are wonderful additions to the story. The couple's best friends, Roger and Fran, as well as Abe and Lisa, are well developed and interesting characters and along with Simon's coworker Nyssa help to define the protagonists as more than just romantic leads.
The complexities of blending together firmly established friendships when two people fall in love and become a couple was also very well written. Another thing that was realistically handled was their relationship with their families. Simon is out to his family and that has caused his relationship with them to become a bit strained and Declan's family has no idea that he's gay. The interactions between the main characters, their friends and families plus a few others are realistic and bring added depth to this story.
Another thing that really made this a very entertaining story was the setting.
I really enjoyed the author's descriptions of life in Melbourne, the love for the sport of Australian Rules football the people have and the expressions they use. It's always nice when I read a story set in another country and when the author is able to really bring it to life for me it's even better. All in all this is a wonderful story. I loved Simon and Declan and they have taken a place on my favorite couples list. This is a book that I know I'll enjoy reading again.
A definite 5 star keeper. View all 13 comments. May 12, Hours after my original DNF review So I couldn't let it go and decided to keep on trucking- I should've left it alone. Omg, these two: It was so frustrating.
As lovable as all the chatacters were, I can't go higher than 2. This story had so much potential, but I can't look past the story being solely based on misunderstandings. It started off Hours after my original DNF review It started off cute, but after a while I felt like we weren't getting anywhere. We were just going round and round I started to lose interest and there's just too many books in my TBR to force myself to finish.
That being said, I would give this author another try. I'll also be refraining from rating it since I didn't finish it. Simon and Declan I absolutely adored this book, which details the ups and downs in the relationship between Simon, a prickly, cynical and extremely cautious film festival manager and Declan, an Aussie Rules footballer , who is obviously in the closet, but all the things that Simon is not - warm, laid back, personable and rich and totally hot to boot!
The relationship is fraught with problems as you would expect, and the superb way that the couple deal with everything that life throws at them Simon and Declan I absolutely adored this book, which details the ups and downs in the relationship between Simon, a prickly, cynical and extremely cautious film festival manager and Declan, an Aussie Rules footballer , who is obviously in the closet, but all the things that Simon is not - warm, laid back, personable and rich and totally hot to boot!
The relationship is fraught with problems as you would expect, and the superb way that the couple deal with everything that life throws at them is so funny, laugh out loud in places , giggling and snorting at others, that I just had to buy the follow-up straight away, and wasn't disappointed by that either. It has a cast of wonderful characters, Fran and Roger who are Simon's best friends my faves , Declan's best mate and fellow Aussie Rules footballer Abe and his girlfriend Lisa and last but not least the wonderful Nyssa who is Simon's assistant.
Totally loved it!!
View 2 comments. Feb 28, Elsa Bravante rated it liked it Shelves: Sinceramente, no lo recomiendo. You've got regular bloke Simon, who meets and falls in love with national, footy superstar Declan, where said relationship has to be hidden because Declan is not out.
Eventually of course, everything comes to light and chaos ensues. Simon and Declan not only have to navigate the muddy waters of burgeoning relationship highs and lows, but a very sensational public outing. It shows in all its glory, the strain on friendships, the awkwa 3.
It shows in all its glory, the strain on friendships, the awkwardness with family, the stress and paranoia of being in the limelight. Despite its length and despite the gawd awful, fade to black, I really did enjoy this. It continued to surprise me over and over, because just when I thought it would veer off into melodrama or take a turn for the worst due to some stupid miscommunication, it righted itself back up and kept on going well minus one big incident.
Interspersed generously throughout were some smart, self deprecating humor, some slap in your face sobering realism, and a lot of sarcastic, snarky wit. So overall, I appreciated how these two handled their insecurities, feelings, and problems - all with grounded realism and standout comedic flair.
For sure, Simon's droll personality was the shining glory in this, as Declan sweetly loves him for it anyway. I can honestly say I look forward to seeing what's in store for these two in the future. Nov 17, MaDoReader rated it really liked it Shelves: Es un libro divertido, dulce, con unos MC estupendos, que te dibuja la sonrisa en la cara casi desde el minuto uno. Ahora, momentos hot lo que se dice hot On sale at Amazon for 99c. View all 5 comments. It was educational and interesting but not entertaining enough.
He was pessimistic, sarcastic, insecure, and whiny. They are now apart for a long period of time. This felt contrived and not believable. A minor point: On the positive side, I believe it was educational. It shows what a relationship is like between two men who fall in love with each other — how they hug and kiss and act with each other. It was not educational about how they have sex; the author did not go into that kind of detail — which may be a positive or a negative for some readers.
Simon is openly gay. His job is director of the Triple F film festival showing independent cinema with a large number of gay-friendly entrants. Declan is a football star who has been out most of the season due to injuries. They happen to be at the same cocktail party. Simon has no idea Declan is nearby and overhears this. Simon leaves the party. Declan follows him and kisses him. The relationship starts.
Story length: Swearing language: Sexual language: Number of sex scenes: Number of sex scene pages: View all 4 comments. I'm not sure how to rate this book. Unfortunately, their relationship is full of misunderstanding, non-communication and drama which, after a while, started to really irritate me. I was strongly compelled to read the entire book because I wanted to see how it all played out and to verify they were going to get their heads out of their asses and make it all right.
But they were both, at times, so irritating. Especially w I'm not sure how to rate this book. Especially with Declan running away from situations. So, for now I'm settling on 3 stars. Even though it "feels" like 4 stars to me.
If that makes any sense - guess I'm holding a grudge that the author chose to write their relationship in this way. Could have been so much better with less drama and more affection. Feb 03, Eva rated it really liked it Shelves: Really great book Melbourne AFL Love This book is a sweet, angst-filled, emotional, humorous and heartwarming romance.
I live in Melbourne and I love Melbourne and everything in the book is very true. I loved Dec and Simon and development of their relationship. They are so good to each other. The sex in this book is not explicit. While the guys do have sex, it is subtle and the emphasis is on their relationship.
Overall great book. I loved it, hope you will too. Mar 11, JenMcJ rated it liked it Shelves: This felt like a very long book. It revolves around a film festival organizer and a football player Many of the terms were unfamiliar to me.
I could figure many of them out, but the biggest one, the one that drives much of the angst and utterly stumped me was football. I am still not sure if Declan played soccer football elsewhere in the world or if Australian Football is that game that is sort of a cross between American football and rugby without pads.
I still d This felt like a very long book. I still don't know and I have finished the book.
Simon was not really very likeable. I wanted to smack him almost every page of the book. He is absolutely a normal uncomminicative guy that you would have in your family, but not the likely hero of a love story.
This is a romance where any physical aspects of their relationship start as kissing and then move direclty to cuddling or waking up the next morning. Sweet, but no heat in this book. I tagged it as stupids just cause these guys pissed me off with how little they communicated, it was just stupid.
That said Simon is just hilarious and very lovable character and i loved his narrations and perspectives of things. I also loved Declan Tyler and all the secondary characters. I would love to read more about all of them, even though the book has a lot of pages it reads really smooth and quick and I was sad when it was over.
I think this is the kind of story I would've enjoyed a few years ago. Now, I got too picky for my own good. It's still a nice book though - light, sweet and funny. View all 18 comments. Dec 29, Elsbeth rated it really liked it Shelves: BR, July 8th with Paul and Sonia.
Review to come. Oct 14, Natalia rated it it was amazing Shelves: Mar 07, Lauraadriana rated it it was amazing Shelves: Declan and Simon's story was funny, sweet, brave, serious, but mostly it was a fantastic story of two men becoming a couple and which that entails It is simply very good.
Juvenile, melodramatic and sold as a romance between Simon and Declan but is actually a threeway sapfest between Simon and bff Roger and his wife, Fran. With the occasional Declan interlude. Irritated and disappointed. This could be coloured by that. Aug 15, Kassa rated it it was amazing. Now, why is this book so good you ask? Well there are so many places to start within a book that is nearly pages of intricate problems, complex quagmires, loyal friendships, and complicated relationships all with a mixture of angst, comedy, and typical miscommunication.
Throw in a celebrity athlete, the media, fans, and inherent problems within a gay relationship and there is so much going on in this book, the story easily could have been split over several much shorter books and still shone. However, put together as it was, the cohesive and well-written story delves into a variety of problems and issues while showing a reality often glossed over in romances for the sake of tired and overused created drama and tension.
The characters were wonderfully three-dimensional with hardly a wasted person in a rather large cast. From family members to co-workers and other athletes, each has a presence and a purpose without feeling thrown in or thrown away. Simon is a wholly complex character with qualities that range from insecure, stubborn, introverted, emotional, bumbling, and sarcastic to loving, vulnerable, eloquent, charismatic, strong, capable, and rational.
He is often prickly and guarded, preferring to handle his fears and problems internally and by himself than let even those he loves help him. If these two have problems, it lands squarely in the lack of communication and the tendency to ignore problems or let arguments slide without resolving the root issue. This causes more than a few downs in their uneven relationship, but their determination to not give up is refreshing when so many fights could easily have been the final blow for not only Simon and Declan, but Simon and Roger as well.
Which leads to the secondary characters of Fran and Rodger, also well rounded and thought out providing important contrast and reality to the story. Fran and Rodger, as well as Lisa and Abe, are important characters to show the complex nature of friendship in both its ugliness and profound support. Not often are friendships given just as much weight and depth as the main relationship and undoubtedly in this story, each are equal and important.
When I thought he was being an unreasonable prick, his friends would simply laugh it off and bring him out of his shell, but when I thought he had a legitimate gripe and was genuinely hurt his friends would tell him he was being a prick and to get over it.
Very rarely do romance stories follow a lengthy scope of a relationship beyond the initial declaration of love and not only was this an examination over years of their life, but the story never shied away from the difficult and painful aspects involved. Dealing with a celebrity and the media is not always easy and the various positive and negative aspects are shown with clarity and very little need for embellishment. The easy invasion of privacy of an intensely introverted person is even more of a hardship than for someone who may think its fun for fifteen minutes of fame.
Showing the strain and difficulties these cause on a relationship was a welcome fresh spin, even if the final drama and resolution was not quite to my taste. I felt the action needed to happen but the resolution felt too easy and off-page considering the amount of included action that had occurred within the story up to then. The writing was solid and tight with wonderfully descriptive phrases and an authentic Australian dialogue.
I am blessed or cursed with having an Aussie best friend who is a huge footy fan so the description at the beginning was a wonderfully real description of a sport taken very seriously down under.
Allegiances are not to be lightly taken and the author is clearly a Richmond fan because really no one else would saddle the already beleaguered Simon with that team otherwise. The comedy woven throughout the book from sarcastic comebacks to witty self-deprecation is hilarious and keeps the book as a lighthearted and thoroughly enjoyable read. One last mention - the cover. I thought the cover was wonderful, artful and fitting for the story.
Perfect without the need to add naked men and simple, yet conveys the theme of the book to it's benefit. Well done. Oct 01, Heller rated it it was amazing Shelves: This one is all about relationships: It was the first MM story that I read that was sex-light and I loved that, sex was alluded to but it was fade to black for the details and that really worked for me.
I adored the development of the relationship between Simon, an arty wanker, and Declan, a dumb jock. These two hit it off almost right from the start and they are definitely the case of opposites attracting. The problems start to arise when other people get involved. Declan is a well known athlete who isn't out to his family, his coaches, his teammates or the public.
This is at its core a coming out story. How to deal with the issues surrounding that when you're in the public eye and you're not in control of it and what happens around you and your relationship when when things just start to fall apart.
Simon is all kinds of snark. He is sarcastic and funny and cute but he's also insecure and stubborn.
It's his humor that carries this story and, I think, really elevates it. Declan is an in the closet famous football player plagued by injures and who is playing for a team he doesn't want to be on. He is a kind, sweet, funny man who falls for Simon and is then outed in the most public, painful way. Most of the fallout of this happens to Simon and at times it is difficult to read the things he's forced to endure. Neither of these men are perfect but they love each other and that just shines through these pages no matter what the issues they have to confront, they're a team.
This book has a fantastic story with rich secondary characters that I came to love. It's an Australian story so be prepared to be immersed in the language and culture, I had to look up a few things so that I could get the references but it really made me just fall into and enjoy the story that much more. I'd recommend this story to anyone who just loves a great story with strong, flawed characters.
I'm really looking forward to the sequel. Yet, Declan, was simply persona perfection. And, Declan I loved. Gosh, I really loved this romance Footballer AFL style. And, I loved so much more about this book I Love, loved loved Abe. Gosh, just for being Abe! I Loved the coming out 3. I Loved the parents. I Loved the media craziness. I Loved the pacing I Loved the sport theme. No, I have no clue about football unless it is in reference to the NFL. I Loved the tenderness of this relationship.
But, I strongly disliked the off screen smexin in a non YA books. I Loved the unfolding of the timeline of Dec and Simon's relationship. What happen, and what eventually did me in? Well, I think I better place that stuff in the spoiler, as they may spoil some parts of this book The book felt long 2.
The bickering felt endless, 3. The altercation, I hated when Simon punched the guy, I wanted to punch him for being so stupid. The constant losing of the games was awful. The ending felt unfinished. A good paragraph yes, but a good last paragraph does not make a good ending for me. And, with a doubt did like this read a lot. And, I look forward to the next book. Apr 27, BJ rated it it was amazing Shelves: Let me start off this review first one i've been bothered to do in ages by saying that I'm not a very athletic person.
Never have been. Probably never will be. I'm not one to sit down on a saturday night and watch the Brisbane Lions duke it out at the MCG for the top position on the season's ladder. But This book could just about change that So it was only polite that I returned the favour.
It was just that I was extremely lucky, falling into a first-time relationship with someone who wanted the same thing I did. Sure, you have to sometimes, but I really try not to. I knew what I wanted, and Bevvo knew what he wanted, and neither of us were going to endure any sleeping around or drama queening. It took me ages to work up to telling him. Alcohol also helps in the spilling of secrets. And when you say it, it always sounds kind of lame. In the movies and in books there is always some flowery speech and swelling music.
Of course, that offended him. But once he got over it, he became a little quiet. And things were funny between us for a couple of weeks as he readjusted his perception of me and determined whether our friendship was really now any different than what it had been five minutes before I opened my stupid mouth.
Fran, of course, made the comment that now she had a man to shop with. But I was useless in that regard, although my formerly secret love for musicals meant she could leave Roger at home and have a date regardless whenever one rolled into town. But first loves never stay forever, so Bevvo and I were doomed, although I never thought so at the time. To know why I did some of the things I did or why I reacted in certain ways.
But let me fast-forward over the next few years. I came out to my parents about a year after Bevvo and I split up. My parents had varying reactions, none of them too bad. I was pretty lucky. Best excuse ever. Roger and I continued going to our shared games and still met up on weekends to watch the televised matches.
But where there had been our usual manly punches and spontaneous hugs when one team scored on the other, there was now an aloofness on both sides. And of course, he felt my new coldness and reacted accordingly. So, it took a while for us to return to our old selves. It was all so gradual and in baby steps. A man can dream, though. Through luck and fortuitous circumstances I ended up becoming the manager of the Triple F Film Festival after a few years.
So there we all were. Roger and Fran officially had settled down; we had the photos of the wedding and everything to prove it. Okay, scratch that. It was my own fault. I tried telling myself that I was busy with work, too busy to have a love life; deep down, I was really a little scared.
Roger told me that I was well on my way to becoming the eccentric bachelor uncle who all their kids would think was cool until they became teenagers and discovered I was actually a little bit pathetic. As you can tell, Roger really knows how to put things in perspective. But I was happy. Or at least, I told myself I was happy. And I probably was really good at fooling myself with that despite the little stab of jealousy that would rear its ugly head occasionally as I would see that look pass between Roger and Fran—you know, that look.
I wanted someone to look at me that way, and I wanted to look at them in that way. But then I would brush it off and bury it deep, deep within me. And here is where Declan Tyler enters the story. We were in their lounge. They had invited me over for dinner, and I had come straight from work, stopping at home briefly to feed the cat and get scratched thoroughly for daring to leave her alone again.
I rubbed absentmindedly at one of the wounds on my arm again, causing it to break open and seep a tiny rivulet of blood. Fran squeezed in between us, a new bottle of wine in her hands. Both Roger and I reached for the bottle at the same time. To get to know new people. I get to meet enough new people at work every day. I looked at Fran. I apparently married a fourteen-year-old girl. I could hold out against Roger, but Fran got the best of both of us every single time.
Get here by eight. No sense in being the first to arrive.
I could see the fence of Melbourne Cemetery as we walked along, and truth be told, I would rather be spending the night in there than going to a shindig where the only people I would know were currently alongside me. I groaned. Gradually we could hear music from a distance away, guiding us in like a buoy on the ocean. I agreed happily. Until, of course, the next time when Fran and Roger forget about whatever heinous social crime I committed before and force me out again.
We paused before the front door. From the sounds of it, the party was in full swing. I sighed and took the initiative. The door was unlocked, and I pushed it open. They took my lead. In the hallway we unwrapped our scarves and shucked out of our jackets, and threw them upon the bed we could see from our vantage point.
It was obviously acting as a coat rack for the night. Fran and Roger were big fat liars. They instantly found people they knew, mutual friends who I had met only vaguely. I circled nervously around the lounge room, the main congregating area. I groaned when I saw the first person I knew properly—Jasper Brunswick. He had worked for the Triple F a couple of years before, and he was a royal pain in the arse. He was sitting in the centre of the lounge on a red couch that had seen better days.
He drew everybody into a circle around him, regaling them with tales about himself and various celebrities he had schmoozed with. Jasper had made a name for himself recently for penning a gossip column for the local gay rag. His ego certainly had recovered nicely since I last saw him. I immediately slunk into the shadows lining the walls and made a beeline for the kitchen. I needed that beer now and had to find out where Roger had put them.
As I did so, I looked at my watch.
We had only been here for ninety seconds, and I was ready to do a runner. That had to be a record, even for me. Sure enough, Roger was in the kitchen. I twisted the cap off savagely and downed half the beer in a few huge mouthfuls. But it looked as if I may have lost this battle. Roger wore an expression that signified he might be ready to settle in, and Fran could be seen lounging comfortably against the wall, her posture relaxed and her attitude sparkling.
I began to formulate whether I had enough money in my wallet for a taxi should the need arise, but the beer started to have an almost immediate effect on me. In fact, even the Cadbury kid could drink me under the table. I almost spat out my beer over him, such was my disgust. I gestured for Roger to hand me another. When married you get, make love you do. Brunswick draped over the couch with his small crowd of neophytes sitting before him, desperate for some tenuous connection to celebrity.
Watch your throat. I took a deep breath to contain myself and turned to face him. He leered at me, and I grew uncomfortable under his gaze. Plus, it made the logo look less cluttered. Three in about fifteen minutes. They would be peeling me off the floor soon enough. I remained silent. Jasper Brunswick leaned in to me and rested his fingers upon my arm. I could feel them searing my flesh, leaving the permanent mark of the devil behind.
Especially when you want to get coverage of your little festival. I have no idea if he slept his way to the top, which is what I certainly sounded like I was implying, but to tell you the truth, I was talking more about his snaky schmooziness and brownnosing. And to my relief, Jasper Brunswick turned on his heel and stalked back over to the lounge room, where he would no doubt find people who would fall at his feet to worship and restore his comfortable sense of superiority.
Roger and Fran appeared from where they had hidden in the pantry. By the way, did you know Roger tried to convince me to sleep with that dickhead?
Fran rubbed his back affectionately. Please try to find better conquests for your mates. You guys? I mumbled incoherently into my feet, an admission of returned love which they could understand without knowing exactly what I said.
Fran hugged me and then pushed me off her. I want to make out with my husband. Luck scored me a garden swing in a dark corner that no couple had yet appropriated to mack upon.
I settled in and slowly pushed myself, my beer nestled snugly in my hands. There was a small group standing off to my right, talking loudly. I wish I knew who they were, because, really, I have them to thank for this whole story. Well, unless you want to give Fran and Roger the credit for dragging me to this party in the first place.
To truly make the game Australia-wide although conveniently neglecting the Northern Territory, but as my father liked to argue, it was a territory, not a state. My reaction: They deserve some sort of team! So we said goodbye to the Melbourne Demons, who moved down south and across the Tasman Sea to become the Tasmanian Devils. Problems besieged the Devils from the very start, with two of their key players being injured in their very first season, and although one had gone on to recover, Declan Tyler seemed plagued with injury ever since.
It was a favourite source of discussion on both sides of the Tasman Sea; we thought it was an act of the gods showing us that the merge should never have happened, while the Tasmanians bemoaned the fact that one of the best players in the league was doing nothing for them but to sit on the bench and occasionally run out to get injured. I knew that Tyler would come up sooner or later, and it was sooner.
All he does is sit on that bench and gather dust. And lard. Just watching the game to perve at the guys in their shorts. I sighed to myself at that remark as well. Those very points were raised between the arguers. But then someone made a comment that I just had to refute. There were two women and three men, I could see that now. Yeah, he really sucks as a football player. I could feel someone approaching us from behind me and just assumed it was someone else interested in the conversation or a friend of one of the group.
Puzzled, I raised my hands for any kind of response. There was the sound of somebody clearing their throat behind me. No way this was possibly happening. Behind me was the man himself, Declan Tyler.
At that moment I wished that I had accompanied Roger to his martial arts classes when he went through his obsession with wuxia movies. I was no good at violence or defending against violence, should the occasion arise. I searched through the garden and the house for Roger and Fran, who were nowhere to be found. Just kick a ball around? What was I thinking? I must have been more agitated than I thought. I was hopeless at confrontations. I burst through the front door; the yard was empty.
I beat the phone in frustration against my forehead, as if I could absorb the information I needed through osmosis. It was Declan Tyler, coming to punch my lights out. In fact, that was his normal expression. He was a good head taller than me, and the span of his shoulders was practically a third wider than mine.
He could easily fell me with one king hit. Looking confused gave him more character, it made his boy-next-door looks become even more appealing.
He had to lose that gross bit of fluff above his chin, though. He jammed his hands in his pockets. Was he trying to show me that he came in peace? He grinned. I had walked into his trap. He kept his grin carefully plastered on his face.
Rule one, always be self-deprecating and get in with insults about yourself before the other party can. I think they were really just sagging against each other, and gravity was being their friend. Roger had just committed a major faux pas. You never outed somebody on their behalf. Declan looked at her gratefully. And meanwhile, for some unknown reason, Declan stood there and listened to it although he seemed somewhat mortified. I then turned to Roger and Fran.
There was no way I was going back. I would rather freeze to death. They would have to give it to me at a later stage. I shivered in the cold night air, my visible breath leading me down to Lygon Street where I knew I would stand more chance of catching a taxi.
I turned and saw Declan jogging toward me with my jacket and scarf over his arm. Perhaps more bewildered than anything else. They looked a bit too drunk to be able to catch up. I zipped myself into it, and then took my scarf and wrapped it around my neck. And strange. Very strange. There are gay footballer supporters, you know. I bet there are even gay players. I shook my head, trying not to let my temper rise. Declan was definitely in my personal space now, and he had that look on his face.
The look of somebody who was about to lean in and kiss— I yelped slightly as his mouth closed over mine. The night had definitely taken on a surreal trend. His mouth was firm, and his tongue pressed between my lips until they parted. I was surprised that he tasted like beer, but at the good point, before it becomes stale and a little rank.
This was not the kiss of a man who was trying it on, there was no hesitation. His hand curled around the back of my neck to deepen the kiss, and his other hand slipped down my back to hold me in. We finally pulled away from each other, panting slightly. But this time I went on the attack, and he submitted willingly.
We were sheltered by the low-hanging branches, which is probably why he had been brazen enough to take on such a public display. I knew nothing about this guy other than what was published in the AFL Record. I was starting to think I was being stupid as well, but with him squashing me against a tree and claiming my mouth as part of his own, I was too weak-willed to put up any protest. Car lights flashed in our direction, and he jumped away from me.
I was disappointed and slightly offended, yet understanding. Quite frankly, schizophrenic. I could see the look on his face clearly illuminated by the approaching headlights. He was shocked by his own brazenness, by his recklessness at outing himself. After all, he had a lot more to lose by it than I did. In his mind, I could already be planning to sell the story to the Herald Sun. I opened my mouth to speak, possibly to reassure him, when we realised the nearing car was actually slowing down.
It was a taxi, and Roger was hanging out the back window. I could hear Fran arguing with him. I threw Declan an apologetic look and recognised that I better defuse the situation.
And probably the best way to do that was just to go and get the hell out of there, taking Roger with me. Nothing like a friend ready to drunkenly defend your honour, thinking you were about to be beaten up when really you had been having one of the best and strangest pashes in your life. Definitely a story to gross out the grandkids.
Neither Declan nor I said a word to each other. He watched me get into the taxi. As I belted myself into the front seat, Fran made some sort of apologetic sound, but I was still staring at the man outside my window. Fran was berating him, telling him he was acting like a six year old. And I was in a state of weirded-out bliss. And confused as all fuck.
And obviously he must have known somebody at the party for him to have been there at all. But why, out of all the possible available snogs at the party, had he chosen me? And come to think of it, why had he been so stupid?
I kept thinking of him the next day. There were two lines devoted to him in the back pages of The Sunday Age about how he was benched in the Saints game yet again, and nothing at all in the Herald Sun. That night on the news there was vision of the Devils getting on the plane back to Tasmania, and although I practically knocked over the television in order to see if I could make him out, all I could see was an indiscriminate mass of male blobs at a luggage carousel.
Roger tried calling my mobile and home phones; I let the answering machines take his profuse apologies, which quickly turned into intense curiosity to discover what I had been talking to Declan Tyler about. Which was stupid. Last night had been pure chance. Just one more drunken pash at a party, which would soon become for me a source of either nostalgia or shame.
I went into work the next morning with the aftereffects of the party finally starting to wear off. My second-in-command, Nyssa, came to meet me at the door as I entered. Two from Roger. One from Fran. One from my mother. Two from film dealers, and another from a tortured artiste who needed to have her hand held through some crisis. I sighed. I winced and made it my first task when I finally made it into the sanctuary of my office.
No sooner had I hung my jacket than my office phone began ringing again. I desperately needed one. The man was nothing but persistent. Did I just imagine it, or did Declan Tyler try to beat you up?
Fran was trying to convince me I was hallucinating. And I escaped without a scratch. Thanks a lot. You sure know how to be comforting. I will extend our friendship contract for another year. Speak to you later. I knew who it would be. Nyssa appeared in my peripheral vision. She wanted to move her appointment up to today. The tortured artiste herself. Well, one of many. Better to get it over and done with.
And it will be popular. We need the sales. We both looked at each other, and Nyssa grinned. Whoever it was on the phone was pretty insistent. It was still ringing, even though I was giving them plenty of time to reconsider and hang up. I took a desperate gulp of coffee, and my greeting was somewhat garbled when I finally picked up the receiver.
Or another soulful artiste? You can just use the first, especially when talking to me. I know my last name. A thousand jumbled questions were causing a shorted fuse between my brain and my mouth as I struggled to say something, anything. All I could think was how? If I had been actively seeking to impress him as part of the first stage of seduction, I was failing miserably.
Best just to be me then, and get it over with. Nicely dirty. I could see the Flinders Street Station just to the left of me, its gold leafing glinting a bit too brightly in the winter sun. Like ATM machine. Still, any publicity is good, right?
Anyway, are you going to let me finish? He was trying to play it cool. Finish your damn story. And your mobile was switched off. So here I am on this number. That was bad. Stupid mouth, I said that, right? So why are you calling then? Coffee, I mean. What, do you stir your coffee with your finger? The sound of a text message coming through on my mobile a few moments later jolted me out of my zombie ways, and I placed the receiver back in the cradle. It was from an unknown number.
I opened it, and it read: I crossed over to the window and watched the people moving on the streets below. I wanted to crank the window open and tell everybody what had just happened, but nobody would believe me.
I wondered if Roger would. My mind was definitely not focused on what I was being paid for. Nyssa remarked on my distraction a few times, but I barely heard her. I ended up calling Fran and cancelling lunch, because I knew she would ferret whatever she thought I was concealing out of me. And Fran knew something was up. I had that certain tone of dorkiness in my voice. She said I sounded too happy.
I had to do laps of Federation Square at lunchtime to burn off the excess energy. Nyssa said she watched me do the circumference of the building three times before she got dizzy and actually had to go back to work to recover. On the tram ride home I smiled to myself like a loon and got the usual wide berth that the other passengers afforded to public transport crazies. Fran walked in from the kitchen, and her eyes widened. I knew it! Fran ushered me into the lounge and sat me down as if I were her child and needed to be lulled into a false sense of security to let slip what I had done wrong at school that day.
I took a deep breath and began talking. I nodded. Roger stared at me, dumbfounded. Roger seemed to collect himself for a moment, but then was back to dumbfounded and semi-offensive. He knew he was in the wrong, but he was still too much in shock.
Then a thought crossed his mind. Ever since we were kids it had been our dream to go to Brownlow nights. We had gone a couple of times and stood in the audience for the red carpet trying to get autographs, but we longed for the chance to get inside the actual ceremony and hobnob with the elite of the football world. Those dickheads on the footy show trying to cover up their arses whenever he comes near them on the panel? I mean, for you. Like Home and Away levels of bad.
You really want to do it. I stared them down. 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. My good mood had all but vanished when I met Fran for lunch on Wednesday. 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. Nyssa handed me my first cup of coffee of the morning suspiciously. I took a step back, thinking she had cottoned onto me and my hypocritical ways. Or maybe even a studio! I would rather be the big fish in the small pond rather than the tiny fish that drowns or is eaten by sharks in the vast deep.
I always get those two confused. As I was on my second cup of coffee, my mobile buzzed with an incoming message. My plane arrives midday. I have an afternoon training session, but I hope to be done by 4. See you at 6? I bit my lip. I texted back. The reply was almost instantaneous. How do you know where I live? I could almost see him shaking his head as he replied: White Pages online, idiot. Well, then. See you at 6.
Looking forward to it. I had to get revenge somehow for the whole idiot thing. I ONLY managed to make Nyssa even more paranoid when I left the office at four-thirty and told her I was calling it a day and she could as well. She was kind of right. But I left her hanging in anticipation. I would probably only have forty-five minutes before Declan arrived, if he was punctual. I rushed through my front door, made sure to feed the cat, and jumped quickly into the shower. I only managed to choose my boxer shorts and wriggle into them before I was stumped.
Crap, Fran was right. I should have been thinking about what clothes to wear long before this. I stood before my mirror and eyed myself critically. I was too pale, I had skinny arms but a slightly flabby and hairy tummy.
My legs were even paler than my chest. I sat down although fell down might be more honest upon the end of my bed, wondering if I was going to have a panic attack. Who the hell was I kidding? What made me think I could go out with somebody like Declan Tyler, a physical Adonis who was one of the favourites in the annual shirtless AFL stud farm calendars? Oh crap, I was going to coffee with someone who was in a stud calendar.
I clutched my head with both hands. I mean, with what he was used to seeing in the locker room at least— My self-pity party was interrupted by my front doorbell being pushed impatiently. I shot to my feet, the panic attack in no way abated.
I threw open the door, only to find Roger and Fran standing on the stoop. Roger sized me up. I stared at him. In fact, Fran almost fell head first into the wardrobe. She steadied herself and began pawing through my belongings. I heard something about round heels in crappy track shoes. I crossed my arms defensively over my chest. Fran continued rattling coat hangers. I sighed to myself, now really sounding self-pitying.
But I love the doofus. So obviously this Declan guy sees something in you. Fran glared at him. A pair of slightly above-average black pants sadly, the best I owned , a black button-down shirt and a casual jacket.
You need some colours. I held it up questioningly. I must have had a look on my face, because Fran ushered me into the bathroom.
I laughed softly to myself and changed as quickly as possible. When I walked out again, Fran had arranged three pairs of shoes in front of my bed. His wife rolled her eyes and gestured to the shoes. You need a pair of plain black shoes. As I struggled to pull my boots on, she looked at her watch. We should go. Roger shifted uncomfortably on the bed. Roger stood up and shuffled past me. They were still bickering between them as I shut the front door. I ran back into the bathroom and sprayed some cologne on.
I could smell it on myself and wondered if I should slap some water on to dilute the effect. The doorbell rang, and I assumed it was Fran and Roger having come back because they had forgotten something. I took my time, lacing my boots, and the buzzer became more impatient. Yes, I should have known better. For of course, it was not Roger or Fran. I threw open the door to find Declan Tyler standing there, looking half-insulted and half-amused. I could only stare at him blankly.
He kicked his boots clean against the welcome mat and stepped into the house. But something occurred to me in the short space that it took him to cross from my front step to the couch in my living room. What I had mistaken for arrogance before was a carefulness; he moved stealthily and silently, but his every move was guarded.
I sucked at reciprocal complimenting, apparently. I decided to move onto familiar territory. It feels like home. But I miss living here, you know? And stupidly enough, although we had already kissed, the thought of being in that close proximity to him made me startle like a jackrabbit on the savanna.
I hate being such an indecisive bastard. Of course, he caught me looking at him. He shook his head and moved past me towards the door. I think I took him by surprise when I grabbed his arm and pulled him back to me. My arm slipped round his waist, and I kissed him. Declan responded eagerly, and he shuffled me backward until he had me pinned up against my wall. Tree, wall; I guess he had a thing for pinning. I broke away when my air supply ran out. I patted him against the chest, thanking him for a job well done, and I could feel the heat from his body beneath my palm.
Believe me when I say that if it were a long time between kisses, it was a long time between other things as well. He laughed into my mouth, and that was even sexier than his tongue touching mine and that gust of warm air passing from him into me, as if he were breathing for me. The kisses were messy, our breathing was frantic, and our hands were beginning to stray. When the will to live forced us apart again, Declan smoothed down his shirt, which had ridden up, slightly pulling out of his jeans, revealing a tuft of dark hair before hiding it away again.
A mad impulse made me want to yank the shirt back up again and tug at the silky hair gently. From the movement of his shoulders as he jogged down my front steps, I think he was doing the same thing. And I was happy to let Declan drive tonight, just in case I needed a drink to fortify my spirits at some point. I knew it had to be a hire car, as his own would be in Tassie, but he could sense the smirk I concealed.
He jogged around the side and got in behind the wheel. He shut me up by kissing me. It was a good tactic. And I think I had surpassed my own record for the most pash sessions on a first date before even leaving the driveway.
I was sure that this was either some very nice, very surreal dream or an elaborate hoax that would result in some lame breakfast show DJ jumping out from behind a bush and telling me I had been scammed, with Roger and Fran pissing themselves as they were revealed to be the people who had set it all up.
But nothing like that happened. Not yet, anyway. Declan started the car, and we pulled out of the drive into the night beyond. And I was like a dog whenever I was in a car, I always had to have my face exposed to the gale without. I was feeling an ongoing, uninterrupted sensation of happiness.
I wondered if this was what Prozac was meant to feel like. As the streets became more populated, the happiness diminished somewhat. I suddenly felt more exposed; Until now, whatever Declan and I did was under the cover of trees, within my house, sheltered in driveways.
And now here we drove along Flinders Street, where anybody could peer into the car and recognise the celebrity in their midst. Guys hung out all the time. I could see the ocean come into view before us; we were not that far from the pier where the Spirit of Tasmania berthed. Not that I would think Declan would use it that much, if at all, because he would have flights paid for him by the club. Better to only spend an hour on the plane than a full night by ferry.
I wondered where the hell he was taking me. He pulled into a carspace in front of the pier. Declan unbuckled his seatbelt. He pointed out a coffee cart on the foreshore, which looked lonely and abandoned at this time of night, seeing most of the business people and tourists who would be the main source of custom during the day were long gone by now.
For a footballer, who was probably used to the bawdiness of the locker room, he was easy to embarrass. My mouth and my propensity to put my foot in it was one of my less endearing traits. It probably made me look just as dumb as the guys he had to work with, all that posturing. But I guess we all do it day to day, to some extent.
As we reached the cart, the owner came out from behind it and treated Declan like an old friend. I was still wondering if it was a rhetorical question when Declan gestured to me. Your usual? Simon here will have a latte. He stared at me for a moment and then moved closer to the cart to pay for the coffee. Not only had the smug bastard picked my drink, he had rightly guessed I would want the largest size available. He handed me the container, which was roughly the size of a laundry bucket. I was grateful, because I take as much coffee as I can, and it would also serve as a convenient handwarmer against the cold wind coming off from the ocean.
We exchanged goodbyes with Arnie. Arnie began packing the cart up, and we walked onto the pier, moving out into the darkness. He looked stonily ahead. Maybe he wished I had kept quiet. His tone was neutral. Normally it drives people away, not the other way round. It was a little too early for him to start psychoanalysing me. You sound pissed. Why the hell was I here when I could be home waiting for Forensic Investigators to come on?
The arty wanker type. But you do have the natural arrogance. I took refuge in my bucket-o-coffee again. Spit it out. We both roared with laughter, and I felt the return of that good feeling I had lost once we hit the city.
His pinky finger stretched out and stroked the back of my hand. I stood there and let him do it. I wondered briefly if it made me slightly pathetic to find it extremely sexy, but I decided to go with it.
I let my other hand wander over, and I linked my pinky with his. We stood there in silence, but both grinning, watching the fishing boats take out to the sea. I could see why this was one of his favourite places, and I figured that he probably came here a lot by himself.
And it would have been night, when he felt it was his and his alone. Someone had to say something sometime. This was getting too fast, too quick.
But it was a confirmation I wanted to hear. I was already feeling that flush of a new relationship, where you want to hole yourself up with that person, discovering everything about them both emotionally and physically, leaving your friends to send out search parties while you revel in your newfound bliss.
I remembered vaguely how he had been drafted out to the Devils as part of their first-year sweetener deal. As Arnie had said before, who would want to? There were a multitude of reasons why it was the city with the largest pattern of migration in Australia, not the other way round.
Sometimes you had to really search to find a person born and bred in Melbourne, because it seemed like every new person you met was a refugee from another state. Of course I do. It seemed he could have been a basketballer had his football career not taken off. He indicated my cup, silently asking me if I had finished with mine. I shook my head. What about you? But the thing was, I could understand him.
I think the only thing gayer would be working at a fashion magazine. A gust of wind caught the coffee cup and it rattled onto the wooden slats of the jetty. Declan dived after it like he was on the field, scooping it up deftly and handballing it into the bin. But he looked happier again. Declan kept his eyes on the road ahead, trying to avoid a near-collision with the 86 tram.
You know, to keep the whole team together. So that I can help the assistant coach. At the moment everyone thought of him as a great footballer who happened to be shy. If he were Captain, he would be interviewed almost every day; the media would probe more into his life. I wondered, not for the umpteenth time, where this was going and how we could manage to keep seeing each other, if indeed that was what we both wanted.
Which it looked like we did. Change the subject, quick. Unlike your team, which was only created through the dregs and pity of another. That was just like waving a red flag at a bull. He was half on top of me, pinning me uncomfortably against the door, the armrest digging into my back. I laughed, and he did shut me up by plastering his mouth hungrily against mine. I managed to pull my right arm out from where it was wedged between the seats and ran it up his back, bringing him in closer to me. He was pretty bloody strong.
But you should never underestimate someone who has the adrenaline of passion inside them. I surprised him by pushing against him, and this time he was pressed against his door, with me squirming around on top of him.
His arm was now in the position mine had been in before, but the other one was free enough to travel down and cup one of the cheeks of my arse. Roger was right.
I was a first date slut. And I proved it by pulling away from him and grinning lasciviously. While he was trapped under me, I ran a finger along his side and then across to the front of his jeans, scraping beneath the fold and connecting with the zipper. Declan stared up at me, looking slightly dumbfounded, but he sprung into action when I started pulling his zipper down.
I slumped back into my own. I had never heard that from another guy before. I sat up and tugged at my clothes to straighten them out. Just confused. He sat up and straightened himself.