|Home > Samantha Young > On Dublin Street Series > Before Jamaica Lane (Page 12)|
|Before Jamaica Lane(On Dublin Street #3)(12) by Samantha Young|
‘Mom, Arnie Welsh keeps calling me a geek. He says it like it’s a bad thing. Is being a geek a bad thing?’
‘Of course not, Soda Pop. And don’t listen to labels. They don’t matter.’
‘What are labels?’
‘It’s an imaginary sticker people slap on you with the word they think you are written on it. It doesn’t matter who they think you are. It matters who you think you are.’
‘I think I might be a geek.’
She laughed. ‘Then you be a geek. Just be whatever makes you happy, Soda Pop, and I’ll be happy too.’
God, I missed her.
‘Dee was supposed to be visiting some family down south, but she’s canceled so she can come to the wedding.’ My dad’s answer to Elodie’s question brought me firmly back to the present.
‘Oh, that’s nice.’ Elodie smiled. ‘I really need to have her back over for drinks. And I think I might have another job for her. A woman at work is looking to have a mural painted in her conservatory. She’s converting it into her grandchildren’s playroom.’
‘I’ll tell her.’
‘Are you bringing a date, Liv?’ Clark asked me casually, honestly just making conversation.
For some reason, though, the question pricked me. I was in a weird place about my long-suffering singledom. Still, that wasn’t Clark’s fault. Pasting on a bright smile, I shook my head. ‘Nate and I decided to forgo the hassle of dates and just go together.’
I saw Jo smirk at her chicken.
‘Don’t,’ I warned her under my breath.
She glanced up at me, all innocent and doe-eyed. ‘I didn’t say a thing.’
‘Your smirk said it for you.’
‘I just think it’s nice how close you and Nate have grown.’
Sighing heavily, I looked to Cam for help and hoped he wasn’t in the mood to tease me too. ‘Cam, please tell her.’
Cam slid his fiancée a regretful smile. ‘Baby, they’re just friends. Let it go. It’s not going to happen. Not in a million years. Never. Ever.’
Ouch. That was emphatic.
‘Nate is hot.’ Hannah suddenly spoke up, and when I looked at her I found Ellie’s pretty sister frowning at me. ‘Why don’t you go out with him? I mean, he’s really, really, really hot. I’d go there.’
‘Please tell me she did not just say that,’ Adam pleaded with the table, looking green.
‘She has a name.’ Hannah raised an imperious eyebrow at him.
Joss seemed to be trying not to choke on her food. ‘Oh, she said it all right.’
‘My ears are bleeding.’ Braden looked at Joss for help. ‘They feel like they’re bleeding. Are they bleeding?’
Hannah rolled her eyes. ‘I’m sixteen, almost seventeen, I have boobs, a whole bunch of hormones, and I find guys attractive. Deal with it.’
‘Well, there goes my appetite.’ Clark shoved his plate away, looking so despondent that I felt sorry for him.
Seeing his expression, and most probably understanding it better than anyone else at the table, my dad pointed an admonishing finger at Hannah. ‘That was cruel, Hannah Nichols.’
Rather than be cowed by Dad, Hannah made her face split into a gorgeous, cheeky, remorseless grin that made a low chuckle spill from Dad’s lips.
‘Well,’ Elodie said with a sigh, ‘since Hannah has successfully ruined the appetites of her male relatives, that means more dessert for us girls. We’re having sticky toffee pudding and ice cream.’
‘Och … well … you know, I’m feeling much better all of a sudden.’ Adam gestured to Braden, whose cheeks had warmed at the mention of dessert. ‘I could go for some pudding.’
Braden nodded solemnly. ‘Funnily enough, me too.’
Determined to stock up on good food before I returned to my diet-food-laden fridge back at the flat, I wasn’t sure I wanted to share pudding with the boys. No, I wasn’t sure about that at all. I looked over at Hannah and asked evilly, ‘What was that about boobs and hormones?’
The Proclaimers were sing-shouting at me that they’d walk five hundred miles and then five hundred more just to be the man that would fall down at my door. Frankly, I was touched.
‘See?’ I gesticulated wildly. ‘That right there are two men who know what it’s all about!’
Nate caught my hips as I stumbled slightly against the table. His handsome face was kind of a blur, but I could make out his smile. ‘And what’s it all about?’
I rested my hands on his shoulders and bowed my head toward him. ‘Love, Nate. That’s what it’s all about. That’s what everything’s all about.’ I shrugged sadly, and yes, very drunkenly. ‘Which means I got a whole bunch of nothing.’
‘Uh-oh. Happy drunk turning maudlin drunk. I think it’s time we get you home, babe.’ He stood up, pressing me back.
‘What about your girl back at the bar?’ I swayed into him and he wrapped his arms around me, holding me steady.
After kissing my nose, Nate leaned away and gave me a squeeze. ‘I can get laid anytime, sweetheart. Right now I’m making sure you get home okay.’
‘How d’ya do it, Nate?’ I asked on a sigh, the reception a blur of color and noise around me.
‘Get laid all the time?’
‘What do you mean?’
‘You just –’ I gestured to the bar but instead whacked him on the chin. ‘Oops, sorry. You just get numbers. I don’t know how to speak to a man, let alone get numbers. Or get laid. La-a-a-aid.’
‘Who’s getting laid?’
I spun around and almost caught Joss in the face with my flailing arm, but she swung back in time. ‘Good reflexes, beautiful!’ I grinned loopily at her.
Joss laughed, shimmering in shapes and swirls in front of me. ‘Nate, I think it’s time you got my bridesmaid home, yeah?’
‘I’m on it.’
‘It was such a beautiful wedding, Joss!’ I threw my arms around her and hugged her tight. ‘But I didn’t get laid!’
Her body shook with laughter as she gently released herself from my death grip. ‘Well, that doesn’t seem right at all. The men at my wedding must be blind.’