Libby’s forehead. She couldn’t help the smile that burst on her face as he walked away. She turned back to face Amy who was watching her keenly.
‘I’m happy for you, Lib, George is wonderful and you two belong together. But does this mean you’re actually going to stay?’
‘No, we’re not really dating. George has his eye on the girl who has just moved into the flat above his, Giselle – he’s practising on me. It’s not real.’
‘And that’s why you’re grinning like the cat that has the cream?’
‘He just makes me laugh, that’s all.’
‘So you would never properly date him?’ Amy was pushing it and Libby didn’t know why. ‘You don’t fancy him, not even a tiny bit?’
‘No.’ Libby knew she was blushing. She knew Amy had seen it too. ‘I’m leaving in two weeks. Even if I did have a soft spot for him, I can’t pursue anything with him. I’d be in New York, he’d be here, how would that work?’
‘Well, maybe you don’t go to New York.’
‘I have to go for work.’
‘You and I both know that’s rubbish. There are hundreds of authors out there that never even visit the places they write about, and there are plenty more who just pop over for a few weeks to research.’
‘That’s one of the things I’m known for: rich settings and detailed locations.’
Amy fixed her with a look.
‘George is not remotely interested in me in that way,’ Libby said, suddenly feeling like she was protesting too much.
‘How do you know?’
‘Because I’m just his friend, he just sees me as one of the boys.’
Amy took a sip of her wine, eyeing Libby thoughtfully. ‘So, he practises on you and goes out with this Gazelle woman…’
‘Giselle, Amy, she’s not a deer.’
‘And where does that leave you two? The movie nights you two have, the long walks on the beach… You’re practically a couple anyway minus the sex and the kissing.’
‘I’d be happy for him. Giselle is lovely and I think she would be really good for him.’
‘You wouldn’t be jealous?’
Libby shook her head.
Amy gave her a doubtful look and Libby glanced over at George, ignoring the feeling of unease this thought suddenly gave her.
G eorge watched Libby talking to Amy and smiled. It was beyond stupid to get excited about dating, Libby because it wasn’t even real and she was leaving in two weeks, but he couldn’t stop the giddiness from bubbling through him.
‘Are you shuffling those cards or just giving them a hug?’ Matt asked.
George quickly returned his attention back to the table. Every Sunday night was poker night for George. He, Big Dave, Nick and Matt would play for big stakes. Last week he had ended up with the fewest matches at the end of the night and had to buy the others a round of drinks. Tonight he was determined to win back his pride. Nick came back from the bar with two pints and George dutifully shuffled the cards.
Suddenly the door burst open and Big Dave hurried through with his equally big wife. Big Dave rolled his eyes as he quickly left her side and joined George and the rest of the boys.
‘Women,’ Big Dave muttered, supping the pint that Nick had bought him.
‘She’s getting so big, Dave,’ George said, eyeing Kat as she tried, unsuccessfully, to squeeze herself into the booth with Amy and Libby.
‘Oh God, mate, don’t let her hear you say that, that’s all I get all day: “I’m so fat, I’m like an elephant”, and then later on: “I hate you, you did this to me”. But yes she is. I swear if she gives birth to a baby cow I wouldn’t be surprised.’
‘How late is she now?’ asked Matt, as he nibbled at his peanuts.
‘She’s not due till tomorrow, but her two sisters both had their first child really early so she thought she would follow suit. She’s so fed up and she’s still getting bigger. Nothing fits her any more and I’ve offered to take her shopping but she flat refuses to buy more maternity clothes when the baby should be here by