Home > Stand-In Saturday (Love For Days #2)

Stand-In Saturday (Love For Days #2)
Author: Kirsty Moseley

one

 

Theo


You know that super-awkward bit in Love Actually where you find out Rick Grimes is in love with his best mate’s girl? Well, this is kind of like that, but worse because it’s not my best mate’s girl; it’s my twin brother’s fiancée.

Amy Clarke—object of my affection, girl of my dreams, and unfortunately for me, my brother’s fiancée—plops down beside me on the sofa and steals the TV remote from my hand, instantly starting to channel surf through the Saturday night so-called prime-time TV.

“So, what have you been bingeing lately? Anything I need to add to my watch list?” she asks, eyeing me quizzically.

I shrug and take a swig of my beer. “Nothing noteworthy. I’ve been working a lot the last couple of days. I’m behind on my deadline.”

“Oh, Theo, again? Do you just like to leave it to the last minute or what?”

“I do my best work at the eleventh hour.”

As she’s sitting so close, the sweet smell of her perfume wafts over me and the heat of her body presses into my side. I swallow and scowl at the TV, trying not to admit to myself that I love being this close to her. I know feeling like this about my brother’s fiancée makes me a scumbag, but I can’t help myself. You see, she should’ve been mine. I bloody well saw her first. Admittedly, I should have called dibs … but I was too chicken to ask her out. Now, look, two years later, she’s marrying my twin brother, and I’m left sitting on their plush sofa in their classy and elegant apartment, wishing things were different and pretending like I’m not cut up about it and jealous as hell. Tragic really.

Amy shifts and tucks her legs up under her bum, and I turn my head slightly, so I can see her properly. Pale candyfloss-pink hair falls in loose waves around her cute face, her full lips are slick with nude gloss, and her sea-in-paradise-blue eyes are lined with a perfect cat-like flick of black eyeliner at each corner. Amy is that adorable, eccentric type of quirky girl that doesn’t know how amazing she is. She also has no idea I’m crazy about her.

Sighing dramatically, she tosses the remote back into my lap after not finding anything decent to watch while we wait for everyone else to arrive for our big night out.

“Jared and I have been watching The Witcher this week. Trouble is, he keeps working late, so we only get time to watch one per night. Not skipping ahead without him is torture!”

I silently wonder if I’ll ever meet a girl I like enough that I’d be willing to wait patiently to watch Netflix episodes with. My guess, no.

Maybe if I’d been brave enough to just ask Amy out at the start …

I frown down at my beer bottle, absentmindedly picking the corner of the label with my thumbnail. “What do you think would have happened if I’d got my shit together and asked you out at the start when we first met on that train?” The question bursts from my lips before I can stop it. Probably due to the fact that this is already my third alcoholic beverage, and it’s barely seven o’clock. My brain-to-mouth filter is a little more lenient than it should be. The question is something that keeps me awake at nights.

Amy purses her lips and cocks her head to the side. I turn my head towards her and watch her think about what it would have been like to date me. I like her thinking about it. I truly am demented.

Her eyes meet mine, and a playful smile tugs at the corners of her lips. “My guess is, we would have got on brilliantly. We’re so similar; we would have been laughing all night, and we’d have had a great time together. Things would have ticked along nicely, and we’d have had a blast. Then, at some point in our relationship, you’d have taken me home to meet your family, and there, I’d have clapped eyes on your brother and swooned over his broody face and inquisitive eyes. Maybe we’d have got drunk at a party or something, where Jared would have told me some nerdy math thing about his job, and I’d have been a goner while he talked about equations and algorithms. Of course, I’d have felt absolutely awful about it as I broke your heart after realising that Jared was meant to be mine, not you.” She reaches out and pats my arm, offering mock support for the metaphorical heartbreak she would have caused. “You would have just been a path to me meeting your brother. Sorry, Theo.”

Ouch.

But I knew her answer before she said it. I’ve always known the answer. Amy and Jared are perfect for each other. Me, on the other hand, maybe I’m destined to be alone because there can’t be two girls out there as great as Amy, surely.

I nod along sadly. “Guess it’s lucky I didn’t then. Imagine if you’d shagged us both and had to live with the knowledge you’d let the brother go who was better in bed. You’d have been devastated and lusting after me at every opportunity. Talk about awkward,” I joke, trying to pretend like her hypothetical rejection didn’t feel like a punch to the solar plexus.

She laughs and slaps my arm as she rolls her eyes. “You wish.”

Correct.

I’m saved from answering as the front door opens, and in walks Heather and her husband, Tim. They’re Amy’s best friends. I grin and offer a salute with my bottle by way of greeting as they let themselves into Amy’s apartment like they own the place. To be fair, we all do it. We’re round here a lot, hanging out, so things like the common courtesy of a call or knock before letting yourself in are a non-existent thought.

Amy pushes herself off the sofa and whistles appreciatively as she looks at Heather. “Damn. You look fit!”

Heather grins, running her hands down her figure-hugging black dress, smoothing the skirt against her thighs. And I have to admit, she does. Tim watches his wife with the self-satisfied, confident air of a guy who knows he’s punching way above his weight. But they’re honestly a great couple, and since they tied the knot just over a year ago, they’ve been walking around in a blissed-out bubble that makes us single folk nauseous.

Glancing over at Tim, who’s wearing smart suit trousers and a baby-blue button-down shirt, I realise I’ve made a glaring error with my choice of attire for tonight’s drinking session.

“Damn it. Were we supposed to dress up? I thought we were just going to the pub for a few cheeky drinks and then a drunken pizza on the way home,” I groan, grimacing down at my worn jeans and faded Jurassic Park T-shirt.

Tim shrugs.

Resigned, I push myself up from the sofa. “I’m going to the bathroom,” I lie.

Without asking permission, I bypass the bathroom and instead head to Jared and Amy’s bedroom. Jared and I are twins. We shared a womb, so borrowing his clothes is my God-given birthright.

As I stalk to the wardrobe, I toe off my trainers and rip open the buttons of my Levi’s. My gaze wanders over Jared’s rows of expensive designer suits, all in their separate garment bags. There’s a clear window at the front of each, so you can see what’s inside without opening them—all the fancy stuff for my brother. I select a dark grey Tom Ford and unzip the bag, shimmying my jeans off before yanking the new outfit on. I ignore his shirts; a T-shirt with a suit is much more my style.

A quick glance in the mirror as I shove my shoes on, and what I see makes me give an appreciative nod. I look good. My light-brown hair is styled, though it is slightly longer than normal, so it flops a little. It looks deliberate though, so I’ll allow it. Jared pays a fortune to get his suits tailored to fit his athletic, lithe, six-foot-two frame, so since we’re pretty much identical (at least physically), they look perfect on me too. It fits in all the right places to show off what’s underneath without actually showing anything at all. Smart and professional, but with the T-shirt and trainers, a little bit of fun and me peeking through.

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