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‘I think if I’ve learnt anything, it’s that Gavin likes food regardless of flavour,’ Dale joked. ‘I think he’d eat clay if you’d let him.’
‘He used to,’ Talia replied, the edge gone from her voice. ‘He didn’t grow out of it until he was eight. Eight years old and he was eating dirt.’
‘To be fair, I think I can recall you doing the same!’
‘Oh please; it was the worms I was interested in, not the dirt.’
‘Hey, no, Richard can be strict,’ Dale replied. ‘Example: I kept telling Gav not to put his stuff in the walkway. So many times! And still, there it was, in the middle of the hall. Then Dick comes over, and POOF! Gone as if by magic! I don’t know what he said to the kid, but it worked.’
‘Probably “please”,’ Anna piped up. ‘Always works for me.’
Talia shook her head as a loud slurp followed, and Dale peaked in the rear view mirror to catch a glimpse of Anna meeting his eye as she drank her frozen cola.
‘You’re special though,’ he retorted. ‘Gav knows you’ll tell on him if he misbehaves.’
‘What, and you wouldn’t tell me?’ Talia scoffed.
‘I mean, depends on what he did and if he blackmailed me into not telling!’ Dale joked. ‘That kid knows how to dig up dirt.’
‘Ooh, boy, does he ever!’ Trish responded. ‘Big feel though. I don’t report anything back unless I have to.’
‘I can’t believe I let you two watch him,’ Talia rolled her eyes. ‘Well, congratulations. I certainly feel better about him being with Richard now. Not so much about ever leaving him with either of you two again!’
Anna’s next slurp was comically loud, and her shit-eating grin told Dale it was deliberately so. Then her eyes widened. ‘Oh, wow. That’s your house, Dale?’
Dale slammed the breaks on the car, stopping in the middle of the quiet road. ‘Where did you learn that!’
‘Trish said it while babysitting me,’ Gavin beamed. ‘She gave me five dollars not to tell mum.’
‘Hey, I know someone else who knows Trish—’ Dale quickly stepped away, and Talia and Tiffany were left giggling together until he came back with Zoey. ‘This is Zoey, she went to … uni? With Trish. Zoe, this is Tiffany. She’s a friend of mine, and I also found out she’s friends with Trish.’
‘You gay?’ Zoey asked, so suddenly that Dale choked on his drink.
‘Bit bisexual, yeah.’
‘Girls in suits, am I right?’
‘Consider, girls in summer dresses.’
‘Girls in leather jackets are pretty great.’
‘I have a leather jacket.’
They fist-bumped, and then walked off together, chatting.
Talia and Dale head to the gym together after Talia’s first day working at Moore for More.
A Man Worth a Million Chapter 9 - Excerpt - 185 words
‘Just thirty-odd. Sometimes I go closer to forty.’
Talia’s eyes widened. ‘Kilos, you mean?’
‘That’s as much as I weigh,’ she gave a sigh and shook her head. ‘Jesus Christ.’
‘Huh, no wonder you were so easy to get up the stairs!’ Dale laughed as he checked over the weights. ‘Tell you what; I’ll lie down and you can jump into my arms and I’ll bench-press you instead of the weights. That way you won’t feel embarrassed sitting there doing nothing.’
‘Because being hefted into the air like a duffle bag isn’t embarrassing?’ Talia raised her brow. ‘I’ll pass.’
‘Fair. You can spot me then,’ Dale grinned. ‘Let’s go get changed.’
‘How do I do that?’
‘Get changed? It’s easy enough,’ joked Dale. ‘You slip an arm out of your jacket sleeve—’
‘—You know exactly what I meant you bastard,’ Talia interrupted with a huff. ‘Spotting. What is it?’
‘You help me lift—’
‘—Forget it,’ Talia scoffed and crossed her ankles. ‘You go get changed. I’ll sit here and let you do all the work.’