Chapter One

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'Well? What do you think?' 

Ally arranged herself in the doorway in what she hoped was a sexy pose; right arm raised above her head and grasping the frame, left hand planted on her hip, glossy lips pouting. Her husband lifted his head away from the television, his eyes following gradually, leaving it until the very last second before they snapped away from the screen. The real test of how she looked would now occur. A brief glance accompanied by some sort of mumbled response would mean she looked ok at best. 

'Wow, babe. Are you sure you're only going over to The Farthing for karaoke with the girls?' 

His eyes were still on her, the film almost forgotten. This was a very good sign. A very good sign indeed. 

'Yes, I'm sure. Why?' Ally pushed her lips back into a pout while blinking slowly from under her long fringe. 

Gavin laughed. Amusement had not been the response she'd been hoping for as she'd slipped into her new emerald green dress and her trusty, sky-scraper-but-broken-in heels. She'd blown her hair straight - although it was already starting to curl again - and plucked out the couple of grey hairs that glinted at her in the mirror. She was wearing more make-up than usual in an attempt to cover up the crow's feet she was convinced had embedded themselves into her flesh overnight. 

'Are you fishing for compliments?' 

Of course she was fishing for compliments! 'No, don't be daft,' Ally tittered unconvincingly as she undraped herself from the doorway and perched on the edge of the sofa where Gavin was watching The Terminator. Again. Ally didn't know why he bothered to watch it any more. Surely he knew the words off by heart by now, and it wasn't like it was a repeat-worthy film like Dirty Dancing. 

'I can't believe you're watching this again.' 

'The Terminator is a classic. It deserves to be watched again and again so you can appreciate the brilliance.' Gavin's attention was now back on the television, his forearms resting on his knees as he attempted to sit as close to the action as possible. 

'And it has nothing at all to do with your childhood crush on Sarah Connor?' 

Gavin gave a shrug, eyes still glued to the television. 'I'm a hot-blooded man, Ally.' 

'And don't I know it.' Ally slipped off the arm of the sofa, landing on Gavin's lap. Gavin's interest in Arnie waned as he kissed his wife, all thoughts of saving the world from the machines vanishing as he found the zip on the side of the new dress. 

'Whoa there, mister. Some of us are going out, you know.' Ally pulled away, tugging the zip back into place. 

'You can be five minutes late, can't you?' 

'Five whole minutes? Has my birthday arrived a day early?' Ally giggled as she hopped off Gavin's lap and straightened her dress. 

'Tease.'  

'Jared and Paul will be here any minute. You don't want them to catch us at it, do you?' Gavin wasn't that fussed, to be honest. His mates could wait on the doorstep all night for all he cared. Jared and Paul would understand. 'Besides, you'll have something to look forward to later.' 

'Really?' 

Ally bent over to kiss Gavin on the lips, purposefully flashing her cleavage as she did so. 'Really. And you know how frisky I get when I'm drunk.' 

Gavin reached for his wallet and handed Ally a couple of notes. 'Have a few drinks on me.' 

Ally swatted Gavin but she grabbed the money anyway. 'What are you planning on doing with the boys tonight?' 

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