Roy stares at Ashley, blinking with absolutely no words coming to mind.
“You’re fucking joking.”
“I’m not. He’s actually really sweet,” she says, glancing towards the back door.
Jamie fucking Tartt is in his sister’s garden, having a kickabout with Phoebe because they’ve been fucking seeing each other for a couple of months. Roy can’t fucking believe this is happening.
“Let’s get Keeley on the phone. She can tell you what a shit boyfriend Jamie Tartt is.”
“Was.” Ashley crosses her arms at her chest. “Roy Kent, I am a grown woman, a fucking doctor, thank you very much, and I think I can make my own decisions about who I want to date.”
“He’s a fucking prick, Ashley.” Roy knows Jamie has gotten better. But also, it’s fucking Jamie Tartt, and Roy cannot deal with his sister dating Jamie Tartt. “What can you possibly even have to talk about? He’s a child.”
“Well, we don’t talk much, do we? I mean have you seen his body?” She sounds completely serious but just starts losing it with laughter after a pause. “Come on, Roy, I like him. I haven’t dated anyone since Phoebe’s dad took off. He’s kind. And he’s told me everything about the way he used to be. He’s better now, and I know you know that because you’re his fucking coach.”
“Fuck.” Roy rolls his eyes. “You’re not supposed to be wiser than me.”
“I’ve always been wiser, smarter, and prettier than you.”
The back door bursts open and Jamie barrels through, with Phoebe thrown over his shoulder and they’re both laughing. It’s so fucking hard for Roy to be mad at something that makes Phoebe and his sister so happy.
“Uncle Roy!” Jamie puts Phoebe down so she can go over to Roy. “I was just having a kickabout with Jamie. He’s really good. Mostly.”
“Hi, coach.” Jamie grins. “Fancy seeing you here.” He goes over to Ashley and drapes an arm across her shoulders. “Phoebe actually got a couple of goals on me.”
“She hates it when you let her win,” Roy says.
“Jamie didn’t let me. He’s just really bad at being a goalkeeper. He’s good at everything else though!”
“I would never let anyone win. Come on, Coach. You know me.”
Roy rolls his eyes because the fact that that’s true annoys the fuck out of him. “This is my fucking nightmare.”
“If you give me a speech about how you’ll kill me if I hurt her - “
“She would kill me if I did that,” Roy says. “Still, I can make your life hell at training if you break Phoebe’s heart.”
“Hey, Phoebe!” Ashley rolls her eyes. “Jamie and your Uncle Roy are going to talk about football things. Let's go pick out a movie.” Ashley winks at them on her way out of the kitchen.
“You little prick.” Roy glares at him, but the little shit has never really been that intimidated by him so he’s sure it’s not really going to do anything. “I see you every day, and you didn’t think to give me a heads up here.”
“No, because she asked me not to.” Jamie shrugs. “And it’s not your business anyway, is it? Save the speeches, Coach. I’m not planning on hurting anyone, least of all Phoebe. She’s a great kid.”
“You’re fucking right she is, and she deserves someone who’s going to stick around, so don’t fuck it up.” He pauses. “You’re still a prick, but if they’re happy I guess I don’t have a choice but to be okay with it.”
“How the fuck did this even happen?”
“Coach, respectfully, that really isn’t your business either.”
Roy hates this dickhead, but his sister doesn’t, and Phoebe doesn’t. That matters to him. “Fine, but I’m still gonna make your life hell at training.”
“Wouldn’t expect anything less, would I?”
“Jamie, come help me pick a movie! Stop talking about work with Uncle Roy!” Phoebe sounds so impatient.
Jamie grins. “I’m being summoned. You’re welcome to watch with us, Uncle Roy.” Jamie pats his shoulder and walks past him. “Phoebe!” Jamie drops down next to her and drapes his arm across the back of the sofa to rest on Ashley’s shoulders.
“Uncle Roy, you have to watch too.”
Roy sighs. He still has so many questions, but Jamie’s right. It’s not really his business, and Ashley and Phoebe are happy. That’s really all he can possibly ask for.
Even if Jamie Tartt is a fucking prick.