The R Word
Author's note: I wrote this book a little of a year ago in my spare time. It was just for fun and I started... Show full author's note »
The Girl Who Cried Tucker“Can you pass the mashed potatoes?” Brooklyn asked Kristen, smiling innocently with a slight yet obvious tone of smugness.
Kristen just raised her eye brows and stared at Brooklyn. Her shiny peach lips her pursed and her eye brows were raised expectantly. Kristen took in a shallow breath, clenching her hands into fists underneath the table. She wanted to slap that smug little smile right off Brooklyn’s stuck up face.
“Kristen. Pass Brooklyn the mashed potatoes.” Kristen’s mom urged in an impatient voice as Kristen sat completely still, with no intentions of moving.
Kristen continued to stare at Brooklyn, hatred burning deep within her. She crossed her right leg over her left underneath the glass table and crossed her arms over her chest. If Brooklyn wanted that huge bowl of carbs so bad she could reach across the damn table and get them herself. Their dinner table wasn’t even that big anyway.
“Kristen!” Her mother demanded.
Kristen cocked one eye brow, looked to her mom, and then back to Brooklyn. “Why would I do anything for her?” Kristen demanded.
“Don’t be rude Kristen. Just pass your cousin the mashed potatoes.” Kristen’s dad cut in, his forehead creasing. He was completely oblivious to the problems and tension between Brooklyn and his daughter.
“No.” Kristen unfolded her arms and lifted her chin a fraction higher into the air.
“You don’t have to be so headstrong all of the time Kristen.” Her mother snapped and handed Brooklyn the mashed potatoes.
“Thank you.” Brooklyn over exaggerated in an innocent and sweet tone. Kristen gagged in the back of her throat.
“It’s not like she needs the carbs anyway.” Kristen snapped, “She’s already pushing it. One more plate of those and you won’t even be able to fit into all of my jeans that you’ve stolen!”
Brooklyn set her fork down, pretending to be hurt. Kristen could see right through her little act, she was just trying to win the sympathy vote from her parents. Unfortunately, knowing her parents, it would work. Anyone could see that she was faking it, but judging by the looks on her parents faces, they were actually buying it.
“Kristen!” Her father hissed.
“What?” Kristen demanded. “She comes into my house, steals my clothes, ruins my favorite blouse,” Kristen began counting off on her fingers, “steals my boyfriend—”
“Ex-boyfriend.” Brooklyn cut her off.
Kristen kept going, “Not to mention she deleted my new 90210 recording on the television in my own room! And she walks around like she’s the s***, acting like a little stuck up b**** to me all of the time. I may have put up with your s*** when we were kids, but I’m not putting up with it now!” Kristen nearly screamed at Brooklyn. She could feel heat beginning to flood through her body, her throat feeling tight. Both of her parent’s faces were taken back, and her mother looked appalled, but Kristen didn’t care. It was her own fault that their rivalry had gotten this far. She was the one who couldn’t even listen to her own daughter! If she had, Brooklyn would be long gone by now.
“That’s enough Kristen!” Her mother nearly screamed.
“You’re right. This is enough. I’m out of here.” Kristen threw her napkin on the table and threw her chair back, which screeched in protest as it scraped across the floor. She glared at Brooklyn for another moment and then pushed her chair in forcefully. “Don’t bother waiting up for me, I don’t even know if I’m coming back.”
Without another word Kristen grabbed her jacket and her car keys and slammed the front door behind her.
Kristen arrived at Tucker’s house moments later. She felt awkward as she marched up to his front door. She probably should have called. What if he wasn’t home? What if he didn’t want her here right now? What if he had some other girl over here? Kristen took a deep breath, her hands shaking by her sides.
He was her boyfriend now, of course he’d want her here.
She knocked three times on the dark brown, wooden door and glanced at the side windows, covered by red curtains. The upstairs floor was lit brightly through the curtains and she could see a light glistening from somewhere back in the house. So at least someone was home.
She heard footsteps ringing against the floor, sounding louder and louder until the front door flew open.
Tucker smiled in confusion and cocked his head to the side. “Kristen.” He said in a high pitched, surprised voice. “What are you doing here?”
“I know I should have called…” Kristen shrugged one shoulder and trailed off.
“Oh no, no, no. It’s fine…uh…come on in.” He gestured as Kristen walked past him. He closed the door behind her and smiled again. “Is everything alright?”
“I just didn’t know where else to go.” Kristen admitted honestly. “You know my cousin, Brooklyn Bates?”
“I believe you referred to her as the devil’s one and only daughter.” He grinned.
“I wasn’t exaggerating.” Kristen mumbled. “I just had to get away from her before I did something I regretted.”
“Well I can understand that. Look who you’re talking to.” Tucker laughed once and gestured to the couch, where they both took a seat. “So what happened with Brooklyn? Is everything okay?”
“She’s driving me crazy. She steals my clothes, goes into my room, starts dating my ex boyfriend, and she’s determined to ruin everything in my life. She’s been doing this ever since we were kids.” Kristen rubbed her temples and let out a slow exhale. “I’m really sorry to ask this, but is there any way I could stay here tonight? I mean I could crash on a couch, or even the floor, I just can’t go back there tonight.”
“Yeah, of course. Sure. But you don’t have to sleep on the floor, Kristen.” Tucker laughed.
“Thank you, Tucker. You have no idea how much that means to me.” Kristen sighed in relief.
“I mean I have a king sized bed, and you can always borrow one of my tee shirts or something to sleep in.” He gestured to the jeans and fancy silk blouse Kristen was wearing, “Since I’m sure you don’t want to sleep in that.
Kristen’s cheeks flushed and she felt heat shoot across her skin. Had he just asked her to sleep in his bed with him tonight? Kristen smiled and swallowed uncomfortably. She figured he’d offer her a guestroom or air mattress or something. She even would have put up with the couch.
“Are you okay?” He laughed once staring at her suddenly nervous face.
Kristen shook her head once and forced a smile. “I’m fine, of course. I just…I didn’t expect your parents to be okay with housing me at such last minute.” She lied.
“Oh my parents are out of town until Wednesday actually. They said they needed a week to themselves and then flew to Paris last minute.” Tucker rolled his eyes and leaned back against the leather couch. Kristen swallowed uncomfortably again. “And they call me impulsive.”
He wanted her to stay with him, and his parents were halfway across the world? Great. Just great.
Kristen forced an uncomfortable smile, but judging by Tucker’s expression he wasn’t buying it.
“If that okay?” He asked suddenly, examining her face closely.
“Of course.” Kristen lied smoothly and ran her fingers down the back of her now sweaty neck, trying to calm herself down. Why was she getting so freaked out about this? It’s not like she’d never slept in the same bed with any of her other boyfriends. But it was Tucker Layton she was talking about. The thought of it still was a bit of a shock, and he was still a dangerous mystery. She’d only been dating him for a little while, and every time she looked at him she thought of his reputation and every rumor she’d ever heard about him.
“Okay good.” Tucker laughed once, still looking at Kristen skeptically. “Do you want to pick out a movie to watch or something?”
“Um…” Kristen licked her lips and glanced around the room nervously. Her heart was beating quickly and her mind was spinning in overdrive. Kristen could feel her nerves sparking and heat flood through her veins. Should couldn’t quite put her finger on the feeling…was it fear? Kristen heard the faint sound of a bird from what sounded like upstairs. She cocked her head to the side and half smiled at Tucker. She hadn’t realized he had a bird. “You have a bird?” She wondered.
“Oh yeah.” Tucker grinned and grabbed Kristen’s right wrist. Trying with every fiber in her body not to flinch away, Kristen forced a smile back at him. “Come with me. You’re gonna love this guy.” Tucker continued and pulled Kristen up the stairs. Once they reached the top of the squeaky wooden stairs Tucker flung a large dark wooden door open, exposing what had to be his bedroom.
Kristen tried not to make it obvious, but she was carefully scanning the room with her eyes. She’d always been curious, and she wasn’t sure what she was expecting to see. Almost to her disappointment, it just looked like a regular guy’s room. Kristen put her right hand over her forehead and closed her eyes for a minute. What was wrong with her? Tucker was just a normal guy, and she was being ridiculous. When she opened her eyes again Tucker was before her, staring at her with confused eyes.
“Is everything okay?” He wondered in a sweet and concerned voice.
“Everything’s fine.” Kristen smiled earnestly and shook her head once. “I was just a little light headed.”
“Do you want me to get you something to eat? We don’t have much, but I could make you a sandwich or soup, or I bet we have some bagels—”
Kristen cut him off. “Thank you Tucker,” Kristen said in a laugh. “I’m not hungry. I just have naturally low blood pressure, so sometimes when I stand up or go up stairs I get a head rush.” Kristen shrugged. “I’m totally fine. Show me the bird.” She grinned.
“I thought you’d never ask.” Tucker beamed and pulled her into his room. On the far left wall sat a tall metal cage that held a purple-ish blue bird. On the right of the cage swung a large mirror that the bird was gazing into. At the sound of their footsteps the bird looked up and squawked. Kristen laughed once and Tucker squeezed her hand. “His name is Pooker.” Tucker laughed once as they walked closer to the cage.
“Pooker?” Kristen laughed and rose her eye brows at Tucker.
“I’ve had him since I was a boy, and I’ll admit I wasn’t so good with naming things back then. I had a teddy bear that I called sir-fuzz-a-lot.” Tucker laughed and rolled his eyes. “Lame, huh?”
“Not at all.” Kristen poked one finger into the bird’s cage. “Hey Pooker.” She cooed and grinned back up at Tucker. “It’s nice to see this side of you.”
“A nerd instead of a bad-ass?” Tucker wondered sarcastically.
“You’re not a nerd.” Kristen argued as she looked around the rest of his room. His sliding closet doors were closed tightly, a plastic shopping back hanging off one of the hangers. There were a few pairs of jeans and tee shirts lying on the floor, and she could see a few articles of clothing peeking out of the drawers of the dresser in the corner. On his large oak desk were piles of CDs from bands she’d never heard of, a shiny blue laptop, and the remote control to the TV hanging on the wall directly facing his large bed. King sized, just as he’d said.
Kristen paced over to the bookshelf on the opposite side of the room and ran her middle finger across the spines of the books. She read a few of the titles and looked back up at Tucker, grinning. “Who would have taken you for such a bookworm?”
Tucker laughed once and ducked his head with a shrug. “Something to kill time I guess. You know, even though sometimes it was true, when most people thought I was off getting high somewhere, I was locked in my room reading.”
“Wuthering Heights, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Kristen began reading off titles. “Shakespeare, impressive,” She smiled as she mumbled the titles of more books to herself. “You like classic stuff, huh?”
“I think the modern world’s literature is a little flat. I mean what is with the recent vampire craze?” He laughed. “And now every show on TV has some chick dating a vampire or something. Well, either that or someone is sleeping with their teacher. Oh, and there always has to be a gay character! It’s ridiculous.”
“I guess that rules out Twilight for the movie, huh?” Kristen pretended to pout.
“Sparkling vampires.” Tucker pretended to look appalled.
“Yeah.” Kristen agreed absentmindedly as she looked around the rest of his room in awe. Who would have thought Tucker would be so deep…and normal?
“Not what you expected?” Tucker interrupted her thoughts.
“Your room?” Kristen looked back to him. “No.” She admitted with a half laugh. “It’s not what I expected at all. Well, I’m not sure what I did expect, it just wasn’t this.”
Tucker paced over to his closet and threw the doors open. On the second to top shelf held an entire movie library. Kristen’s eyes widened, he had more movies than most movie rental stores. “What do you say we watch this one?” Tucker yanked out a comedy and showed it to Kristen.
“Sure.” Kristen nodded as Tucker slipped it into the side of his TV as the screen lit to life.
She double checked his movie library, just to make sure he didn’t own Twilight. She frowned at the vampire-free options and turned back to Tucker.
After Kristen and Tucker settled into Tucker’s bed and the movie started on the flat screen, Tucker turned to Kristen. “I wasn’t planning on asking this, but I just have to. What’s that whole thing going on between you and Beth Taylor?”
“Beth Taylor?” Kristen was taken back. Just hearing him say her name made her flinch. “What about Beth Taylor? We haven’t been friends since like the sixth grade.”
“It’s obvious you’re not friends, but there’s obviously something there.” Tucker pushed.
“You’ll think it’s stupid.” Kristen murmured. “It probably is. It’s just been going on for so long that I think neither of us know how to stop.”
“It’s this…revenge thing we do. I guess we try to make each other’s lives miserable. I know it’s not the most common hobby, but over the years it’s been like a full time job. Both of us have gotten really good at it.” Kristen added bitterly, looking up at the ceiling. She didn’t like explaining this to people, no one ever really understood.
“So you’re like enemies, getting each other all the time. Like what kind of stuff do you?”
“Prank stuff mostly.” Kristen shrugged and looked back at Tucker. “You probably don’t want to hear specifics. None of its exactly lady-like.” She laughed.
“Good.” Tucker laughed once. “Because if you wanted, I have a pretty good idea for you, but it’s not exactly lady-like.”