Murphy's Law

10 Generations of real life problems.

This was supposed to be a legacy but it's turned into a story...

Anyway, this story is inspired by favorite books, movies, television shows and personal experiences.

Life is not a fairy tale but that doesn't mean it's not beautiful. After all, you love people in spite of their flaws, and sometimes their flaws make you love them even more.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Chapter 3.6 Ride Wit Me

Tuck was taking Ramona back to his old stomping grounds.  He had been quiet for most of the drive to Yume no Shima, his thoughts a million miles away.  His friends were throwing a party tonight and Ramona really needed out of the house more often.  He would bring her into his world, against his better judgment.  What was happening to him?  He used to know better. 

Sensing his mood, she had been more than content to stare out the window.  Escaping for the weekend had been easy; the new aide was moving in and would be busy getting settled.  Ramona felt slightly remorseful, as she should be spending whatever time she had left with her grandmother, but those twinges of guilt were  eclipsed by the realization that she would be graduating high school in a matter of months and had yet to do one fun thing for herself.  She snuggled down into the plush seats of his Hyundai coupe, even as she was wondering what strange life had commandeered her mind, compelling her body do unspeakable acts of teenage rebellion.

Ramona broke the silence with a small gasp.  "Tuck!  It's beautiful!" she exclaimed.

Her innocence had always amused him to no degree.  How little the things that amazed her were.  Perhaps it was because he had grown up, surrounded by the beauty that was Yume no Shima or that aesthetics held no appeal for him, but in either case, he envied her of her tendency to wear her heart on her sleeve and open-eyed wonder at the world that had never brought him anything but pain.

The walked to the shore, their feet inches away from the crystal ocean.  Childish laughter and squeals of unadultered delight seemed to echo from the rocks.  The waves, seductive sirens straight out of mythology, seemed to beckon to him, lulling him back in.  He forgot how much he missed this place, but it was different now.  He was different.  The ghosts of summers past only reminded him how everything used to be...before.  Before IT.
"So," Ramona glanced over at him nervously, "I guess I'm meeting your friends tonight?"

"Yup," he replied cheekily, "and if they don't like you, I already showed you where we dump the bodies."

She lightly punched him in the arm.  "Oh, you."

You wouldn't know it from their playful repartee, but Tuck's insides were actually reeling at this point.  There was no doubt his friends would love Ramona; that wasn't the problem.  His biggest concern was whether she would be there.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

Her name was Alexis and he had known her since his childhood.  Unlike Ramona, Alexis came from a family almost as poor as his own.  She had practically raised herself and her three young siblings and skipped school with him regularly to hang out at the Arcade.  Unfortunately, their school had long given up on making truancy calls to their homes, and even if they did, there would be no parent at either house to care.  Those were wild times.

Alexis wasn't a Barbie doll by any means.  She preferred brass knuckles and beer and had her first cigarette at age eleven.  By fourteen, she was already dragging Tuck to parties and bars, even before they met Jay and his crew.  And by fifteen, weed was child's play.  Alexis preferred much harder stuff.

Their fights were of epic proportions and he could remember being called every name in the book.  She laced her words with venom and wasn't above a blow beneath-the-belt.  In bad ways AND in good ways.

But still...she was his first love.  And even with his fast-paced lifestyle, Tuck childishly thought that they would last forever.  

But nothing ever does, does it?  After the tenth time he had been picked up for breaking curfew, inquiries were made about his home life and IT was soon discovered.  

Before he knew it, he was in a car with a social worker where he would be given a slightly nicer home with a slightly less dysfunctional family in slightly less poorer Pertha Hills.  His foster parents, Steve and Dana, with two kids of their own to care for, didn't have much attention or affection to spare, and by that point, he was too messed up anyway.  Unlike Yume no Shima, Pertha Hills High took truancy more seriously apparently.  Soon he was sent to Support Group, where he would eventually meet Ramona. 

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

Of course, he had been back since then, but only to see Jay, and even their time together had been brief.  Tonight, the entire crew would be reunited.  He tried to push the negative thoughts from his memory and concentrate on having a good night.  After all, he was returning with a beautiful girl.  Even so, he wondered if Ramona was the only thing different nowadays.  

Yume no Shima was a world away from Hidden Springs.  Ramona marveled at the streets bedazzled with palm trees, quite unlike the forest and mountains she was accustomed to seeing.  But even the lush scenery whizzing past did little to quiet the tiny, nagging doubt she had been harboring since they had left her house that afternoon.  How exactly did a Pertha Hills boy afford a car like this?

Once inside the elevator of the apartment building, Ramona's doubts subsided as her insecurities began to take over.  She had yet to uncover the mystery that was Tuck yet here she was, out of town with a boy, going to a party that would be serving alcoholic beverages.  If her grandmother knew, cancer would no longer be a threat.  She'd drop dead on the spot.

Both of them were nervous for different reasons but they were here now, so they might as well make the best of it.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

Upstairs in the luxurious two-bedroom flat, it was like no time had passed at all.  Zane was furiously mashing the buttons on his gaming controller while Katie and Ty were deep in conversation.

Jenna, the hostess for the evening was busy making drinks while Kimmie looked on.  

And Jay?  He was observing it all, taking everything in like always.

Not much happened that Jay didn't know about.  He observed the gang like a lion might keep watch over his pride.  He was masculine to the core, with a fierce loyalty to those he cared about.  Those who opposed or betrayed him already knew the repercussions, except for the few foolish ones who refused to listen to the stories.  Jay would have made a fantastic televangelist.  Let's just say he had the power to make believers over night. 

Tuck had barely knocked before Zane had sprung from his seat and made it to the door in one bound.

"What's good, brah?!" he gleefully shouted.

Ramona let the two guys get caught up, hanging back apprehensively.  Everyone seemed much older than the two of them.  Suddenly, she questioned coming here after all.

"Hi, Ramona!" chirped a girly voice.

Kimmie Chen immediately put her at ease and made her feel welcome.  Ramona wondered if Tuck had told them about her before their arrival.  Kimmie took her around the room, introducing her to everyone, although Ramona was certain if she had seen any of these people around town, she would have gone out of her way to avoid them at all costs.

As the night progressed, she began to let her guard down, with the exception of just a few uncomfortable moments.

The first was when Ty asked Tuck if she was his girlfriend.

Of course, Ramona had blushed and secretly hoped that Tuck would say "yes" although he had yet to ask her and their first kiss had been two weeks ago, the night of the Homecoming Dance.  He skillfully dodged the bullet, making question evasion seem like an art form in itself.

The next incident occurred when Zane offered Ramona a drink.

Ramona didn't even have time to cringe before Tuck once again swooped in and fielded the blow for her.

"She can't.  She's gotta be sober in case we go home tonight," he answered smoothly.

Zane scratched his head.  "Brah, when did not having a designated driver ever stop you before?"

"Since my last meeting with my probation officer," murmured Tuck sotto voce, pretending that he didn't want Ramona to find out, even though they both knew what was up.

"I feel you," Zane nodded.  "So how is that going?"

"I'll tell you later," said Tuck with a slight flick of his head, indicating his date.

Then, while Kimmie and Ramona were chatting, Tuck stepped in.  "Excuse me, Ram, but I have to talk to Jay for a moment.  You'll be alright, though?"

"Sure," she smiled at him.  Kimmie was turning out to be quite lovely company.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

In the spare bedroom, Jay grinned at Tuck.  "It's been awhile since our last meeting, Tucker.  S'tell me, how's business?"

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

Back in the living room, Ramona was once again left alone when Ty asked Kimmie to dance.  It was almost two am, and she guessed that both of them were feeling their liquor.

Jenna and Zane were deep in conversation on the couch and Katie was leaving.

She stood around for a moment, feeling out of place.

"Good evening, Ramona.  I've heard SO much about you."  The voice was low and contained just a hint of menace. 

Ramona turned around to face the only person at the party that she hadn't met yet.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

Tuck beamed.  "It's never been better, Jay.  I've been in and out of Hidden Springs as well so ya know, between that and what we already set up in Pertha, I'm gravy."

Jay looked amused.  "Hidden Springs, huh?  Damn, Money, so's that where you picked up the broad?"

"Aww, Ramona's a nice girl."

"Don't tell me you's gone soft!" 

Tuck shook his head.  "Naw, you don't gotta worry about me.  My shit's straight."

Jay's eyes narrowed.  "Good to hear.  Keep it that way."

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

"Jenna said we can stay in her room.  She's going back to Zane's."

Ramona bit her lip.  "So I met your ex-girlfriend."

"Oh", he laughed.  "Well that is a bit awkward."

There was a moment of silence.  Ramona looked down at her feet.  Tonight had gone better than she had expected.  Kimmie had been more than friendly, most of his friends had in fact.  And it wasn't like Alexis was this beauty queen that she could never replace.  But Alexis fit in his world.  It was clear she did not.

"Bright Eyes," he said softly, grabbing her wrists and pulling her closely to him.  "I haven't talked to her in years."

"I know," she whispered, managing a small smile.  "I'm just being silly."  

She wondered if she was just another fool, just another idiot that he had pacified.  God, the boy was slick.  He was the Master Bullshitter, and even as that registered, she couldn't pull away from him.  Maybe it went along with the theme of the reckless evening or it was the threat of an old flame that was just on the other side of the door, but when he kissed her, she responded passionately.  

Soon, both of them were in their underwear and she wanted him.  Oh God, how she wanted him.  She had never had these kind of thoughts before, not even when she was with Andrew.  Ramona wanted him to pin her up against the wall and leave a trail of kisses up and down her body.  She wanted him to throw her down and take her, ravish her body right there on the hardwood floor.  She felt like a weary traveler who had just discovered an Oasis and nothing he could ever do would be enough to quench her thirst. 

For the first time in her life, she understood the sensation of running your hands all over a guy's smooth, toned back.  Her face cupped in his hands, was tilted just-so, just like in her favorite movies.  She wanted the moment to last forever.  When they stopped, she was disappointed, until she realized he was leading her to the bed.

Tuck hovered her, a confused look on his face.  "What's wrong?"

"Nothing, don't worry about it."  

"Bright Eyes..."

She stared up at him, tracing his profile with her fingertips.  "You should probably kiss me some more."

"Ramona, you don't have to do anything you don't want to."

"I-I know.  And it''s not that I don't want much as..."

"As much as what?"

"As much as I might not be ready," she confessed finally.

He rolled off of her onto his back and let out a sigh.

"Pin-up Girl posters throwing you off, too?" he smirked.

"Not funny," she chided, even with the hint of a smile beginning to form at the corner of her lips.

They lay there for some time, chatting, snuggling and kissing before passing out some time around dawn.  They'd head home later, back to Hidden Springs, where Ramona would meet the new aide and Tuck would return to the grind.  

It was only when she was on her porch and was watching him pull out of her driveway that she realized that while there some things she knew about Tucker Whitney, there were a dozen more things that she might never find out.  


  1. That was SO good. I love this story. Please keep writing!

  2. Wow, that was a close call! I'm glad Ramona realized she wasn't ready. As much as she wanted to, and as much as she likes Tuck, the moment has to be right. I'm sure when the time finally comes, it will be wonderful.

    It's also great that Ramona got to meet Tuck's friends, as well as get a glimpse of his world. They seemed to respond to her positively, except Alexis. Looks like someone got territorial. lol I have a feeling Alexis won't go down without a fight...or at least without trying to cause trouble.

    It's nice to see an update again. :-)