Thursday, January 27, 2011

It's All FUN & GAMES Until Someone Orders Chinese...

We last left Grace and Harper and the gang with Tru picking up Owen for a little late night music lesson (Tru speak for laying a beat-down on a certain someone), but Harper thinks her older bro has just gone off to get her some dinner.  Hmm...Looks like something's about to go down if you ask me!

So, here you go.  Enjoy...and don't forget about your fortune cookie :)

Truman angled his car into place across the street and down four houses from Haas’ ranch house. A sporty little convertible rested in the teacher’s driveway, its engine idling, soft gray smoke puffing out the exhaust to float lazily off into the night sky. He jerked a thumb toward the car. “That his?”


Owen shook his head, his gaze fused to the front window and the shadows of two people locked in a heated embrace dancing across the drawn curtains. “Must have a girlfriend over. But the car’s running. So, she’ll probably be leaving soon.” Master of stating the obvious.

With an impatient groan, Tru flipped open his phone and hit speed dial #8. Waited a beat. “Yeah, I’d like to place an order for pick-up.” A short pause and a nod for the lady on the other end even though she couldn’t see it. Then, he rattled off an order for enough food to feed ten people, placing heavy emphasis on Crab Rangoon with extra dipping sauce. "Don’t forget the dipping sauce," he added, like it was a matter of extreme life or death.

Owen waited, his mouth hanging open, as Tru finished the call and tossed his phone into the console. Did he really just make a food order while planning to beat the shit out of some guy? Like it was just another task to be checked off his to-do list?

“What?” Truman snapped upon catching Owen’s bewildered expression. “I told Harper I’d pick her up some take-out. So, I figured two birds, one stone.” He shrugged like this was something he always did. Something absolutely ordinary when for Owen it was anything but. “Anyway.” He cracked his knuckles, rolled his head around on his shoulders until his neck popped as well, all the while glaring at Haas’ house. “It’s not going to take me long to tear this asshole apart.”

Owen’s neck itched and burned in response, still feeling the press of Tru’s hands there from earlier. Yeah, it probably wouldn’t take all that long. “So, Harper likes Chinese?” He asked for lack of a better response.

“Pepper Steak’s her favorite,” he said, head jerking in a quick confirmation.

“And Crab Rangoon,” Owen supplied. “Extra dipping sauce. I’ll remember that.”

The wistful quality of those words had Truman tearing his gaze away from the house, thoughts of beating the teacher to a bloody pulp suspended for a moment as he considered the boy beside him. “What’s your deal with my sister anyway? I mean, I know you like her.” He waved his hand in the air absently as if to say, ‘That’s obvious’. “But, you know about all this shit, and well, that kind of damage…” he trailed off, crimson heat flashing through his eyes at that word being associated with his sister. His good, kind, smart, innocent sister. But, she’d lost that innocence, and on his watch, too. Well, now was the time to make up for his negligence.

“Spare me the lecture. I’ve already heard it from Lucky.” Owen rolled his eyes. “More than once. It doesn’t change anything.”

Truman shook his head in part disbelief, part admiration. “I don’t know whether you’re a complete idiot or the most decent human being in existence. I mean, it’s not going to be easy, being with her after all this shit.” He shot a dark look toward the house. “Are you sure you can handle it? Because anyone who hurts my sister…” he finished the thought with a loud crack of knuckles that had Owen visibly flinching.

But before he could reply, Owen’s truck pulled in behind the car, the grill coming perilously close to crunching the car’s back bumper. Both boys swiveled around, simultaneously cursing loudly.

“What the—“ Truman began as Owen’s door swung open, a gust of icy air blasting them both into silence.

“Either get out or shove over,” Harper growled at Owen. Stunned at the cold fury behind her words, Owen just sat there, staring mutely at her. With a frustrated sound, her hands shot out, pushing him into the center of the car as she climbed in. Her shoulder collided with his as she was moving much faster than he was. A split-second of frozen stillness reigned, but anger being a bigger motivator than fear at the moment, she pushed on him again until he slid over the console and into the backseat, his feet still jutting out into the air between the front seats. It would’ve been a comical sight if she wasn’t so mad.

“What the Hell are you two doing? Never mind,” she snarled when Truman opened his mouth. “I already know. You’re so predictable, Tru, but I never—NEVER—thought you’d do something like this. Do you want to end up in jail for assault? Again? And over what? NOTHING!”

“Harper—“

“I told you nothing happened.” And just like that, her whole countenance changed. One minute, her eyes were flashing, violent rage dictating her every action, and then, she was nothing more than this wounded animal, curled up in the smallest ball possible in the hopes that no one would see just how shattered she really was. “I thought you believed me.”

That hurt little voice was Truman’s undoing. Well, along with the glassy, tear-filled eyes, and the way her fingers twisted and turned the hem of that damned red Wisconsin sweatshirt she’d ganked from Dad years ago. Shit. He’d fucked up yet again.

“I do believe you, Harper.” He reached out a soft hand, laying it over her fidgeting fingers. “I do…it’s just—shit—I don’t know. I got angry, and I just…” He hung his head in abject misery.

She waited a beat and then reached into the console for Tru’s cell phone. “I thought we were getting Chinese?” She asked this as her fingers furiously tapped out a text. Probably to Grace.

He shook his head, slid one last, longing look at the teacher’s house and fired up the car. “Yeah, I already called in the order.”

“Jedi mind-trick,” Owen muttered under his breath as he watched the fight drain out of Truman. Now, it really was over. And, he’d been itching to pound on Haas, too. Or at the very least, watch as Tru did it for him. Grinning, Harper turned around, and Owen had to admit that he was now pretty much in the same boat as the other boy. How did she do that?

“Knowing my brother, he probably ordered enough food to feed an army. You want to join us?” Kind of a rhetorical question seeing as how as the car was already moving and Grace sped by, taking his truck off in the opposite direction, amidst a lot of grinding and screeching that sounded decidedly unhealthy for any vehicle much less his baby. Harper cringed at the noise as well. “Sorry about that. You probably shouldn’t have let Grace, of all people, drive your truck. She barely knows how to handle an automatic.”

“Yeah, I guess so.” But, he couldn’t find it in himself to be all that upset about Grace’s lack of driving ability, because Harper’s hand had closed over his while she’d been talking, and it was still there. “No problem. I like Chinese. Pepper Steak, especially.”

She brightened at that, a semi-Harper smile gracing her lips. “Me, too. It’s my favorite.”

He just smiled in return, his whole being focused solely on her slim fingers twined with his and how they stayed like that the whole way home.

Okay, minions. You know the drill.  Check back on Kelly's blog on Tuesday for more FUN AND GAMES WITH K & K...and let me tell you. It's a good one.  You don't want to miss it :)