“Hey Lightening.” Uncle Caleb smiled putting me down on the ground again. “Did you like your present from Sarah?” I nodded as he put my feet on the ground.
“I loved it. I have your old one if you want it?” He shook his head.
“Hello Sergeant James.” Mason smiled nodding at him.
“Hello Swift.” He nodded back holding me to him.
“You can keep the old one Kid. I got the new one when I was visiting with my sister.”
“Wait….You’re Sarah’s brother?” Uncle Caleb nodded laughing at his facial expression.
“I’m this Kid’s Uncle alright.” He smiled at him hugging me.
“That’s….that’s a little weird that I didn’t know this…” He said pulling a face. I smiled at Mason as Nic came over.
“What is he laughing about?” She asked Mason.
“Sergeant James is Car’s Uncle.” She pulled the same face as he did only moments ago.
“No wonder he always liked you better.” She laughed at me. I shrugged at them. Uncle Caleb smiled at me leaning down to whisper in my ear.
“Happy Birthday.” He laughed kissing my head as I smiled. “I wasn’t too sure what to get you. Sarah said I helped with the phone but I thought I should give you something else. So here.” He pulled a card out of his pocket and handed it to me. “It’s an iTunes gift card.” He shrugged at me.
“Thank you.” I hugged him. He looked down at me.
“Why do those guys keep looking over here?” He asked me quietly making all of us turn to look at Tucker and the guys as they watched us.
“Oh shit I forgot they were here.” I said biting my lip. “I bet he’s pissed at me.” Nic shrugged.
“I’m not sure.” She looked back at me. “You were really cuddly with Mason….” She trailed off.
“He does think I would…?” She shrugged at me knowing where I was going. I would never. “I should go talk to him.” I sighed messing with the bracelet on my wrist. Nic and Mason nodded at the same time.
“I’ll come with you. I want to talk to Ben.” I nodded taking a deep breath. Uncle Caleb patted my back in encouragement. I walked across the field with Nic to the guys who were talking to themselves. Liam nudged Tucker as I put my hands in my pocket. Tucker looked down.
“Can we talk?” I asked quietly. He shrugged messing with his phone. “Please…I need to explain.” He looked up.
“What explain how you’re dating someone other than me?” I shook my head.
“Tucker it’s not what you think.” He looked at me.
“Then what is it? You are breaking up with me to date him?”
“Tucker he’s gay.” Nic said rolling her eyes.
“He’s what?” Ben said pulling her to him.
“He doesn’t like girls. He’s homosexual.” I said rubbing my neck. “We’ve been friends since we were in 6th grade.”
“That’s 6 years.” Nic said sitting down on Ben’s lap. I looked at Nic. “Sorry.” She leaned back into Ben who kissed her neck making her giggle. Tucker stood up.
“Let’s talk.” He said as we started to walk slowly away from the others to the swings I was just on with Mason. He put his hand out asking permission to hold hands. I put my hand in his as he intertwined our fingers.
“Is he really gay or were you just saying that to make me feel better?” I shook my head smiling to myself.
“Mason is as straight as a circle. You don’t have a penis; you aren’t going to attract Mason.” He looked at me.
“You mean he isn’t…..” I looked at him.
“I mean he would be more attracted to you than me.” He bit his lip. “Everyone has their reason about why they’re here. Nic’s being she was bullied to no end. Mine is my mother no longer loved me, and my father not wanting me to be near her so he sent me here. And Mason, his parents not excepting him being gay and no longer loving girls. We all come together to make a family.”
“I’m sorry for what I said.” He rubbed the back of his head. “I let my jealously get the better of me.”
“Tucker I love you.” I said as I stopped walking. Tucker pulled me into a hug stroking my hair.
“I know. I love you too Carson.” He kissed my head. “Come on introduce me to your friends.” He said nodding to where Nic had all the guys we hung out with at school talking to Liam, Blake, and Ben. I nodded pulling him to the group as the guys all gave me hugs and ‘Happy Birthday’s. The rest of the day consisted of friends, tons of laughs, and fun games. Tucker came around and him and Mason by the end of the day became friends and even exchanged phone numbers…even after I slapped Mason for hitting on my boyfriend. What can you do? Everyone laughed their asses off. Uncle Caleb kept watching Tucker the whole time after I introduced him as my boyfriend. Over protective Step Uncle.
“”The fireworks are about to start!” A Drill Instructor called out into the crowd as everyone got set and ready to see the amazing fireworks. My iPhone started to ring. Tucker looked at it since I was lying between with legs with his arms around me. “Who is it baby?” I pulled it out of my pocket and looked at the number.
“It’s international….overseas.” My eyes widened as I turned to look at Mason.
“Answer it you idiot before you miss it.” He said shaking his head at me. I hit answer biting my lip praying for it to be him.
“Hey baby. Happy Birthday.” He said in that voice I have missed so much.
“Daddy I miss you.” I bit my lip as Tucker held me closer.
“I miss you too. So much. I wish I was there to wish you a happy birthday in person but I can’t. I love you sweetheart.” I felt Tucker press his lips to my shoulder.
“I love you too Daddy. I haven’t talked to you since before you left last.” I sighed clutching my phone tighter.
“I know baby. I’m sorry it’s been so long. I couldn’t find a number to call after you left school. I lost Nicole’s number and I couldn’t get the houses number. I’m sorry Baby. It’s been so hectic and crazy here lately.”
“It’s alright Daddy. I understand. I just missed you.”
“I miss you too. I wish I could be home for you, for Sarah. For little JJ. He’s going to be born soon and I’m not even going to be there.”
“It’s not your fault Daddy. We all know that.”
“Y’all should hate me for this.” He sighed at the other end of the phone.
“Daddy we don’t hate you at all. We love you. And you love us. That’s all that matters.” I looked up as the first firework went up into the sky bursting in the sky.
“Are you at school?” He asked as another firework exploded in the sky.
“Yeah. We’re watching the fireworks.” I sighed happily as another one made the sky red as it went off.
“As good as always?” I could hear the smile in his voice.
“Of course Daddy. You would love it.” I sighed. “I wish you were here.”
“I wish so too.” He sighed. I knew he was rubbing his forehead at this moment.
“I love you Daddy.” I watched the next one do off with another right after it.
“I love you too McQueen.” I heard mumbling in the background. “I have to go baby. I’ll talk to you soon.”
“Thank you for calling Daddy. It was great to hear from you on my birthday.” I bit my lip.
“Anything for my baby girl.”
“I’ll talk to you soon Daddy.”
“Alright baby. Bye.”
“Bye.” I hung up the phone and moved to curl up in Tucker’s arms as he held me tightly as I closed my eyes the fireworks going on around us like a background noise as Tuck whispered sweet nothingness in my ear….
It’s been weeks since that day. Mr. and Mrs. Brown were coming up soon with Dakota for a week before we had to leave to get back to school. I was dreading it since I knew it meant Tucker’s and mine time was coming to an end as the time for school soon approach. I was holding on to the time we had together. I was getting ready for a late morning run when my cell phone started to ring. Nic’s head rose from where she was tying her shoes to look at me. We both knew only 4 people knew that number and I didn’t want to talk to any of them. “Are you going to answer it?” She asked me quietly as I stared at it. I took a deep breath nodding. I picked up the old crappy phone and hit send answering the call.
“Hello?” I said questioning into the phone.
“Hello Carson.” My mother’s voice came through painfully smoothly through the phone.
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