“Hey, Scotty! Can I talk to you for a second?” David had no right to do what he was about to do but his thought was, fuck it. He came to the gym solely to tell Scotty to back off and leave Zora alone.
“Hey, man. You back?” Scotty asked after he ran over from the basketball game he was playing with the kids.
“No. I have a few weeks before I come back.”
“Okay. Well, what did you want to talk to me about?”
“Did she tell you about us? I can’t believe she actually likes me.”
That made David’s face frown up. “Stay away from her, Scotty.”
“What? What’s wrong with her? Is she crazy or something?”
Or something. “No.”
“Well, what is it?” He waited for David to come up with a good enough answer to make him stay away from her, but he came up short. “Oh, I see. It’s more than me just crushing on her, but aren’t you getting married?” Scotty laughed when David was still silent. “I thought so. I got to get back to work.”
“Do you like this job?” David threw out as Scotty turned away.
Scotty strolled over to David and spoke in a low, hard tone. “Are you threatening me over some bitch?”
David used all his might to knock his teeth through the roof of his mouth. Scotty stumbled back with the force of the blow, and he felt an extreme amount of wetness flood his mouth.
He spit out a wad of blood then charged at David, knocking him to the ground. They fought and somehow David ended up on top, but not for long once Thomas pulled them apart.
“Call her a bitch again!”
Thomas pushed David behind him. “What the hell is going on?”
“He called Zora a bitch.”
“He’s just mad I got freaky with her at the club.”
“Get the fuck out of here, Scotty.” Thomas waved him off.
“Of course, you’re going to take up for your son. What about my program?”
“MY program will be fine, now get your ass out of here before I toss you out.”
“Don’t worry. I’m out of here.” Scotty threw his badge and barged out the door.
“Thanks, Dad, for having my back.”
“You need to go home and take some medicine. That leg is going to be hurting something serious.” He paused. “How in the hell did you get here, anyway?”
“I drove. I took the brace off.”
Thomas shook his head as he went to his office to get his keys. He had a stop to make.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
“Here you go, Zora. I’ll call this, “Micah’s MasterZ.” You inspired it.” He placed the caramel cake in front of her. “See, caramel cake is not appreciated enough, easily overlooked by the vanillas, chocolates, and red velvets. But I find it’s one of the riches, moist cakes across the board.”
“A man amazing with his words. Where have you been all my life, Micah?” She took the fork from his hand and dug into the slice of cake.
Micah laughed at her sarcasm but watched as she took the first bite of his cake.
Zora could tell it was going to be delicious just from the way her fork glided through to cut her a piece that would fit in her mouth.
Micah wasn’t a lying. The cake was rich and flavorful. The caramel melted in her mouth. It was to die for.
“Mmm hmm. Tell me that’s not the shit! It’s what I do, baby.” Micah gloated as he took the fork from her and forked up some himself.
“Zora!” She spun around from the bar to see Thomas marching for her.
“We’re just having cake.” She said innocently as she picked up her glass.
“I haven’t put my hands on her, not once.” Micah said once he swallowed his cake.
“Good. Now go away.” He said to Micah once he was close.
“I know that tone and you’re in trouble.” Micah walked behind the bar disappearing through the swinging doors.
Before Zora could speak, Thomas pounced. “Did you have SEX with Scotty and at a club of all places?”
She was drinking some milk, but it went flying across the counter and barstool as she choked at his question. “Are you insane?”
“He said that after calling you a bitch.”
“Whoa. What the hell is going on?”
“Answer my question.”
“We kissed. On the dancefloor but that’s it. It was quick, and I didn’t bring it up. So why would he? Is that why he said I was a bitch?”
“I don’t know. He and David were arguing when I walked in and he said all that bullshit. I guess to get a rise out of David.”
“Well, I didn’t sleep with him. Are you better now?”
“Much.” He claimed the stool next to her. “Did you eat any actual food while you’re downing dessert like a four-year-old?”
“I’ve seem to have lost my appetite.” She snatched her coat from the chair as she hopped down from the stool.
“Where are you going?”
“Away.” She threw over her shoulder. “You Tucker’s have a lot of nerves.” She mumbled as she pushed out the door.
“Where did Zora go?” Micah asked as he came back to the bar. His father was sitting alone, eating the cake he left for Zora
“She said she lost her appetite.” Thomas shrugged. “Cut me a piece of that cake for me to take home. You finally made something that taste good.”
“Whatever. This is Zora’s cake. You don’t get rewarded for your behavior.”
Micah left his father sitting there, giving him something to think about. He would wrap the cake up and take it to her, hopefully making her feel better.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
“Where is David?” Steve asked as his daughter let him into the house.
“He’s asleep, Daddy, the medicine puts him out. What’s the matter?”
“You didn’t take care of Dray like I told you to. I should’ve known not to let a woman do a man’s job.”
“What are you talking about? I took care of him.”
“He’s snooping around, sticking his nose in things that don’t concern him. I tried to give you the benefit of the doubt, but it’s obvious you can’t do things on your own. You need directions and guidance, so now I’m here.”
“I took care of him but I can’t control him.”
“That’s not taking care of him, Dummy. You barely took care of David.”
“Why did you have him jumped in the first place?”
“I needed Thomas distracted and because I’m doing what I need to do to keep you living the high society life you live. Any other questions?”
She lowered her head like the child he saw her as. “What do you want me to do?”
“You need to tell David about Dray showing up at your engagement party. He’ll then think that it was Dray who had those men jump him because of you.”
“I can’t.” David wouldn’t even believe her then. He would know that she was a liar.
“Yeah, you put it off on him. Let Dray take the fall and let The Tuckers handle it from there.”
“I can’t, Daddy.” She hollered.
“There’s no other way, and it’s your fault you didn’t handle Dray.”
“Who’s Dray?” David stepped into the living room with a frown.
“Baby, you’re awake.” She tried to move to David’s side, but he stopped her.
“Yes, I’m awake. Now, who is Dray?”
“He’s no one.” She tried to get out of falling into her father’s plan, but he was too slick and manipulative.
“He needs to know, Summer. How many times has he stalked you down? Didn’t he put his hands on you the last time?”
“Who the hell is Dray and why is he grabbing on you?” David came closer, staring down at her with piercing eyes.
“Don’t act like you’re concerned, David. Let me and my father finish talking alone.” She turned, dismissing him but David wasn’t going anywhere until he got the answer to his questions.
“It was the night of the engagement dinner. He grabbed her arm, trying to force her to talk to him. She asked me to keep it quiet, but I’m concerned, especially with what has happened to you.”
Summer was crying on the inside, so much for her happily ever after.
She had her back to David, but he could tell she was stiff, knowing he caught her in her lie.
“The same night you told me Zora was the one who grabbed you.” He forced her around with the grip he caught on her elbow.
“I would watch yourself, Tucker.” Steve whispered in a dark tone, playing along. He was having a hard time not grabbing her himself. He became lost in his own thoughts of what his daughter could be up to. Obviously, she had her own motives that had backfired on her.
“I’ll grab her throat the next time she lies to me.” He turned to Summer. “Did you lie about Zora?”
She just stared at him, emotionless yet calculating. He turned to go find his keys. He couldn’t stand there and watch her lie to him again. “I’m out of here.” He shoved her away before moving towards his room.
“See!” She started behind him. “That’s all you need to go running to her. You want to talk about lying? Let’s talk about how you have been lying to me and most importantly, how you been lying to yourself.”
She almost ran into him as he made a sudden stop and turned to her.
“Yeah, that’s right, I said it! You’ve been waiting for me to fuck up so you can go be with her.”
“Why was this Dray guy grabbing your arm? Were you messing around with him?”
“He’s an ex-boyfriend.” She shook her head. “I’m sorry I lied but you wouldn’t take care of her so-”
“I would never want to be with a woman so insecure that she would lie on another woman just to have things the way she wanted them.”
“If I’m insecure, it’s because of you! You wouldn’t handle her-”
“Because I didn’t do it when you wanted me to?” He was in her face now. Pissed. “I recall me handling it at my father’s house.”
“That was bullshit and you know it!” She yelled back in his face. “You moped around this fucking house for days after you told her you just wanted to be friends!”
He continued down the hall and gathered his things once he made it to their room.
He didn’t give a damn about her father being there. He was leaving. There was only so much bullshit a man could deal with.
Summer was sitting on the couch when David finally finished packing his bags.
“You can keep the key to get your things out by Monday.”
“How are you going to drive? You’re going to take you brace off again?”
“Don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine.”
She nodded her head, and he started for the door when she spoke again. “You love her, don’t you?”
His jaw clenched. “Goodbye, Summer.” He was out the door and slammed it behind him.
She had lost David, but that wasn’t even the worse part. Now she had to face her father.
He came from the kitchen, standing in the archway. “What the hell have you done?”
This time she had messed up. Big time...