Determined: Book two of the Tucker Trilogy

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Chapter Twelve

“Just the man I needed to see.” David called out to his father as he rounded the back of the house. He heard Thomas chopping wood, so he followed the noise.

“You never want to see me.” Thomas said as he continued to smash the wood into smaller pieces and throwing it on a pile.

“I have some news on my case that you might want to know about.” David came straight to the mountain once he left his home.

“What is it?” Thomas stalled his chopping and propped against the ax.

“Summer has been talking to her ex.”

“Zora’s ex, Isaac?”

David frowned. “No. Summer’s ex. His name is Dray.”

“Okay? Tell me how he plays a part in the fiasco.”

“I don’t know. He might not even have anything to do with it, but Steve stressed how the man is bad news. He put his hands on Summer the night of the engagement dinner.” David shook his head. He knew what was coming next.

Thomas’s eyes grew in realization. “Did it just so happen to leave a mark?”

“Listen, I don’t need a speech. I’m gone, aren’t I?”

Thomas was going to ride his son a little longer, but another thought popped in his head. “Why would she lie on Zora instead of telling you about this Dray guy? That makes no sense.”

“I know. Now, do you see why I’m bringing you all of this?”

“Mmhmm. So, do I have to say it or are you going to say it?”

“Say what?” David arched a brow.

“That we were right, and you were wrong?” Wrong on so many levels. “We all know Zora would never do something like that. What made you doubt her?” Thomas only felt slightly guilty because he had done the same when it came to her and Scotty.

“I don’t know! I don’t know how to describe my feelings for Zora. She makes me crazy then she makes me want and not just a physical want but more.” He stared off into the distance for a second before turning back to his father. “Listen, no one has to say it, okay? I’ll apologize to Zora.”

Thomas only nodded. His son was figuring it out, slowly but surely. “So what are you going to do about Summer?”

“I don’t know.” On one hand he felt like they needed to just end things where they were but on the other hand, he had picked her for a reason. Reasons that were now in the air until they had everything figured out.

“Listen, I need to go see Sheriff Keylo with this additional information. Something is off and I need to get to the bottom of this. No one attacks a Tucker and gets away with it.”

David’s chest swelled. If he knew nothing else, he knew he was proud to carry his last name.

“We might have two exes working together out of jealousy or something worse. Until we find out what’s going on, stay away from Summer. Something is not right and until I sort this out, I want you to lie low.” Thomas went to tidy up but turned back to David. “You’re welcomed here for as long as you need, you know that right?”

“Yeah. My bags are in the car.”

“Okay.”

“Okay.”

Thomas made his way in the house and got dressed, but he couldn’t help but smile. He was slowly getting the old David back, or maybe he was transforming into the man he was destined to be.

Thomas wanted all of his sons happy, however they saw fit. In order to do that, the first thing he had to do was find out who and why David was jumped and who needed to pay, Thomas Tucker style.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Thomas wasn’t waiting around for logistics. That’s not how he played when it came to his family. Thomas had a flight booked to New York for him and Chance the night David gave him the most recent information. Now it was time to pay Isaac a visit.

"What did I do now, Coach?" Isaac stepped into the head coach's office but he wasn't expecting the man sitting behind the desk.

“I didn’t take you for the stupid, deranged ex. Stupid, yes. Deranged, no quite.” Thomas stood from the chair holding his favorite gun at his side.

“What the-Don’t’ I know you?” Isaac squinted his eyes.

“I’m sure you know me and my son.” Thomas pointed the gun at him.

“Whoa, old man." He moved towards the door but Thomas wasn't concerned. Chance was now standing at the door, keeping watch. "I don’t want any problems from you.”

“It’s too late for that. You should have thought about that before you had my son jumped.”

“What? Who’s your son and why would I have him jumped?”

“David Tucker.”

“I don’t know, David.” He held his hands up in surrender. "Why would I have him jumped?"

“He was the man at the desk when you stopped by that day to visit Zora. You’re jealous of him because you thought something was going on between them. How did you get McNeil’s ex in on it too? Did he tell you he was into Zora so you two could team up?”

“Whoa, whoa. You got it all wrong! Can you put the gun down and I'll tell you everything I know."

Thomas lowered the gun after a few tense seconds. "Don't play with me."

"Listen, I don’t know about anything you’re talking about. My father is well known in the political world and he’s how I found Zora so quick. Him and Governor McNeil. Steve welcomed me with open arms. He even let me use some of his bodyguards. Those men weren’t my normal guys, only one belonged to me.”

Thomas was going to blow a gasket. His hands were shaking. He knew not to trust those damn McNeil’s. He couldn’t trust them, and Thomas was sure he had a few cops on his payroll. Now, he had to abandon Sheriff Keylo. Keylo was a stubborn man who went off facts alone, and he didn’t have time to fight a case within a case.

Thomas grabbed Isaac and held his gun under his chin. "I was never here. Understand?"

"Yes."

He shoved the man away and snatched the door open.

"I take it didn't go very well." Chance asked as he followed behind a heated Thomas.

"Call Terry." They were going to need all the help he could find.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

“Micah?” Zora said, surprised as she opened her front door.

“Hey, Zora.” He gave her that charming smile.

“What are you doing here? How did you know where I lived?” She would bet her left leg that it was Aria.

“Aria told me.”

She smirked. “Of course.”

“Can I come in? I brought over some food and…” He held up the plastic container that held the caramel cake he made for her. “I was hoping this would cheer you up. I know my father pissed you off yesterday.”

Zora snorted. Pissed was putting it mildly but she couldn't stay mad at Thomas for long though. “Of course, come in.” Once she closed the door and followed him into the kitchen, she realized that she only wore a robe. She had taken a shower and wasn’t expecting company.

“I should go change."

"You don't see me complaining." He raked his eyes over her body.

"Yeah, I know.” She laughed. “I’ll be right back.”

“Take your time. I’ll plate up the food.”

"Okay, just make yourself at home."

"Sure thing. I was going to stop by yesterday after it went down but I got swamped."

"It's fine. It was probably for the best anyway. I wasn't very good company yesterday."

Micah laughed as he shook his head and started pulling items from the bag. "Go get dress and hurry back. We can eat while the food is still warm."

Just when she said okay, her doorbell rang.

“You bring someone with you?” She teased as she moved towards the door.

“No. I don’t want to share you with anyone else.” She couldn’t help but laugh until she looked into the peephole.

“Oh, God.” Zora rested her head on the door. She was going to kill Aria. “Why must I suffer?” She huffed before cracking the door open.

“I need to talk to you.” David tried to slide between her and the door, but she stopped him.

“I’m busy.” She tried to close the door, but he put his hand out to stop it from slamming in his face.

“Do you have a man in here? Is it Scotty?” He forced his way in, coming face to face with his brother and he stopped dead in his tracks.

“Wow, Zora.”

"It not what it looks like, David. Or is it?" Micah raised a brow.

Zora gave him a stern look before turning to David. “Wow, what?” She folded her arms across her chest.

“You slept with Scotty, now you're trying to date my brother, what’s next?”

She rolled her eyes. “All I heard was, “I’m mad because you’re not dating me.” Is that right?”

“Almost, I’m mad because you’re not fucking me.”

Zora was taken back, so was Micah. He never saw David act like this before. It must be true that Zora brought out a different side of him.

“Fuck you, David.” She pushed past him. He caught her arm to stop her but not tight enough. She snatched away and hauled off and slapped him across the face.

Everyone and everything was still. Quietness swept through the house.

“I didn’t mean that." David said in a gentle tone. "I’m sorry. You just make me crazy sometimes.”

“I make you crazy because you’re being stupid and fighting your feelings for me? Yep, totally my fault.”

Micah cleared his throat. “I’m going to leave the two of you alone. It’s clear there is unfinished business you two need to discuss. Please, enjoy dinner on me.”

“Micah.” She murmured. They were constantly getting interrupted. She genuinely enjoyed his company. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s fine, Z. We’ll do this another time.” With that he was out the door.

“How dare you?” She flipped around to David.

“How dare I what? Claim what’s mine?”

“I don’t belong to anyone, especially you. Do I look like Summer to you?”

“No. You look like Zora Alise Hawthorne to me.”

“Don’t play with me, David.” She mushed him in the face. “You just called me a whore. I guess I’m your whore then?”

He let out a chuckle that kind of sounded like a snort but she wasn't sure.

“Oh, you think it’s funny?”

“No. Can you believe I came over here to apologize and ended up throwing insults at you?”

“Yeah, I just can’t imagine that.” Her words were laced with sarcasm.

“There’s a lot of shit going on with me, Zora. I’m sorry I said that but you know I didn’t mean it.” He pulled her close. She didn’t resist, but she didn’t lay against him either. She stood there awkwardly trying to talk herself out of feeling anything from him, but then he started pressing kisses behind her ear and she was a goner. “You know there’s something between us.”

“No.” She squirmed in his hold.

“No?”

“Yes. No, get your hands off me.” She pushed him back, then ran her fingers through her hair. “Just…” She sighed. “Just go, David. Go home to Summer and leave me alone.”

“Summer and I are over with.”

“Over with? I don’t believe it.” She folded her arms under her breast.

“Don’t believe it, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s true.”

Was it true, was he really done with Summer for good?

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