Curly Headed Cutie

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Chp. 19: Butterflies

WARNING!!!! LONG CHAPTER AHEAD!!!

End Of School Day...

“Hey Dad, I was wondering if I could hangout with some friends this afternoon. I should be home before 10 tonight,” I asks, pressing the phone to me ear.

I stand near my locker, grabbing my backpack, as Dad replies, “Sure, Anni, I don’t mind! As long as you’re home before 10, I’m okay with that.”

I smile, excitedly, “Thanks Dad! Love you!”

“Love you too!”

I hang up, and find myself leaping with joy.

Internally of course.

Just imagine how awkward that’d be if I did...

I’d probably fall on someone...

I slip my backpack onto my back, seeing as it’s the end of the school day now. I have to meet Travis in the parking lot.

I smile, realizing that I actually have friends now, and not people who are my brother’s friends. Not that I don’t love them, it’s just I’d rather have my own friends and not my brothers friends.

If that...makes sense at all...

I sigh, feeling happy. I turn around, and make my way down the hall, people of course running into me, and I being super awkward about it. I glance around the hall trying to find Daniel’s classroom, and finally spot it.

I slide past people, and nearly trip over someone’s foot. I run into Daniel’s classroom and find him sitting at his seat, Jennifer standing next to him playing with his hair. I stare in shock as Daniel looks up at her smiling as Jennifer traces her finger over his jawline.

I gag, gripping my backpack straps.

What the hell!!!!

They’re supposed to be broken up!!!

I clear my throat loudly, and both whip their head around to look at me. Daniel’s cheeks turn red, despite his sienna brown skin, “Tiffany! Hey!”

He stands, fixing his white t-shirt, and pulling at his bleach washed jeans. He pulls Jennifer’s hand from his hair, and says, awkwardly, “What’s up?”

I look from him, to Jennifer, and she simple crosses her arms annoyed. I look her up and down, and roll my eyes in disgust.

Her outfit...

I’m surprised she wasn’t dress coded...

She’s wearing a white, super small, mini-skirt, and a black tank top that reveals too much cleavage.

She frowns at me before saying, “Is there a reason you interrupted us?” I roll my eyes, still wanting to gag.

“Daniel,” I look to him, ignoring the basic bitch next to him, “you don’t have to worry about driving me home. I’m hanging out with friends this afternoon, so, love you! Bye!”

I turn to walk, but Daniel runs up to me, grabbing my hand, “Whoa, wait! Is Pops okay with this? What friends??” I glare at him, pulling my hand from his. He grins, “I’m kidding!”

There’s an long pause after that before he says, truthfully, “Partly...”

I sigh, feeling irritated, “Dad did say that it’s okay, and all have you know, I do have friends! You just don’t know them!”

And I know once he finds out who they are...

“Yeah, well, okay. I probably don’t know your friends, but I’d like to! It’d be nice to see my sisters first friends ever.”

“I’ve had friends before!”

“Elementary school doesn’t count!!”

“Maybe you could meet them one day, just not today.” I state, pulling out my phone. I see a text from Travis, and read it.

Travis

Josh and James are riding with us just a heads up

but don’t worry, the front passenger seat is still yours

Josh keeps trying to take it but I warned him not to or else

I giggle, and Daniel notices. “Who you texting?” He asks, leaning over to try and get a peek of my phone screen. I pull back, turning my phone off, “A friend, now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go. They’re waiting for me outside.”

“Who’s waiting for you outside???”

I walk out the classroom, but turn back and peek my head into the room one last time, “Oh, and Jennifer, your outfit screams ‘I’m desperate’.” I shoot her a fake smile, and she gasps.

I walk away, and hurriedly make my way out the school building and into the parking lot. I walk out, noticing a few people here and there, some smoking and others talking with one another.

I look to my left, and notice the black Ferrari Sports Car. My anxiety spikes, as I feel nervous, yet excited. I take a deep breath.

There’s a first time for everything...

I run toward the car on two shaky legs, and stop in front of it. I pull open the car door, “Hey guys!!”

“Hey, Tiny!!!” Travis smirks, as I take off my backpack, and sit down in the car. I set my bag on my lap, closing the car door.

Joshua then says, smiling, “Long time no see, Tiffany! Last I saw you, you were drenched head to toe.” I laugh, putting on my seat belt, “You thank Travis for that...”

“What? I would never...”

I narrow my eyes at him, and he simply smirks. Jamie then smiles at me, shoving Travis’s face away, “It’s good to see you again.”

I smile back, “Same.”

Shoving Jamie’s hand away, Travis glares at him, “Don’t touch my face with your May infested hands...”

Jamie rolls his eyes, and I giggle. I look to Travis, and he smiles, “Anyway, I’ll try not to ‘speed’ with you in the car.”

I playfully glare at him, “You’ll try?”

“There’s no guarantee.”

I roll my eyes, smiling, as Travis says, “Alright, lady and gents!” He plugs his keys into the ignition, and starts the car, “Let’s get this party on the road!!”

*************************************************

Football Field....

Luka’s POV:

I grab my towel, and wipe the sweat off my face and chest. I toss my towel into my bag, and rub my curly fro back. I glance around the field, seeing everyone doing drills and practicing catching the ball.

I try thinking about something else besides her, but she’s always on my mind. I’m too in love her to not think about her. I smile, thinking about her smile and laugh. Her soft, black, curly hair, and her hand in mine.

But suddenly, my mind wanders back to yesterday. I cringe remembering how Travis and Tiffany are supposedly partners for the project in AP. Them two being alone together, talking and laughing. Him touching her, and- I shake my head, trying to get the image out of my head.

I didn’t even realize the asshole was in AP!!

I sigh, tiredly, as I grab my water bottle and take a swig.

I haven’t told Daniel about my new finding, mainly because I don’t know how. How do you tell a guy that his little sister is hanging out with the worse guy in school??

I shake my head, “Oh Tiffany...if only you hadn’t chose to be partners with him...”

Then maybe I wouldn’t be so damn jealous...

“Yo Luk!”

I jump, turning around to see Daniel walk up to me. I sigh with relief, “What up, Daniel?” Daniel stares at me for a moment, concern in his eyes. He then asks, “You aight? You seem off today.” I nod, “Yeah, just tired...”

“You sure?” Simon says, coming up next to Daniel, “You didn’t even ride with us this morning. That was definitely not like you.”

“He speaks the truth,” Sebastian agrees, coming on the other side of Daniel, “You seem depressed.”

“I’m not depressed, just tired.”

Tired of Travis fucking Reel.

“And I didn’t ride with you guys this morning because I overslept. I thought I texted that to the group chat.” I state, rolling my eyes, “You dumbasses don’t read anything I send to the group chat.”

"YUH-HUH!! WE DO READ YOUR CHATS!!!" Simon protests, frowning, his black hair falling in his face due to sweat, “Remember that one you sent of a cat?”

“I never sent one of a cat...” I reply, raising a brow, “That was Sebastian.” Simon looks to Sebastian, and laughs, “Ah shit! That was funny!! The little dancing cat!”

“I know right! Daniel thought it was cringey!! But how could you think Poptart Cat is cringey?”

“That’s because that shit is cringey,” Daniel replies, rolling his eyes. Simon and Sebastian both begin singing the song, they both way sounding like dying cats. I cringe at the sound, “Guys! Stop!”

“Sorry,” The both laugh. I shake my head, “Anyway, I’m fine. ”

“If you say so. We just noticed you seemed a little off after yesterday. Just remember to keep your head in the game. We have a game against The Bears next Sunday.” Daniel explains, patting my shoulder.

Simon, and Sebastian both nod and walk off, Daniel not far behind them. I wait for them to walk over to the water boy, and take a deep breath. I turn to my gym bag, and pull out my phone.

I dial Jackson’s phone number, and it rings for a few seconds.

“Yeah,” Jackson answers, yawning.

“Hey, Jackson. I need to talk to you about somethin’.”

Tiffany’s POV:

My jaw drops at the sight of this giant house. Large windows, and a bird bath out front. The house is absolutely stunning.

I totally forgot Travis lives in a huge house. A mansion even.

Travis nudges me, standing next to as Joshua and Jamie walk up to the house, “You okay? You look like you can’t breathe.” I look up at him, and nod, “Yeah, I just forgot that you live here.”

He chuckles, his face softening. He smiles down at me, “Oh yeah, forgot you’ve only been here once.” Grabbing my hand, Travis smiles at me, softly, “C’mon.”

He’s never been this gentle before...

He tugs me with him while stating, “If you like the outside, you’ll definitely like the inside.”

Wait! I’m going inside his house?!

I should’ve seen this coming...

I look down at my hand in his, noticing how much larger they are compared to mine. I blush, as he grips my hand tightly in his. My heart begins beating rapidly, and my palms become sweaty.

What if he starts thinking my hands are gross after this????

It’s not my fault you make me nervous...

I follow close behind him, as we walk down this long pathway to the large porch of the house. We step onto it, and Travis opens the door. He lets go of my hand, leaving a lingering feeling on my finger tips.

I oddly miss holding his hand now...

.......

Did I really just say that?

He holds open the door for me, saying, “Ladies first.” I begin playing with my fingers, as I carefully step inside. As soon as I enter, I stare in awe at the decorations of everything. A chandelier hangs above the entrance, and I stare up at it. I look around, noticing the large staircase, and the colors of the house.

Black. White. Gold.

Pictures hang around the room, pictures of who I am assuming is Travis when he was younger, his mom, and maybe his sister.

I remember he said he had a sister.

Travis closes the door behind him and stands next to me, stuffing his hands in his pocket, “What do you think? Pretty fancy, huh?” I look over at him, wide eyed, “Fancy? Fancy is an understatement! This place is...I don’t even know, but it’s beautiful. Even more than that.”

Travis chuckles, “I’m glad you think so.”

Suddenly we hear loud laughter from the left side of the house. I look toward it as Travis says also looking toward the noise, “Oh, so that’s where everyone went.” I look back over at him, “What’s over there?”

“The living room, and the den.” He states, and I look back toward the noise. Before I know it, I find myself walking toward the sound. I walk through the walkway, and find a large living room with large couches set next to one another as well as a love seat.

May, Stormy, Joshua, and Jamie on one couch. I look over and notice a woman sitting on the the love seat. The same woman from the picture in the other room.

She’s very pretty with short black hair, kinda like how May’s hair is cut. Her skin’s a little tan, and her eyes a hazel brown. She’s wearing a white blouse, and black pants, and she continues to laugh with Stormy, and May.

“Poor thing! I could imagine she was falling all over the place,” She giggles, I now hearing a light Italian accent. “Poor Tiffany,” Joshua chuckles, shaking his head.

They’re talking about me?

“You guys in here bullying Tiffany?” Travis says, placing his hands on my shoulders. I jump, looking back at him. “Sorry,” He laughs. I look back to everyone, and May and Stormy immediately hop off the couch.

They both tackle me, Travis stepping away.

"HEY TIFFANY!!!" Stormy sings, hugging me tightly. ”I MISSED YOU!! SCHOOL SUCKS!!! KEEPING US APART LIKE THIS!!!" May says, also hugging me tightly. “I missed you guys too,” I wheeze, patting their arms, feeling squished.

They let go, and I let out a breath. May and Stormy both laugh, and Joshua and Jamie join. I laugh awkwardly, as the woman in the love seat stands up. I look over at her, as she walks over, “You must be Tiffany. The one I’ve been hearing so much about.”

“Yep, that’s me,” I reply, smiling, as I push up my glasses. “I’m glad to finally meet you. My name’s Andrea, but you can call me Dreah,” She replies, smiling, “And as you may already know, I’m Travis’s Mom.”

“It’s nice to meet you too,” I reply, smiling.

She’s so pretty, it’s almost unbelievable...

“Oh, and I’m sorry for Travis’s behavior.” Andrea quickly states, shaking her head. She then shoots Travis a look, and whispers, “I know how he can be.”

Travis frowns, “You’re not a good whisperer...”

She giggles, “I’m kidding, Travis.” She then walks over, and props her arm on his shoulder, “Partly.” Travis stares down at her as she wiggles her brows at him. I smile as they begin to playfully bicker with one another.

“Mamma, you’re always doing this when I invite my friends over.”

“Doing what, Trey? I’m innocent. Unlike you.”

“How’s that?”

“Skipping school?”

“That’s just skipping school. I’m sure you did that too when you was younger.”

“You’re right. I did do that when I was younger,” She then smacks the back of his head and he yelps, “And you wanna know what happened to me when I skipped school too much? I got in trouble by my Mamma e Papa.”

“OW! Why’d you do that?!” Travis whines, rubbing the back of his head. “Because I can, bambino,” Andrea says, standing on her tippy toes, and planting a kiss on his cheek; leaving red lipstick behind.

"MAMMA!" Travis groans, wiping his face, and everyone laughs. Suddenly, I start to feel a little sad, remembering my Mom. I smile softly, remembering how we always played around with each other like that.

I’m glad Travis has a good relationship with his Mom.

*************************************************

Strip Mall....

Luka’s POV:

“So, she’s partners with Travis Reel for this AP project?” Jackson asks as we walk into the mall. I nod, “Yeah, and it’s bothering me. I don’t want her hanging out with an asshole like him.”

We walk past a few groups of chattering people as we make our way through the large building, and onto the escalator. “You ever thought that maybe you were just overreacting?” Jackson asks, shrugging.

I look over at him, brow furrowed, “Why would I be overreacting??”

“Because, I know how much you really like her, and I know that you’d probably do anything to be alone with her,” He explains, as we step off the escalator, “But, hearing that she’s alone with another guy, and not you, is what’s killing your spirits. You’re worried that she’ll start falling for Travis, and you would’ve lost your chance to ask her out. Which would be your fault by the way.”

“Well, way to tell it to me straight,” I reply, as we walk into the food court.

We take seat at a booth, as I continue, “You’re right. I don’t want her alone with him, or any other guy really. I mean, I helped her get her catering career started, and she goes and...hangs around Travis. I don’t want her finding someone new, but how do I accomplish that?”

Jackson frowns, and I raise a brow, “What? What did I say?”

“You ask her out, dummy!” Jackson states, bluntly, “And just because you did her a favor, doesn’t mean anything!!! You just go and ask her out. Stop being a little bitch, and just rip off the band-aid!”

“Jeez, Jack, why call me a bitch?”

“Because, that’s what you’re acting like. Man up and tell her before someone does before you. Hell, I might even decide to ask her out.”

I glare at him, as he smirks, “I’m just being honest. She’s hella cute, I can see why you, and Travis like her. And not only is she cute, she’s thic-”

“Say another damn word, Jackson, and I swear to god.” I growl, and he chuckles.

“I’m just saying. I get why you’re worried about someone swooping in to claim her,” Jackson explains, shrugging, “I’d go for her too.”

“Well, get in line, buddy. I saw her first,” I reply, as Jackson rubs his long, wavy, hair back, “Anyway, what do I need to do to get him to stay away from her?”

“They’re partners for a project, Luka, there’s no way he could possibly stay away from her.” Jackson replies, in a matter-of-fact-tone. “I know but I don’t need them together 24/7.” I state, sighing.

“You sound like a jealous boyfriend...”

“That’s because I am...I’m jealous as hell...”

I pause, thinking.

Travis doesn’t deserve her...

I’m going to have to tell Daniel...

Tiffany’s POV:

We all sit in the living eating pizza, telling some of our most embarrassing stories. I’m sitting on the couch next to Travis.

Stormy is sitting with Joshua, and May is sitting on Jamie’s lap.

I laugh, as I take a napkin to wipe my face, “And, to make it all worse, I didn’t want to tell my Mom because she had told me not to put my hand in the jar because I could get it stuck. But, me being me, I wanted to prove her wrong, and ended up going to the doctor to get it removed.”

"OH MY GOD!!! That’s hilarious!!!" Samantha laughs as I tell the story of how I got my hand stuck in a jar, she sitting across from me.

Yeah, I don’t know how I get myself into these situations...

Anyway, Samantha Reel, Travis’s older sister. I like her, she’s really cool, and sweet. She’s 8 months pregnant, and I know Travis is excited to become an uncle. Plus Andrea being excited to become an Grandma.

Oscar chuckles, rubbing Samantha’s belly, “That’s funny.”

Oscar Smith, aka Samantha’s future husband, and father of her child. He’s also Jamie’s older brother, and he’s pretty chill too.

“I’m not surprised that you got your hand stuck in a jar,” Travis chuckles. I laugh awkwardly, pushing up my glasses, “Yeah, only me.”

“I’m glad I got to meet you, Tiffany,” Samantha says, smiling, “Everyone was talking about, and I was curious to know what you were like. May and Stormy both were talking about you the most.”

I laugh, “I know they have. Andrea was just telling me about it.”

“I also heard that you started catering?” Samantha asks, and I nod. “Yeah! I had some help from a friend, and Travis.”

“Speaking of which,” Joshua says, curiously, “How’s that going?” I sigh, “Well, I guess that it didn’t work out. I haven’t gotten a phone call...”

“Aw...” Stormy whimpers, sadly. She rubs my back, “Sorry Tiff.”

“It’s okay.”

Suddenly, my phone begins ringing. I read the caller ID, not recognizing it. I raise a brow, “I’m sorry guys, I have to take this.” I stand up, and Stormy begins telling her most embarrassing story.

I walk out the living room, and answer it, “Hello?”

“Hi! Are you Tiffany Green? Caterer?”

I tense up, feeling my stomach drop, “Um, yes. This is she.”

“Great! I was wondering if you are available to cater this Sunday? I need a cake done for a party!”

Oh my god!!!

It’s really happening!!!!!

I just gave up on that whole catering thing, but now I’m getting a phone call!!

“Um, yeah! I’m available Sunday!” I reply, trying to contain my excitement. I bite my bottom lip, as the woman continues, “Great! I was worried I wasn’t going to find someone in such short notice. I’ll text you the details on cake flavors, and designs!”

“Okay! Thank you so much! Thank you!”

“I should be thanking you, sweetie, haha! I hope you have a good night!”

“You too!”

I hang up, and hold my phone close to my chest. I take a few deep breaths and suddenly I find myself squealing with excitement. I jump, laughing excitedly, “I have another gig!!!”

“Tiffany?” Travis says, walking in from the living room, concerned, “You okay?” I turn around, and leap into his arms, wrapping my arms around his neck.

He yelps surprised as I shout excitedly, “We have another gig!!! Travis!! I have another gig!!!”

“Another gig?” He asks, and I stare up into his eye, jumping up and down. “My catering gig!!! I have another one!!” He smirks happily, and wraps his arms around me. I giggle, as he lifts me into the air.

“That’s amazing, Tiffany!!!” Travis says, happily, “I’m happy for you!!”

He spins me around, I of course still laughing. He then stops, spinning, and we find ourselves staring at one another. He stares into my eyes , and I do the same, feeling tension slowly build between us.

Being in his arms...feels natural.

Just us two...

His eyes glance from mine to my lips, and heat rushes to my cheeks as I notice it. His eyes linger there for a moment, and I find myself looking down at his lips as well. He leans in a little, his breath fanning against my face.

His eyes stay fixated on my lips, mine do the same. The tension continues to grow, as I feel butterflies form in my stomach.

If this goes any longer, I might just...

He stops, setting me down on my own two feet. His hands rest on my waist, my arms still wrapped around his neck.

He clears his throats and laughs awkwardly, letting go of my waist. I unwrap my arms from his neck as he mumbles, “I’m, uh...I’m really happy for you, Tiffany.”

He avoids my gaze, cheeks reddening, and I stare at him, realizing what was about to happen.

He-

"WE HEARD EVERYTHING!!! CONGRATS!" May says, running into me from the living room. Stormy comes up onto the other side of me, ”CONGRATS!!"

I continue to stare at Travis, as he turns and walks away quickly.

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