"Ok, everyone, hands in on this," said Tiff, jutting a fake-nailed hand over the emergency break, facing the backseat.
"Why?" drawled the forced member on this escapade.
"Because. Git 'ur hand in there, Tuck!"
Tucker sighed and put a hand over Tiff's. Next was Melanie, then Trixie, and finally the driver gave her hand. Her bangles made a crisp ringing sound.
"Repeat after me y'all," said Tiff. She cleared her throat dramatically, "What happens in Miami..."
"What happens in Miami..."
"What happens in Miami..."
"Is just between us..."
"Is just between us..."
"Ain't nobody's business!"
"Ain't nobody's business."
"What anyone does."
"What anyone does."
"You can let down your hair. Be as wild as you dare, go crazy do something outrageous. But what happen in Vegas, stays in Vegas."
"I thought we were going to Miami," squeaked Melanie.
"I know, but the song is 'What Happens In Vegas' and I couldn't think of anything that rhymes with Miami."
"Double whammy?" offered Tucker. Trixie giggled.
"You," she said, pointing a finger at Tucker who looked at her from under the brim of his hat, "Don't go all reculsive in the hotel room. You are getting ride of that farmer's tan and..." she yanked his hat off, "Getting some direly needed sun to that dirty blond mop."
Tucker flipped her the bird and went reclusive into the backseat of Loraleet's '59 rust-red cadillac.
"We can only hope," replied Trixie.
The dirt blond boy rolled his eyes and smirked.
They all met three years ago at a dance during one of the county fairs. Trixie and Melanie were very drunks sisters who were being hit on by Loraleet's ex-boyfriend's elder brother and Tiff's cousin. Tucker just happen to be passing by when Trixie's boyfriend took a swing at Tiff's cousin. Loraleet and Tucker broke up the fight with several well-placed kicks and a bucket full of ice, water, and beer cans. Tiff boxed her cousins' ears for an hour before introducing herself to Tucker and the sisters. She already knew Loraleet through her FFA connections.
Five drinks, two days, and they became life-long friends.
Tiffany looked like Hallie Berry, but talked like Dolly Parton. Trix and Mel were twins with curly brown hair and blue eyes. Tucker was Keith Urban with a haircut and muscle. Loraleet was...Loraleet was a lot of things. She was an Sports Illustrated model but after a horse riding accident, she had a scar running from the left side of her upper lip to her cheek bone. It made her look like she was sneering. Not to mentionopt for anything other than tanning and showing off her mangled face. Tucker refused to believe she was mangled. And he told her constantly she was still very beautiful.
"Coming from you, Tuck," she'd always say, "It's like coming from Mel or Tiff. You are biased and uninterested."
In public, no one noticed the scar if they valued their life.
Tucker watched the scenery flick by. This year was not that great for him. Sure, he had these four girls to pick his apartment's lock, throw open the door, tell him to put the beer down and some pants on and get in the car.
Which was why he ended up here.
What did they say? Get over a lover, dance with a stranger?
He sucked at dancing.
"For the last time, I don't want to go to the tiki bar!" said a disgruntled brunette with a NASCAR jacket. His friend dragged him by that same jacket.
"Drown yourself in fruity chick drinks, then!" hissed Tobias.
"I take as an insulting innuendo, you jackass."
Tobias yanked his Dallas' jacket hard, dragging him the last four yards to the tiki bar's stools. He plopped his friend on one and himself on the other. He ordered himself some tall and strong. Dallas simply asked for a Bud.
"You look awfully familiar," said the bartender, giving him a mug of golden beer. Dallas snorted.
"Watch NASCAR?" he asked after taking a large swig.
"On occasion, kid."
"I'm Dallas Carsyn."
The bartender stared at Dallas for a good minute before asking for his autograph on an already signed beer mug. The NASCAR champion obliged and scribbled his name on the glass. His friend couldn't help but chuckle.
"I thought you were lying low this week."
"Shut up, Tobias."
"Well, I'll leave you to sulk, Mr. Carsyn," Tobias said with a salute, "So I can go show off my massive ego."
Tobias downed his drink and strutted towards the group of muscles and breasts in bikinis playing a vigorous game of volleyball. Dallas sat at the tiki bar, feeling lonely and tipsy.
"A hurricane, please," said a soft, languid voice next to him. A man came up at sat next to him, wearing green each shorts, newly bought, and a pair of sunglasses only seen on southern cops.
As the bartender fixed his drink, the man checked the watch fixed to a chain around his neck so as he wouldn't get a watch tanline. He sighed and dipped his head into his hands. Dallas was watching him from the corner of his eye.
The bartender came back and gave the man his drink. He sipped at it, wanting to make it last longer so that he'd not be forced into any activities by his comrades.
"C'mon Tucker!" squealed Mel, standing outside the men's dressing rooms. The others were spilling off a plush modern armchair. Their was an audible groan from the otherside of the bamboo door. Tucker came out in bright red hawaiian beach shorts. There was comments from the peanut gallery.
"It makes his butt look tiny."
"Is that a good or bad thing?"
"That farmer's tan has to go, buddy."
"Get that watch off of your wrist!"
"It's a bad thing, he should show off the curvacious thing."
"Like you should?"
"Mine's huge, if it was anymore curvacious, it'd be a circle."
"At least you aren't flat and floppy."
"Loraleet's got the best, you could bounce a quarter of that thing."
"Can we please stop talking about butts?"
Trix let out a low whistle and pulled down her sunglasses to stare across the plaza to a tiki bar.
"It's a duck!"
"It's my new word for hot guy. I read it in a book somewhere."
"Shut up, Tuck."
"Well, I don't see any web feet."
"Or a bill."
"I wouldn't mind if he shook a tailfeather though."
"You'd should get over there, Tucker."
"Yeah, shake your own tailfeathers in that green one in there."
"He could be straight."
"Why did you talk me into going here..."
"Tucker West, get your curvacious ass in those green shorts and get out there before he leaves!"
"Remember, we came here for you."
"I wish you hadn't."
"Tough, Tuck. See? Those look better."
"And abs like the Grand Canyon. Chiseled."
"Aw, he's blushing."
"Alright, here's your watch."
"It's on a necklace."
"What are you doing?!"
"It's bright out!"
"You are not wearing those Walker Texas Ranger sunglasses."
"No, they're pink."
"Those green ones are paid for, I just charged them. You better wear those things, cost me thirty tourist dollars!"
Loraleet had a prolonged silence since her request to omit butts from their conversation; so no one except Tuck saw her sneak out to the volleyball tournament going on. The women, however, took one look and forced her onto the farthest position of the worst team to get her out of sight and mind while being polite. Tucker watched this as the others bickered over what he was wearing.
He eventually was pushed, hard, towards the tiki bar at squirt-gun point.
Now he was sipping a hurricane, avoiding any and all eye contact with the initial target.
He was becoming a bit uncomfortable as he saw the 'duck' throwing occasional side-glances at him. He took a large gulp of his hurricane and choked. Smooth.
Tucker grabbed a napkin from its holder to cover his mouth. The stranger in a leather jacket fully looked at him now, but snapped his head back. Tucker balled the napkin and tossed it, blushing more now. He resolved to down the rest of his drink and go back to the hotel room. Or at least lay down on a towel so that he could get that tan everybody said he needed.
When he went to pay for the drink, he realized that his wallet was in his pants, which were in the girls' paws. He groaned. Fantastic. The last thing he needed.
"I got it," said the stranger, pulling out a small wad of cash, handing the bartender the needed money. Tucker was between stunned and embarrassed.
"T-thanks. My friends have my pants," he said. The stranger tilted his head and squinted his eyes. His hair was dull brown that shown red. It was cut short except for a bit of bangs left to gell. His eyes were an intense hazel. It made Tucker involuntarily gulp.
"What? Did they steal them when you were in the shower?"
"Worse, I was in the dressing room," said Tucker, putting the glasses ontop of his head.
"Ah I see. Couple of guys pulling a prank on their buddy, right?"
"Actually, it was three girls."
The stranger raised an eyebrow.
"They dragged me down here in the first place, some mission to get me out of a seven month dating rut."
The stranger nodded, knowingly, and took a sip of his drink. He turned back to Tucker and jutted out his hand.
"Dallas," he said. Tucker took his hand gingerly, but with a firm grip.
Dallas looked at him for some amount of time before finally deciding and declaring, "You're gay."
The tourist's eyes widened considerably before he yanked his hand back. Dallas chuckled.
"Didn't mean that in a bad way."
Tucker glared at him before getting up and walking away. He made it to the middle of plaza before he felt a hand on his bare arm. He turned around to see Dallas.
"Listen, I'm sorry if I offended you."
"Ya, sure, tell the whole world, why don't ya," he said cynically, yanking his arm away and trying to stalk off.
"So you are?"
That made Tucker stop, turn on his heel and glare at Dallas.
"You mean you guessed?"
Dallas shrugged, "When you shook my hand, you did it palm down. It's a sort of sign."
"So you just blatantly say in front of an entire bar that I'm gay because of the way I shook your hand?" asked Tucker in disbelief, trying to mash down the anger bubbling up.
"Yes, and I'm sorry. Forgive and forget?" he asked almost pleadingly. Tucker pursed his lips and put his hands on his hips. He then looked around, as if the answer was hanging in the air. He noticed that Loraleet was front and center in the volleyball game now, spiking the ball into the bikini-squad. There was claps form the small crowd around the court. Tucker couldn't help but smile.
Dallas took it entirely differently, "So you forgive me?"
"No, I was just admiring my best friend's ability to nail someone with a volleyball."
Dallas looked over also to see Tobias flirting with a bikini-clad player. She wasn't Loraleet. She was too busy practicing her bumps with one of the less 'gifted' girls. The rest were talking to passing shirtless men. One day, Tucker was going to take her some place where'd she be appreciated.
"Listen, Tucker right? Let me make that incident up to you. Dinner on me."
The man looked in disbelief and suspicion at the NASCAR driver.
"Why?" he asked, crossing his arms over his bare chest. Dallas smirked; hands in his pockets, he leaned over to whisper into the man's ear.
"'Cause I'm bi. But don't tell anyone."
"Why?" he repeated, pulling back to meet Dallas' eyes.
"Well," he said, rocking back onto his heels, "Rednecks watch NASCAR, and the last time I checked the majority of them don't like people who swing that way. I'd loose my rep and my fans."
"NASCAR?" Tucker felt bit light-headed. Was he being serious? Was he, Tucker, being asked out to dinner by a NASCAR driver?
"Yep. Maybe I should re-introduce myself. I'm Dallas Carsyn, car #--, just won the-"
Dallas blinked, "What?"
"I'll have dinner with you."
The driver smiled, but then he said in a low voice, "But let's keep our hands to ourselves until we are out of the public's eyes."
Tucker scoffed, "Why do assume that we'd get that far?"
Dallas pointed behind Tucker to three girls who were giving the driver thumbs-up and smoochy signs. As soon as Tucker turned around, they stopped and tried to look innocent.
A/N: 'What Happens In Vegas' and 'Six Pack Summer' are songs by Phil Vassar. Toby Keith sings 'Stays in Mexico' though. Warning, there'll be a lot of country song references.