Tuck & Josh – Chapter One

Tuck & Josh is a standalone MM contemporary coming February 2019, so here’s the first chapter as a little preview 🙂 Enjoy!

 

Chapter 1

Fuck, I hated parties. 

The music was cranked up so loud that all I could hear was the thump-thump of the bass line—and who knew “The Monster Mash” had so much bass? I clapped both hands over my ears and skulked through the crowd of drunken college students grinding on the makeshift dance floor. 

A busty brunette dressed up as Catwoman winked exaggeratedly at me. Her cat ears were askew, and the tight latex of her costume left nothing to the imagination. 

Trust me when I say that was a bad thing. 

“Heyyy, sexy. Wanna dance?” She swayed to the music, completely out of rhythm, gesturing me closer with both hands. Even her nails were painted black, wickedly long like claws. I wrinkled my nose. No thank you. 

I needed to find Tuck. Where was Tuck? God, I hoped he wasn’t as smashed as Catwoman, here. “Sorry. I don’t dance,” I quipped, which wasn’t a complete lie. 

Her mouth turned down into a red-lipped pout. I offered her the most apologetic smile I could muster, then ducked between a gay couple dressed up as Finn and Jake from Adventure Time…except Finn was making googly eyes at his equally-drunk partner. Ew, ew, ew. I skirted past and tried not to think about it. 

There wasn’t enough brain bleach in the world for that. 

Find Tuck. Grab him. Ditch this party. Go home. That shouldn’t be so hard, right? 

“Tuck!” There he was, sporting his Indiana Jones outfit. I heaved a sigh of relief that withered into one of frustration when I saw the red Solo cup in one hand. Great. What happened to “I’m not gonna drink, Josh.” He was dancing with a couple of girls, oblivious to the way they were hanging all over him. 

“Tuck. What are you doing?” 

His brows shot up and a lazy smile spread across his face. I groaned when his words came out slurred. “Joshipoo! There you are. I thought you were gone forever.” He laughed and took another swig of his drink, then handed it off to a girl dressed as a slutty pirate. “Here. Happy birthday.”

“Tuck. Let’s go.” 

“Nooo. C’mon, Josh, dance with me.” He grabbed at my arm, nearly pitching forwards in the process. I edged closer so he didn’t do a face plant on the grungy-looking carpet. He batted his eyes at me and my stupid heart fluttered in its cage. Damn him, why did he have to have such long lashes? “Pretty please?” 

“Tuck. Dude, you’re so drunk. Let’s go home.” 

“Am not.” He huffed at me, his nostrils flaring. I could smell the booze on his breath. He totally was, but who was I to argue? Wouldn’t get me anywhere, now would it? “Now dance with me. It’ll be fun.” He took my hands in both of his and hauled me to his chest with an impressive strength. I squeaked as I crashed into him, immediately backpedaling. 

“No, man. I don’t wanna dance, I wanna go home. Please?” 

“We just got here,” he whined. 

“Yeah. Three-and-a-half hours ago. Let’s go.” I grabbed his wrist and gave a firm tug. Before I could manage to even budge him, he pulled me in close and suddenly, I couldn’t breathe. Tuck’s big hand cupped the back of my neck only moments before he kissed me—Tucker Caine kissed me—and my pulse shot off like a rocket. My head spun in violent circles that threatened to knock me to the ground. 

The kiss was unrefined, sloppy and demanding, but fuck me… I stumbled away from him, breathing like I’d just run a marathon. Tuck was looking at me with intent in his dark eyes. What the hell was that? “Dude, you’re so drunk…” My voice sounded thin and I had to swallow hard to keep from throwing myself at Tuck and kissing him again. 

Even messy, that kiss was everything I’d ever dreamed of.

But he was drunk—and straight. And totally out of my league. Still, it didn’t stop my blood from heating, making me sweat in my too-tight Robin outfit. I needed to get over this stupid crush. Tuck kissing me only made me want more. The way he was staring at me made me think that I could easily swoon him to my bed, but that would be wrong. Bad Josh. 

He’d regret it in the morning, if he even remembered. 

“Please? Can we just go? Pretty please, with sugar on top?” I was the one whining now, but Tuck smiled and patted my cheek. When he nodded, I groaned with relief and began to drag him through the crowd, making a beeline for the front door. Tuck stumbled along behind me like a puppy on a leash, more than a little dazed. 

That first blast of chilly October air against my sweaty skin had me shivering. Neither of us had brought a jacket, but it wasn’t like we had a long trek. We just needed to make our way across campus to the dorms, and then I had to figure out a way to roll Tuck up the stairs to our room. 

Behind me, Tuck began to sing “The Monster Mash” out of tune, interspersed by low giggles. I would be happy to never hear that song again in my life, thank you very much. “It was a graveyard smash,” he warbled. I smacked him on the chest. His grin was dopey. “I’m thirsty.”

“No shit?” I scoffed. “There’s water at home in the fridge.” 

“You’re mean.” 

“Yeah, I know. I’m a downright monster. Almost there now.” 

By some stroke of luck, I was able to get him upstairs. The minute the door snapped shut, I pushed him down onto the bed and started undressing him. When I got to his pants, warmth flooded my cheeks. It wasn’t like I hadn’t seen him in his underwear before, but Jesus. Tuck laughed softly. “Aren’t you gonna take me out to dinner first?” 

“Shut up. Nobody likes sleeping in jeans,” I muttered. I yanked off his pants, then his shoes and socks until all he wore was a pair of silky blue boxers. What I wouldn’t have given to take those off, too, and get well-acquainted with Little Tuck—focus, Josh, focus. I jumped up so quickly that I got lightheaded, then snatched a couple cold bottles of water out of our fridge. “Here.” 

“Thanks, man…” His eyes were half-lidded and heavy. He took a few meager sips of his drink, then started to reach for the PS4 controller sitting on the bedside table. I smacked his hand away.

“No way. Lay down. You need to sleep it off.” I kicked his clothes over towards his hamper, then set the small plastic waste bin next to his bed, just in case. Tuck moaned loudly, but flopped back in bed. I tugged the covers out from beneath him and covered him up. “You’ll thank me in the morning.”

“Wait. Where are you going?” he mumbled when I stood.

“To bed. Goodnight, Tucker.” I ducked into the bathroom to change into my PJs, suddenly feeling shy and exposed. That kiss… I couldn’t help but wonder what he’d taste like sober. No. It didn’t mean anything. Tuck was drunk as hell. He probably wouldn’t even remember it come morning. 

I climbed into bed and turned the lamp off, bathing the room in darkness save for a sliver of moonlight peeking in through the curtains of our room. Throwing my arm over my face, I tuned in to the sound of Tuck’s breathing growing heavier and heavier. 

I needed to get over my hopeless crush on the jock, but he made it so damn difficult. It didn’t help that I was a bit…choosy when it came to romance. It took me awhile to warm up to someone, but that didn’t mean I didn’t want a relationship. I just had crappy luck with dating. Maybe I was going about this the wrong way. Maybe sex did come first and I needed to put myself out there and hook-up with guys. 

Now was a better time than any, right? I’d come to college with the goal of losing my virginity before I turned twenty, and my birthday was approaching quicker than I would’ve liked. Tick-tock, time’s running out. 

Ugh. I wrapped the blankets around myself a little bit tighter, forming a human burrito, but when I closed my eyes, my traitorous mind began to replay that kiss in crystal clarity. From across the room, Tuck started to snore and I felt a pang of yearning deep inside my chest. I sighed and snuggled into my pillow. 

If only… 

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