Chapter 1 - Introduction
"Taylor, your girlfriend is here," Zac yelled gleefully as he looked out the window of the van. Taylor glanced out the window and his look of happiness was replaced with a scowl. He leaned forward, squinted his eyes, and proceeded to smack his forehead against the window as Walker Hanson drove over a nasty bump in the road.
"Oh how sweet! Meredith made you a sign," his mother smiled. Taylor rolled his eyes and rubbed his sore forehead, as he looked disgustedly at the pastel colored "WELCOME BACK TO TULSA" sign being held by 15-year-old Meredith Baugh. Meredith looked like the girl of most boy's dreams, however the typical blond, fluff chick, happy all the time cheerleader type just was not the thing which turned this particular 13-year-old on.
The van pulled into the Hanson driveway and the engine was extinguished. Taylor reluctantly pulled open the back door of the van, only to be plowed over by his 11-year-old brother Zachary, who was a little anxious to get out of the back. The hour drive from the airport had just been too much for him to handle. Taylor stepped out and began to bee-line for the front door of the house being held open by his aunt, only to be halted by his father's loud voice. "Hey Tay, think you could help with this luggage?"
Taylor walked back to the van and grabbed the two suitcases his 16-year-old brother Isaac handed to him. The sun was bright that day and Meredith's heart melted when she noticed the way it beamed of Taylor's blond hair. She did not know how she managed the month he had been away putting the finishing touches on some record he made with his brothers.
"I am so glad you're back!" she exclaimed and ran up to Taylor. "Uhhh in case you didn't notice, my hands are kind of full," he snapped back, ignoring her open arms. Zac, however was not one to pass up a female's invitation and instinctively dropped his luggage and jumped into her arms. Meredith, both shocked and disgusted, pushed him away. Zac, unfazed by the reaction picked up his suitcases and brought them into the house, where the rest of his family waited, glad to be back home.
Taylor finished brushing his teeth and returned to the room he shared with his brothers. "Ike, I can't believe she was here waiting for me." He flopped onto his older brother's bed.
"Well you were gone for a month," Isaac replied with a shrug of his shoulders.
"Yeah exactly, that seems like enough time for her to fall for some football guy. She could leech on to him and completely, 1,500% forget about me. After all, wasn't that part of the reason we chose to go to California?"
"Yep Tay, that's it. Forget about recording the record, we wanted to get you away from Meredith." Isaac rolled his eyes. "All you did while we were away was whine about finding a girlfriend and now all you do is complain about the one girl blind enough to be interested in you."
"Ha-ha, you are so funny. That is exactly why we saw that swarm of girls waiting here for you, Chewy."
"You two are both too horny for your own good," Zac said, as he kicked open the closet door and proceeded to drag out a Lego table.
"What would you know about being horny?" Taylor asked with disgust.
"I don't know, I saw it on 'My So-Called Life'."
"Which episode?" Taylor asked.
"Please!" Isaac exclaimed. "Which episode didn't have someone wanting to sleep with someone else. Angela wanted Jordan, Ricki wanted Jordan, then Ricki wanted Corey, but Corey wanted Rayanne and Rayanne went with just about everybody. Brian wanted Angela and Danielle wanted Brian, and in the final show Jordan wanted Angela and Angela wanted Brian." Isaac glanced up from his magazine to see his younger brothers staring at him with looks of disbelief painted on their faces. "What, I liked the show, okay?" Isaac yelled. Zac and Taylor just shook their heads.
"You must really have no life," Taylor muttered.
"Oh yeah, I forgot, you and your little cartoon muscle men just go club hopping and pick up chicks every night," Isaac shot back. Taylor blushed as he realized that Zac probably had the biggest life of the three and that wasn't saying too much.
Taylor sighed. "Do you think Juliet will ever ask me out?" he questioned. Isaac looked at him for two seconds before bursting into hysterical laughter.
"Yea Tay! She'll ask you out. She's probably trying to call you right now." With that all three looked at the silent telephone on the nightstand. Isaac leaned over to Taylor and said, "I guess mom is yakking with one of her friends and Juliet can't get through, dammit to hell that we got rid of the call waiting," he said and snickered at his joke.
Taylor shot him a dirty look and exclaimed, "Shut up! When was the last time Drew came around looking for you?"
"They're probably both on the phone talking to each other about what losers you two are," Zac interrupted and leapt on to Isaac's bed, almost causing Taylor to fall off. "Face it, girls cannot stand either of you. I'm the ladies man," and he flashed and adoring smile.
Chapter 2 - The Mall Incident
"Isaac, how much longer are we going to follow Drew around before you say hello?" Zac whined. "I'm sick of standing outside these stupid girly stores and pretending I don't notice her whenever she walks by."
"What's her friend's name?" Taylor asked for the third time.
"Amber," Isaac quickly replied. "Wait! Look busy! Here they come!" Isaac scolded. With that Zac promptly turned, knocking over an ashtray and sending white ashes all over the plush pink carpeting of Victoria Secrets, not to mention all over Drew and Amber's pants as they walked out of the store.
"Oh my God," Isaac muttered and covered his eyes with his hands. Zac sheepishly looked up and replied, "Oops."
"So, what are you boys doing hanging outside of a women's lingerie store, knocking over ashtrays and causing disturbances," Drew said with a laugh and tucked her silky blond hair behind her ears.
"Uhhhh...." Isaac began, but was interrupted by Taylor.
"We were looking for a gift for our mother. You look about her size, just a little tinier, but you have a fairly similar complexion. So Ike was wondering if you would be so kind as to model a few selections. He was thinking along the lines of a see through nightie or a nice matching lacy bra and pantie set." Taylor barely managed to finish the last part before dying of laughter over his own original joke. Isaac, whose face was now the color of Taylor's red shirt, grabbed the hysterical Taylor and dragged him away muttering a barely audible good bye. Zac just shrugged his shoulders and noticing an angry salesgirl approaching, yelled bye and took off after his brothers. They were already halfway across the mall because Isaac was walking at a pace one step lower than a race car in the last lap.
Isaac dragged Taylor to the parking lot and forcefully shoved him towards the car, exclaiming, "I can't believe you did that to me!"
Taylor looked at him with innocent blue eyes and stated, "I was simply trying to break the ice for you. I thought she might find it funny. Besides you never know, she might have actually done it and aren't you sad you pulled me away before you could see it."
Isaac didn't answer and only glared at his brother. Taylor had a sneaking suspicion that he was going to be getting the silent treatment for quite some time.
"Ike come on. It was just a joke. Ike...... Oh fine Mr. No Sense of Humor." Taylor grumpily climbed into the front seat of the car and looked out the window.
"Boys, I sense some hostility," Mrs. Hanson commented at the dinner table that night.
"Well that's because Taylor told this girl that Ike wanted to see her in her bra and panties," Zac said smiling. Mr. Hanson dropped his fork and his wife knocked over her glass of water.
"Why would you want to see that Ikey-poos?" six-year-old Avery asked.
"That is not what I said!" Taylor snapped. "But Ike, she does pose an interesting question and you wouldn't want to dissapoint your baby sister would you? Why did you want to see her in her underwear?"
"Taylor!" Mrs. Hanson snapped. "Enough of this. Your father and I will be speaking to all three of you after dinner."
"Good work loser," Isaac said and kicked Taylor under the table. Those were the first words he had spoken since the "mall incident".
An hour after the dinner dishes were cleared and their parents lecture of what was considered proper and decent dinner table discussions had comcluded, Isaac lay on his bed pondering what all had occured that day.
How could Taylor do something like that? He thought to himself. He was the only one I ever admitted to that I liked Drew. He thought about the first time he had seen her.
It had been a rather boring day in Tulsa. He had been lazing around the house in his oldest pair of shorts and his favorite T-shirt, which was a little worn around the sleeves and collar from so many years of wear and tear. He had been thinking of getting off the sofa when the doorbell rang. Seeing as how no one raced to answer it, he dragged himself up and pulled the front door wide open. What he saw made his jaw drop. Standing on the doorstep was possibly the most beatiful girl he had ever seen in his whole life. She was tall with silky blond hair and the brightest blue eyes on the face of the earth. He stood there staring at her until she said, "Hi. I'm Drew Vallejo. I'm supoosed to meet Mrs. Hanson for an interview."
Still unable to talk in complete sentences, Isaac responded with, "HUH?"
"The babysitting job. I'm Drew, I'm here for the interview. This is the right house, isn't it?"
"Oh yeah, babysitting. Yeah we're looking for a babysitter." Isaac suddenly wished he had not just turned 15 and deemed too old for a babysitter. This whole time he made no attempt to open the screen door.
"May I please come in?" she asked. He stood there smiling and nodding his head. "Do you think I could get in the door?" she asked getting a little bit confused.
Isaac didn't move.
"Maybe you could open the door for me," she suggested.
"Oh," he snapped out of his trance and opened the screen door to let Drew in. He couldn't help but notice the way her light blue girlie tee fell just above the waist line of her faded hip huggers, showing just a trace of her flat, tan stomach. Suddenly he looked down at what he was wearing.
"Uhh....I was just....uhh...mowing the lawn. Yeah, you know, doing some housework. I had to fix the uhh....sink. Yes it was really clogged up. That's why you know, I'm dressed like this because..." he trailed off as his mom walked in.
"Ike are you finished watching T.V.? I wanted to use that room to interview the babysitters."
Drew stifled a laugh as Isaac looked at his mother horrified.
"Uhh, yeah," he said, "I guess I'll just go finish fixing the sink now."
"Okay sweetie, you do that," his mother looked only slightly confused. Isaac walked out of the room feeling like the world's biggest moron.
"IKE!!!! ISAAC!!! HELLO!!!!"
Isaac was snapped from his thoughts by a bellowing Taylor.
"Are you just going to lay comatose all night, or are you going to talk to us!?" Taylor demanded.
"I have nothing to say to you!" Isaac snapped.
"Come on, I'm sorry. I must have said that a million times. I mean she was laughing. Drew thought I was funny," Taylor stated his case.
"Well I didn't!"
"Ike, it's not like no one knows you're having lustful thoughts about the babysitter. It dosen't take a genius to figure that one out." Taylor tried to sit on his brothers bed.
"Bite me!" Isaac shoved him off with a quick shove of his foot.
"All right, fine! You know I'm sorry! I'm not going to apologize anymore! If you don't want to talk to me, that's fine! I could care less!" Taylor yelled and threw himself on his own bed.
Ten minutes went by without anyone uttering a single word. Finally Zac couldn't take it anymore and spoke up. "This is stupid guys. Who cares who said what? It's over, just drop it already. Drew has probably forgotten about it. Unless of course the ashes stained her pants." Zac began to contemplate that idea. "I wonder if she'll make me pay for them?"
"I don't think there was enough to stain them," Isaac quietly said. "I wouldn't worry about it. If it really pissed her off she'll just charge mom and dad more for watching Mac."
"I wonder how much she gets paid?" Taylor joined in. "I wonder if she gets more than our allowances and why in the world don't we get paid for watching them?"
"Maybe because they actually like being left alone with her. She does more that just plop them in front of the T.V. with six hours of movies," Isaac said, beggining to lighten up.
"Hey, there's nothing wrong with watching Mary Poppins.....three times in a row," Zac yelled. They all laughed at that.
"Zac there is no joking in this room," Taylor lowered his voice. "Our older brother is suffering a great deal of emotional torment right now."
Isaac threw a pillow at Taylor, hitting him smack in the face. "Shut up!" he said smiling. "Fine, I forgive you. Are you happy?"
Taylor laughed and just nodded his head. "So now that we're friends again, do you think that you could take me back to the mall tomorrow?" Taylor asked.
"Why we were just there?"
"Well, I had planned on buying stuff before I was so rudely dragged into the parkin lot."
"Taylor, I don't know if I really want to set foot into a mall with you again, any time soon," Isaac joked.
"Oh come on!" Taylor whined.
"All right, fine. Zac you wanna come?" Isaac asked.
"NO! I don't think so. Besides I have a rollerblading date with Marie," Zac replied.
"OHHH, Marie," Taylor sang in a high pitched voice. His solo was followed by another pillow to the face, this time by Zac. "So have you kissed her yet?" Taylor inquired.
"YUCK, I don't want to kiss her! I just want to rollerblade!" Zac screamed. "You two are the horny ones, NOT ME!"
"Just you wait, little man," Isaac replied. "Soon you too will be following them around the mall."
"Nah, they'll be following me," Zac exclaimed as he left the room to brush his teeth.
Chapter 3 - The English Patient
Isaac and Taylor walked out of Pacific Sunwear and began to head down the stair case to get to the first level. Neither paid any attention to the sign warning everyone of the wet staircase. For some reason, Taylor began to pick up his speed and lost his footing. He violently tumbled down all the remaing stairs, only to fall at the feet of a curious female onlooker.
"Are you alright?" asked a concerned voice.
Taylor opened his eyes to see his brother laughing hysterically at him from the first stair landing. "What a jerk," Taylor mumbled to himself.
"What did you say?" asked the once concerned, but now offended voice.
Taylor's mind just then registered that his head was practically on top of a pair of lavender Airwalks. He looked up to see a girl whose light brown hair was the longest he had ever seen in his life. It was like he had landed at the feet of Rapunzel. "Oh sorry," he mumbled. "I...I'm fine. Just a bit embarressed."
"Oh don't be," the long haired girl knelt down and her hair fell across the top of his face. "Oh...sorry," she giggled, pulling it behind her shoulders and helping him to his feet. Once he was able to stand on his own, he got a good look at his long-haired wannabe Rapunzel.
"My name is Claudia," the girl extended her hand.
"Taylor," he shook her hand. "So what are you doing here?"
"Ummm, shopping," she gave him a strange look.
"OH, that makes sense," Taylor noticed the stack of shopping bags around her. "I mean the bags and all, yeah I guess that makes sense," he stumbled over his words.
"Tay, are you alright?" Isaac grabbed his shoulder. "I can't believe you fell down all those steps!"
"I'm fine," Taylor snapped, wishing his brother would just go away.
"I'm Claudia." She extended her hand towards Isaac.
"Isaac," he took her hand, "thanks for breaking my little brothers fall."
Taylor could feel the blood rushing toward his cheeks.
"No problem, I often hang around waiting for guys to fall at my feet," she laughed.
"So Claudia, Isaac and I are going to see a movie, do you want to come?" Taylor asked.
Isaac gave him a confused look, but Taylor just shot back a don't you dare open your mouth stare.
"What were you going to see?" Claudia asked.
Due to the fact that a movie was never part of the plan, neither knew how to answer. Luckily Isaac was able to save his brother's butt.
"We were just going to see whatever was playing, whenever we managed to make it to the theatre."
"Oh my gosh," she gave a wide eyed smile, "my friends and I do that all the time."
"Dosen't everyone?" Taylor flashed her a charming smile. "So you'll come with us?"
"What the heck, it's not like I have anything better to do," she began handing both brothers many of her bags. Isaac kept behind and rolled his eyes at his brothers immature attempts to flirt with Claudia, who seemed to be at least 16 years old.
After arriving at the theatre, the ordeal of picking a movie began. The only two movies which were about to start were Daylight and The English Patient.
"Daylight looks pretty good, you know with Sylvester Stallone," Isaac suggested.
"Yeah, I'd like......"Taylor began.
"But The English Patient is starting in ten minutes," Claudia whined.
"...to see The English Patient," Taylor finished. Isaac raised his eyebrows and looked at the boy who thought that Time Cop and True Lies would have been 100% better if they had taken out all the mushy, romantic parts.
"You guys rally want to see it?" Claudia asked amazed.
"Oh yeah, we've been dying to see this one. I mean it's the story of two love affairs brought about by the second world war. Everybody knows in memory love lives forever. Plus Ralph Fiennes is by far my favorite actor," Taylor went on prasing a movie he had just bashed the night before.
"Whoa Tay, that story line AND Ralph. How ever are you going to control yourself?" Isaac shook his head and once again received the shut up look. They bought the tickets and entered the theatre. Claudia was busy yackking up a storm about some Quiz Show movie which she thought Ralph had deserved to win an Oscar for. Taylor agreed with her every word, claiming that it was a tragedy that he was robbed of the coveted golden statuette.
Isaac didn't know which to be more amazed by. That this rather good looking girl seemed to maybe like Taylor, of that he had just spent $6.75 to see The English Patient.
"Why don't we sit here?" Taylor began to lead Claudia into a row which only had two seats.
"What about your brother?" she asked.
"Oh, he can sit behind us," Taylor quickly answered.
"Yeah, besides, somone has to warch your bags," Isaac sarcastically replied.
"Oh, good point," Claudia said and began to pile her bags in the seat next to Isaac.
Taylor put his arm around Claudia as the movie began. Only five mintues had gone by and Isaac had already decided that the previews were better than the film was going to be. After another ten minutes he looked at his watch and began to wonder when the movie was going to get out.
A half hour, which seemed like an eternity, into the movie, Taylor felt a soft kiss on his cheek. He turned his head to face Claudia. She wrapped her arms around his neck and began to draw his face towards hers. She began to kiss his lips and Taylor wasted no time in responding. After a couple of mintues of gentle kisses, Taylor began to run his tongue across Claudia's teeth. She clutched a large section of his hair a rubbed the back of his neck with her other hand. She opened her mouth allowing his tongue to find it's way inside.
Chills went up Taylor's spine when she started to return his french kisses. Slowly he started to move his hand under the back of her shirt. His hand moved higher and higher until he felt the back clasp of her bra. Claudia began to then kiss Taylor's cheek. She moved her lips sideways to his ear and then down his neck.
Isaac, who had been slowly nodding off, heard an all too familiar groan. He looked up at the screen and saw Ralph waltzing with some blond haired woman. He heard the moan again, only much softer this time. He realized it was not coming from the film, and started to get a little confused. It was just then that he noticed what was taking place smack dab in front of him.
His little brother was all over the long haired chick who had tons of shopping bags. What was up with this? They had only met each other a couple of hours earlier.
Isaac watched as they kissed each other and Taylor ran his hands through her hair. Claudia had her mouth attached to Taylor's neck and looked as if she was trying to suck all his blood out of it and....
What a pervert I'm being Isaac thought to himself and looked back to the movie screen. Ralph and the blond girl were having sex once again. Did they ever do anything else?
Isaac felt trapped. The movie seemed at if it was never going to end and it was all the same--sap story....sex...sap story....sex....sap story...ect...you get the picture. He had his younger brother going at it with a girl right in front of him and on top of all that, his body would just not allow him to fall back to sleep. He threw his arm onto the seat next to him, only to have it hit one of Claudia's many bags. Suddenly he had an idea.
Okay, some people may say what he did was wrong and it was none of his buisness what those bags contianed, but could you blame the guy? He either had to endure more of the never ending love saga on the screen, or witness a new one developing right before his eyes. Plus he had to do something in order to take his mind off those moans. He wasn't sure if he would ever be able to hear Taylor sing "MMMBop" or any song for that matter, the same way ever again.
Most of the bags contained clothes-- skirts, jeans, shirts--pretty boring. A pink and gold striped bag quickly caught his attention. Victoria Secret's. Now this should be interesting he thought to himself. She had purchased two sets of matching bra and panties, one with pink roses, the other a dark blue. Claudia had also gotten a rather skimpy red satin nighty. Isaac couldn't help but wonder if she had bought that with the intention of wearing it for someone special, and if so why in the world was she trying to suck the life blood out of a 13 year old boy? Then he remembered yesterday when Taylor, Zac and himself had seen Drew in that same store. He wondered if she had gotten herself anything like that.
Suddenly Isaac realized what he was doing. Sitting a dark movie theatre, looking at and feeling women's lingerie. If anyone noticed him, they would think he was a complete pervert. He remembered how Pee Wee Herman's career had been ruined after he was caught doing perverted things in a theatre. Granted he was not doing what Pee Wee had done, but still. Isaac put the stuff back into the bag and threw in on top of the others. He then tried to endure the remining hours of the movie and ignore the fact that his brother was having a much more gratifying experience than he.
It was not until the final credit had gone off the screen that Taylor and Claudia managed to untangle themselves. Isaac, however, had left as soon as the screen had blanked for the credits to start rolling.
Taylor looked around. "Where did Ike go?" he wondered aloud.
"I don't know, but he left all my stuff right there. Anyone could have walked off with it. That was pretty rude!" Claudia exclaimed.
"Yeah, what was he thinking? He sure can be pretty rude at times." Taylor agreed, grabbing a ton of bags.
"So what did you think of the movie," Isaac asked sarcastically when Taylor and Claudia made it to the lobby.
"Best movie I've seen in a long time," Taylor replied joyfully.
"I'll bet," Isaac said.
"I really don't know, it was kind of hard to follow, and for some reason I don't think I got the full effect of what was going on." Claudia said.
"Oh, I think you came pretty close," Isaac joked.
"So, do you guys want to help me take these bags to my car?" Claudia asked.
"Well, we really have to..." Isaac began, before Taylor interjected with, "We'd love to!" He then shoved a bundle of bags at Isaac.
"So Claudia, do you think I could call you sometime," Taylor asked after they had finished loading her car.
"Oh sure, just not tomorrow, my boyfriend, Cory, is going to be over all day, and I don't think that he'd like that. Well bye guys!" she called and hopped into her car.
Taylor just stood there as she drove away.
"Well at least she gave you a couple of souvenirs to remember her by," Isaac said as he looked at Taylor's neck, which was now decorated with a few tell-tale bruises.
Chapter 4 - The Soccer Game
The next morning, Taylor awoke to see Zac peering curiously into his face.
"What'd you do to your neck?" he asked.
Taylor groaned and pulled his covers over his head. "GO AWAY!" he ordered, curling into a ball and attempting to fall back to sleep.
"Breakfast is ready! Everbody up!" Mrs. Hanson shouted from the kitchen.
"Tay, you may want to make sure your hair stays over your shoulders or you miraculously find a turtleneck in one of your drawers," Isaac advised as he rolled himself out of bed.
"I don't own any turtlenecks," Taylor grumbled as he emerged from under his pile of covers.
"What did you do?" Zac demanded. "It looks like something was biting your neck."
"Good guess, Zac," Isaac laughed, quite proud of his younger brothers deductive reasoning skills.
"Shut-up! Both of you!" Taylor shouted as he made his way to the bathroom.
Twenty minutes later all the Hansons were seated around the kitchen table, eating a breakfast of pancakes, bacon, and fresh fruit. Taylor sat hunched over his plate, shoveling his pancakes into his mouth as fast as he could.
"Taylor, you're getting your hair in the syrup! Pull it back, and slow down this isn't a race," Mrs. Hanson commented.
"My hair is fine," Taylor said.
This sent Isaac into a fit of laughter. He seized his opportunity to get Taylor back for embarresing him at the dinner table the other night. "Yeah Tay, I think mom's right. You really should pull your hair back. Why don't you?"
"Yeah, maybe mom could help you figure out what bit your neck. Maybe there was a spider in your bed last night," a concerned Zac suggested.
"Or at the movies," Isaac chuckled, barely able to control himself. Taylor stared at him wide-eyed.
"What are you talking about," Mrs Hanson said. "Let me see." She reached for Taylor.
"Mom, I'm fine," Taylor said ducking his head as his mom reached over to move his hair.
"No, honey if something bit you, I should really check it out."
"MOM! I am fine! Let me eat, I have a big game today," Taylor snapped.
"Don't take that tone of voice with your mother young man. Now let her look at your neck!" Mr. Hanson shouted.
Taylor sat still, staring at a piece of burnt bacon as his mother pulled his hair back and gasped at the large bruises covering his neck.
"What the...." his father began. He then got up out of his chair to take a closer look at Taylor's neck.
"Taylor, what's wrong with your neck?" Jessica asked.
"Yeah, that's really ugly. I hope it dosen't bite me!" Avery added.
"You don't have to worry your little head about that Avery. He didn't even get her number," Isaac was almost rolling on the floor by now.
"ISAAC! Knock it off!" Mr. Hanson yelled. He looked at his wife. Neither of them knew what to say about this little unexpected surprise.
"Could everyone please stop staring at my neck!" Taylor exclaimed, blushing profusely. "I have to eat so I can get ready for my soccer game!"
"Well, your mother and I need to have a talk with you first," Mr. Hanson stated.
"About what?!" Taylor demanded.
"Let's go into the other room." Mrs. Hanson suggested.
"But I'm not finished with my breakfast and..." Taylor began.
"NOW!" Mr. Hanson said firmly.
Taylor sighed and left his place at the table, shooting a dirty look at Isaac before following his parents into the living room.
"I think we need to have a talk about growing up and the changes which will be occuring," Mrs. Hanson began. "You see...." she was interrupted.
"MOM! I already know about sex! How old do you think I am?"
"We think you're a 13 year-old boy who dosen't know half of what he thinks he does!" Mr. Hanson shot back.
"Well excuse me for my intelligence. You do home school me after all. Besides, Isaac and I talk about it all the time." Taylor rolled his eyes.
"Listen, Taylor, you are too young to be getting involved into any type of serious relationship," his mother said, putting a comforting hand of his shoulder.
"Mom, you don't have to worry about that, she has a boyfriend already. Besides, I'll probably never see her again, I mean we only met yesterday it's not like I want to marry her or anything."
Mr. and Mrs. Hanson once again exchanged surprised and concerned glances.
"Don't you think that was a bit fast for just meeting her yesterday? I mean most people, especially females, prefer to talk and get to know each other..." Mrs. Hanson got on her soap box.
"PLEASE! She was all over me, she started it!" Taylor exclaimed.
"It's not a matter of who started what! That dosen't make it okay! I she jumped off a bridge would you follow?" Mr. Hanson quoted the all to often scenario used in parent/child talks.
Taylor glanced at his watch.
"Oh, are we boring you?" Mr. Hanson said, his sarcasam evident.
"No, I'm sorry. It's just that my game starts soon, and I really have to get ready. I understand what you are trying to say, okay? I am sorry, I promise I will think about my actions in the future. May I please be excused?"
Mr. Hanson sighed. "We aren't mad at you Taylor, we just want you to think about what you did, okay. Yes, you may go get ready."
"Thanks. I really am sorry." Taylor turned and walked upstairs to his room.
Parents are so weird, he thought. I mean what's the big deal. He sighed and pulled his jersey over his head.
"You know, you are going to have to pull your hair back," Issac reminded Taylor from his position in the doorway. He walked into the room and grabbed Taylor's game schedule from the top of a dresser. "Oh, lookie here. You're playing Juliet's team today. Whatever will she think? Or have you forgotten about her ever since your love goddess Claudia came around."
Taylor glared at Isaac and said, "No I have not forgotten about her. And obviously Claudia dosen't want to have anything to do with me since she didn't even bother to give me her number. That reminds me, I should see about asking Juliet out."
"Think she'll agree to go out with a guy who has another woman's marks on his body?" Isaac joked.
"Shut-up, maybe she won't notice." Taylor stated hopefully.
Isaac snorted. "Fat chance, those suckers are HUGE! You'd have to be blind not to notice them. The opposing team's goalie will probably be able to see them from across the field. However this could work to your teams advantage. The goalie may be so distracted, thinking about who would actually give you hickeys that you might be able to put the ball in the net for once."
"Just shut-up! If anyone says anything I'll just say I got bit. Just like Zac said."
"Taylor, not everyone is as easy to fool as Zac, and I think even he has put two and two together by now. Besides, they would have to be some monster sized spiders. There is no way that excuse will float."
"You mean a girl did that to you?" Zac burst in. "EWH!!! Why would you let her do that? That's just gross. Didn't it hurt?"
Taylor just rolled his eyes, and left the room, quite sick of talking about it.
Taylor sat on his team's bench and watched Juliet Brisbois position herself on the field. She was the only girl in the Tulsa Soccer Youth League, and was probably also it's best player. Her atletic toughness was hidden under her mane of long brown hair and soft features. She seemed to be tan year round, a result of her mixed heritage. She also had an amazing set of brown eyes, which were accentuated by her long, dark lashes. Needless to say Taylor had been hung up on her for quite some time. Unfortunatly she always managed to kick his butt at soccer, and would most likely be able to do the same in any other sport. Taylor saw her look up and glance his way. He was positive her eyes rested on him before she looked back at the field, ready to begin. A surge of pleasure ran through him. Maybe I do have a chance with her he thought happily.
Juliet glanced up and looked past the team benches into the stands. That's where she saw him. He was sitting directly behind his brother's team in the stands. She had longed to work up the courage to talk to Isaac, but always chickened out. Her older brother was friends with one of Isaac's friends and she had seen him occasionaly at her house. However he had been gone for quite awhile, recording a record in California.
She had wanted to call and congratulate him on his sucess, but for some reason, hadn't been able to bring herself to do it. She didn't understand this. She had no problem talking to any other boys. She had grown up with three older brothers, had endured all of their obnoxious friends, plus had been playing sports competivly with boys almost all her life. Somthing about Isaac Hanson made her shy. Maybe it was because he was older than her. Maybe it was because she didn't think he could ever like her the same way. Whatever it was, she just wished she didn't have to play soccer against his brother, so she wouldn't be caught staring at him like she just was. She noticed Taylor looking at her and quicly glanced back at the field. Great, he'll probably tell Isaac I was staring at him she thought bitterly. Just then the referee blew teh whistel signiling the start of the game. She shook all thoughs of Isaac out of her mind and concentred on the soccer ball heading towards her.
Taylor watched helplessly as Juliet's team scored goal after goal. It seemed as if nothing could stop them. After a humiliating 9-0 loss (obvioulsy Isaac's hickey theory was wrong) the teams had to line up and shake each other's hands. Taylor decided he would congratulate Juliet when he reached her. Of course he made sure his hair was covering the marks on his neck before joining the line.
"Hey good game," he smiled as they clasped hands. "Your third goal was amazing."
"Thanks. You didn't do too badly either," Juliet replied.
He wanted to say more, but the line kept moving and he was soon in the locker room listening to the coach scream about how they all played like a group of girly boys.
In the van on the way home, Taylor' thoughts drifted back to Juliet. He really wanted to ask her out. Many days had he spent dialing the first six digits of her number only to chicken out and hang up the phone. Maybe, just maybe he would try again.
Chapter 5 - The Coffee Shop
"Come on Zac, you're such a slow poke!" Marie Fletcher shouted over her shoulder.
It was Zac's second rollerblading "date" with the girl from down the street. He guessed you could call her a girlfriend, but he wasn't sure. He really didn't want to do all that mushy stuff that Isaac and Taylor always talked about. Besides, the thought of Marie doing to him whatever that girl did to Taylor's neck just scared the crap out of him.
"I'm not a slow poke! I'm just enjoying the scenery," he replied, rather impressed with his intelligent sounding answer.
"Yeah, right, what scenery? Office buildings? I think you're just afraid that you're going to fall on your face again like you did the other day!" Marie shot back.
"Eh, eh, eh, NO!! I don't think so!" Zac huffed.
Marie just laughed and slowed down to let Zac catch up.
"What time is it?" Zac asked. "I told my mom I'd call her at eleven."
"It's ten till," Marie answered after glancing at her watch.
Zac stopped and looked up and down the street. "I don't see any payphones. Do you think that coffee shop would have one?" he wondered aloud.
"Probably, I mean what if the workers needed to call someone. Let's check it out," she suggested.
They took off their skates and after a brief struggle to seperate their shoes, whoses laces had become tangled together in Zac's backpack, opened the glass door. Zac's mind faintly registered the bright colored stickers of flags and rainbows decorating the doorway.
"Excuse me sir," Zac asked a man who he assumed worked there. "Is there a payphone here that I can use to call my mom?"
"Yeah kiddo, it's right over there."
Zac walked in the direction the man had pointed and found the phone. However another person had beat him to it. He gestured to Marie and they sat at a small table waiting for the phone to be free, and looked at the various customers. Suddenly Zac spotted a familiar face.
"Hey that's Drew, our babysitter! And that's her friend, oh what was her name, Amber or something. I ran into them at the mall a few days ago. I'm going to go ask her about her pants."
Marie just gave him a strange look and said, "Okay."
Zac was halfway across the coffee shop when he saw something that shocked and disgusted him. Drew was KISSING her friend Amber. This did not seem right to Zac. He had never kissed any of the girls he was friends with, let alone any of his guy friends. Quite frankly just the thought of that grossed him out more than pondering Taylor's little movie adventure.
"I don't think Issac will be very happy about this," he quietly mumbled.
Suddenly Drew noticed the shocked boy staring at her in horror.
"Zac!" She waved and motioned him over. Without thinking he approached her. "What in the world are you doing here?" she asked.
"ME! What are you two doing here. I thought for sure I just saw you guys, you know, kissing or something." Zac sat down in an empty chair.
"Listen Zac..." Drew began.
"ZAC! The phone is free!" he heard Marie calling.
"Uhh, well I have to go call home, I guess I'll see you sometime," he said, glad to leave the two alone.
All day long Zac was unable to take his mind off of what he had witnessed. It was not until he, Isaac, and Taylor were alone in their room that he got up the guts to say something about it.
"Guys..." Zac approached Taylor and Isaac who were streched out on the floor with a game of Scrabble.
"What's up?" Isaac asked.
"Uhmm, well, see I just sort of was wondering, and maybe you guys might be able to tell me if this is weird or not. I mean maybe it isn't but I don't really know I just think that...."
"ZAC! Spit it out already!" Taylor barked.
"OKAY! Here it is...is it normal for two girls to kiss each other?"
Needless to say this question caught the attention of his older brothers.
"It depends on the situation I guess, why?" Taylor looked up at Zac.
"Well, I was just sort of wondering about it." Zac mumbled.
"What in the world put this idea into your head?" Isaac asked.
"When I was rollerblading today I saw two girls kissing..."
"Where?" Taylor interrupted.
"At this coffee shop downtown, but the thing is..."
"Which one?" Taylor kept bugging Zac for information.
"I don't know! It had a phone in it." Remembering the stickers he added, "It had a ton of pretty stickers on the door."
"What kind of stickers?" Isaac inquired.
"Rainbows, flags, other stuff like that. Why?"
Isaac just laughed.
"Well, what? I don't get it?" Zac looked confused.
"It was probably a gay coffe shop, duh. Rainbow flags generally are put in the window of gay establishments so that people know what it is." Isaac answered matter of factly.
"So were the girls kissing gay?" Zac was feeling more lost by the second.
"Most likely." Isaac shook his head, laughing.
"So.....that means that Drew is gay? My babysitter is gay? Wow, who would have thought. That's kind of gross."
The smile fell off of Isaac's face and he stared hard at Zac. "WHAT! What do you mean?" Isaac knocked the game board ruining their maze of words in his haste to stand up.
"Is that who you saw kissing?" Taylor asked wide eyed.
"Yeah, her and her friend from the mall, Amber."
"I thought they looked a little friendly," Taylor laughed. "Hey Ike, you know what this means? Now you really don't have a chance with Drew. Not like you did before, but at least now you don't have to beat yourself up over it."
"SHUT UP TAYLOR!" Isaac bellowed, and stormed out of the room.
He practically ran over his mom in his haste.
"Issac, slow down. Stop a minute."
Isaac paused, trying hard not to scream at his mom to leave him alone.
"We're going to go pick up some stuff at the grocery store, do you want to come?"
"NO!" Isaac contined his assent down the stairs, and ran out of the house. He slowed down, and walked towards the main road with no particular destination in mind.