|The Summer of Raine
Author: thepointwoman13 PM
Raine Lexington is Tom Hansen's best friend and she's completely in love with him. He has feelings for her, too, but puts them aside when he meets Summer. She struggles to win him back and begins to wonder if Tom is really worth all the trouble...Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Humor - Chapters: 6 - Words: 8,459 - Reviews: 21 - Favs: 19 - Follows: 41 - Updated: 04-28-13 - Published: 02-06-11 - id: 6721798
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The Summer of Raine
Raine met Tom exactly 15 years ago when they were just 6 years old.
"Hi," twirling a ringlet of her curly brown hair, she smiled at him.
"Hi," Tom looked up from his game and smiled back at her as she stood over him. Setting down his toy tuck in the day care's sand box, he stood up and waved. Even then, he was a gentleman and that was something Raine would never get over.
"Can I play with your truck, too?" bashfully, she batted her big green eyes with long black lashes and he nodded while making room for her. She sat down next to him and he watched her intently as she rolled the plastic wheels over little sand dunes. Excitedly, she stared up at him with her doe-eyes and then passed the toy back to Tom. That moment, the pair decided they would be friends and somehow, it managed to last all the way until now...
"Hey, Raine," McKenzie motioned for me to come over to his desk from around the wall separating our open-room "office". He had that mischievous look in his eyes that made me want to run in the opposite direction from whatever trouble he was about to cause.
"What?" sighing, I stood up and left my computer that was halfway buried under a heap of greeting cards. On top of the pile were 5 thick books along with an iPod.
"You know, I was tying to work." I grinned jokingly while leaning against the wall. They know how I usually spend my time at work listening to music and reading.
"Maybe Vance shouldn't have put our 3 offices right next to each other," across from our 2 cubicles, Tom smirked as he and I locked eyes. Oh god. Nervously, I played off the blush that crept up the sides of my cheeks and glanced down at the floor to try and distract myself from his beyond gorgeous brown eyes. He's my best friend, nothing more...just a FRIEND.
"Was I talking to you?" the sound of McKenzie's sarcastic voice snapped me back from scolding myself. "No, I was talking to the pretty lady standing next to me," McKenzie turned away from Tom who just shook his head and looked at me with a smile in his eyes. You know, sometimes I wonder if that boy realizes he drives me crazy. "Why don't we all go to that karaoke bar again tonight?"
"No way, man," immediately, Tom shut it down and my eyes widened to the size of dinner plates at McKenzie's crazy idea. Did he really think they'd let him back after last week's fiasco?
"You remember what happened the last time we went there, right?" I snickered and Tom nodded in agreement.
"You threw up on stage, picked a fight with the bartender-"
"Hey! It was not that bad!" raising his hands in defense, McKenzie interrupted Tom's retelling. What a shame, he was just getting to the good part, too. There was a moment pause as Tom and I fought the urge to roll our eyes at him.
"Didn't they ban you?" Tom interjected after he knew McKenzie still wasn't accepting what he did was wrong and totally inappropriate.
"Yeah, so? They won't remember me!" Grinning, he playfully slapped my back and I stumbled forward from the force of it, nearly falling face first into the flimsy wall separating Tom and his office.
"McKenzie!" I gasped while clumsily grabbing onto the desk to keep from falling into Tom's cubicle. I stared at him with wide eyes as I realized how close I'd come to not catching myself. One second too late and I would've collided face to face with him. Tons of papers fell from the tabletop and onto the floor, flooding my feet in a greeting card moat.
"Jesus, man, don't hurt her," getting up, he ran around his office and into McKenzie's.
"Don't hurt her? She's the one about to step on my papers!" scoffing, he leaned over in his chair and began to pick them up, making it impossible for me to take even half a step backward without stepping on him or his work. This is such a typical day working for Vance: giant messes, clumsy workers, and awkward moments.
"Need help?" My skin tingled as Tom tried to grab my waist from behind and stand me upright as we all stood in this uncomfortable looking scenario.
"Nah, I'm fine," declining the offer which sent his hands back to his sides, I waited for McKenzie to finish getting his stuff. Then, I pushed myself off the desk and brushed the stray strand of brown hair off my forehead. "Thanks for the offer though, Tom."
"Yeah," a small smile tugged at the corners of his mouth as he ran a hand through his curly hair.
The two tried to hide it, but it was clear that they both liked each other more than just friends. Raine was waiting for the perfect moment when Tom would finally kiss her, but he wasn't ready for that just yet. He was still searching for love at first sight and he knew she wasn't the one. The feelings he was feeling for Raine were just mutual, and if he felt like there was anything more, it would pass quickly.
"Here you go," Tom plopped down 3 beers and 3 shots on the sticky bar table then took a seat next to me. I looked down at the alcohol and shook my head. I was not about to partake in this booze-fest.
"Actually, does somebody want my share? I think it's a good idea if I don't do anything stupid tonight," I slid the bottle and the tiny cup back towards the center of the table and watched as a drunken McKenzie scooped them up and downed the shot instantly. We were probably here for no more than 30 minutes and he was already slack-jawed and droopy-eyed after 3 beers and 2 shots.
"You're a good role model, Raine," he slurred as he slung his arm around my shoulder. Maybe I shouldn't have chosen the seat next to him…
"Thanks?" awkwardly, I wiggled out from under him as he took a swig of his beer then another from the one I declined.
"Come on now, don't do that," Tom scolded him as he confiscated the bottle from between McKenzie's hands. "Here." He handed it back to me and I shook my head.
"Really, Tom, I would rather stay sober," I sat on my hands in order to keep from taking the beer, no matter how much I wanted it. Not only did I not want to look like a drunken fool out there, but it was up to me to keep my two best friends are safe. They'd already had a few drinks and I hadn't had any, so why not? Always better to be safe than sorry. A waiter walked by and set several cups of water on the table for us and I took one.
"Is this vodka?" McKenzie's speech was more garbled than before as he blindly grasped the glass and pulled it towards him.
"Yeah, and guess what, McKenzie?" His eyes lit up through the haze covering them. "It's all yours." I decided to have a little fun with him...there's nothing greater than messing with a drunk person, especially if they happen to be Kenzie.
"Holy sh*t," he gawked at the water than began to chug as Tom and I exchanged a quiet high-five under the table.
"Are you sure, though?" Tom offered the greenish brown bottle to me again after we watched McKenzie finish the whole glass of water. "It's not like we're really going to need a driver or anything and sometimes acting stupid is fun," insisting, he left it in front of me and I stared at it.
"But then who's going to be the one carry you two to the hospital when your stomachs need pumping? I'll need to be sober for that," smirking, I leaned back into the booth and watched McKenzie as he busied himself with his drink again. Man, that guy has a bladder of steel.
"And how would you carry both me and him at the same time?" Oh wow, his question was definitely a good one. I sat there silently shocked as he made a totally logical point that I had completely forgotten to realize: how would a 5 foot 7, 135 pound girl carry 2 grown men at the same time?
I stared at him with my eyebrows raised, trying to think of something witty to say back, but I only ended up bursting out in laughter. The image of me carrying the both of them was just too much for us and he laughed with me. Playfully, he nudged my arm with his elbow and I secretly placed my hand over the area our skin touched to hide the goosebumps.
"You should go up there," taking a sip of beer, he gestured towards the stage where a man was finishing up singing some sort of country song. "You'd be good!"
"No way," immediately, I shook my head and smiled at him. "I'm not comfortable enough to do that."
"Why not? You don't know anyone here except for me and that completely intoxicated dipshit," he chuckled at how McKenzie was on the borderline of passing out as he still tried to lift another beer to his lips.
"Yeah, I guess, but I'm just not someone who likes to sing in public," shrugging, I took a sip of my water.
"What if it's fun?"
"I know it's not fun. I had to sing for this concert in 7th grade and I was lucky enough to be chosen for a solo. I completely screwed it up though when I opened my mouth to sing and everything but the lyrics came out."
"Ew," he wrinkled his nose in disgust and I nodded.
"Yeah, let's just say the janitor was not too thrilled with me."
"But what if you've gotten over that?"
"I doubt it," I shook my head. "And I'd rather not take my chances. Why don't you go up there?" my rose colored lips curled into a grin as I bumped his shoulder with mine.
"I'm not drunk enough, yet," with one last chuckle, he took a sip of his drink and within the next hour, he was up there singing completely intoxicated. I just sat there smiling at him and thinking about how glad I was to not have an ounce of alcohol in me.
"Raine!" his scratchy voice shouted into the microphone. Oh no. "Come up here!" with his eyelids half closed, Tom gestured for me to go up to the stage.
"No, no thanks, Tom," quickly, I shook my head and shrank down in my seat. There was no way I'd be going up there.
"Raaaaine!" he called out to me again and everyone in the bar was looking at me. Crap. I covered my flushed face and refused to move…well, that was until he trotted over to me and yanked me out of the booth.
"Heeeeymaaan, whaddabout me?" McKenzie's words were all jumbled together and I couldn't even understand a single word as I was tugged up to the stage.
"Tom, no," scared, I pulled back from his tight grip around my wrist, but it was no use. I was being put up there whether I like it or not.
"Comeon, Raine, you needda lightenup," his drunken smirk made my heart flutter, but I had to push those stupid feelings aside and focus on the stomach acid violently churning deep below. If I didn't stop him from dragging me up there, I'd definitely be banned from this place.
"Listen, Tom, I know you're drunk, but I need you to please listen to me," I planted my feet firmly against the ground and he stopped walking, furrowing his eyebrows.
"If I go up there, I'm going to get sick and I need you to let me go back to the table."
Even through his drunken fog, Tom understood Raine and gently let go. He felt horrible. On the other hand, Raine felt so relieved. She smiled at him, said thank you, and went back to the booth deciding it was almost time for her to leave anyway. Grabbing her purse and paying for 1/3 of the tab, she waved goodbye to Tom and McKenzie and made her way home. If only Tom had known the reason why Raine didn't drink was to make sure he was safe and wouldn't get hurt…