Xhosa people are a Bantu ethnic group from South Africa. The name “Xhosa” comes from that of a legendary leader and King called uXhosa. There are approximately 8 million Xhosa people in South Africa, and the Xhosa language is the countries second most-populous language in the country, after Zulu.
Xhosa women have a history of wearing traditional head wraps, that would increase in size as the woman aged. For special events, the head wraps would be even large and more elaborate than usual.
Summary: You’re forced by your Athlete parents into taking a summer job, which becomes your full-time job as you balance university. Only the asshole you work for and help realises how much you do for him. He don’t like that, he don’t like you. Welcome to the world of Athletes, Lance Tucker is your tour guide. (I suck at summaries.)
Warnings: Explicit content, later on. Swearing, body shaming/ degrading language from Tucker. Asshole Tucker (I’m talking straight up rude.)
Your mum once gave you advice, it wasn’t exactly handy advice at the time and you didn’t really understand why she gave it to you in the first place but you still took it in, still often think about it because it’s some good advice. She once told you that if you ever have an argument with your partner, you should go for a long drive, no destination and no one else just you. It’s meant to help clear your mind, let you drive your feelings out and really think about what was said and what you want to say. You’ve done that, many times, over mostly friends but it worked.
You can’t say it’s working well for Tucker. The closer you got to Las Vegas the angrier you become, the more irrational your thoughts got, you were white-knuckling the steering wheel as you glared at the welcome sign to Las Vegas. You have no idea, how in the hell, Lance got your number and what possessed him to phone you; doesn’t he have friends? A girlfriend? One of his booty-calls that could’ve picked him up?
You pulled up to Caesar Palace, it was a little much. The fountain, the valet that gave a judgemental look at your old Volvo. The outside, although grand, couldn’t compete with the interior design of the palace. The marble floors, the gold lining and decor, and the columns: it was breathtaking. You walked to the reception, oil paintings behind the gold-mirrored desk, everything just screamed pretentious but yet, it was impressive. You pulled the denim jacket you wore closer to your body, the woman grinning from ear-to-ear at you.
“Hello, welcome to Caesars Palace, what can I do for you this morning?” Her name tag stating that her name is Sara.
“Hey, I’m here to pick up a guest, I don’t know what room he is in or if he’s under his name,” she nodded as you looked utterly dumbfounded, “the name is Lance Tucker and he requested me for pick-up, for some reason.” She nodded as she typed onto a keyboard, looking at a screen.
She picked up a phone just beside her and dialled a number, grinning at you as she waited for whoever to pick up the phone, it’s a few short, awkward, seconds of silence. “Hello, Mr Tucker. This is reception calling, a guest is here for you, a young female.” You tap the counter absent-mindedly. “Should I send her up?” is the next question, “she said you were expecting her, okay, I’ll be sure to do so.” Sara puts the phone down, “he’s in one of our penthouse suites, in the Palace Tower, I’ll have someone escort you.”
You followed a young male, a bell-hop, through the building. You had only ever seen pictures of Caesars Palace, it was bigger than you expected, at every turn, there was something to look at and admire. Pools and spas, plus showrooms and obviously, casinos; no wonder Lance came all the way here. You were shown right to the door, where he swiped a keycard and let you in, telling you to enjoy your stay.
The penthouse, well, it was bigger than your entire apartment. It had a balcony the size of your kitchen, bigger from where you were standing. Black marble floors, the furniture looked brand new, and it had its own kitchen; not that you expected Lance to be cooking whilst here since they have Gordon Ramsay’s Bar & Grill. You could see it went off in three different directions; you looked down one hallway, seeing a door slightly ajar, hoping that Lance was somewhat decent you walked down towards it.
You pushed the door open, it was dark with the shutters down and a body was laid in bed, you assumed it was Tucker.
“Tucker, wake up!” You yelled and heard him grumble his reply, a muffled ‘fuck you’ being thrown in. “No, get the fuck up, I didn’t drive all the way here for you to treat me like shit. Get up now!” You flicked the light switch on, you could just see his brown, messy hair from under the plush duvets before you walked back out of the room calling his name again.
You sat on the barstool when Lance finally emerges, eyes still half shut and squinting against the bright lights, his hair a mess and only grey sweat pants that were hanging low on his hips; how the hell was they staying up was a good question. His eyebrows were furrowed as he looked at you, he blinked rapidly as he sat on the cream sofa.
“Why the fuck are you here?” He asked, voice still hoarse from just waking up and scratchy from whatever drinks he consumed last night when he texted you.
You sighed with annoyance. “Of course, drunk texts, I shouldn’t have bothered. You text me asking for me to come get you, you threatened my job.” He was still frowning before he sighed, head falling into his hands as his elbows rested on his knees. “Why did you call me? Don’t you have friends to come get you? Aren’t they here with you?” You glanced around, looking back at the hunched over Lance.
“You’d be the only one that would actually show up, you need your job,” he muttered, “it was an easy bribe.” He lifted his head, hands covering his mouth as he stared right at the blank flat screen TV. “I drank a lot last night.” He sighed to mostly himself.
You crossed your arms, “I’ll bite the bait,” he looked at you with an unreadable expression. “Why did you need me to come pick you up, you’re in Las Vegas, isn’t this your ideal hunting ground?” His lips curved up at that comment but set back into a frown; he slouched against the back of the sofa, arms crossing over his chest.
“…I came here for an event, it’s kind of a big deal but…” he trailed off, a look you haven’t ever seen on Lance before, well, he never really showed anything but a smirky confident idiot. This was different, by far, it was shyness and embarrassment. “My parents are here, celebrating my father, forty-six years of being in the sports industry.” An edge of bitterness harshened his words, he wasn’t looking at you but you could tell he felt vulnerable; exposing a side of him like this.
“Isn’t this meant to be a fun occasion? A party?” He rolled his steely blue eyes at you, chuckling lightly at that.
He shakes his head, “You haven’t met my parents. You hate me, you would loathe them, I can’t stand the bastard and my mum isn’t any better. I guess, last night it got to me.” It’s silent, “You should probably go. Before they get back, don’t speak of this, to anyone. Got it?”
Before you can answer that the penthouse’s front door opens. A couple walks through, talking amongst themselves, the older male looks a little like Lance but the woman looked a little young to be his mother, maybe his sister?
The male had slicked back, dark hair, and piercing, hooded eyes with a grey suit. He was old, obviously but he was tall and very lean, clearly he still kept in shape despite his age. The woman beside him was small, tanned and young, you could say, younger than you! She was skinny, really skinny but had great… assets. You weren’t one to judge but you felt insecure in front of this girl.
“Harry, you’re up.” Lance froze on the spot at the sound of his father’s voice, he glanced to you for a moment before turning swiftly around and meeting his father’s piercing gaze. “I’ve come to collect you for lunch, your mother has arrived and insisted we all gather,” he didn’t sound to keen on the idea, not that Lance was but, at least he could stand to be around his mother.
It takes a few seconds for Lance to remember how to speak, “Uhh yeah, it must’ve slipped my mind,” he runs a hand through his hair messily before turning back to you. “I was just saying goodbye to my…friend, then I’ll get dressed.” He nods for you to stand up, beckoning you quickly to the door before you could be roped into his messed up life.
“And here I thought you’ve changed,” Lance’s father began and made you stop in your tracks, Lance sighs heavily. “Why can’t you find a nice girl, instead of these groupies, life isn’t about alcohol and fucking, Harry.”
“Spare me the lecture, you’re the one that cheated, not mum.” Lance snapped back, “she isn’t a groupie either, she’s… working for me,” he doesn’t have to look at you to know how uncomfortable you are, he can feel it.
Harry Senior, shakes his head. “Hookers don’t work for you, Harry.” Lance hears you scoff at the mention of the word hooker, he wants to laugh, he’s been with and seen hookers; you were definitely not one of those.
“She’s not a hooker, babe.” Sabrina, his new wife smiles, “that’s his girlfriend, obviously. He didn’t want you to know, meeting the parents is always scary, look at how protective he got over her.” Lance watched as his dad’s posture changed, straightening his back as he glanced you over, analysing you and Lance didn’t like that.
“That’s quite the accusation, he hasn’t had a girlfriend in years, is she your girlfriend?” The stare he received after the question had Lance stammering for an answer, apparently, the word ‘no’ no longer existed.
“Yes, she is.” Lance found himself saying in a moment of weakness, “I…-” he’s cut off by his dad, who walks around him and to you, extending a hand your way.
“Harry Tucker, the third,” you look at Lance over his father’s shoulders with wide eyes, raised eyebrows and a look of shock. “This is my wife, Sabrina.”
Lance watches as you shake his dad’s hand in silence for a few seconds, “Uh-I’m Y/N Y/L/N.” His dad stares at Lance, as you hug Sabrina, his eyes are piercing through him almost. He recognised that look, the same look he received when he won that silver once; disappointment and disgust. You weren’t good enough for his son or maybe, that’s just how his dad looks at him, neither answer would surprise him.
“You should accompany us to lunch,” Lance already begins to excuse you from that awkwardness, “nonsense, I insist. She must meet your mother, get dressed, we’re leaving in twenty minutes.” Harry nods before opening the door and leaving with Sabrina behind him.
It’s silent as Lance watches the door close, not really believing what had happened just now, it only becomes reality when you start yelling at him. He didn’t really have any excuse other than his dad scared the shit out of him, he could never form a sentence around him and he was always intimidated, even as a child; the way his dad would glare if he messed up, you’d think he would have become the perfect son.
“I don’t know what just happened,” Lance admitted quickly, “he’s just really intimidating sometimes, I couldn’t think and… you should’ve left when I told you to.”
“Oh, so it’s my fault.” You asked, E/C eyes full of rage, “I didn’t come here to play your girlfriend, Lance, or should I say… Harry!” You poked his chest firmly, he slapped your hand away with a slight glare. “Fuck, Lance, I can’t stay here. I can’t have lunch and meet your parents, this is insane. You have, to tell the truth,” you panic to him.
Lance exhales slowly, biting his lip as he thinks everything over. “Okay, listen, I can’t tell my dad I lied. He’ll give me the lecture, it’s one weekend, one lunch. I’ll… pay you!”
“I’m not pretending to be your girlfriend, Lance Tucker.” He rolls his eyes, “you know how stupid this sounds? One day ago you couldn’t stand me, now I’m here being asked to be your fake girlfriend and get paid…this is ridiculous,” Lance crosses his arms and raises an eyebrow. “How much?”
“How much do you want?”
Lance watches as you debate a little with yourself. “I’ve got to buy new books, at least, four hundred dollars worth.” Lance frowns, “I don’t want to ask for too much and have you laugh at me for it.”
“I’ll round it up to five hundred, think of it has compensation. You don’t mention this to anyone, got it? Last I need is you running your mouth,” you shrug and Lance finally looks at you for real. You’re in a denim jacket plus blue skinny jeans, your hair up and hardly any make-up, you’re pretty but not dressed correctly. “You got clothes with you? Like a dress?” You shake your head and he sighs.
“What’s wrong with my outfit?” You place a hand on your hip jutting it out with a sour expression; your attitude was going to be a problem too but he couldn’t fix that.
“Everything, you can’t have lunch with my mother and be dressed like that,” he walks off and towards his room. “I’ll have the hotel send something up, what’s your size?” He turns and looks at you, “nevermind, you’re like a ten. Do something with your hair,” he slips back into his room, hearing you follow behind him.
Lance paces in front of the walk-in wardrobe doors, hearing you grumble to yourself about the dress and him, mostly him. He hated that you were roped into this, his life, it was embarrassing and humiliating. He tried, so hard, to remove himself from his home life because of his father. The man was cold, cruel and manipulative, everything that Lance tried to not be but ended up being like his mother; competitive, in every sense of the word and egotistical.
Growing up with Harrison Tucker as a father was torture. Lance had to be like him, he had to be a great athlete, the best. Even that isn’t good enough; he wins one silver amongst his many golds and instantly he’s a failure.
“So, you’re name is Harry?” He hears your voice through the doors.
“Yeah, after my dad and his dad, and his dad before him.” Lance rolls his eyes, crossing his arms, “It’s like some stupid tradition, my middle name is Lancelot, my mother liked it and I decided since there’s already one Harry Tucker on the scene.” He explained leaning against the wall as he waited for you.
It’s a few silent seconds. “And the woman beside your dad… guessing, not your sister.”
He laughed loudly. “No, definitely not. My parents divorced when I was sixteen, he was messing around with a young gymnast, of age, not that it mattered. Anyway, Sabrina is his third or fourth wife. My mum always turns up to his awards because she thinks it’s important for us to still be a family, she’s twisted that way,” He shrugs to himself, “she was always better at business relationships than actual relationships; I rarely see her outside her office,” he trails off and stares at the wall ahead.
“That sounds rough,” he hears the doors slide open, “explains a lot about you, to be honest.” He rolls his eyes and glances at you, raising his eyebrows. “What’d ya think? Will this fool them now?”
Shamelessly he let his eyes trail over your body, he may still hate you, but he wasn’t one to pass up the opportunity of appreciating a female’s body. The bodycon dress was a royal blue, off the shoulder and mid-length, it fit you perfectly, a little too perfectly. When he, finally, let his eyes drift back to yours, you were glaring a little, only making his cocky grin grow.
“I’m setting rules,” he raised an eyebrow at that, “No getting too handsy; an arm around the waist is my limit, Tucker. I am not kissing you, ever, even being your fake girlfriend. Are we clear?” You asked sternly, he shrugged a shoulder in reply, “No, are we clear? I can leave, right now and not help you. I guess, your father already told your mother that you have a girlfriend, so are we clear?”
“Fucking Christ, we’re good. I don’t want to kiss you anyway, even faking it.” He watched as you rolled your E/C eyes at him, brushing a piece of Y/H/C hair behind your ear. “Let’s go, they’re waiting for us.”
He leads you out of the door and to the elevators, a nervous fluttering happening in his stomach. He always got like this when having to be around his parents, it was heightened a lot more with you next to him, having anyone meet his parents was sickening. He always avoided it, never told them when he had girlfriends because they’d run for the hills; if it wasn’t because of them getting fed up his arrogant ways, his parents would chase them off, for sure.
“I’m nervous,” you admit to him and he scoffed, hiding his own behind the facade he built himself. “I’ve never had to meet someone’s parents before.” He frowned and looked down at you, you didn’t look at him, eyes remaining on the elevator doors. “It’s only for lunch, I’m actually a good actor, I got an A for theatre in school.” You mainly told yourself.
“Why are you doing this?” He asked abruptly, you finally looked up at him but the doors open before you can answer, people waiting for you to walk out. He sighs gently and escorts you through the crowd and towards the outside pool, where his parents are meeting for lunch.
The sun shines on the beautiful pool, people splashing and swimming around, more sunbathing on the loungers. His eyes land on a table by the bar, his father and mother sat, not talking as Sabrina yaps away about something uninteresting. His eyes connect with his mother’s, who smiles brightly and she hadn’t changed a day. She had aged, grey hairs that were mostly caused by the stress, blue eyes like his and an infectious smile- like yours- he shook that thought away.
“Lancelot,” she called and waved, standing up and walking to him. He met her with a hug, you trailing behind. “Look how you’ve grown,” she grinned looking at her son, “you look so handsome, of course, my genetics.” He chuckled at that, “I’m angry with you, by the way,” she tells him and he frowns. “I had to hear from your father that you’ve got a girlfriend! Hello, dear, I’m Erin.” He rolls his eyes as his mother pulls you in for a hug.
“Harry wasn’t supposed to meet her, she came as a last minute thing for me,” Lance explained, only being ignored as his mother fusses over you with a happy smile, taking your hand and leading you to the table. He trailed behind helping both, you and his mother, into chairs before sitting beside you.
It was awkward as his mother ordered more drinks, a sly comment of her drinking habits from his father, this was going to be the worst experience of his life.
“So, how did you two meet? I want details.” His mother grins and Lance chokes a little on his drink, shit, he hadn’t thought about the questions she would ask.
(I had to cut this because it became too long, that’s why it ended kinda choppy. Anyway, I got this idea from my friend Amber, my original idea has altered, meaning instead of ten chapters it’s gonna be around twenty; thank her for that lol. Let me know what you think, so far. - Rosalee)