Reagan and Archer texted back and forth over the weekend. Then at school on Monday, he found her at lunchtime and joined her at her table. She smiled up at him when he sat down. When he smiled back, her she swore her heart did a little flip flop.
“Hey. This seat taken he?” he teased.
Reagan laughed – for the first time in awhile. It felt good and Archer did that for her. “It is now,” she cooed.
“Good thing….because I don’t share,” he said.
Does that mean he wants to be exclusive? she wondered.
“So, PR, since we are going to the dance, and the crew is coming too, thought maybe it’s time for you to meet them. Why don’t you grab your plate and let’s go sit over there and I’ll intro everyone.”
Her face fell. She liked having Archer’s attention focused solely on her. Besides, they all looked scary. Most of them had tattoos and dressed – different. She felt plain and out of place next to them.
When he noticed her hesitation, he laughed. “Come on PR, they don’t bite either. Well, maybe only a little.”
Reagan let out a small sigh. “Okay, I guess,” she said.
They got up and she followed Archer to the table. He pulled over a couple of chairs and motioned for one of them to move so he could sit next to her, which did make her feel a little less stressed.
As soon as they were seated, he introduced her. “Everyone, this is Reagan Murdock. She’s going to be the newest member of our crew.”
I am? she thought, Crap. Reagan didn’t know what to say, so she just waved like a fool and said, “Hi.” She hoped a sink hole would form and swallow her up. The only thing keeping her from bolting was Archer smiling at her like she was important to him.
Archer continued his introductions. “Reagan, meet Enid Crowley and her bae, Jerry Shan. Jerry is also a senior although the rest of them are juniors. With you, now we have reps from all classes.”
Enid and Jerry blew kisses to each other mockingly. Archer ignored them and moved on while Reagan tried her best not to giggle.
“The quiet one over there is Rainbow. She doesn’t like to use her last name since it means nothing to her. So, it’s just Rainbow.” Rainbow looked up briefly then went back to her food. Reagan wondered if ‘Rainbow’ was even her real first name and if not, why she chose a totally inappropriate nickname for herself. She was just weird, but seemed harmless.
Archer kept on going, also ignoring Rainbow’s strange behavior. “And finally we have Pete Jennings. Pete and Rainbow are just friends.” Pete grinned at her creepily and made her skin crawl. She didn’t think she liked him much at all, with his bloodshot eyes, stringy hair and acne scarred complexion.
Archer was still talking so she quickly looked away from Pete. “We all have each other’s back. Rainbow’s in and out of foster homes, so we are her constant. Pete’s parent’s are asshole’s and he may use an illegal substance now and again to deal so we try to watch out for him. Jerry and Enid like other people’s stuff more than their own. You needed a friend. So see, Reagan, we all have baggage and you fit right in.”
Reagan wondered what Archer’s baggage was. His ‘crew’ seemed almost as uncomfortable around her as she was around them, but Archer made it clear she was with him. And it seemed he really wanted her to accept them.
“So since we all have each other’s back, and I am taking Reagan to the dance this weekend, surprise, you guys are going too.”
Rainbow actually snickered. Jerry groaned and rolled his eyes so Enid hit his arm. “Shut up asshole,” she said, “You’re my date and I expect at least one dance outta your ass.”
“You got a problem?” Archer asked, looking at Jerry.
“Archer, you don’t fucking dance,” said Jerry.
“Only because there was never anyone I wanted to dance with until now. But you, on the other hand,” he said staring him down, “You heard the lady, you are her date so you better learn to fucking dance. Pete, you can be Rainbow’s date for what I bet will be her first ever dance.”
“Fine, ” grumbled Pete, “at least I won’t need to learn to fucking dance. No way she’s gonna want to, although why she wouldn’t want to dance with this,” he added pointing to himself, “I have no idea. You’re missing out RB.”
“Okay, then it’s settled,” said Archer, seemingly pleased with himself. “And just so you losers know, Reagan’s daddy is the local Vet. He and his sister, Ami run that Memorial Park in Newcrest. You know ‘the Murdocks’ or have you guys been living under a rock?” Archer stopped and rolled his eyes. “Never mind, don’t answer that. Anyway, I bet we could go there and hang out in the game room afterwards, right Reagan? We’ll have our own private party.”
It startled Reagan to have a question directed at her. She had been watching the Archer show like it was a tennis match. “Uh, yes. I guess so,” she said smiling at Archer and thinking about how much trouble she might get in if she brought them there. But then, she knew that Ryan and Jason went there sometimes to hang out. So maybe it would be okay.
She was relieved again when the lunch bell rang. She was ready to get away from them. But she wasn’t sure why. They were misfits, just like her.
When she stood up, Archer grabbed her arm to stop her from running away. Why did he always do that? But this time, instead of being upset with her, he was smiling and she couldn’t help but smile back. He pulled her close and she thought he was going to whisper in her ear. But instead, he kissed her her neck, sending all kinds of chill bumps down her spine. Then he grinned at her and let her go. “Later PR,” he said and left.
When she turned around in a haze, she was face to face with her brother. Oops.
“Who the hell was that?” asked Ryan, “and did he just kiss you?”
“Shhh,” she said her eyes going wide, “Ryan. I’ll tell you after school. You are coming home right?”
“Hell yeah, I am now,” he said grinning.
They began to walk together toward the classrooms. “Ryan, do you know if Jason ever got a date for the dance?” she asked.
He looked at her like she was crazy. “You wanna go with Jason to the dance after that big ass dude kissed you?”
“Not exactly,” she said frowning, “Talk to you after school, okay?”
When Reagan got home, she went straight to her room as usual, avoiding all contact with anybody as much as possible. She stayed in her room unless she ‘had’ to eat Taylor’s cooking, babysit Connie or do her chores. She hated to admit, most of the time, Taylor’s cooking was actually pretty good.
She pulled out her homework and started on it. Halfway through, her phone dinged and it was a text from Archer, making her smile. “Hi PR. Can you talk?”
“Sure,” she texted back giggling at his nickname for her. Then she made sure her phone was on silent and quickly turned on a YouTube video for background noise. She didn’t want anyone overhearing her.
“Hi,” she said happily when she answered the phone.
“Hey PR. The crew didn’t scare you off today, did they?”
“Maybe a little. I really don’t think I fit in,” she admitted.
“Oh, you do, more than know. And I like you, so there’s that. Once you get to know ’em, they’re really okay. Wait, you aren’t thinking about taking back your promise to go to the dance with me are you? Not after I made them get out of their comfort zones?”
Reagan couldn’t help the little giggle that escaped. After today’s show, how could she possibly change her mind – besides, they kissed and she wanted to do it again. “No,” she finally said, even though she was worried her dad wouldn’t let her go. But there was no way she could tell him that, at least not now.
“Sweet! So, when do you babysit again?”
“I don’t know. I guess whenever Ami calls me.”
“Let me know if she does, I really want to see you again – alone.”
Reagan felt chills run down her spine. “Me too,” she said, her voice a hoarse whisper.
Just then, there was a knock on her door and her brother’s voice sounded from the other side. “Rea. It’s me,” he said.
“Dang, I gotta go. My brother’s knocking on my door.”
“M’kay, later PR.”
“Come in,” she called out as she disconnected the call.
Ryan walked in and sat down with her. “Who were you talking to? I bet it was that big ass dude that kissed your cheek.”
“Yeah,” she said maybe a little too dreamily, “His name is Archer Kendall. He’s a senior.”
Ryan’s eyes got wide. “Holy shit Rea! He’s bad news and a senior. How’d you fucking hook up with him, of all people?”
She shrugged, a little disappointed that Ryan wasn’t happy for her. She hadn’t felt this good since her Dad dropped the Taylor bomb. “Well,” she said, “he sat down with me at lunch the other day. And we talked. Then he asked me to the dance.” She stopped and scrunched up her face. “Do you think Daddy will let me go with him?”
Ryan acted like he was choking. “Not in a million years! Do you want to go with him?”
“Um. Yes, I think so,” she said, a little embarrassed, “That’s why I asked if Jason had a date. He probably asked Kenzie didn’t he? I thought I could pretend to be going with him. I don’t know what to do. This really sucks.”
“Okay, well, he does have a date, with Kenzie,” said Ryan and thought for a minute. “You could go with us anyway. Tell Dad you didn’t want to sit home alone. Then just meet him – Archer – there. What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him.”
“What if Miss Perfect tells on me? She’s going with Darnell,” said Reagan.
“I know. Olivia made Jason tell him Taylor likes him. I guess he likes her too. Whatever, but I doubt she would say anything. What good would that do her?”
“I guess none,” replied Reagan, “she did try to make nice with me the other day, so maybe she won’t. Okay. I’ll tell Dad I’m going with you guys. Thanks Ryan. You’re the best.”
Ryan looked at her with a worried look on his face. “Sis. He isn’t trying to do ‘stuff’ to you – is he – or give you drugs or anything?”
Reagan felt her cheeks begin to burn again and she laughed. “No! We just – uh – kissed . . . at Ami’s.”
“At Ami’s? When you babysat for Will?” asked Ryan, and narrowed his eyes at her, “How long have you been sneaking around with him?”
“We aren’t exactly sneaking around. We were talking on the phone when I was at Ami’s and after we hung up, he just showed up. He came over on his motorcycle after Will was asleep. Anyway we talked for awhile and then he kissed me. It was nothing, really. Then he left.”
Ryan laughed. “My baby sister is growin’ up!”
“Hey, I’m three minutes older than you!” she teased feeling better about things now that Ryan was apparently on her side.
“Whatever. Just don’t let him take advantage of you, okay. I’m gonna try and find out more about him. He looks like a creep and has a bad rep. I’m not sure you should be hanging with him.”
“It can’t be any worse than hanging out with you!” she said, “Anyway, he won’t do anything. He’s been really sweet.”
“I’ll beat the shit outta him if he touches you. You know that, right?” asked Ryan.
“Down Ryan…it’s okay. I promise nothing is going to happen. Besides, I’m pretty sure you do more than kiss,” she said.
“Hey, I never kiss and tell. It’s not nice,” he said with a grin that meant he probably did do more than kiss.
“See….” she said teasing.
“Just know,” he said and pointed two fingers back and forth from his eyes to her, “I’ll be watching….”
A/N Introducing more Casting Call sims! Archer’s crew:
Enid Crowley by InfraGreen
Jerry Shan by Haswh
Pete(r) Jennings by VanPelt81
Rainbow (Wilson) or just Rainbow by SuperKyle