Peas in a Pod, Pt. 6 (Final)

After that, the bullying against Tahlmus lessened. He was able to sit with Xai, Cherry and Lemon at lunch with no repercussions. They were even able to chat in between classes and hang out after school without an issue. Before they knew it, it was their senior year. Xai had watched her cousin gain more confidence, and grow into the man she always knew he was.

He was still hiding his affection for both Cherry and Lemon, though he did pay attention to both girls equally and always sat between them. Xai knew Tahlmus still had feelings for them. She also knew both girls had maintained their feelings for him. In the week leading up to the homecoming dance, Xai formed a plan.

The hardest part she thought was going to be convincing Tahlmus to go to the dance. Turned out to be not so hard once Xai stuck Cherry and Lemon on him. All they had to do was look at him with sad puppy dog eyes and he melted; agreeing to go to the dance.

“Do you think he’ll like it?” Lemon asked as she walked into Xai’s room. She was in a white dress that went just passed her knees. It had thin straps, a dark brown band that went around just above the waist, and had dark brown circles and lines that cumulated into fun designs all over the dress. Lemon had finished the look with her dark brown cowboy boots, and her purple hair in loose curls framing her face, which had a light touch of make-up.

Xai squealed. “You look gorgeous. If my cousin says nothing then he’s a bigger idiot than I thought.”

Lemon burst out laughing as she sat on the bed. Two minutes later Cherry walked in. She was wearing a cherry red strapless, floor length dress and healed sandal like shoes with straps just above her ankle. Her hair also fell into loose curls framing her face, which had a light touch of make-up and cherry red lipstick shimmered from her lips.

“What do you think?” Cherry asked hesitantly.

“I think my cousin will drop dead when he sees both of you,” Xai stated finishing her own make-up.

Xai was in a simple black, sleeveless dress that stopped just above her knee. With her make-up done, she started rummaging through her vanity. “Ok, seriously, where are all my hair ties?” she grumbled. Xai had planned on putting her hair up in a ponytail for the evening, but all her hair ties were gone. “Maybe there’s one downstairs,” she thought.

Tahlmus had been pacing in the kitchen waiting on the girls to get ready. He was nervous. He’d never been to a school dance. The door to the stairs opening caught his attention and he stopped pacing. The girls entered the kitchen and his jaw dropped.

“You look like a fish cousin,” Xai said smiling.

Tahlmus snapped his mouth shut as his face turned red. Cherry and Lemon giggled. The red face made his blue eyes pop, which went well with the black slacks, royal blue dress shirt, and the styled messy hair look.

“Sorry,” he whispered. “You girls just look so beautiful.” Now it was Cherry and Lemon’s turn to blush as they giggled some more.

Xai just kept smiling. “Cuz have you seen any of my hair ties? I can’t find even one of them.”

Tahlmus eyes started shifting. “I … uh … I haven’t… your hair looks good down,” he finally said.

Xai’s eyes went wide. “You took them didn’t you?” Tahlmus shrunk at her accusation. “You did! But how? I’ve been in my room all day. Give them back! I need them!”

“You always have your hair up Xai. I really think you should wear it down. You look prettier,” Tahlmus replied softly.

“No! Give me my hair ties!” Xai demanded with a shout.

Tahlmus sighed. “Fine.” He walked over and started braiding a small bit of her hair on either side of her face, putting a thin small hair tie at the end of each one. He then wrapped them around the top part of her head, intertwining them to look like a crown, pinning them in place with a couple of bobby pins he had also taken from her vanity. Once that was done, he opened the drawer where he had stashed the small white and pale yellow flowers which he weaved into the braided crown. “There,” he said when finished. “Now we can go,” he said offering his arm, which Xai accepted without thinking.

“Where did he learn to do that?” she wondered. From Cherry and Lemon’s faces, she knew it looked good.

Tahlmus escorted each girl to his truck, opened the door for them and helped them in before getting in himself and driving them to the school. Xai noticed that the truck was extra clean and knew he was trying to make a good impression on Cherry and Lemon.

Once at the school, Tahlmus opened all their doors, helping them out of the truck. This time Cherry took one arm, while Lemon took the other. Tahlmus blushed, and Xai smiled. He paid for their entry and once in they went their own ways. Tahlmus sat on the bleachers watching everyone dance, while the girls danced together; glancing at him periodically.  Each girl made him dance during a slow dance, and they even got him to stay out on the floor for a couple other songs.

After the last song Tahlmus drove them all back home. The girls had all sat in the backseat for the five minute drive. Tahlmus hadn’t heard anything they were saying, except for the giggles. He assumed they were discussing boys, which made him a little jealous, but he did want them all to be happy.

“You can pull it into the barn,” Xai said as Tahlmus pulled into the driveway.

“You sure? I didn’t want to make you walk too far.”

“I’m sure,” Xai said with a smile. The other two giggled. Tahlmus just shrugged and pulled the truck into his parking spot in the barn. He had put it in park and had just shut it off when he felt himself being drug out of the vehicle.

“What…?” Tahlmus started to ask as Cherry and Lemon pushed him against the wall giggling. It would have been easy to get out of their grasp, but Tahlmus didn’t want to risk one of them getting hurt. He then felt something on his right wrist and arm. Looking over he saw Xai putting duct tape on him to hold him to the wall.

“What are you doing?” he asked as Xai moved to his left arm. She stayed silent until she had finished taping it to the wall.

“What does it look like silly? Duct taping you to the wall, of course.” She giggled as Cherry and Lemon each picked a leg and started putting duct tape on them starting at his ankles and working their way up. The closer they got to his waist, the more flustered Tahlmus felt. This caused the girls to giggle even more.

“Why are you doing this?” Tahlmus asked as Cherry and Lemon backed away to look at him.

Xai just smiled, as she pulled out a pair of handcuffs, cuffing Lemon and Cherry together at the wrist. The girls gasped unable to react before Xai put another set of cuffs on them, cuffing them together at the ankles.

“Moonie… Why?” both girls whined.

“Because you two need to come clean to my cousin. Tell him what you told me freshman year. I know it’s still true.”

“Tell me what?” Tahlmus asked as the two girls blushed and Xai crossed her arms.

“We… uh… we..” Lemon stuttered.

“We both have feelings for you,” Cherry blurted out.

“We want you to date both of us.” Lemon stated. Tahlmus’s mouth dropped open.

“We… we even found a way to change our last names so we can both be with you without you having to marry both of us,” Cherry stated.

Tahlmus’s eyes widened. “M… Marry…” Tahlmus stuttered.

“Well, we should date first, and there’s college…” Lemon started talking just to talk. It was what she did when she felt anxious.

“You know… if you even like us,” Cherry interrupted before Lemon could babble much more.

“I… I… Wait… Xai they told you they both liked me freshman year?”

Xai nodded. “The day you went to the ER.”

“Why didn’t you tell me when I confessed…”

“It wasn’t my secret to tell,” Xai shrugged. “So what do you say Fancy V? Gonna give them a chance?”

Tahlmus blushed at the code name the girls had given him freshman year. They said it was for writing notes and stuff in class, but they had been calling him Fancy Vodka, or Fancy V even outside of school. “Yes,” he said softly. “Yes, I will because I love both of you.”

The girls squeaked and Xai undid their cuffs before both of them went up and kiss him on the cheeks. He felt his face grow warm. Then all three girls turn to leave. Tahlmus was confused. “Uh… ladies… aren’t you… uh… forgetting something?”

Xai turned around smiling her innocent smile. “No,” she said before turning to walk out.

“Aren’t you going to let me go now?” he yelled at their retreating backs.

Xai turned a scowl on her face. “No. This is punishment for stealing all my hair ties!”

“But… you always wear your hair up at school, and you look so beautiful when it’s down. I… I was just trying to help,” he finished in a soft voice.

“Doesn’t matter,” Xai said walking back over to him. Cherry and Lemon were right behind her. “You stole all my hair ties. You didn’t even return them before we left.” Tahlmus let out a growl. He was frustrated.

“Ooo, that sounded seductive,” Cherry said.

“Do it again,” Lemon ordered. Xai giggled as Tahlmus flushed red.

“Please let me go,” he begged.

Xai shook her head. Tahlmus growled again and the girls giggled. “Maybe if you let out a bark like a dog… I’ll think of taking the duct tape off.”

“What? No! I’m not barking like a dog,” Tahlmus said defiantly.

“This is the price you pay then for stealing my hair ties.”

Tahlmus growled. “Technically, I did give you two of them back.”

“Technically you still have to pay for stealing them,” Xai sneered. “So bark.”

“I’m not going to-”

“Oh, come on Fancy,” Lemon stated, making sad puppy eyes as she caressed his cheek.

“Yeah, just one little bark,” Cherry said in a sultry voice as she caressed his other cheek. Tahlmus felt his knees go weak and instead of growling, he whimpered.

“Aww, cuz, that sounded adorable, but it’s not a bark. You got one minute. I want to go in and take off this dress.”

Tahlmus didn’t want to bark and he could tell that Cherry and Lemon seemed to be communicating with their eyes as they continued to caress his cheek, which drew out another whimper from him.

“Ten seconds cuz,” Xai said with a grin. Tahlmus just listened as she started to count down. When she said five both Cherry and Lemon pinched his cheeks. He was so surprised by the action he yipped.

“Aww, see, that wasn’t so hard, was it?” Xai said as she went to Tahlmus’s truck door and removed the small pocketknife he kept there. She then proceeded to cut all the duct tape away from the wall. Once she was done all three girls went into the house and changed into comfortable clothes.

Tahlmus stayed in the barn taking all the duct tape off his clothes before he went inside. As he went by Xai’s door he could hear giggling.

“Thanks for making us do that Moonshine.” It was Lemon’s voice.

“Yeah the rest of the year will be way more fun with Fancy V as our boyfriend.” Cherry’s voice came through the door.

“You’re welcome. Just don’t share any bedroom secrets with me. I totally don’t want to know that side of my cousin.”

Tahlmus stifled a laugh as he quickly went into his room. He wanted to be mad at Xai for doing what she did, because he hated to admit that he mildly enjoyed it. It had also allowed him to share his feelings with Cherry and Lemon. He smiled as he crawled into bed thinking of Cherry’s words. The rest of the school year was going to be way more fun.

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