Hair color: Brown
Eye color: Brown
Fun Fact: originally named Huck
(The following takes place before the start of Escape from Harrizel. Note – it has not been professionally edited, nor beta-read, but most definitely filled with love for the characters and story. Enjoy!)
TUCKER’S NEW ROLE
Tucker walked back to his room.
He couldn’t believe the title—the responsibility—now belonged to him. Never in a million years would he have thought this would be the outcome. Rox stepping back? Him stepping in? No way. No way was this ever supposed to happen. He’d only gone over to check up on the guy. It’s not every day your best friend finds his girl fucking another dude. Under normal circumstances, that would merit a night out with drinks. Lots of drinks. And lots of strippers. But they were on Harrizel, and Tucker couldn’t offer Rox any more than a listening ear and some sage advice.
It might take a while, but Rox would eventually get past Ansley. Tucker always suspected the Rogue Leader’s feelings to be lukewarm at best.
The humiliation was what the Kings planned. It was exactly what they wanted to see happen: the head of their rival Clan crippled with hurt and embarrassment, so much that he couldn’t lead, so much that everything would fall apart beneath him. Loss of pride will do that to a guy.
But this? A hiatus?
Tucker ran a hand through his dark hair. Rogue Leader. Every Client reporting to every Scout, reporting to every Rogue, reporting to every RC, reporting to him? Could he even handle the role? Was someone like him even capable of maintaining that kind of order? But it wasn’t like he was new to the responsibility. Rox had been passing orders onto Tucker to delegate for a while. Rox was still Rogue Leader, but Tucker was second in command. The right wing. The go-to should anything happen to the Big Boss. But now he’d be the head honcho. They wouldn’t be addressing Rox as Rogue Leader—they’d be addressing him with the title.
Tucker sighed at the blonde boy waiting by his door.
Only the RCs—Rogue Commanders—could know before Rox made the official announcement. Sometimes Jace annoyed the hell out of him, but right then, the new Rogue Leader couldn’t think of a person he’d rather share the news with.
“How’s our boy?” The Recruitment Commander asked, genuine concern pulling at his smiling features.
Tucker punched in different symbols on his door and it flew back, into his room. He motioned inside and Jace followed. As his guest made himself comfortable, Tucker closed the door. Turning, he folded his arms over his chest and let out a breath. Once he said it, there was no going back. Rox would be out of the role and Tucker… Tucker would be in charge.
“He wants me to be Rogue Leader.”
The smile dropped from Jace’s face. “You’re kidding.”
Confusion pinched the blonde boy’s brows. He opened his mouth and then closed it again, a million thoughts crashing into one another. “But, but he—”
“He told me himself.”
“Because of Ansley?”
“Because of Ansley,” Tucker nodded, his eyes narrowing into a glare. “And that fucktard Walker.”
“He can’t be serious. I mean, come on—Rox not lead the Rogues?” He chuckled nervously. “It’s insane. No offense to you but he’s… he’s Rox. He’s—”
“He’s not thinking clearly.” Jace shook his head, denial in every motion. Running his fingers through his short yellow locks, ideas bounced behind his anxious eyes. “We’ll help him. We’ll get him some new tail and he’ll—”
“Pretty sure he’s sworn it off,” Tucker stared. “For good.”
Jace lowered his brow to his palms. Silence stretched between them, tangible and intense. It wasn’t like the blonde RC to keep this quiet. Normally he was the first to throw out a joke, even in the tensest of situations. But this—Rox taking a hiatus from the Rogues—there was nothing funny about it. And if this was how Jace was reacting, Tucker had a pretty good idea how the rest of it might go.
After a long moment, Jace lifted his head. “Then this is for real?”
The new Rogue Leader nodded.
“So what does it mean?”
What did it mean? It was the one thing Tucker had been trying to figure out since Rox told him the news. And even as he was explaining his decision—how it wouldn’t affect the new Rogue Leader the way he thought it might—Tucker had the same question playing on repeat. Not just for himself and his duty to the Rogues. But to the entire market. To their whole way of life.
What did it mean that the leader of the Rogues was stepping back?
Tucker let out the breath he’d been holding. He didn’t want to admit to it, but Jace asked the question, which meant the others would as well. And as the new Rogue Leader, it was up to Tucker to provide the answer. It’d be on him now.
For the foreseeable future… all of it would be on him.
“It means the Kings succeeded,” his mouth tightened. “And that’s something I’m never going to let happen again.”
Now, if I was allowed to cast this character, I would choose Bob Morley.
What do you think? Who would you cast to play the new Rogue Leader? And are there any scenes from the first book that you’d like to see?
Escape from Harrizel is the first book in the Arizal Wars series. Crusade Across Worlds releases June 1st 2016!