Love Songs by Bernadette Marie, now you can read online.
Could the sun possibly be any hotter, or brighter, or…
Warner’s brakes screeched as he came to a stop at the stoplight he’d nearly run though. The glare from the hood of his Ford was blinding. The sweat on his neck was annoying. And the fact that he’d just been told he had no talent, well that was pissing him off.
He had talent. He had a butt-load of talent. Warner Wright had performed on every stage in Nashville. Oh, he’d performed with some of the biggest names when they were begging for a job.
He let out a breath. So why had he been passed up?
Oh he knew why!
The reputation of his family came long before he started trying to sell his songs. One thing about being the ex-stepson of Patricia Little, was all of Nashville knew she was trouble. And even if you were a thirty year old man, and you hadn’t had the woman in your life since your own father committed suicide when you were twelve, those things stick in the minds of some. It didn’t help that after his father’s death, she married a little bigger—a little richer—and soon she’d made it into the bed of The OX, Harley Oxbury. The only problem was he was Nashville royalty—and married to Nashville royalty. The legend was when Christine Eaden found out about Harley and Patricia she put a shotgun to his head and threatened to dis-“member” him.
Did it matter to the world that his ex-stepmother took down one of Nashville’s icons? Oh, yeah. The OX lost his career. Record companies didn’t want him anymore. The public didn’t want to see his shows. There wasn’t a product willing to put his name out front. Patricia Little had ruined the icon and her reputation, twenty years later, she was tarnishing his.
Perhaps he needed to change his name.
That was stupid. His name was fine. The woman was only his step mother for two years. By now the town should have forgotten the men she left in her path. Well they probably would have if she hadn’t gone on TV and done one of those reality shows where Warner’s picture was prominently displayed on her mantel as some kind of trophy of the husbands and “other’s” children she left in her wake. And hadn’t he asked the producers to take that down? Only a million times.
Well, some people were meant to be on stage and some behind the scenes. The guitar on the passenger seat was a reminder that he was one of them.
Although Jordan Farr, the head of Master Records, told him if he could get a voice to back up his music, maybe the world would start to see past his relation to Patricia Little. That had been the most positive feedback he’d received yet.
The light turned green and Warner eased off the clutch and onto the gas. The truck hiccupped and then picked up speed.
But in Nashville afternoon traffic, he didn’t make it far. Warner eased to a stop at the next light.
He could hear the music which the city had been built on. It poured out of the stores and the bars. But this music was closer and the voice wasn’t Carrie Underwood’s or Miranda Lambert’s. No this was fresh, sweet, original, and very close.
Warner turned his head to the right and spotted a woman in a Jeep tapping her fingers on the steering wheel. The song wasn’t one he’d heard on the radio. It wasn’t a karaoke cut either. No, she was singing to someone’s music, and she was magnificent.
She turned her head as if she might have felt his stare. Her dark hair was pulled back in a ponytail. The aviator glasses shielding her eyes reflected his beat-up blue pickup truck.
She stopped singing and smiled. And it wasn’t just any smile. It was the kind that came with a wink, if he could have seen her eyes.
That moment nearly stopped his heart, just as her voice had. If he had her by his side then the doors of this town would open up to him.
The woman eased through the intersection and turned right at the next light.
He had to follow.
Warner checked his mirrors and quickly changed lanes. It was a close call with a Mustang, of all things, and the driver flipped him the middle finger. But he had to keep her in his sight.
He made a right, but her Jeep wasn’t on the street.
“Damn!” He smacked the steering wheel.
But just then he saw the Jeep. The woman was climbing out of it.
Warner made a U-turn, again causing a car to blare its horn at him and a driver to flip him off. The heat must be getting to everyone. They were all in such a nasty mood.
She’d parked in front of a theater and was jogging up the steps.
Warner screeched to a halt in the middle of the street and pulled his brake. The woman turned around on the steps of the theater and stopped.
He climbed across the bench seat to the passenger door and hung his head out the window.
“Hey,” he yelled like some back woods yokel.