Her Younger Man (A Country Music Romance): a Renny and Rachel Romance

BOOK: Her Younger Man (A Country Music Romance): a Renny and Rachel Romance
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Her Younger Man

 

A Renny and Rachel Novel – Book 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By

Nancy MacLaren

 

 

 

This novel is a work of fiction. Even the real people have been disguised to protect the guilty. (You know who you are!)

 

It is also dedicated to all my amazing friends, I’d be so sad and lonely without you all

–especially my very own
Marlene

 

Willow Dawn Becker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All rights Reserved – Sexy Shorts Publishing -2015

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

I pulled down my skirt for the millionth time, smoothed the crease in my silk blouse hoping to hide the roll right above my waist. Damn Spanx. Why had I let Caroline talk me into these damn things? All they do is push my pudge from one place to another.

It didn’t help that I was carrying an extra 25-30 pounds. I was just holding on to them for Keira Knightly, I told people, until she begins to fall over and needs them. So far she hadn’t called so I was stuck trying to hide them under flesh-colored Spandex.

I looked around the lobby feeling very out of place and conspicuous. The dark, gleaming woods, the marble counters and tables along with the ultra-plush whoosh of the carpet made me feel like I was in a museum or library. Apparently, it made everyone else here feel the same, as people spoke all around me in hushed and level tones .

The Benson is Portland old money and I am new poverty. When my editor, Sam, told me I was meeting my latest interviewee here (a newly minted country-rock star) I was nervous. I don’t have Benson clothes or an entertainment journalist’s ‘look’ or savoir faire. Maybe that’s because I am more used to wearing khakis and fatigues and sweating in the desert. Still, this my current gig. I
am still a journalist
, I told myself,
just no rocket bombs
. I was trying, desperately, to be grateful.

I hate waiting, especially for some pampered celebrity who can obviously afford to stay in such a place. I looked down at my yellow notepad and felt antiquated. Who uses a yellow tablet anymore? Where was my snazzy recorder and my sleek laptop? This guy is gonna take one look at me and head for the door. He needed to know I am a serious journalist about to ask him hard-hitting, insightful questions. The Spanx weren’t helping.

I didn’t know all that much about the man I was here to interview except that he and his brothers were an alt-country trio who had skyrocketed to ‘overnight’ success after 25 years in the music business. They had always had a small, intensely devoted following.  All it had taken was just one catchy hook and now they were up for Grammy’s and crossing over to stardom.

Stardom or not, I was not all that excited to be spending my afternoon waiting for some 30-something country-rocker who apparently couldn’t tell time.  I was still wondering why he had agreed to this interview in the first place, especially without his brothers. The Taylor Brothers had been around for a long time yet there wasn’t much information about any of them. Apparently, they don’t like to talk. That didn’t scare me. I had gotten a 3-star general to cry. To cry. Sure, he’d been on the verge of a nervous breakdown, but who had pushed him over? This girl.

Ten minutes later my interview finally showed up. He was disheveled, water dripping from his hair onto the towel around his neck. He was wearing frayed jeans, a much-loved T-shirt and no shoes. Okay. Not your typical celeb, I had to admit. He was tall. Really tall. And rangy. And he was wearing the shit out those jeans.

Renny Taylor was not what I was expecting and I guess, I was not what he was expecting, either. He looked around the room, looked straight at me and then away. It wasn’t until he turned to go back to the elevator that I stood and called his name.

He swung around, gave me the once over, broke into a mile-wide, lop-sided grin before slouching himself into the opposite armchair.

“Is that coffee?” He poured himself a cup without waiting for an answer. He downed it, poured himself another before sitting back, closing his eyes, pulling his legs under him like some country boy Buddha.

“Ah. Yes.”

What the …

“Sorry,” he said, finally acknowledging me. “I’m not much of a morning guy.”

“Let’s hope you’re an afternoon guy.”

He looked at his big steel watch and laughed. “Well, shit. How did it get to be 2 o’clock?”

“Well, see there’s this theory that the earth revolves around the sun and as it does it gets later in the day. Just a theory.”

He chuckled. “Okay pretty lady, what you got for me?” Pretty lady? Right? That had to be rehearsed.

How old did he think I was? This flirty bullshit probably worked on most women but then most women hadn’t seen the things I have. I wanted to tell him to cut the crap, I was a mature woman, not some love-sick fan. I also wanted to keep my job. Meager employment that it is, it had been hard finding it.

“All right, first question.”

“Sure. Then I’ve got a few for you.”

“A few what, for me?”

“Questions.”

“Um, didn’t anyone tell you how this works? I ask you questions, you give witty, charming responses, I write them down and we go our separate ways.”

“I’ll barter. One for one.”

“No.”
What the hell?

“Two for one?”

“No.”
Who was this guy?

“Final offer, three for one.”

Why me?
  No wonder there wasn’t anything written about the Taylor Brothers. I had to get him to talk. This was my first big celebrity interview, I couldn’t go back to Sam empty-handed. I knew he was already regretting hiring the ‘old gal’, I wasn’t about to prove him right. I can be hip. Sorta.

“Fine. I get three, you get one. Happy?”

He beamed that infectious smile again. “As a pig in shit.”

“Great. Nothing I like better than a pig in shit. So,” I looked down at my notepad. I only got three questions. Where to start? Ah, sure. “Why Portland?”

“Like, why is there air?”

“Yes. That is exactly what I meant.”
What an asshole.

He smirked, shaking his head at me.

“You… you’re a bit of a …”

“I have been told. So, why ….”

“Am I here a week early? I just figured I could fly once and hang here until the concert next week or fly twice. I fucking hate flying. Oh, sorry. Don’t write that. “

“Oh, I’m writing it but rest assured it won’t get printed. Did someone tell you not to cuss in front of me?”

“My momma.”

“Your momma called you and said don’t say fuck in front of Rachel Drake?”

“No,” he laughed, “not in front of
ladies
, ever.” He leaned forward with his wide-eyed, hazel stare then batted his eyelashes at me comically.  What a goofball!

“Well that is a charming, old-fashioned idea.”

“I’m a southern boy after all. Charm is our #1 contribution to the country.”

“I can see that.”

“I like you,” he said, “one more, then my turn.”

“Two more.”

“No, you asked about Portland and then asked who told me not to swear. One more.”

“That was just conversation. I’m not going to write that your momma told you not to swear.”

“You can. She wouldn’t mind.”

“I don’t think I like you very much Mr. Taylor.”

“Ah, c’mon on, it’s Renny and you got to get to know me, I grow on people. Like a fungus.”

I couldn’t help laughing. A man, a very handsome man, who can laugh at himself is a most endearing quality. I decided to find out just how much fun he was willing to make of himself.

“I read that you’re the ‘handsome’ Taylor brother. True?”

He got very serious, with what I thought was an attempt at smolder.

“You don’t agree?” He turned his head from side to side, showing off his chiseled profile.

“Don’t you have an identical twin?”

“Sure do.”

“Then how can you be more handsome than him.”

“You already used your three. It’s my turn. But if you must know, it’s the hair. Apparently, women love a man with long hair.”

His hair, now that it was drying, was gorgeous. Shoulder length, dark but copper-speckled, shiny and thick. Yup. I swallowed and admitted, to myself, that I could see it. A child of the 60’s like myself will always fall for a man with long hair.

“Should I write that? That will make our readers very excited to know that you are more handsome than your brother because you can’t afford a haircut?”

His attempt to hi-jack the interview was coming to an end.
Bring it on, pretty boy. I am more than up for your amateur diversions. I’ve been shot at, for God’s sake.

“Does having better hair get you laid more than your brothers?”

He actually did a spit-take, spewing coffee all over the chic coffee table between us.

“You are out of questions.”

“I take it the answer is no? Not much good being the handsome one if it doesn’t get you the ladies.”

“You got something against handsome men?”

“It’s been my experience that if a man thinks he’s handsome it’s because there’s not much else to brag about.”

“You talkin’ about my boys?”

“Your … what?”

“The bat and balls? The burger and fries? The …” He leaned back in his chair giving his pelvis a suggestive little thrust.
C’mon, man, give it a rest!

“Stop.” I was actually embarrassed, mostly because I realized I was staring right at his crotch. I hadn’t crotch-watched for years and this was not the time or place to start. Especially with someone so much younger than me. I felt like some dirty cougar. It was the Spanx. Cougars wear Spanx, right? They had constricted the oxygen to my brain. I had to take control of this runaway wreck of an interview.

“Let’s get back to the interview, all right? So, you have a concert at Edgefield on the 20
th
and then where are you headed?”

“Nope. My turn. How does a New York Times war correspondent, previously embedded at Bagram Air Force Base in butt-fuck Afghanistan, end up interviewing some hack singer in Portland, Oregon?”

“You googled me.”

“It’s the only reason I agreed to do the interview. I read some of your stuff. Very good but hard to read.”

“It was hard to live through, especially for the boys getting shot at.”

I realized this interview had been doomed from the start. He was some voyeur wanting to hear war stories and I was way past offering those up for anyone. Even a fine-looking man with a contagious smile.

I stood to leave, gathering my briefcase and notepad. He stood also, suddenly serious and touched my arm. His hand was so warm it startled me.

“I’m sorry. That was … insensitive. Please, stay. I’ll answer your questions. I’m just wanted to meet you.”

I sat, cautious, but he relaxed instantly and took me with him. He did have a way about him, I must admit. Something undeniably comfortable. Then his eyes lit up
. Oh no, what now?

“I know how I can make it up to you. You ever seen us play?”

“Uh, no.”

“You’d love Edgefield. It’s an awesome venue for us. I could get you in.”

“I’m sure I’ll get a press pass.”

“Nope sold out. No more passes. I am your one and only pass. Whatd’ya say?”

“I’ll look on my schedule and let you know.”

“Please Rachel, I feel like a jerk and I really want to make it up to you. You can interview all of us this way. That’s a better story than just a guy talking about his hair, right? I’m not very good by myself.”

No shit, Sherlock
. But he was right. I really hadn’t gotten anything I could print. I certainly wasn’t going to talk about his bat and balls.

“Fine. That will be better, you’re right.”

“Awesome. I’ll send our driver to pick you up. 6 o’clock.”

“I can drive. I know how to get there.”

“No way. You get the deluxe treatment. My driver will pick you up and that’s it.”

He got up and started to walk away before I could change my mind.

“Renny” He stopped but didn’t turn around.

“What?”

“Don’t you want to know where I live?”

He uturned back to the table.

“That might help.”

I scribbled my address on one of my cards and handed it to him. He glanced at it before shoving it in his jean pocket.

Then he winked. “It’s a date.”

And with that he sauntered off to the elevators, got on and whooshed away.

I sat back, took a deep breath. Did he just
wink
at me?

A date?

BOOK: Her Younger Man (A Country Music Romance): a Renny and Rachel Romance
4.6Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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