Her Younger Man (A Country Music Romance): a Renny and Rachel Romance (6 page)

BOOK: Her Younger Man (A Country Music Romance): a Renny and Rachel Romance
8.52Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub




Monday morning found me in … I want to say better spirits, but I can’t. The short but intense time with Renny had made my life seem small, drab and boring. I dragged myself out of bed, ran a comb through one hell of a bed head and drove off to work in my 10 year-old Echo.

Maybe getting a new assignment would help. Take my mind off Renny. Doubtful but life goes on. Even after strange encounters of the sexy kind.

I did my best to look like I’d been sick for a week so Sam wouldn’t fire me. It wasn’t hard. I looked like hell. Warmed over. Twice.

Everyone glanced up as I made my way through the newsroom to my desk. I looked down and tried to walk as though nothing had changed me. But I knew Caroline and she had a noise for gossip, and sex. I was going to have some ‘splaining to do...

I stopped short of my desk. In the center was a vase with a large collection of once beautiful but now wilted flowers. WTF?

“No card,” Caroline popped up from her desk holding a small, wrapped package, “but this came with them so maybe there’s a name in there.”

I took the package and sat slowly down at my desk, staring at the wrapping. Who?

Caroline came over and perched on the edge of my desk. “Well, come on, open it. We’ve been dying to know. The flowers were gorgeous, by the way. I enjoyed them.”

“When did they arrive?”

“Monday morning. A week ago.”

“Why didn’t anyone call me or bring them over.”

“We all expected you to come in and then when you said you were ‘sick’ I figured the sickness may have something to do with these and I didn’t want to interrupt.”

“Nice of you.”

“That doesn’t mean I don’t want to know all the details, but first open the damn box. Do you really not know who sent them?”

“I’m clueless.”

I wasn’t for long. I undid the ribbon and picked at the wrapping.

I took the lid of the box to find a beautifully displayed pair of satin men’s boxer shorts. OMG! Red!

“Well, oo la la,” Caroline said, taking the boxers from me and picking up the card before I could grab it. “I think I owe you these,” she read aloud. “And there’s a phone number. Drake, you’ve been holding out on me.”

“Give me that,” I said, grabbing back the card and the boxers. I jammed the underwear into the box and closed the lid as best I could in my befuddled state. “It’s a … it’s just a joke… from an old friend, sorority friend.”

“First of all, you did not belong to a sorority.”

“I might have.”

“You are not the type. Second, this ‘friend’ also sent you $200 worth of now dead flowers. Where do I get a ‘friend’ like that?” Caroline was going to be persistent. Argh. Why am I seated across from the gossip columnist?

I grabbed her and pulled her into the ladies restroom before she could make a scene. We waited until Angela from accounting left and then I made her pinky swear that if I spilled the details she would NOT run it in her column or flap her mouth anywhere else. She agreed. I wasn’t sure if I believed her but it’s all I had. If I didn’t shut her up somehow she would dig until she found out anyway. I don’t know how she found out stuff but I wouldn’t put it past her to hire the gopher in my yard on retainer.

“Okay. You’re right. They are from a man. It is still an inside joke. It isn’t a serious relationship, so I just want to keep it quiet, okay?”

“You slut.”

“Yah, I’m a slut. I have sex every 15 years. Pin a scarlet A on my chest.”

“15 years? Girl, how have you not shriveled up and blown away?”

“Amazing, huh? It’s a little known fact that women –men either for that matter –don’t really need sex to survive.”

“Doesn’t it grow back every 7 years or something? You are a double virgin!”

I held up the Renny’s card still in my hand. “Was a double virgin. Luckily we had sex twice. He burst both my cherries. In one night.” I couldn’t help but brag a little.

“Where did you find a man your age who could go twice in one night?” I blushed but didn’t answer.

“You didn’t! He’s a younger man! Oh my frickin’ god, Drake you are one still water running deep. So, name?”

“Rachel Drake?”

“Not your name idiot, HIS name. Wonder lover, cherry popper, boxer boy. His name.”

“Um… no, I can’t.”

“So, I know him.”

“No, you don’t, it’s not that, I’m just…”

“Then he’s famous.”

“No, no he’s not famous, far from famous,” I blurted much too quickly.

“Then he’s infamous. Now, let’s see who you’ve talked to recently. I doubt it was someone from the cat show,” she leaned against the wall, thinking as she re-applied another layer of lipstick. Her eyes went wide, her lipstick dropped, she whipped around to stare at me. Oh shit, she’d figured it out.

“One of the Taylor Brothers! Garrett? No, Renny! You fucked Renny Taylor? Oh my God.”

“No, no you’re wrong, it’s… someone else…”

“You are a bad, bad liar. You made sweet, sweet nookie with one of the hottest guys on the planet. And you didn’t tell me. I could choke you.”

“You promised Caroline, no column, no tattling.”

“Oh, I won’t use names, I did promise that but …”

I slammed her against one of the stalls totally shocking us both. “I swear Caro, if you breathe a word, one word, I will tell everyone what you really did last August.”

“You wouldn’t.”

“Try me. I have your plastic surgeon on speed dial.”
I didn’t but it sounded good
, I thought, thanking Marlene for the threat.

“You’re a mean, mean woman Rachel Drake. You tell me the juiciest gossip I’ve heard in months and blackmail me not to use it. I thought we were friends.”

“When did that happen?”

“Always. We’re bonded. Comrade-in-arms.”

“Really? How old am I? When is my birthday? What’s my favorite color? What’s my dog’s name?”

“I know that one. Your dog is Ollie. There.”

“That’s Sam’s dog. I don’t have a dog, so cut the bestie bullshit. I like you, that’s as far as it goes. But I swear if you break this promise I will cut you –or tell who did. And where.”

“Fine. I need to get back to work. Is that all right with you?” She pranced to the door but turned back at the last minute. “Just one thing. I have to know. How was it?”

I smiled. I could give her this small crumb. “Spectacular.”

She moaned as she left the room. I looked in the mirror and saw a clear-eyed, happy Rachel. Welcome back, I thought. And as for Renny Taylor?

Welcome back.




I walked briskly to my desk, grabbed my phone and the box with the boxers and went outside. I couldn’t wait one more second to call him. What a total nut job! Still, I was beside myself with glee. I wasn’t a one-night stand! I hadn’t been easy to leave! If I’d just been a grown-up and come to work last week I would have saved myself a whole lot of grief and I would have enjoyed the flowers. I couldn’t remember the last time I had received flowers. Longer than the sex drought, that much was true. I think Steve had sent me flowers when I’d gotten pregnant. I think they were still fresh when he walked out. Hopefully, these flowers weren’t a similar harbinger of doom.

I went to the side garden, where the smokers usually hid. Luckily no one was killing themselves one ciggie at a time at the moment. I sat down, then stood up, dialing the number on the card with shaky fingers. It took me three times to punch the numbers in correctly.

It rang. And rang. And rang.

Shit. He was probably still asleep. My mind filled of dreamy pictures of Renny stretched out in all his glory … and right beside him was some busty, 20 year old blonde. He probably thought I had ignored his gifts and didn’t care about him. He’d gone out and had revenge sex with some impossibly beautiful woman with no cellulite, droopy breasts or attitude. Oh, my mind is a very dangerous place to stroll around in.

I hung up, sat down and put my head down. I was dizzy and breathing shallow gulps of oxygen. My heart raced, my palms started to sweat and I knew I was in for a major panic attack. Why do I always have to think the worst? Why am I so mean to myself?

The phone rang. I jumped a foot and dropped it all over the pavement, breaking off the back cover and spilling the battery. And hanging up on the caller. Shit, shit, shit.

Praying it wasn’t totaled I put it back together and turned it on. It worked! I checked the last call. It was him!

So now I had ignored his gifts for a week, called and left no message and hung up on him when he called me back. Even I thought he deserved revenge sex.

I called back. I would have to make this good. Could I say I was sick? In the hospital? Dead at the time?


“Renny. Renny, hi. It’s me. Rachel. Drake.”

“I know who you are, girl. Though I’m beginning to think I’d be better off forgetting.”

“No, no oh, I’m so sorry. I was home all week. I was… sick… kinda and didn’t know about the flowers and the… other gift until a few minutes ago. I’m so sorry. The flowers are, were wonderful and I didn’t think you owed me boxers but they’re great and I sure would like to see you model them for me. Oh, no that was creepy. Sorry. I’m …”

“Sorry, I know.” He was laughing. At me. Well, I deserved it. What a putz I am. “So, whatcha doing baby girl?”

“Making a fool of myself in front of the handsome Taylor Brother apparently.”

“Can you get away?”

“Now? Aren’t you in Canada somewhere?”

“Toronto. Can you come to me?”

Come to him? Oh yes, to him, with him, because of him. Then I remembered, I’m an adult with a job and a non-existent dog to take care of.

“I have to work, damn it. I missed all last week.” For nothing. If there had been a brick wall close by I would have bloodied it with the head banging I deserved.

“This weekend? Surely they can’t make you work on the week-end. You could say you’re covering more of our tour.”

“That wouldn’t fly with Sam.”

“Then just come up and cover me.”

I didn’t care if I got fired, I was going to Canada.

“Yes. I will. When?”

“I’ll book you a plane for Friday afternoon. Will that work?”

I wanted to protest his buying me a ticket but I couldn’t afford it. At least no one could accuse him of dating me for my fortune.

“Sounds perfect. What clothes, kind of clothes should I bring?”

“Nothing. On second thought, bring the boxers.” He hung up leaving me sitting in a shabby side garden grinning, a little weak in the knees and wet between the thighs.


The week crawled. It was like that dream where you’re running but getting nowhere. I was in wait mode from Monday morning until Friday morning when my plane ticket popped into my email. I wasn’t leaving until 6 p.m. which meant I wouldn’t see Renny until after midnight. That was a whole day away! I was going to lose my mind. Is that possible? Can a person sexually combust? If they could, I would.

Caroline was dogging my every step. She wanted to know everything but I wasn’t about to tell her the slightest detail. I even hid my plane ticket from her. I wouldn’t be surprised to see her follow me to Toronto just to get some dirt. At the airport I kept looking behind me to see if she was lurking. She wasn’t. Not that I could see.

Finally! I was on the plane and winging my way towards Renny. Unlike our last ‘encounter’ this was definitely premeditated which made me very anxious. I was sure that because of a week of misery and another of anticipation, I had shed at least 10 pounds. Too bad airplanes make me swell because I was sure I was going to waddle off the plane, Renny would take one look at me in the fluorescent light and scream “Hell no!” It could happen. Or worse, he wouldn’t say a thing and just politely go through the week-end. I would receive a pity fuck and a gift basket and be sent on my way.

I thought these things because, well, I’m a bit of a lunatic, but also because none of this made any sense to me. This man was not only famous, a gifted musician, but also incredibly handsome. He had fans all over the world. Women made tribute videos of him smiling, playing music, and brooding. I know because I obsessively watched them when I should have been writing.

     This man could have anyone –well, maybe not anyone, Michelle Obama seems pretty content with her man, but there had to be thousands of women more suitable for him in every way. I’m not a musician. I’m not handsome, pretty, whatever. Most importantly, I’m not in my 30’s. I had tried looking in the mirror to see myself as he saw me and I was clueless.

The secret I’ve never shared with anyone is that I have always wanted to be beautiful. I dreamed of turning into a swan my whole childhood. I hadn’t. I’m presentable, don’t get me wrong, I’m not a total troll or anything, but I am far from beautiful. I always wondered what if felt like to look in the mirror and like what you see, to have it generally acknowledged that you are good-looking, to be named one of the sexiest people alive. Renny had all that. What did he want me for?

I have read many studies that indicate that, although women date ‘down’, men rarely do. We’ve all seen the beautiful woman (Charlize Theron comes to mind) dating the ugly guy (Sean Penn comes to mind) but I have never seen a celebrity with an ugly or even average looking woman. So why? I couldn’t figure it out and it made me uncomfortable and insecure. At any minute the drugs he was on could wear off and then where would I be?

I landed and knew my jumpy stomach and uneven footing had nothing to do with the five hour flight. Would he be waiting for me or would he send Jed? I didn’t know which to hope for.

He was waiting, in a bad disguise. Ball cap, hair pulled back, sunglasses after midnight. What a goof. He was attracting more attention than if he’d just stood there as Renny Taylor. I could see him from the other side of customs and I wondered how I was supposed to greet him. I couldn’t jump into his arms like a teenager. Besides knocking him over, I would look ridiculous. A kiss on the cheek? A shy hi? What? What were we to each other? I’d come a long way for just a booty call.

I needn’t have worried. Renny cracked his trademark, lop-sided smile when he saw me, then rushed me into a huge embrace the moment I stepped onto Canadian soil. We fit so well together. Was that part of it? In Renny’s arms I felt I’d come home, as corny as that sounds. Did I feel like home to him too?

“God, I’ve missed you,” he whispered in my ear as he steered me towards the door and the waiting taxis.

What could I say that had any chance of expressing how I felt? Missing him? Yes. The truth was I had missing Renny my entire life.

BOOK: Her Younger Man (A Country Music Romance): a Renny and Rachel Romance
8.52Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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