Authors: Nancy MacLaren
His Other Woman
A Renny and Rachel Novel – Book 2
This novel is a work of fiction. I wish it wasn’t.
It is dedicated to all my amazing writing pals
and the thoughtful critique, support and enthusiasm
they show for my work.
It keeps me going.
A special thank you to Susan Drake for editing and making me look like a better writer (and as if I know the rules of grammar.)
All rights Reserved – Sexy Shorts Publishing -2015
I cursed for the millionth time. I am a creative and vehement curser but I was running out of appropriately vile words. I cursed my lack of clothes, my lack of style and my lack of excuses. Damn menopause! I couldn’t even use the old, reliable “I’m on my period” anymore.
How had I been talked into this anyway? I wasn’t some starry-eyed, newly in love, dying to make my man proud, Southern belle. So why was I so atwitter about meeting Renny’s parents? And the rest of the 105 hillbillies that made up the Taylor clan?
That wasn’t fair. Only the Arkansas clan were hillbillies, the rest were just good ‘ol boys who loved God, guns and their mamas. They were so not going to love me, no matter how hard I tried to fit in, I never would. My first sin is not being southern. I grew up in Southern California if that counts. It doesn’t, I know.
My second sin is not being musically inclined. Apparently, the whole clan (all 105 of them) play multiple instruments and can harmonize thirds, fifths and beyond. I’m lucky to get the melody right.
Third, and maybe the most fatal, I am not a ‘sweet young thing’. I am not young, a thing or sweet. I’m 58, out-spoken, opinionated and pretty sure I can out think most men. I am no one’s idea of the perfect partner for their wildly successful, outrageously handsome and eternally younger son.
The worst part is that I lack the wherewithal to impress them. Let’s see, maybe they’d like to hear about the downfall of Fallujah. Or how frickin’ cold tents get in Afghanistan. I know, I know, how about that I took my showers with over 100 strange men because it was the only shower available. They’ll surely love that. Look honey, she’s not just old, she’s also a whore! An old whore! Is that an extra fifty pounds she’s carrying? Good job Renny, with all your talent, good lucks and wealth, you managed to bring home an old, fat, war whore!
In sheer panic mode I grabbed my phone and called the only person who could possibly help.
“Hello, sweetums, you all packed?”
“Get your ass over here. I am in crisis mode,” I screamed at Marlene. I screamed at my phone which, in effect meant I was screaming at Marlene. She remained unfazed by my obvious desperation.
“On my way, untwist those knickers now,” Marlene chirped.
“Don’t use that god-awful phrase. Just get over here. And bring wine.”
* * * * * * * * * *
“This is sad,” she said, looking at the heaping pile of material all over my bed that masqueraded as clothes.
“I know. That’s why I called you. I have nothing to wear.”
“You have plenty to wear; all of it plain, shabby or just downright ugly. I have clearly been amiss in the best friend department. No real BFF would have let you buy any of this. Do you at least have a decent pair of jeans?”
“That I have,” I said, digging through the pile and bringing up a pair of awesome, acid-washed jeans. Marlene almost fell down laughing.
“Those are grotesque! C’mon, we’re going shopping.”
“I can’t. No moola.”
Marlene pulled out her American Express card and handed it to me. “Now you do. No arguments. You can pay me back with a dedication when you win another Pulitzer.”
“Marlene that is not a good investment.”
“Besides, I promised Renny.”
“He called. He expressed some concern that you might try to back out or have a nervous breakdown or have hideous clothes,” she said, putting on her raincoat and grabbing her keys.
“He said that?”
“Not the clothes part, no, but the rest. The clothes were implied. He knows you, girl.”
“Yes, he does. The bastard.”
On the way to the mall I reflected back on the last few months and my whirlwind love affair with Renny Taylor. Never mind he was a famous musician, incredibly handsome and sex on legs, he was also 20 years younger than me. I hadn’t seen much future in the whole endeavor but Renny could be ‘persuasive’.
It was after some really great ‘persuasion’ one evening that I had agreed to travel to his home state of Tennessee and meet his family at their annual family Christmas reunion. I must have been drunk. I hate crowds of more than 2, I hate putting on a good face and I hate Tennessee. Well, I’ve never been there but I’m sure I’ll hate it once I get there.
* * * * * * * * * *
The mall was everything I expected -and worse. Marlene felt strongly that since she was paying she had the final say in all my purchases. To say that Marlene and I have very different styles is like comparing a nun to Lady Gaga. Still, she convinced me that even if I wasn’t comfortable I’d be stylish and look thin. Well, thinner. (“There’s only so much clothes can do,” she informed me.) I ended up with two pairs of jeans, a few shirts, some leggings and a nice outfit in a fantastic grey-blue that cost as much as my mortgage. Still, it was a beautiful ensemble, full, velvet skirt topped with a silk blouse with a very subtle Indian-looking pattern. I did want it. I did get it. Now, I hoped I’d have a reason to wear it.
After organizing my suitcase to keep me wrinkle-free, forcing me to pack make-up and ditch the granny-panties, Marlene took off, promising to take me to the airport the next day. I think Renny might have been paying her. I did consider a run for the Canadian border but the truth was I was dying to see Renny. Neither he nor Marlene should have worried, I would have taken a Greyhound Bus, sitting next to a smelly Texan with bad breath and a shirt that asked “Who farted?” all the way to Tennessee if it meant I got to play with that man and his body.
Maybe Greyhound would have been better than the plane trip. My first time in first class and I get seated next to the most obnoxious man ever. No, he wasn’t fat or particularly smelly, or from Texas for that matter. I could have dealt with all that. He was a talker, but not a chatty, here’s pictures of my kids talker. Could have handled that as well. He was a know-it-all and worse than that, a tell-it-all. To me. He told it ALL to me.
He was very important in his own circle –which I think included him and his dog. He would ask me questions but not wait for my answer. I felt like the Teller to his Penn. Only he wasn’t funny. At all. Worse than that, he was Wrong! About everything. That isn’t fair, he had to have one or two good ideas –no, fuck that –he was wrong, arrogantly, hauntingly, stultifying WRONG. I know that last one is not a real word –I am a journalist after all – but that’s what he reduced me to, making up words!
I did consider accidently pouring my ice cold drink into his crotch but that might actually turn this cretin on. He was even wearing a wedding ring! Who would marry such a man? He had wrongly mistaken me for the kind of submissive, adoring female who would enjoy his masterful treatise on the state of foreign relations in Somalia. I am not.
“You have to shut up now,” I told him, several hours into the flight.
“No, sir, there is no excuse for you or your endless, endless babble.”
“You got a lot of nerve, lady.”
“Yes, I do and you are stomping on my last one. So, do us both a favor and Shut. The. Fuck. Up.”
I thought he might tell the stewardess on me or something. Or have a stroke. Can a person get thrown out of first class?
Renny was waiting for me in old, ripped up jeans and a T-shirt so soft and worn he must have owned it since he was a teenager. He was also wearing a huge, leering, infectious, glorious lop-sided grin. My heart actually leaped at the sight of him.
Is that a heart attack or are you just glad to see me?
I rushed into his arms. I didn’t care this time whether I looked like an idiot. I was an idiot in love with a fabulous man and to heck with what people I’d never see again thought about it. He enveloped me in his Renny hugeness and I was home again.
Luckily, we weren’t heading to the Taylor abode that night. Renny had booked a room for us at a nice, somewhat swanky hotel in downtown Nashville. Apparently, he wanted to have some time with me alone, just mano y womano. Maybe he would feel weird schlupping his non-wife in his old boyhood bedroom. Assuming we got to sleep in the same room. I had no idea if the Taylor madre and padre were religious, conservative or old hippies. I was glad for the chance to be alone, alone with Renny and pump him for details while he pumped me with …. Oh, never mind. God, I’ve gotten a filthy mind since meeting this guy.
We checked in and we checked in, if you know what I mean. We were still so new to each other that every session of lovemaking was an exploration. The man has a master’s degree in tongueology and I am willing to pay those student loans. Well worth the investment. He also seemed to love the taste of me, everywhere! He made such yummy noise I felt like a hot fudge sundae with whipped cream. Whipped cream! We needed to get some of that. I wondered if there was a supermarket close by.
Exhausted after a couple of trips to wonderland, Renny and I lay curled up in bed as the sun was finally making its way west. I love this time of the day, late afternoon. I always thought it was the sexiest time of day and I was right. At least today. If I died right now I wouldn’t care if I went straight to Hell. I was beginning to become very comfortable with a lot of heat.
Suddenly Renny slapped my bare thigh as he shot out of bed. “C’mon baby girl, let’s get going, I got lots to show you. You’re gonna love Nashville.”
“I’d rather stay here and love Nashville from this very room. This very spot,” I said, trying my best seductive voice and pose.
“Hmmmm… well … no, get up and put on your dancing shoes.”
Dancing shoes? I had sneakers, black flats and yellow, polka-dot rain boots.
“What are these dancing shoes you speak of kimosabe?”
“Nice try, Drake. Marlene had strict orders, so get out those shoes while I de-stinkyfy.”
As he did a quick top-and-tail I reluctantly unpacked my suitcase. What does one wear for a night on the town in Nashville? Jeans? Yah, probably jeans. I slipped on my new black pair and assessed the damage in the mirror. Why had no one told me the magic weight loss secret that is black denim? I actually looked kinda awesome.
Renny came out of the bathroom wearing a towel around his neck and nothing else. Gorgeous doesn’t describe it. I’d just had two world-class sessions with this man and all I wanted was more. I was turning into a sex maniac. I’d have to join a 12-step group soon.
‘I am powerless over my lust for Renny Taylor and it has made my life … fantastic!’
He leaned in the doorway, taking me in.
“Jeez Rach, can you cover those things,” he pointed to my bare breasts, “before I lose all sense of direction. You look, damn, woman, cover yourself.”
I looked at his now rising penis and felt uber-powerful. Still got it, Drake! Taking pity on the man, I strapped on a bra and chose a great silk shirt in a gorgeous peacock blue. I gave a silent thank you to Marlene for all her help. I needed to get her a gift to let her know how much I appreciated her. Hmmm, I wondered if Garrett had anywhere to go after Christmas?
* * * * * * * * * *
Renny took me all over Nashville, from club to club, to meet all his old music buddies. Everyone was wonderful to me but you could tell they totally loved Renny. One man spoke to Renny rather cryptically about his daughter and kept thanking Renny for all he’d done for her. Of course, Ren wouldn’t tell me the story so I waited until he was engrossed in conversation with someone else before pinning down the grateful father.
“You should know little lady, who you’re hanging out with here. Them Taylor boys they are wild, sure is true, but hearts made of gold. My daughter was diagnosed with a very rare ovarian cancer when she was 16. Renny got her a flight and a visit with some big wig cancer doctor in Dallas. He says it was a group effort and maybe it was but that was a helluva bill and I suspect Renny took the brunt of it on himself.”
“So he helped save her life? That’s a great story.”
“She passed last spring. It was a very rare form and no one could get it to stop. They tried everything including that new stem cell therapy. It just wouldn’t go away.”
“I am so sorry, I just assumed…”
“I’m still grateful. So was she. We did all that humans can do and then it just was up to God to decide. He didn’t decide what I would have, but maybe that’s why I ain’t God.”
“So, you think it was God’s will she died?”
“Who else’s would it be?”
He had a point and even though I am stubbornly anti-religious I have always felt that there must be some greater plan. If there isn’t, too much of existence makes no sense to me.
“Ren and his brothers sang at the memorial and it was a fitting ….” He broke off, unable to go on. I patted his shoulder rather lamely. I had seen people die; soldiers, civilians, but since I’ve never had a child, I knew I didn’t understand the depth of his grief.
“You got children Rachel?”
“No sir, I haven’t been blessed that way.”
“It is a blessing. And a curse. But I would never have missed my 16 years with Abbie, not for anything. You and Renny, you got to do it. He’d make one helluva Daddy. I seen him with young’uns and he lights up.”
I didn’t know what to say. Clearly this man couldn’t gauge my age, which was great on one hand but hard to explain on the other. Also, I happened to agree with him, Renny would make a hell of a Daddy. He deserved to be one as well. A cloud formed over my happiness again. It was the same cloud that had shown up in Toronto. I had tried to convince myself that Renny had the right to choose me if he wanted, that I had the right to my happiness as well.
Was this going to happen everywhere we went? Renny was 38, even for a man that’s getting on in years to have kids. I didn’t know if men get the pressure of “when you gonna have kids” that women get as they get older. I just hoped that having one grandchild, Claudine, would satisfy Jonathan and Ruth Taylor, Renny’s folks. Maybe they’d be so besotted with her that our situation would not be a concern to them.
I didn’t know much about the Taylor parents. All the boys stayed with them when in Nashville, and I knew they had enough money to buy their own homes, so they must love being there. Either that or Ruth was some great cook! When I looked at her spawn I thought she and her husband had to be awesome people.
Renny pulled me away from the grieving father before I could really answer the children question. There was no answer to the children question. People don’t always have children, for many reasons, and it was really no one else’s business. Besides, Renny was a grown man and could make his own choices. And right now, this moment in time, his choice was me. And I was damned happy about it!
He dragged me onto a tiny, wooden dance floor and began doing some kind of aberrant version of swing dancing with me. I was good at following, but then I figured out the gist of it and started to have some real fun. I wish I could say Renny was a great, athletic and smooth dancer. He wasn’t. He was awful! And somehow that made me very happy. Nobody wants to be with a paragon. I wanted a man, a real man, who didn’t have a clue about what do to with his gigantic, clown feet on a dance floor. Finally! Something he couldn’t do.
It didn’t stop him from dancing (or whatever you call what he was doing) the night away. We went from one makeshift, miniscule dance floor to another to dancing in the street. By the time we went out for air the party had moved on to Honky Tonk Row. (That is a real street! I swear it. Why would I make such a thing up?) I’d heard of this kind of craziness in New Orleans but apparently Nashville can get it’s jam on with the best of them.
Moonlight, music, bad dancing and thou! Oh Renny Taylor, you are a treasure. And, dammit, I deserve a little treasure in my life. I do!
At least that’s what I told myself, over and over.