It’s been a while since I’ve given you a sneak from Song Chaser. I figured I’d be a real tease and give you the scene from the first time Tanner and Kellee meet. Enjoy. <3
*** WARNING: This excerpt contains strong language and sexual situations. It is not recommended for persons under the age of 17. Excerpt is pre-edits and subject to change. ***
Benny stands and applauds as the girls leave the stage before turning to me. “Cheer up, T Dubs! You look like you’re at a funeral.”
Does the death of my fucking heart count?
I smile, “Sorry man, long week.”
Long year would be more accurate. When I left Orlando, I thought I’d never see Paisley again, that she’d never want to look at my face again after what I did to her. But she called me, less than a week later, and somehow we worked through it. Corbin deployed and I’ve been there for her through the whole thing, even flying to Orlando a few times to be there when I knew she just needed to be held. But it was different now, because now she knew how I really felt, and every time I held her, I felt her stiffen. She didn’t feel the same around me, and that just made me feel shittier around her.
Benny shakes his head and slams his fist down on the bar, “Sal! Can I get another whiskey for my friend here? Put it on my tab. And if you’ve got any happy pills back there, slide those in, too.” He nudges me in the ribs and I laugh, pushing him off me. Sal was already working on my drink, but at least it won’t be on my tab now.
“Alright, alright, I get it. I’ll put on my fucking happy face.”
“’Atta boy,” he laughs. “And don’t think you’re getting out of singing tonight. You haven’t sang in almost a year and we’re breaking that streak tonight.”
I nod to Sal as he sets down my fresh glass, “Keep dreaming, Benny.”
“Aw, Tanner, please! I miss that dreamy voice of yours,” Charlie says, her voice low and seductive. She traces her finger along my bicep and I shake her off. She’s beautiful, in an easy target kind of way, but I’m not in the mood to put up with her shit.
“Well you’ll have to keep on missing it. I’ll drink all the whiskey you feed me, but I’m not singing.” I haven’t sang since I left Orlando that day, after calling Corbin and telling him the truth about Paisley – the real truth. I told him that she was crazy about him, that we were just friends, and that he’d be insane to let her go.
And as much as I knew it would make her happy, it still fucking killed me.
“Why won’t you sing?” I hear a smooth, almost angelic voice coo behind me. I turn in my barstool and literally choke on my drink. Sal has moved down to the other end of the bar, and standing in his place is a fucking angel. No shit, this girl is glowing. Her long, sandy blonde hair is falling all around her and her soft eyes are like two illuminated wells pulling me in deep. I can’t see what color they are, which kind of intrigues me, but what I notice most is her freckles.
Damn, I have never seen freckles that sexy before.
“Are you okay?” she asks, tucking her hair half behind her ear. Probably because I choked on my drink and still haven’t found one word to say.
I set my whiskey on the bar and turn to completely face her, “I’d be better if I knew your name.” I turn my game on and break out the half smile, the one that usually lands a girl in my bed within a few hours.
“I’ll tell you my name if you sing,” her brow arches as she grabs the white towel hanging off her shoulder and begins drying a glass. She’s dressed modestly in a pair of jeans and a bright yellow tank top, but her skin looks freshly tanned and a sliver of skin just above her hip bones makes me want to trace it with my fingers and send goose bumps down her body.
“How about you tell me your name, and if you’re lucky, I’ll sing to you later when you’re in my bed?” I know it’s a cocky line. Hell, for once I feel a little stupid saying it, but in all honesty I’m a guy, and this girl looks like the perfect distraction from Paisley. Still, I can tell this girl is different, and I somehow feel embarrassed that the words tumbled out of my mouth.
As I thought, she rolls her eyes and swings the towel back over her shoulder before leaning across the bar. “Trust me, honey. If you got me in bed, you wouldn’t be able to speak, let alone sing.”
The corners of my mouth turn up as she pushes back from the bar. Her eyes are challenging mine, and damn if I don’t like a challenge.