Today is Wednesday and we all know what that means, right? It’s #1lineWed on Twitter and the theme is **FAME**. Ten points if the song isn’t playing in your head at the moment. 😆 So, drawing from the first draft of my current Work In Progress, RED DIRT ROYALTY #7 (Tucker’s story), here’s a snippet from our intrepid heroine’s POV. To set the scene, Tucker and Zoe have arrived in Nashville after a harrowing road trip. He’d had to stop by Bent Star Records, where Deacon Tate and his band are recording. Zoe is left in reception, where–bored–she’s picked up a guitar to noodle.
Zoe curled up, as much as her belly allowed, on the wide padded bench. Using her thumb, she tested the tone of each string while listening intently. Surprised to find it in tune without adjustment, she strummed a few chords. The old Gibson had an amazing sound. She riffed through a progression of chords, humming softly. Lost in the music, she didn’t hear the men approaching, nor did she realize they stopped to listen.
She sang a Carrie Underwood song, then launched into a rollicking Miranda Lambert tune. She finished up with Kelly Clarkson’s heart-breaking ballad, “Piece by Piece.” Zoe didn’t get to sing ballads often. Working the bars, the customers wanted up-tempo dance tunes. But her soul found solace in the ballads, the songs like this one, or like Cam’s “Burning House.” She lay her cheek against the swell of the guitar and just let her hands wander along until they started picking the melody to Striking Matches’ “When the Right One Comes Along.” She raised her voice to sing, getting through the first movement of the duet. As she took a breath before starting the part where the male voice would harmonize, she almost dropped the guitar when a voice continued without her.
Jerking her head up, she gaped at the five men standing there, but it was the singer who held her attention. He’d picked up the tune on his own guitar and winked as he waited for her to catch up. Her voice found his pitch, and as she began to sing again, he altered his tone to match hers. Outwardly, she remained calm but inside? Inside she was squeeing like a fangirl sitting in the front row of this man’s concert. Deacon Tate. Along with his band, the Sons of Nashville. She managed to get through the song, even adding some harmony from the guitar in her lap.
When they finished, the band broke into applause and she was so flustered she couldn’t speak. Was this what it felt like to be famous? Fame had been a pipe dream from the time her daddy put that first pawn-shop guitar in her hands. The man himself walked up to her, a big smile on his face. She’d just thought he was sexy on TV. He held out his hand.
“Zoe Parker.” Thankfully, her voice didn’t squeak.
“Nice to sing with you Miss Zoe Parker.”
“Trust me, the pleasure’s all mine.” Was she gushing? Lordy but she hoped not.
“Aren’t you married?” a gruff voice barked from behind the band. “And doesn’t your wife carry a gun?”
Laughter spilled out of Deacon, the sound as rich and lyrical as his singing voice. “Yes, and yes, Tuck. You didn’t tell us you had such a talented lady waiting for you. We’d have finished sooner.”
Zoe forgot to breathe as Tucker pushed through the band and halted next to Deacon. Only then—with them side-by-side—did she recognize the similarity. “Are you…I don’t…?” she stammered.
“Zoe Parker, I’d like to introduce my brother, and the executive vice president of Barron Entertainment, Tucker Tate.” He bumped Tucker, amusement lighting up his handsome face. “And there’s no need to be jealous, little bro.”
Her gaze darted between the two of them for about five seconds as her brain roller-skated on a hamster wheel. Tucker Tate. He was like a gazillionaire. And important. And…her eyes rolled back in her head and she fainted dead away.
Any famous words you’d like to share today?