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Rated: E · Sample · Romance/Love · #961459
Excerpts from a novel I'm writing.
She met Sheila right outside of the boutique, and they began to walk uptown while deciding where to go.

“So where do you think we should go?” Heather asked Sheila.

“I don’t want to go anywhere fancy. Why don’t we try that new pub on Broadway? I heard the atmosphere is British cuisine, and sometimes they have a rock band.”

“Sounds good to me. Let’s go.”

. It was only a ten-minute walk from where they were, and when they arrived, they discovered the internal atmosphere was similar to that of Hard Rock Café with the classic rock pictures and music vibrating through the entire restaurant. The food and service were stupendous with generous helpings of hot tasty morsels. Later in the evening the crowd began to grow restless with some of the younger women on the verge of hysteria. Heather used her skills as a reporter to make her way to the front and find out what was causing all the commotion. Sheila was right on her heels as they made it to the front, and there in full view, seated on a makeshift stage smiling broadly with eyes sparkling as if a thousand stars had been placed in them was none other than Rock Revolution leader, Mark Spencer who had stopped in to sign copies of the latest CD. They had never seen him up that close before, but one thing was certain: he was much better looking in person! They had never thought to bring along their CD because they didn’t have any idea he was going to be there, but obviously everyone else in the crowd did. Of course, Heather had her own foolproof plan she shared with Sheila.

“I’m going to be working for Music World, maybe I can make arrangements for an interview and handle it personally. God, he’s gorgeous, sexy, and seems so nice, too.” Her eyes began to sparkle then, and it was obvious to her friend she had a crush on Rock Revolution’s very handsome and talented leader.

“You really want to meet him, don’t you?” Sheila was teasing her because this was the first time in the past three years Heather had even shown interest in anyone of the male gender.

“Why not? He’s tall, dark, handsome, and very, very English.”

“This coming from my best friend who swore she wasn’t going to get involved with another man after Brian.” Sheila wished she hadn’t said that as soon as she saw the look on Heather’s face.

That stung as she remembered again the incident she had tried so hard to forget, the incident that changed her life forever. As she thought back to that night. she knew she would never be able to forget it nor would she ever find someone she could share the secret with, it was just too painful for even her to remember. She wanted so desperately to forget that Valentine’s night three years ago, but her memory wouldn’t allow her to do it. Brian Jeffers had almost taken away from her what she wanted to save for the man she would come to love, and for that she could never forgive him. With tears in her eyes, she looked at her best friend.

“I guess you’re right. It doesn’t matter anyway because I can never have a relationship with any man anyway, Brian saw to that.” Heather had tears in her eyes when she recalled what Brian had taken from her. At the same time, she had more anger than she had ever felt for anyone. She wished at that moment he would just drop dead.

Turning to face Heather with fire in her eyes, one would never have known at that exact minute that they were best friends. Sheila was angry; not with herself but with Heather for thinking that way and with Brian for making her think that way. She grabbed both of her arms, squeezing until Heather was crying out in pain, and shaking her as one would shake someone experiencing an episode of hysteria.

“I don’t ever want to hear you say that again, Heather Randall! You are not a ‘used’ woman, as you seem to think. What happened to you could have happened to anyone including me.”

“Yes, but it didn’t, it happened to me, and I’m the one who has to live with it. What man would want to have anything to do with me? Tell me, Sheila, name just one.”

“Heather for crying out loud! This is the 90’s, not the 50’s; men don’t worry about that kind of thing anymore. If you gave yourself a chance you could meet someone who could help you forget all that. But will you? Oh, no, of course not, you’d rather sit back and feel sorry for your damned self. I’m sick of hearing you crying the blues over something that happened three years ago and not doing anything to try to help yourself, and I’m not going to let you beat yourself up over it.”

Letting go of her arms now, Sheila looked sadly into the eyes of the friend she had known since fourth grade hoping her words hadn’t cut too deeply. She didn’t want to hurt her, she wanted to help her let go of the past, and nothing she had done over the last three years had done that. Right now she was hurting for her; she wanted to help, but she didn’t have a clue how to do it.

“Heather, God, I’m sorry, I just don’t know how to help you anymore. You’ve been in pain for three years, and I’ve listened to you cry night after night. I’ve sat in with your therapy sessions. I’ve cried with you. I’ve walked with you. I’ve talked with you. I just don’t know what to do anymore.” At that point, Sheila’s eyes had begun to fill with tears, and she wished there was something she could do.

“Guess what? Neither do I! Sometimes I think I’m ready to bury it but other times it comes hitting me in the face and throwing me against the wall like a tornado. Maybe Miss Thompson is right in saying I just need to find someone I love enough to share the story with and who loves me enough to accept me in spite of it.” That was the first sensible thing she had said, and even Heather surprised herself when she said it. Maybe she would start tonight by burying the past and moving on with her life, she thought.

That brought a smile to Sheila’s face, and as they sat back down in their seats, they were shocked to see they were no longer alone. There sitting at the table next to where Heather had been sitting was her cousin, Larry, the guitarist for Rock Revolution. Smiling like a child who had stolen from the cookie jar, he gave her a kiss and hug. It had been a long time since she had seen Larry, and it never crossed her mind that anyone else from the group was here in the restaurant on this cold and snowy November night.

“Larry! It’s so wonderful to see you. How’s Jodi? How are the kids?”

“Jodi and the kids are doing just great. How about you?”

Excitedly she told him all about the new job, and she could tell he was impressed.

“Music World, huh? I think that’s the interview Mark was talking about. He told us all to be ready because there was an interview on Tuesday morning, and I think that was the publication he said. I’ll have to ask him.” Heather saw a sly grin on her cousin’s face and wondered just what he was thinking. Maybe she shouldn’t have brought up the job, but she was so excited, she had to share it with him.

As the crowd faded away from the general vicinity of the coveted and sexy leader of Rock Revolution, Larry raised his hand high in the air to call to him.

“Hey, Mark! Come over here, will ya? I need to ask you something.”

His strides were long to match his 6’1” height while his brown eyes continued to sparkle even in the dim candlelight that adorned their table. With black hair and an athletic build to die for, he walked over to join Larry at their table. His eyes began to wander as he looked straight at Heather, fixing his gaze right on the eyes that met his in that split second.
“Mark, let me introduce you. This is my wife’s cousin, Heather Randall. The other lady is her best friend, Sheila Miller. Ladies, meet the ever-present and vivacious leader of Rock Revolution, none other than Mark Spencer himself.” By the expression on Larry’s face, it was clear to both girls that he was very proud of everything Mark had done for the band, and he looked up to him with great admiration.

Heather was stunned. She had seen pictures of Mark many times, but they certainly did him no justice. “My God! I have to say you’re better looking in person. Sheila and I both have every U.S. CD ever released and some of the U.K. ones thanks to Larry.” Their eyes met again, and it was as though they had known each other for years. They didn’t speak, but something in that gaze struck both of them as strange yet familiar. One could tell from the shocked look on Mark’s face that he not only didn’t know Larry had an American cousin who was a fan of the band.

“Okay, Larry. Where have you been hiding these beautiful babes?” The twinkle in his eye became more prominent as he continued gazing intently at Heather.

“Heather is the one in the picture Jodi showed you. So, anyway! Mark, what is that publication that is doing the interview on Tuesday morning? Isn’t it Music World?”

“Yeah, why?” His eyes appeared to look right through Larry, a strange kind of confusion within him that gave the impression it was strange for Larry to be asking him that question at that precise moment.

“Heather starts work there on Monday.”

Mark’s eyes lit up and a broad smile overtook his entire face. If you didn’t know better you would have thought someone just told him their latest single had sold a million copies. Then again, for Mark Spencer maybe this knowledge was the best news he had heard in a long time. “Oh, she does, does she? And what will you be doing?” His smile told everyone he was very interested in her and what she would be doing without a doubt.

“My job title is Assistant Entertainment Director. They told me I’d be directly responsible for deciding which articles are going to be published, reporting directly to the Senior Editor. Part of my job will also be handling the interviews since Mr. Stevenson doesn’t feel the other staff members have the expertise to do that.”

“That means you may be taking care of us.” His grin reminded her of the little boy who had gotten caught with his hand in the cookie jar, and the impish way he looked at her reminded her more of a shy little boy than a grown man. Nonetheless, she found the half-smile both appealing and intriguing.

“I haven’t been told specifically although we did discuss the group in general during the interview, ” Heather told him. “He knows I’m a fan of the group and that one of the members is my cousin.”

With a twinkle in his eye, Mark sat down next to her putting his arm around the back of her seat. She wasn’t sure what to expect, but she didn’t want to appear prudish. After all, they were in a public place with her cousin present as well.

“Maybe I will just make a special request. I much prefer talking to people I like, and you certainly meet the qualifications.”

With a half-smile directed his way she teasingly poked her finger into his chest. She liked him. He wasn’t stuffy and didn’t seem to have let his wealth and fame go to his head like other famous people she had met.

“Is that so?” she asked him, appearing to be sarcastic. At the same time there was nothing that she would enjoy better than to have an excuse to get to know him better.

“Yes, actually it is, and furthermore, what I want I get,” he told her in a tone of voice that was quite sensual and sexy, a tone that indicated he could have been referring to more than just a professional interview.

“We’ll just see about that after I start the job. The decision may be out of my hands.”
“In the meantime there’s a show tomorrow night,” Mark told her. “Why don’t the two of you come? Maybe we can get together afterwards for a chat.”
She stared at him wanting to hug and kiss him. They had tried for months to get tickets to the show and couldn’t find them anywhere. Even the $200 tickets that a couple of the scalping agencies wanted to charge were inaccessible. She hoped he meant what she thought he meant.

“Mark, we’d love to, but there are no tickets to be had. Sheila and I were even willing to pay $200 a pop to one of the scalping agencies, but they were even sold out. We’ve been to the other shows, but this one must be really highly publicized.”

“Who is charging $200 a ticket?” Mark was visibly irritated to think that anyone was taking advantage of his fans like that. He even thought the prices the ticket agencies charged too high, but he knew the overhead that was involved there.

“A couple places around here – Concert Tickets Galore is one, but I forget the name of the other one.” Even though she could tell he wasn’t happy with what was being charged for the tickets, she also could see from his face he knew the fans must really love them to pay that kind of money.

“I actually have two tickets in my pocket, front row VIP seats with backstage passes.” He took them from his pocket and waved them in front of her face.

Though surprised he would have tickets in his pocket, she wasn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth. She wanted to go so badly, and the huge smile on her face made that quite obvious. Tears of joy began to roll down her cheeks as she looked at him with gratitude.

“So how did you just happen to have these in your pocket, Mr. Spencer?” She loved the opportunity to tease him with her sarcasm.

“My dear lady, I always have a few with me for various reasons. Certain seats are reserved for friends and family members and if I don’t give them to someone, the scalpers usually get hold of them and sell them at premium prices outside the door. I’d much rather give them to two very deserving young ladies who are obviously very anxious to see a Rock Revolution concert.”

She hugged him as he placed the tickets in her hand. She had tried for several years to get decent tickets, and though they had managed to get tickets to shows in New Jersey and Connecticut, the seats were so far away that all they could see was what was on the overhead screens. As he rose to leave she knew she was glad she had run into Larry and had met Mark. Of course, she had no idea that the future held much more for them than just a chat in a club.

“I have to really hurry before all of these birds realize I’m still here. It was nice meeting both of you. I’ll see you after the show tomorrow.” The wink he gave her said he was impressed with her and was truly anxious to get to know her better.

“Thanks for the tickets. Maybe this time I can really hear AND see the show.”

After Mark left Larry stayed with them for a little while since no one had yet realized he was there. They quietly slipped away so Larry could walk her safely to the parking lot to get her truck.

“So what do you think of him?” He was quite inquisitive and truly wanted to know if Heather had liked Mark.

“Mark? He seems very nice, not at all what I expected. Larry Danielson, did you plan this?” She was beginning to suspect there was more to it than what she had thought. Her cousin loved to play matchmaker; that she knew. As he nervously moved about, she knew the answer. What she didn’t know was why he had done it.

“Heather, don’t be upset with me. I know what you’ve been going through the past few years, and Mark just broke off a long-term relationship. I thought maybe the two of you might have some things in common.”

“You didn’t tell him anything about Brian, did you?” She was always so afraid of people knowing anything about what happened with Brian. It was the hardest thing for her to talk about, and time didn’t make it any easier.

“No, I didn’t. All I did was find an excuse to get him to come to the table and introduce you. The rest is up to you and Mark. I just thought if you hit it off it would be good for both of you.” His blue eyes were staring into hers, trying to read the message being sent. He loved her as if she were his flesh and blood and would never do anything that was not in her best interest. He could see from her gaze and the smile she gave him that she understood his motive.

They got in the truck and headed back to her house where Sheila was going to spend the night. Things had changed that night from her still feeling there was no one who would want her to thinking maybe it was possible. Her thoughts were jumbled, and as she drove, the discussion led to the meeting with Mark Spencer.

“He IS nice, you know, Heather.” She saw the grin on Sheila’s face as if she had suddenly turned into a matchmaker.

“Yeah, okay, so he’s nice, big deal! Was I impressed with him? Sure, I was. Who wouldn’t be? So he gave us concert tickets and backstage passes. That doesn’t mean he’s going to ask me out, and even if I date him, I certainly can’t let it go any farther than that.”

It saddened her because even though Brian hadn’t actually raped her, he still took away her dignity and her innocence -- at least that’s how she saw it.

Once again, Sheila looked at her with distain. She was becoming very frustrated with Heather of late, and one way or another she was going to break her of blaming herself for what happened.
“Jesus, Heather! You were victim of an attempted rape. You did not agree to have sex with Brian. Besides, it was just that, an attempt. You still walked away with your virginity in tact.”

“I know that and you know that, but who do you think is going to believe it?”

“Anyone who cares deeply about you. Besides there’s no need to tell anyone about it unless you want to do that, If you feel you need to tell someone, if they love you enough they will accept it.”

“Oh, I’m sure, you’re right. Mark is nice though.” Her eyes began to shine as she thought “what if?”

“Think you’ll go out with him if he asks?”

“Sheila, do bears poop in the woods? Of course I will!” She couldn’t help but laugh at her own comment. Funny thing is just a few days ago she wouldn’t have even thought about going out with anyone.

Beverly was still up when the girls returned.

“How are the roads?”

“Getting a little slick, but hopefully it will improve by tomorrow night. Sheila and I are going to a Rock Revolution concert.”

Beverly was surprised at that comment. “I thought you couldn’t get tickets."
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