Terrence groaned inwardly. Wasn’t he trying to get his mind off Janae and her touch? “Let me see what you’ve got so far.” For the next two hours, they went back and forth over the lyrics and the music.
“Man, you sure you don’t have a woman stashed away somewhere?” Michael shook his head. “The way these lyrics fell out of your mouth makes me think you’ve had some up close and personal practice.”
“Nah, man. I’m building off what you’d already written and the feeling you said you wanted to convey. I think this should be your first single from the project.”
“Yeah. I think this one’s gonna blow up. It’s even better than the other one we finished. I’ll get in the studio this week to start recording. When it’s done, I’ll send it to you.”
“Can’t wait to hear it.”
“Where’re you off to next?”
“After I leave here next Wednesday, I have concerts in New York on Friday and Philadelphia on Saturday, then D.C. for a couple of interviews at the beginning of the following week. Then, Kaleidoscope’s CD release party is on Saturday of that week.”
“I heard about that. I’ll probably fly in on Saturday morning so my beautiful wife and I can see some L.A. sights before the party. See, if you had a woman, we could double-date, and you could show us around.” His gaze turned thoughtful. “Hey, I know someone who would be good for you. She’s—”
“No, thank you. I can handle getting my own woman if I wanted one.”
“You know, you aren’t getting any younger,” Michael said with a raised eyebrow.
“Just because you recently got married doesn’t mean I need to. Marriage isn’t for everybody.” Terrence stood. “I think it’s time to go inside. It’s not even summer yet, and your Texas heat is already on the way.”
* * *
“Sooo, I see things are heating up with you and Terrence,” Karen said as soon as she and Janae were seated in the restaurant the next evening.
Janae shrugged. “It’s not like that. He’s cool and we like hanging out.” Wow, I didn’t even blink with that lie.
“You can lie to someone who doesn’t know your little bitty behind, but not to me. First of all, no man is gonna fly to see you twice in less than a week, especially for a few hours. Second, I saw the way he looked at you. He is definitely smitten, and so are you. So, let’s try this again.”
The server came to take their order, interrupting Janae. As soon as he’d departed, Karen folded her arms across her chest and waited.
Janae sighed. “Fine. I really like him. He’s charming, has a great sense of humor and is easy to talk to.”
“Sounds like the recipe for a great relationship.”
The server returned with drinks and warm bread. Janae broke off a piece, spread some butter on it and took a bite before answering.
“It’ll never come to that. He’s already told me that music is his only love.”
“Please. All men say stuff like that at the beginning. He’s probably trying to feel things out.” She took a sip of her drink.
“I don’t think so,” Janae murmured, thinking back. “It wasn’t so much what he said, but how he said it...like he had no intentions of ever changing his stance.”
“What’re you going to do?”
“I have no idea. He’s going to be out of town for the next couple of weeks.” Janae finished her bread and took a sip of her drink. The conversation tapered off for a few minutes. She debated telling Karen about his invitation. She needed to talk to someone about it. “Terrence asked me to accompany him to a CD release party in L.A. when he gets back.”
Karen’s jaw dropped. She didn’t say anything for the longest time, during which the server returned with their meals.
“Usually you have a lot to say, Ms. Morris.”
“I’m really surprised, that’s all. You know I love Monte, so I’ve been following him since the beginning. Believe me when I tell you he’s never, and I mean never, taken a date to a function. At one time, it was a hot topic in all the entertainment corners. I’ve read that he may have been occasionally seen out at dinner with a lady, but that’s about it. He’s always declined to talk about his personal life. You’re going, aren’t you?”
“I don’t know. I have nothing to wear, and you know how I feel about being in the spotlight.”
“See, this is why you need me as your friend. You are going,” Karen said, pointing at her. Then she rubbed her hands with glee. “We’re going to have so much fun shopping for an outfit.”