Town of Chance:Believing in Love(10)

By: Dixie Lynn Dwyer



She heard the comments about how sexy she looked and she ignored the comments from some of the rowdier men as the music began to play and she shivered with a bit of fear and nervousness that she might screw this up and maybe she wasn’t ready after all. But then once she started singing, and got lost in the lyrics and playing her guitar, the place grew quiet, and seemed to be listening to her every word. By the time she sang the last chord, the place erupted and she couldn’t help but to feel the tears in her eyes and a bit of tension release as she achieved one of her biggest goals. To sing on stage and for the audience to love her.

“Eliza Grace, that was incredible. They asked for three encores. Three,” Luther said to her as he gave her another hug and smiled wide.

She chuckled at his excitement.

“I appreciate the opportunity, Luther. Thank you for allowing me the chance to get up there.”

“Are you kidding me, doll? You were incredible and I knew they would love you. That’s why I gave you the opportunity,” he said and reached out and clasped her chin between thumb and forefinger.

She felt the instant fear at being touched and he held her gaze. Luther was older. Closer to her cousin Kenneth’s age, about thirty-six or so.

She lowered her eyes and he released her chin. He looked her over and smiled.

“How about I buy you a drink and we talk about schedules?”

She looked up, feeling shocked. “Schedules?”

He smiled and then placed his arm over her shoulder and guided her down the hallway and to the main area of the bar. “Sure thing, Eliza Grace. I’m going to put you in the schedule with the band. Hank already insisted on at least two sets a night, starting this Friday.” Her eyes widened and she couldn’t help but feel excited.

“Oh, and we need to talk about your pay. I’d say you’ll be singing full time within the month.”

“Wait a minute,” she said as they reached the bar. He ordered two drinks. A beer for him and a Malibu Bay Breeze for her. She hadn’t wanted to do this full time. She only wanted to give it a try and maybe sing on stage here and there.

“I’m not certain I can commit to a schedule, Luther,” she said and he handed her the drink and squinted his eyes at her.

“Don’t get scared or feel overwhelmed. I know you have the modeling job with the boutiques.”

“Yes, and that’s my full source of income right now. I can’t lose hours or pull out from the commitment I’ve made to Clarissa.”

He smiled softly.

“I understand that. I know Clarissa well.”

She was surprised. But then again, she really didn’t know Luther well at all.

“To your success and to making you more money, while making me more money,” Luther said and clinked their glasses together.

She was still concerned but then Luther gave her shoulder a little nudge. He licked his lower lip as he looked down into her eyes. She felt that bit of fear, an awareness that she needed to keep her distance and make this situation all professional.

“I’ll work it out with Clarissa so you won’t lose any opportunities of work. We’ll plan your schedule as you feel comfortable. Okay?”

She nodded her head and then took a sip from the drink.

“So, what would you feel comfortable with? Maybe twice a week, Wednesdays and Friday nights, two sets each?” he pushed and she felt so sick to her stomach. She really hadn’t anticipated such a reaction to her singing. She was just trying to set some goals to achieve to build up her confidence, not decide on a lifelong career of singing in bars. Plus she really enjoyed modeling. It was just her, the photographer and the camera. She got lost in her role and in creating the scene the photographer or designer wanted to portray with her as the model. It was simple and it paid well.

“I’m not sure, Luther,” she said, lowering her eyes.

“My God, you’re so shy. But when you get up on that stage you shine. People are going to fall in love with your voice. I can really use your talent and bring in the younger crowds this summer. They can relate to you because you’re young, look barely twenty-one, yet sexy and classy. It’s hard to describe. Jeesh, listen to me carry on. I’m making you even more nervous,” he said and then took a sip from his drink.

I don’t even look twenty-one? God, no wonder Parker and his brothers want nothing to do with me. That thought surprised her. Why was she still thinking about them? It was obviously a lost cause. Then she felt guilty. She knew if Tazer or any of them saw her here they would flip. Hell, they were going to flip when they saw the calendar. She wasn’t ready for that confrontation. They weren’t the bosses of her and that was final. She wouldn’t be led along with their little touches and overprotective comments. What did they want her to do? Follow them around and beg for their true attention and a commitment? Hell no. She couldn’t handle that even if they did change their minds and like her that way. Jeesh. I need to focus. If she did start singing here twice a week she was going to have to do some major lying. But only to the Hayes brothers. She would tell her father exactly what she was up to.

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