Love Songs and Lullabies(5)

By: Amy Vastine


Clearly, Heath and Piper were not among those fans. In fact, Piper’s mission in life suddenly seemed to be to keep her distance from Sawyer. When they took a picture, she insisted Kelly stand between them. She nonchalantly moved her stool a few inches away from his when they got settled in the studio, and her eyes never left Kelly, even when Sawyer spoke.

“I heard that you two have spent quite a bit of time together the last few months. So, Sawyer, what was it like working with Piper not only on the duet for your album but on Piper’s new album, as well?” Kelly asked.

“I am so grateful to Piper for giving me the opportunity to work on some songs with her. I think we both learned a lot. I mean, for me, writing songs is a very personal experience. You leave a part of yourself on the page and then add some more later when you sing.”

Kelly raised a brow. “So, what did you learn about Piper?”

Piper finally glanced in his direction. Her face blanched.

Sawyer leaned in to the microphone. “I learned that Piper is one of the hardest-working people I’ve ever met. And I grew up on a horse farm, so that’s saying something.”

He’d chosen something true and completely unobjectionable. There was no way Heath or Piper could take offense.

“What about you, Piper? What did you learn about Sawyer?”

Piper swallowed hard and bit down on her bottom lip. “That’s a really good question,” she replied.

The way she fidgeted in her seat, one would have thought this was the most difficult question anyone had ever asked her. Sawyer began to fear what she might say.

“Why do I get the feeling she’s trying to come up with something really embarrassing?” he asked, hoping she wouldn’t share some of her less than positive thoughts about him.

* * *

PIPER’S MIND WAS WHIRLING. What did she really know about the man sitting next to her? He was going to be the father of her child, and she barely knew anything about who he was. He had a sister and a dog. His father had passed away a few years ago. She didn’t know anything about his mother. He had to have a mother.

“Come on, there must be something you can tell us about Sawyer. He’s worried you’re going to embarrass him. Does he have any annoying habits?” Kelly asked.

Radio interviews were so nerve-racking. Piper always feared she’d say the wrong thing. One comment could be spun a thousand different ways on Twitter. Sitting next to father of her unborn child wasn’t easing her anxiety.

Sawyer flashed her one of his magical grins, his dimples in full effect. “Go ahead, tell Nashville what irks you about me.”

“He smiles,” Piper answered. “All the time. I know that seems harmless, but sometimes when you’re having a terrible day and Sawyer’s smiling like he doesn’t have a care in the world, it can be annoying.”

Like right now. Piper was carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders and he was thoroughly enjoying his first radio appearance. He had no cares...yet. He would feel differently once he knew what Piper knew.

“Can you blame me for smiling every time I’m around her?” Sawyer asked Kelly.

Kelly sighed. “You guys are so adorable. It’s killing me.” She let the listeners know Piper and Sawyer would sing after the commercial break.

Sawyer leaned over when the On Air sign was turned off. He brushed her knee with his hand. “Are we good?”

She froze. Not good at all. “We’re fine,” Piper lied.

Hunter brought Sawyer his guitar and they did a quick sound check. They got a thumbs-up from the producer on the other side of the glass.

Piper closed her eyes and tried to shut off her brain. Don’t look at him. Sing, she told herself. She did just that. Kelly whistled and clapped for them when they finished.

“I love that song. I really do,” she said. “I’ve got one more request before you two head out today.”

“Request away,” Sawyer said.

“You’re performing tonight at the Country Artist Awards. Like I said, I love ‘You Don’t Need Me,’ but I think I speak for everyone listening when I say we also love the chemistry between you two. I have watched that music video a hundred times. There is something so crazy good about the two of you together. Please tell me there’s a hidden romance going on that you want to make official right now, here on K104.”

Piper’s heart stopped. She was speechless. Had she even been asked a question? Kelly smiled, as if waiting for a reply. Piper’s entire face burned. She looked at Sawyer, who also seemed stunned by the insinuation.

There was nothing worse than dead air on the radio. Kelly was quick to end it. “I’m not going to let them answer so I can continue believing it’s true, but if all you shippers could see the way both of them are blushing right now, there would be no doubts.”

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