I’m working hard to finish this book, and I’m having a wonderful time writing it! I’m always surprised when scenes like this pop into my head:
Ryder finished his last encore at the arena in Nashville, Tennessee and walked off stage as the house lights came up. During the concert, he’d tried not to, but he kept looking for Brooke. Looking for her sign and flashlights.
His lawyer reported that she hadn’t responded to his calls. Ryder could almost believe what the lawyer thought; that she’d given up. But he knew better. He’d just have to wait until she found a way to get to him. Despite having Schmiddy, his security guard, on the lookout, Brooke seemed like the type who could easily slip through any roadblock.
Ryder went directly to his dressing room and showered, then changed into a white T-shirt, jeans, and a leather jacket. He’d had to leave the McLairn Ranch before his father returned from his trip, which had been delayed because of weather. Ryder’s sister, Val, and her family had come out to the ranch to keep an eye on the place for a day or so, until Angus returned. Crazy old coot. He hadn’t told anyone where he went, and with whom. Ryder needed to get back there soon and talk to him, find out what was going on in that crafty mind of his.
A knock sounded on the door. The sponsor of this tour date had arranged an after party for some lucky fans who’d won tickets through a contest.
Ryder opened the door and stepped out. “Ready, Schmiddy?”
“Yes, sir.” The big man led the way down the hall and onto a freight elevator. “Checked the guest list. She wasn’t on there.”
Ryder let out a breath. He’d half-hoped she’d be there, but tonight wasn’t the night to deal with her. He had to be in South Dakota by ten in the morning.
The small room on the club level of the arena was packed with twenty contest winners and a dozen sponsors. Ryder walked in, and a round of applause went up. The sponsors were the first to greet him and have photos taken, then he made his way around the room, shaking hands with the contest winners and posing for pictures.
A shorter woman, heavy with wearing a really large cowboy hat with short, curly black hair sticking out from under it kept to the periphery. He would make sure she didn’t leave without getting a picture with him. The shy ones…
Those lips looked familiar. He walked toward her.
“Hi. I’m Ryder Landry. Glad to meet you.”
She held out a small hand. “Gretta Hutchinson.” That’s what her nametag said, too, but she looked very familiar.
The photographer appeared beside them. “Get a little closer, please.”
Ryder slung his arm around her shoulder and leaned in. The scent of ginger and peaches… His smile amped up. “I had a feeling you’d be here, Ms. Davidson.”
Her body jerked. “Before you call Schmiddy over, let me tell you why I came.” Her voice shook.
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