Rising Star | Chapter 33 of 37 - Part: 1 of 4

Author: Terri Osburn | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 1182 Views | Add a Review

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Chapter 25

Charley nearly fainted when she saw Dylan on the porch, and not only because his face had gone purple thanks to Elvis’s overzealous greeting.

The possibility of him eventually looking her up was always there. She hadn’t expected eventually to be less than twenty-four hours after she left town. Which reminded her, the man was supposed to be on tour. The next show on the schedule was Kansas City in two days. Last she checked, KC was a long way from Kentucky.

“That bastard broke my nose,” Elvis repeated.

“Language,” Maynard Layton snapped. “Not in my house, boy.”

His tone let Charley know that Grandpa wasn’t pleased about their visitor and was taking his annoyance out on poor Elvis.

“You nearly killed him, Elvis. He hit you in self-defense.” Pulling a bottle of water from the fridge, she said, “We’ll be in the front room. The less you two butt in, the quicker I can get him out of here.”

And she had no doubt Dylan would be leaving within the hour. Regardless of his innocence regarding the new love situation, he’d ignored Charley for a week and stayed silent upon learning of his impending fatherhood. Neither of those actions would be so easily excused. Lingering outside the kitchen, she took several deep breaths to quell her nausea. The morning sickness had settled into a pattern—first thing when she woke and again about an hour after every meal. The baby seemed displeased with both an empty stomach and a full one.

Her heart wasn’t so easy to calm. Charley hadn’t missed the tired eyes or the stubble-covered chin. Dylan’s clothes were wrinkled, which never happened, and his words carried the determination he brought to every challenge. To her abject disappointment, she still loved the jerk more than anything. But that didn’t mean she’d forgive him.

“Here’s your water,” she said as she entered the room, keeping her voice as devoid of emotion as possible. The last thing Charley needed was a blubbering cry right now.

“Thank you.” Dylan accepted the drink and downed half the bottle as she settled in Granny’s old Victorian chair, hoping the older woman’s spirit would provide the strength she needed to get through this.

Replacing the cap on the bottle, he set it on a coaster on the oval coffee table. “This is going to sound like a crazy story,” he started, “but it’s the truth. A week ago tomorrow night, I lost my phone.”

A likely story, she thought, but held her tongue.

“I had an argument with Mitch,” Dylan said, pacing the small space. “About you and me. That’s when I realized his issue wasn’t about keeping up appearances for the article. Mitch flat-out didn’t want me dating anyone and would keep throwing up road blocks to get his way.” Pointing at her, he insisted, “I told him to stay out of my personal life. That you and I were going to be together whether he liked it or not.”

“But we aren’t together anymore,” Charley reminded him.

“Yes, we are.” As if searching to find his place, Dylan scratched his hatless head and returned to pacing. “The guys were already heading for the stage while I was talking to Mitch, so I set my phone behind a speaker and went out to do my job. Only when I came back, the phone was gone.”

“Gone?” she repeated.

“I told you it sounds crazy. I looked everywhere. Asked the crew, let Fran the tour manager know to keep an eye out for it, but the thing never turned up.” Finally taking a seat on the sofa, he added, “I have a feeling it’s buried in Mitch’s bags somewhere.”

Charley leaned her elbows on her knees. “Let me get this straight. You think your manager stole your phone?”

“I’d bet my Gibson on it.”

“But why? All you had to do was get a new one.”

“Exactly. Which he assured me he’d do, but we pulled out of DC hours later bound for New York City, and he’d booked me solid for the next two days with interviews, radio visits, and previously unscheduled meet and greets.” Growing more agitated, Dylan returned to his feet. “By Friday night I was tired of the excuses and said I’d get my own damn phone, but Mitch promised I’d have a new one in my hand the next day.”

Which explained why he hadn’t returned any of Charley’s messages through the week, but not his silence on the phone Saturday morning.

“Why didn’t you call me once you had the phone?”

“Because I didn’t have my contacts. Mitch claimed the woman at the phone store searched my account and found no data.”

Convenient. And totally implausible.

“None of this changes anything,” she said, coming to her feet. “You still got your phone back on Saturday in time for me to call and tell you that I’m pregnant. And you said nothing. You left me to deal with the situation on my own, believing you’d already moved on to another woman. What excuse do you have for that? Because I can’t think of a single one that would make this all okay.”

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Alice
Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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