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Authors: Shelia Chapman

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BOOK: Blood of the Rainbow
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Jared pointed. “You start taking the covers off the instruments. I’ll turn on the equipment in the control room.”

Sara glanced around for a place to put the covers. The room was immaculately clean and so well organized; she expected he would have a dedicated cabinet to keep them in. “Where do I put them?”

To Sara’s surprise, he obviously didn’t. He motioned with his hand. “Just fold them up, and toss them in the corner over there.” Jared pushed a partition wall back, and behind it was a dark mahogany grand piano.

Sara was in awe. “
This
is the keyboard you were talking about? I was expecting an electronic synthesizer,
not
a grand piano.”

Jared laughed, and sat down on the piano stool, patting the space next to him. He started playing. “Sit with me.”

Being this close to Jared made Sara’s insides tingle.
Oh God, I must be dreaming.

Jared grinned. “I only use this piano for practice and recording.” He switched on another light and turned slightly, pointing to three separate electronic synthesizers. “When we perform on stage, I use those.”

Sara chuckled. “That’s more or less what I was expecting to see.”

Jared played a couple songs and then turned. “Now, it’s your turn,” he smiled. “I know you have stage fright, so I want to hear you sing,
before
the others get here. That way, you can get a feel for what it will be like when we give a live performance.” He locked his dark eyes on hers. “Just you - and me.”

The depth of feeling in Jared’s tone made Sara’s stomach turn somersaults.
If he doesn’t stop looking at me that way, I feel like I’m going to melt.
“Jared, are you sure you want to do this?” Sara’s voice was shaky. “I might disappoint you. This seems real, and it makes me really feel uncomfortable.”

Jared grinned. “If you think this is real, wait until you start singing.”

Sara’s heart was pounding. “Ok, but promise me one thing first – well, actually, two.”

Jared smiled and adjusted the microphone, placing it in front of Sara. “Anything you want – name it.”

Sara started feeling extremely anxious. “One, you can’t laugh, and two, promise we’ll still be friends if I pass out.”

Jared grinned again, remembering. “Deal. What do you want to sing, and in what key?”

Sara stalled, desperately trying to think of the name of a song –
any song
. She looked at the microphone in front of her as if it was going to devour her. She felt so stupid. Of all times for her mind to draw a blank – it chose this one. “Ah…” She closed her eyes, hoping if she couldn’t see the microphone, something might come.

Jared patiently waited.

A minute went by – still nothing.  Sara sighed deeply embarrassed. “I’m sorry Jared, I can’t think of
anything
. Why don’t you just keep playing, and maybe something will come to me. Play something
you
think I might like – maybe we’ll get lucky.”
And maybe I’ll thoroughly make a fool out of myself, and you won’t want me in the band!

Jared smiled slightly, and closed his eyes, as though recalling something from memory. He started playing. “I know a song that would suit you perfectly, and I’ll lay odds you’ll know it too. Now I want you to close your eyes, and don’t open them until you start singing the chorus.”

Sara closed her eyes. Once she’d heard the introduction, she knew the song Jared was playing. Suddenly, the room went dark, apart from a bright light, shining on Sara’s face.

“Remember what I said.
Keep
your eyes
closed
. This is part of your therapy.” Jared hit record on his piano.

Sara took a deep breath and nodded as she sang the first few words.

Out of nowhere, there was an explosion of applause and whistling. Sara smiled. She desperately wanted to open her eyes, but remembered what he’d told her. She kept singing, and as she got ready to sing the chorus, Jared harmonized with her. She slowly opened her eyes.

The area in front of them looked so real it made Sara want to scream. Faces – men, women and children – it looked,
and
felt like she was actually performing on stage.
Oh God. I think I’m going to throw up.
If Sara had been standing, her knees would have buckled.

She pushed her frightened feelings aside, listened to the sound of their harmonizing voices, and just kept singing. As she neared the chorus a second time, she felt a lot more relaxed. She finished singing the last few words, and a tear slipped down her cheek.

Jared stopped playing, and brushed it away with his thumb. He studied her eyes and smiled encouragingly. “What’s wrong Sara? That was beautifully done. You sounded like a pro!”

Sara’s voice choked. “How did you know?”

“How did I know what?”      

“That ‘The Rose’ was one of my favorite songs. How could you…?”

“Destiny,” Jared interjected, smiled, and brushed the back of his fingers across her cheek.

------------

Steve, Carl, and Lucy entered the studio, making enough noise to wake the dead. Both Sara and Jared looked up, startled.

Steve and Carl approached Jared and Sara. “No, Carl, you can’t play ‘Wipe-Out’ tonight. I’ve already got a headache.” He grinned wryly. “Looks like you two got
started
without us.”

Jared sighed deeply and turned back around on the piano stool. Sara started to rise. Jared held her wrist and locked his eyes on hers. “Stay….”

Jared spoke in a voice, Sara couldn’t possibly resist. She turned, and sat back down. She breathed in his ear. “I didn’t really
want
to move.”

Sara’s breath in his ear sent Jared’s control in a tailspin. He quickly closed his eyes and groaned. He inhaled deeply, letting it out slowly, before opening his eyes again.
Holy shit! She almost made me lose it!
“Carl, Steve - I want you to listen to this. Lucy, I’m sure you already know.” Jared started playing the song again, still fighting to stay in control of his emotions.

Jared and Sara did the song exactly as they had previously, but without the audience. Lucy smiled. Carl and Steve listened, and when Sara had finished singing, the room fell silent. Steve spoke up first. “You said you’re single - right Sara?”

Jared glared at him and made a noise, almost like a growl. Steve held up his hands. “Easy man, I was kidding!”

Sara looked worried.
Why did Jared get so upset? I’m not interested in Steve!

Jared glanced at Sara, sighed, and smiled.

Once the rest of the band got there, they took their places, and the practice session started. They had fun, and it sounded fantastic. Lucy and Sara harmonized on some old Judd’s songs, and a couple Sara had written. The rest of the band followed along as best they could to the new songs.

------------

After a while, Jared decided it was time to stop and eat. He, Carl, Steve, and the rest of the boys went outside for a game of touch football. Jared needed to find a way of getting rid of some of his frustration. Sara was dreadfully testing his willpower.

Sara and Lucy watched them play. Lucy spoke in a loud whisper. “So… what did you and Jared do before I got here? Was I right? is he a dream or what?”

Sara smiled and sighed deeply. “Lucy, I feel like I’m flying. I never would have dreamed Jared would have been interested in me – you yes - but me?”

Lucy laughed, and lied, trying to make Sara feel less guilty. “And what made you think that – he’s a handsome hunk, but he’s not even my type!”

Sara honestly didn’t pay Lucy’s statement that much mind. “I don’t know, I mean, look at you. You’re young, closer to his age, you’re beautiful. Why would he want somebody like me?”

Lucy sighed deeply and brushed the loose hairs behind Sara’s ear. “Sara… you sell yourself short, Kid. You’re beautiful
and
talented. You deserve someone you love, that loves you too.” Lucy briefly glanced at Jared out the corner of her eye. “If you ever get a chance at true love, take my advice, don’t let it slip away.”
Especially if it’s with Jared.

Sara and Lucy turned to watch the rest of the game. The men were doing more wrestling than playing. They tussled around like that until the cook called everyone over to eat. They filled their plates and sat at the patio tables by the pool. Jared took off his t-shirt and laid it across the back of his chair. The way he tucked into his food, he must have worked up a super appetite. Sara glanced at his bare chest and bit her lower lip as he locked his eyes on hers.

“So, what do you think, Jared?”

Jared held up his finger, and quickly glanced at Lucy while he finished swallowing his mouthful of food. He wiped his mouth on a paper napkin. “About what, Luce?”

If you could keep your eyes off her long enough to listen, you might be able to think straight!
“About Sara! Was I right? Do you think she’s ‘Raging Storm’ material?” Lucy didn’t want to be jealous of her niece, but it was hard not to. She almost wished Jared would say no, but she knew he wouldn’t. Even if Sara
couldn’t
carry a tune, he wouldn’t say no.

Jared glanced at Sara. She smiled and looked down at her food. “Yes, I do….”

------------

Around ten-thirty, Lucy started getting ready to leave. She had to work the next morning. Since Steve and Carl was her ride, and the other members of the band had already left, that ended the practice session, at least for the whole band. Jared wanted to go over a couple more songs he was considering, for him and Sara to do as duet numbers. He promised to bring her home later.

Lucy was a little reluctant, but agreed when she saw how much
Sara
wanted to stay. However, she warned Sara that her mother might call again. Sara told Lucy if Kaye did call, to tell her mother she was in the shower or something, then text Sara on her cell. Sara said she would call her mother back. That way, Lucy was off the hook.

Sara was sure Kaye wouldn’t approve of her spending so much time alone with Jared. The fact that Sara was legally an adult and capable of making her own decisions wouldn’t matter to Kaye. In her eyes, Jared already had three things going against him. He was a Native American. Sara’s mother hated Native Americans. She wasn’t particularly fond of anyone of another race. Jared played in a country and western band. Kay didn’t approve of musicians. And lastly, Sara hardly knew Jared.

Steve and Carl packed up and took Lucy back home.

Jared and Sara were alone in the studio again. He sat back to the piano, and started playing something she didn’t recognize, but it was pretty. After he had finished the piece, Jared told Sara it was Bella’s Lullaby from the movie ‘Twilight’.

Then Jared started playing another strange tune. “I have something else I’d like to share with you. I wrote this a long time ago, when you would have been around thirteen, but I’ve only just finished it. Seeing you, gave me an idea for the ending. I didn’t want to play it while the others were here. It’s private… and special. It’s just for you.”

Sara was speechless. A lump rose in her throat, making it difficult for her to speak. “You wrote this, for me when I was thirteen… but how?”

Jared ignored her question. “I hope you like it.”

“I’m sure I will.
Please
, play it for me. I would love to hear it.”
Why didn’t he answer my question?

Jared started playing. Sara closed her eyes and concentrated on the melody. Her eyes filled with tears, and despite her fighting to hold them back, a few slipped out. Jared glanced at her, stopped playing and brushed her tears away. His voice was warm and gentle. “Don’t you like it?”

“Yes, I do,” Sara choked. “It’s beautiful. No one has ever written a song for me.”

Jared smiled. “That makes two of us. I’ve never written a song for anybody else but you.”
Although, I’m sure there will be many more to come. If only…..

Sara laughed. “Come on Jared, you can’t tell me that you don’t have someone special in your life?”

Jared smiled as he gazed into Sara’s eyes. His voice was a whisper again. “Not until now. The only girl that’s ever been special to me… was the one in my dreams. The one sitting here beside me. We hardly know each other, and I can’t stand the thought of being away from you. I hope that doesn’t scare you off. I know a relationship takes time, and can’t work without trust and honesty. Lies cause too many mistakes, and misunderstandings.”

Jared waited for her to respond, but Sara couldn’t find her voice. He leaned closer. Sara could feel his hot breath on her lips. “Sara, if you don’t believe in love at first sight, and you don’t want to be kissed by a stranger… you’d better tell me now.” Again, he paused.

Sara felt as if she was floating. She stared into his eyes for a long time and smiled. “I
do
believe in love at first sight, and you don’t feel anything like a stranger to me.”

Jared cradled her face and softly kissed her. Sara felt a tingling in the pit of her stomach. Jeff had kissed her before but never like this. She was sad when Jared pulled away, and ended it. He held her close, burying his face in her hair. His next words, the quietest of a whisper through her hair. “
Now
I believe.”

Jared kissed her again, this time more intense, and held her for a long time. Things were moving so fast. Unfamiliar feelings were rushing through Sara’s veins. She knew Jared felt it too. Sadly, before either of them realized it, the night ended.

------------

Their parting at Lucy’s was short. Jared walked Sara to the door. They exchanged cell numbers; he softly kissed her, and then left.

Sara could barely feel the floor beneath her feet, as she tiptoed down the short hall to her bedroom. Lucy was already in bed, fast asleep. Sara could hear her gentle snoring. She smiled and opened the door to her room.

As she took out her teddy, she debated taking a shower, but in the end decided not to. She changed into her bedclothes and crawled between the sheets.

Sara remembered she hadn’t thanked Jared for tonight. Too chicken to talk to him, she picked up her cell. “
Thnks for 2nite. Miss U alrdy
,” she typed out, took a deep breath, shut her eyes, and pressed send. She waited until the message had been sent, locked her cell, and laid it on the nightstand, next to her. She hesitated a few minutes, waiting for a reply. When it didn’t come, she settled in to sleep.

BOOK: Blood of the Rainbow
10.02Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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