Rock 'n Roll Boots & White Collar Roots @bitterharpy
Chapter 14

Thank you for your continued support.

Thank you to Team Harpy.

What is the BOOTS gang up to today?

*B*

I look in my rearview mirror as I change lanes. I can't afford to get into a car accident and have my insurance go up. I'm stretched thin enough as it is.

I'm out of about a thousand dollars following the studio time and subsequent CD and digital downloads to iTunes and the others. Money well spent but I still need more gigs.

So, I'm back in Tacoma. The Hotel Murano didn't work out though I did call Emmett and tell him to listen in case he changed his mind.

But that wasn't the only place in a city that size. So, I called Brady up and asked him to google bars that allow live music and he gave me a few names. I'm almost to the last one on my list now with the first three being a bust.

Mac's.

It's a nice sized place, with a dark red brick facade and a good amount of parking. I get out of my car, straighten my clothes, and stride towards the door bypassing a cute little patio area. The sign says it's open for lunch and I think it's a good thing that there's food. Wonder if they have pasta. I didn't have any to bring with me today.

I open the door and am pleased to see that it's not a smoky hole in the wall like I thought it might be. There's a nice sized bar to my right and a stage in front of me. Beyond that are several round tables. I see a brunet man behind the bar and my first thought is that he is too young to be the owner but I'm young too and I manage a band so ya never know.

"Hey ya. I'm Bella. Is the owner or manager around?"

The guy smiles warmly at me. "Yeah, Mac is in his office. Hold on." He takes a deep breath before bellowing. "Hey, Mac! There's someone here for you!" He turns to me. "He'll be right with ya, Darlin'."

"Thank you… " I hesitate, waiting for his name.

"Where are my manners? My mama would tan my hide. I'm Jasper Hale." He extends his hand.

"Bella Swan," I say as I take it.

"And I'm Mac Molina." A handsomely rugged older man joins us and extends his hand. "What can I do for you?"

"It's what I can do for you. I have this band that I would like to promote and I was wondering if you'd be interested in booking them one night into your establishment?"

"Well, I haven't had a live band here in over a year." He strokes his chin in thought. "Do you have a sample I can listen to?"

"Why yes, yes I do." I grin as I hand over the CD. "Most of these are love songs but they were written by one of your own. Masen Whitlock. Do you know him?"

They both shake their heads in the negative. Exactly how big is this town if the half dozen or so people I have interacted with don't know Masen?

"Well, you're about to. Go 'head and put it on."

Mac good-naturedly does as I ask, knowing he'd probably rather wait until I wasn't around to play it but is humoring me anyway.

The opening notes of You and Me start playing and I'm trying to temper my enthusiasm but am having trouble containing myself. Mac listens intently as Jasper goes around stocking the bar for the night's patrons.

When First Time comes on, Jasper moves a little to the song and nods approvingly, but it's not him that makes the decision. I'm trying really hard not to bite my nails but I tell you this is the longest half hour of my life.

Finally, the CD stops and Mac takes it out and hands it back to me. He smiles. "When are you available?"

"Really?" I stop trying to rein in my excitement and run around the bar to hug him and Jasper as they both laugh. Then I ran back to my planner. "How about two weeks from Friday or Saturday?"

Mac gets out his book and looks it over. A man after my own heart. "Saturday would be better just looking at the reservations. I can start promoting them to garner interest…"

"Oh! That reminds me. I have a poster you can put on your door or wherever." I drag it out of my big bag and hand it over to him.

He looks it over. "Why doesn't it have a head on it?"

Good question.

"Think of it as putting on an air of mystery. A mystery that will be solved in a little over two weeks."

Mac and I talk money and I am excited that they pay more in Tacoma than anywhere else we have played. That certainly helps my financial situation some.

I gather my things to leave when I feel Jasper looking at me.

"What's on your mind?" I ask.

He blushes slightly and focuses on wiping down the already clean bar. Then he meets my eyes.

"You're very pretty."

"Well, aren't you a sweetheart? That's very kind of you to say and you are pretty good looking yourself. I bet you have the girls ordering drinks they don't need just to get your attention."

"I don't know about that. I'm new here so I don't really know anyone. Just started here a few days ago. I'm from Texas."

"I figured as much."

"Where are you from?"

"Why do you assume I'm not from here?"

"I have ears."

I laugh. "Brooklyn."

"So maybe after the gig, I could buy you a drink?" He asks.

"I'm flattered but I'm seeing someone. But if I wasn't, I'd definitely say yes."

"A guy's gotta try." He smiles through his disappointment.

I put my things down. "You know I am suddenly quite famished. What's good here?"

He hands me a menu and I order a cheeseburger and fries. And as I eat at the bar, we trade hometown stories. Mac even joins in and I know this will be a very lucrative partnership in the future.

But I have a singer to find since I'm in town. I haven't seen him since last weekend and I'm like a junkie needing their next fix.

I drive over to Hotel Murano noting that it was almost two o'clock and he might be there. I think this is where his office is stationed but he's never confirmed it so this might be a bust.

I walk into the hotel, noting that there are different girls at the registration desk this time. I'm expecting the same attitude but I am greeted with a warm smile and a pleasant 'may I help you?'.

"Yes, I'm looking for a Masen Whitlock. I don't know if he's here. He works for a real estate company that I think is located in this building. Or at least this is where he was the last time."

She looks up something on her computer, her forehead creasing with concentration. "I don't see that name listed here. There is a property acquisition and management company here called Cullen, Inc, but this is the financial district so he may be in this area and just had a meeting here."

"Thank you for your help. I appreciate it." She smiles and then moves on to the guest checking in.

I walk back out the door and linger on the sidewalk, watching people walk briskly to their destination. No one takes the time to just be anymore. Everyone is always in a hurry to get somewhere. I, myself, bustle around in ambition but I'm not opposed to stopping to smell the roses.

I'm staring into space when my eyes focus on a suited up figure about a hundred yards away. The shoulders look like Masen but the hair is all wrong and I can see the hint of the temples of eyeglasses hooked over the back of the man's ears. I am wanting so badly to see Masen, I am seeing him everywhere. I laugh at myself and walk towards my car.

I'll see him tomorrow. Patience isn't my strong suit, but he is worth waiting for in all aspects. Waiting for him to come see me. Waiting to find out more about him. Waiting for him to quit his job and do music full time. Lots of waiting. Lots of testing my patience.

But as I drive home thankfully before rush hour traffic, I am suddenly sure of three things.

First, Masen was a great guy, if not a little undependable.

Second, he was a man torn between his job and his destiny.

And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

Well, mother fudger!

**Alice**

I'm waiting for the elevator to head to Edward's office to shower before going out. I just spent an hour at the gym and I probably look and smell like dammit. I smile absently at a couple of my co-workers who are obviously talking smack about Edward because they shut up the moment they see me.

He's a hardass, no question. But that's Edward.

The doors open and we all load in. I open my music app and select a new band I was listening to earlier during my workout. Emmett recommended them when I went to BITE for lunch knowing my proclivities for music. They're pretty good. The lead singer sounds like sex. And the photo image was hot. All hairy, muscular forearms and chest and just yum. I especially want to lick the mole near his collarbone. I wonder what his face looks like.

My stop is finally here, so I pause my music and make my way to my desk. I sit in my chair to bend over to reach my bag under my desk.

'Here I am waiting

I'll have to leave soon

Why am I holding on?

We knew this day would come

We knew it all along

How did it come so fast?'

I grab my bag and reach for my phone that I carelessly tossed on my desk to see why my music app had unpaused but then I realized the muffled sound isn't coming from my AirPods but rather from Edward's office.

I didn't realize he had hobbies such as music. Doesn't really seem to match with his button-up persona. I walked towards his office to make fun of him but it's empty so he must be in his bathroom. Looks like the gym showers for me.

He then appears and he's humming the song I heard coming from here but there's no musical accompaniment. I realize there wasn't before either. He's more casual than I've ever seen him; sleeves rolled up, shirt unbuttoned slightly.

He doesn't notice me and I slowly disappear but not before I notice something. It's not the hairy muscular forearms and chest I notice but rather a mole located near his collarbone. A mole that five minutes ago I wanted to lick but now seems rather inappropriate and slightly gross now that I know it belongs to my boss.

Suddenly, it makes sense. All the disappearing acts. The secretive phone calls. Improving mood. All the things I was harping about.

And I bet that woman Bella has something to do with it.

I have pieces of information that all adds up to my boss, Edward Carlisle Cullen the 3rd moonlighting as Masen Whitlock.

The question is, what do I do with this information?

Playlist:

Falling for You- performed by Colbie Calliet. Written by Colbie and Rich Nowels (2009).

Secret- performed by The Pierces. Written by Catherine and Allison Pierce (2007).

Uh oh. He's been found out. What do you think she's gonna do with this information? May says she should ask for a raise. LOL!

See you Wednesday!

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