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Turn Over:A Secret Baby Sports Romance(8)

By: Violet Paige



Other than my guitar, they were the most sentimental thing I owned. I had bought them with my first royalty check. A real country singer needed real boots. I had even worn them out of the store, tossing my beaten up tennis shoes in the box before walking out.

“Always the boots,” I agreed.

The boots were my first foray into starting a fashion line. It was a natural fit to start working with boot designers. I had an entire footwear collection called The Alexan.

I was excited about my new venture in athletic wear. Fans always wanted to know what I did to stay in shape on the road. I posted pictures of my workouts. I posed with my trainer. Truth was I had to workout seven days a week to keep this body going.

It didn’t come naturally to me. Once slice of chocolate cake and I wouldn’t be able to slip into my jeans. Besides, it was a good way to spend my down time on the road. Francisco had gotten creative with our routines. The man was like an artist, but with workouts.

From there it seemed like the next step was to see if I could start selling my own brand of sportswear. I practically wore it around the clock when I wasn’t prepping for an event. Next week I was supposed to meet with the designers who had sketches on my new athletic line. My brand was growing rapidly. It wasn’t only about the music anymore. I was in stores. I was in magazines. I had commercials.

Twenty minutes later I looked at my reflection. “Lexi Wilde,” I mouthed, wondering where the girl was who had fought so desperately to get here. Because I barely saw a whisper of her when I looked at the straight blond hair and the pink rosy cheeks.

I had to believe she was somewhere in there and I hadn’t given up on bringing her back.

“Thanks, Helena.” I stood from the vanity and walked to the closet where my clothes were organized by color. I pulled a white, long-sleeved top from one of the hangers.

As I fastened each of the buttons, I thought about why I was in Austin. This was a charity event to help sick children. And here I was pouting about my manager. Angry that I had to do a meet and greet. The guilt surfaced as I sat on the bed to pull my boots up to my calves.

“You ok, Lexi?” Helena asked as she packed her brushes into a black case.

I nodded. “Just thinking.”

She sat next to me. “Don’t let Jake get to you.”

“No, it’s not him. Well, only partially him.” My eyes drifted toward her. “Do you ever feel like we’re in fishbowl? Like everyone is watching us?”

She put an arm around my shoulder. “I see you in that fishbowl, honey. But that’s nothing new. What’s going on?”

I shook her off. “Nothing.” I took another look in the mirror and pressed my lips together. “I’m thinking too much about the concert tonight.” There were things I couldn’t even talk to Helena about.

How could she understand the guilt I felt surrounded by the life of privilege I had built? Was there any way to make it sound as if I appreciated it, but yet was completely burdened by my fame and wealth?

I walked into the living room and pulled my guitar from the stand. I sat by the window, staring out over the city. I closed my eyes, strummed a few chords and let the music I wanted to sing pour out of me. The words I wanted to shout. The sound I wanted people to hear flew through my fingers and my chest as if I needed to get it out before I lost the ability to breathe.





5





Luke





The tie was too tight against my neck, and the jacket stretched against my biceps. I dropped the snarl from my face, tugging at my collar as the back of the limo opened and I stood on the red carpet with a barrage of flashes going off in my face. I plastered a smile so wide from cheek to cheek that even a GQ cover model would be envious.

By the time I made it to the door of the new hospital wing I had posed for fifty pictures and I needed a fucking drink. I headed straight for the bar but stopped when I saw the bartender. She was a hot brunette I had met before. She smiled at me, throwing me a soft wave with her fingers. I remembered those plump lips and what they could do. The only thing was I didn’t remember her name or where we met.

I immediately turned around and looked for something to distract me. Anything to keep me away from her and the bottle of top shelf bourbon she was offering. Fuck.

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