Taren It Up

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Romance

Chapter 29 (v.1) - Her Car, His Bus

Submitted: May 01, 2017

Reads: 78

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Submitted: May 01, 2017

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“So what does Nick do?”

“He's a lawyer, He works for a company that deals with logistics for gas companies. At least I think that's right. I'm not really sure to be honest it sounds complicated. I know he reads a lot of contracts.” She giggled.

“So how are you funding your trip?”

Olivia told him a brief description of where her income came from.

He was a little impressed. “What about all these trips to the hospitals. Gene told me you volunteer for that. So what exactly do you do?” 

She explained everything she could about visiting the staff and how her mom had started the organization and how her moms friend was the president that she worked with. “I am Vice President but I don't do near as much as Renee. I took my moms place after she passed.”

Taren listened to Olivia talk she was starting to relax and not rush her words. Maybe she was finally getting comfortable around him. He had learned a lot from listening to her. She spoke softly when she talked about her mom or her sister, he could tell she loved them. She spoke of Renee with a lot of respect and admiration. It's when she talked about Nick that he noticed the biggest difference. She was almost nervous or apprehensive. He continued to pry and ask questions. He had a lot of curiosity over the past couple weeks built up. He wanted to know more about her and why she was following his band. 

 “So did you like being home schooled? Did you miss the school stuff like dances?”

“Not really, we had a pretty good program with the county, I was allowed to join in on all sorts of things and I even went to a couple school dances with Nick but my schedule had to be flexible, we had a lot of overnight stays at the hospital with my sister, sometimes for months at a time.”

“That sounds rough” he stated.

“It had its moments, but I would have rather spend time with Vanessa then sit in a class room. I don’t regret it.” she said. “I just have different experiences than most people.”

“You probably didn’t miss much, I think high school actually delays maturity now that I have had a chance to look back. I did some pretty stupid things in high school.”

“Nah, I can't imagine. you seem pretty level headed”

He smiled at her. “You think so?”

“Yes. Absolutely. You have a great crew that respects you. That says a lot. I couldn't imagine having that many people dependent on me to be successful.”

“I am only successful because they helped me get here.” He stated. 

“That's something only a levelheaded person could say.”

He smiled at her again. 

He caught her stifling yawn. He reached across the seat and slid his palm into her hand entwining his fingers with hers. “You should get some sleep, I don’t know how you manage to follow us around and keep up like you do. When do you ever find time to sleep?”

“Sometimes I sleep on the bus while you guys are rehearsing. Hank puts my sleeping bag on the sofa bed in the back while he sleeps on one of those bunk beds or I go to the hotel when he does.”

Taren turned a half smile to Olivia, “So that’s why my pillow smells like your pretty hair.” He squeezed her hand to reassure the surprised look on her face. ‘It’s okay. I don’t mind.”

She reached her right hand to the lever and released her seat back as far as it would go. She watched the stars and knew it wouldn’t be long before she fell asleep. Her eyelids grew heavy as she wondered about the man in her driver’s seat. He still had hold of her hand resting in her lap, afraid that he might let go she didn’t move until she was fast asleep.

Taren kept a steady pace behind the bus for the next two hours. The sky was starting to light up. His mind had wondered a million places as he drove he thought of his family and friends, he thought of a few lyrics that might fit a song he was working on and most of all he thought of the lady in the passenger seat.

 At least he knew he wasn’t going insane every time he laid his head on the bus. He stole a glance at her taking in her oval face, dark lashes fanned across tan cheeks and those full lips begged to be kissed. 

His mind thought back to the past two weeks, as much as he hated to admit it he had enjoyed having her around. She seemed to get along great with everyone and had no trouble making friends with anyone. 

But damn, if she hadn’t gotten into his head, he spent nearly all his free time thinking about her, every new lyric he could think of only reminded him of her and at the end of every concert he caught himself looking for her. 

In any other circumstance he would have asked her out and taken a chance to get to know her, but right now she was a distraction, he couldn’t stay focused on his writing and he needed to keep on track with his tour, his life was moving too fast right now to complicate things by dating. 

His career was important to him and he would lose thought of that if he started wanting a woman like he wanted Olivia. On top of all that it would be selfish to ask any woman to share his life if he knew ahead of time that he couldn’t fit the job of husband into his future. Having Olivia around only made it harder to stay focused on his career.

‘So why was he driving her car behind his tour bus?’ he asked himself. ‘Because she had succeeded in charming his crew… especially Gene.’ He wondered about them and all the time they spent together. He knew Gene loved Miranda, maybe Gene was having second thoughts about asking Miranda to marry him again. 

He stole another glance at Olivia, she looked so very tempting even in her sleep. He tried to convince himself that he was only so interested because she was around so much. He was certain that if it were a different woman he would feel the same way. He’d been hanging around a bunch of men for so long, being around Olivia for a period of time longer than two days was bound to affect him, he wouldn’t be normal if it didn’t.

As they pulled into Rapid City  he regretted having to take his hand out of hers to down shift gears as they departed the interstate highway. She woke as the car slowed down. “Good Morning, gorgeous.”

“Good Morning.” she said softly. She liked waking up to his face looking at her. “Are we close?” she asked.

“About 8 miles.”

She straightened her seat and leaned over to look at her gauges. “I am going to have to stop for gas” she mentioned.

“Its definitely getting close.” 

“And I’m hungry.” she stated.

“Well we do have time before we have to be there, want to stop?”

“Sure. Should I call and let Hank know?”

“Nope,” he grabbed her hand flashing her a smile. “I am enjoying having you all to myself, I see why the guys fight over riding with you.”

He pulled into an all-night breakfast chain. 

Olivia went to the restroom, startled at the appearance in the mirror. “Wow. Impressive.” she said aloud. She did the best she could to improve her appearance before stepping out into the restaurant.

Taren had coffee ordered when she got to the table.

The butterflies in her stomach returned. Sitting across from Taren with no one else to buffer for her was nerve wracking. She felt sure she did a pretty good job of hiding it at least she had hoped she did.

Taren asked her what she would like to eat. 

Nope, she wasn’t even thinking about food, a few minutes ago she was starving and now she was too nervous to eat.

She kept her order easy, a yogurt, fruit cup, and toast.

Taren ordered a lot more. 

Taren had a hard time trying to convince the waitress that he wasn’t that famous singer. Finally he relented and gave in taking a picture and signing a menu and a paper for her. “You have to promise not to tell anyone were here till after we leave.” He winked at her. 

She agreed. She finally left them alone after their food arrived.

“We should probably eat fast.” he stated.

She eyed him questioningly.

“Well she'll be on the phone calling every friend she knows, they’ll all be down here soon.”

Olivia wondered how much of that was true, she looked around for the waitress which was nowhere in sight. “We can get it to go and find a better place to eat.” she offered.

He shook his head. "No, but Scott will prob not be happy.” Taren stated smiling.

They sat in silence as they ate. 

The waitress returned with refills. Olivia looked at her, tired eyes, hair loosely in a knot, she appeared to have been at work for quite a while already. She eyed the name tag. Anna. Then she noticed the pin next to her name, a small solid heart with two more hearts outlining it and a line going across like on a heart monitor. Olivia recognized it immediately.

“I like your pin.” she stated.

Anna looked down at her pin and replied “its for Trisomy 18 awareness. My son was diagnosed.”

“Whats his name?” Olivia asked.

The waitress pulled out a picture, “Adam.” 

“Handsome.” 

Olivia scooted in her booth and patted at the seat next to her convincing the waitress to sit. 

“How old is he?”

Taren watched as the waitress sat down as if thankful for a reason to get off her feet. 

“Going on three.”

“My sister was diagnosed.” 

He watched as the waitress looked at Olivia somewhat shocked. 

Olivia asked Anna a lot of questions and told her about Vanessa. They talked for a few minutes.

“Did you go to college?”

“Yeah, I have three semesters in for nursing, my goal is to get back to that last semester soon.”

“Have you heard of E-Chrome Foundation?"

“No, what is it?”

“They can hook you up with a great support group and help you find the finances to cover your expenses and maybe help you get a scholarship.”

“I should look them up.”

“Let me get your name and info, I will have a lady call you that can help you find people in your area and locate some resources for you.”

“That sounds great. How much does it cost?”

“It’s free, they have really generous donors that help as much as possible and they get funds from different places. They have a very minimal staff. And the board of directors consist of doctors and nurses so they know what they are doing.”

Taren watched the whole interaction between the two women. Olivia had managed to open up so much about her sister and he learned a lot about her just by sitting across from her. She was definitely able to open up to this woman. This was the most he had seen her chat freely.

Olivia hugged the waitress and promised to have some one get in touch with her soon. 

Taren watched as Olivia set about eating her food.

She looked up to find him staring at her. She was suddenly nervous again. 
“Sorry. I didn't mean to interrupt our breakfast.”

He reached across and squeezed her hand. “I don't mind.”

He had a million questions but wasn’t sure what they were exactly, he was curious to learn more about this woman. She was intelligent, she was definitely beautiful and he found himself wanting to know so much more. He looked down at his own plate and silently cursed himself.

 A distraction, this is how she is a distraction. I don’t have time to get involved with someone new. I don’t even have time to see ‘the someone old' back home. This isn’t a relationship he should pursue.

“We should probably head to the arena” he stated as she finished eating.

“Okay.” She smiled at him.

Taren held out his hand to help her out of the booth. He watched as she hugged the waitress. 

“Bye, Anna, I promise someone will call you later today. Will that be alright?”

“Yes, definitely.” Anna hugged her again “thank you.”

As they walked to the car, Taren instinctively held the door open for Olivia, she almost forgot she actually owned the car. She was enjoying the special treatment and to have Taren sitting beside her was only making it better.

Olivia took a picture of the woman’s info and used her phone to send it to someone. Taren wondered even more about this lady beside him. Distractions! he reminded himself. His own phone rang. “Scott.” Taren looked at Olivia smiling. “We stopped for breakfast we are on our way.”

Olivia giggled. “Sometimes I wonder, whose the boss?” 

Taren laughed. “Well he does get paid to make sure I'm safe, some days I make that a little harder on him.” 

“I'm glad I met you guys.” She started. “I've had so much fun I'm going to hate leaving everyone.”

He looked at her. “Are you planning to leave soon?”

“I don't know. I don't really have a plan but I'm sure it has to end sometime.”

He reached across and grabbed her hand squeezing it. “I'm glad we met you too.” 

He pulled the car into the venue parking by the bus. 

“Thanks for letting me drive.” He teased. 

She smiled. “Your welcome.”


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