January was more difficult than Beth and Jacob imagined it would be when he came back from tour. The month-and-a-half leading up to the Grammys had been full of adjustments and hiding from the paparazzi, but they were finally in a good place now.
Wasn’t that ridiculous?
And alone time? Not easily had. Despite the security improvements, she hadn’t been able to come to the house, yet. Paparazzi still lurked outside the front gate.
When they didn’t join the band, she met him far from
proper to eat out in peace. The gas bill
was racking up. If they weren’t in the
middle of nowhere, though, someone recognized him and ratted them out on the
internet. But, he was thoughtful and
sweet and a perfect gentleman on every date.
He tried his best to give her the normal she asked for and that was what
counted. On free weekends, they wandered
the beach or parks or museums, sometimes even with a picnic lunch. And they spent a lot of time communicating
electronically when he couldn’t be with her.
Alone, it was hard not to expect the other shoe to drop, but she tried to ignore contemplating worse-case scenarios. A hard habit to break since Mom died of cancer.
Beth wanted to be happy, so she worked at living in the moment.
She owed Jacob that much.
Celeste came down for breakfast and rolled her eyes. “You’re thinking about him again.”
“Huh?” Beth asked.
“You had that lovey-dovey glass-eyed expression again.”
“’Glass-eyed’? Do not.”
She poured coffee into a mug. “I think I preferred you miserable. You guys are so cute.”
“You say that like it’s a bad thing.”
“What’s wrong with a little romance, hmm? Don’t be mean.”
“I just don’t buy into the hearts and flowers crap. How a man treats you in bed, now that’s real.”
Beth wrinkled her nose. “A penis can’t give you love, Celeste.”
“Duh. Not what I meant, honey, and you know it. A guy shows his true colors in the sack and the morning after.”
“So you’re still with Bob because of his colors?”
Celeste sighed and placed her empty mug in the sink. “Just dial down the daydreaming, okay? Makes me want to hurl.” She left the kitchen.
Shaking her head, Beth looked over at Cesar. “Some day, she’s going to have to admit you’re not the only man in her heart.”
The cat yawned and curled into a different position to sleep.
Over the past weeks, Jacob and the band had been hurrying to film and finish the final video for last year’s album. The plan was to release it on YouTube the morning of the Grammy ceremony, which was now only a week away—a week filled with events, rehearsals, benefit dinners, fittings, etcetera and so forth.
Aaron’s injuries put them in a time crunch.
Her phone rang. Expecting her boyfriend, she answered it before the second ring.
“Well, that’s a happy greeting.” Wrong male voice.
“Sorry to disappoint.”
“No, no…what’s up?”
“You’re still with the musician, right?” Nathan was frequently curious about her relationship.
“Accompanying him to anything this week?” Subtle.
“What if I was?”
“An article with a few photos would be great for our entertainment news. A behind-the-scenes perspective no one hears about. Up for it?”
“Why not? I’m not asking for tabloid journalism here, Liz. Just a blog entry from a layperson. How many people would love to be in your borrowed shoes, hmm? I’d be happy with cell phone pics and a few tweets as long as they’re exclusive.”
“If I go, I might wing a few photos your way, but I don’t want my name on your site and I won’t sneak a camera in where they aren’t allowed.”
“Fair enough. You’re a peach, Lizzie. I look forward to your e-mail.”
“No promises, Nathan, I mean it.”
“I understand.” He hung up.
From a business perspective, she couldn’t blame him for reaching out to a contact, but oy…she’d never use Jacob for financial gain, let alone become another paparazzo. If she did share any content, it’d be with his fan club on the official site. She still had access to her old pseudonym.
Ugh…reason number whatever for not going full-on public with the relationship. They’d gotten lucky with the past month of anonymity. It would end eventually, but did that have to happen now?
Jacob and Bob attended the most pre-event parties, like the Clive Davis shindig, and the MusiCares Person of the Year tribute to Sir Paul on Friday. The whole band went to the RED party. Jacob made an appearance at Tony Bennett’s gathering at Crustacean, too.
Beth hardly saw Celeste this week. She was thrilled to death to hobnob with the bigwigs. Beth would’ve preferred to attend this week with Jacob over walking down the red carpet, but
Lynn didn’t want an early
photo to spoil her “introduction to the world”.
She needed to talk to him about the Grammys.
“You won’t be my date? I thought we settled this,” he argued.
“I don’t want to do the public parts, walking the carpet and sitting in the seats in front of the cameras. It’s too much.”
“You’ve done it all before without me. You don’t need me to walk the carpet with you.”
“True, but I want you there. It could be the biggest night of my career and I want to share it with you, Beth.”
“Quit it with the puppy dog eyes.”
He added the pout, too, drawing her attention to his full bottom lip. Damn that lip. “I wanna show you off. You, who believed I could do this more than anyone else.”
“Well, of course. Come on, love. Don’t make me beg…”
Yeah, good luck saying no to Jacob Lindsey. Once again, she admired his mother’s fortitude with him. She didn’t know how Vivian stayed immune when he was little and adorable.
Read excerpt #2 here.
Read excerpt #2 here.