Read Bear Treble (Highland Brothers 4) Online
Authors: Meredith Clarke,Ally Summers
Tags: #Paranormal, #Contemporary, #Fiction, #Romance, #Forever Love, #Adult, #Erotic, #Bear Shifter, #Mate, #Short Story, #Supernatural, #Protection, #Bachelor, #Single Woman, #Highland Brothers, #Songwriter, #Famous, #Vocal Sweetheart, #Huge Fan Base, #Collaborate, #New Album, #Music
Published By Ally Summers
Copyright © 2015 Ally Summers
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places or events are entirely the work of the author. Any resemblance to actual persons, events, or places is entirely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. Please purchase only authorized editions and do not participate in piracy of copyrighted materials.
Cover art by Cover Up Designs
one foot over the other and leaned back in his chair. The porch was usually his go-to spot for writing. He looked into the forest surrounding Highland House. It was beautiful here. Peaceful and still—just what he needed to write another song. Only, nothing was coming to him. Nothing had for weeks. He hoped the solitude and quiet would solve that.
The pen was poised against his knee. His guitar was slung over his shoulder, but he didn’t even want to strum a G chord. He had tried all morning to string enough lyrics together to make sense, but so far he had failed. The page was blank.
He watched the leaves flutter to the ground, gathering in soft piles around the trees. All the elements were perfect. Everything he needed was here. Except the music.
He groaned, placing the guitar against the railing and threw his notepad on the wide deck boards.
He raked one hand through his shaggy brown hair, and paced toward the edge of the wraparound porch. He needed this song. He needed six of them to be exact, but he had nothing to show for his refuge at the family home. He curled his hands into fists and marched into the house.
His head jerked in the direction of his phone. Dylan reached for it on the kitchen counter. Shit. It was the record label.
“Dylan, how’s it going? Do you have something to send us?” It was Billy.
Dylan sighed. He needed more time. “I’ve got a few things. I just want them to be right.”
“How much longer?”
He tried to think how much time it would take for him to unleash the creativity that was blocked behind a massive wall. “Can you give me until the end of the weekend?”
He heard a groan on the other end of the call. “Layla needs to get this album finished. She’s laid down half the tracks. You are holding us up, and we haven’t even heard the damn songs yet. We don’t know what they are, man.”
“I know. I know, Billy.”
“You might be the best songwriter out there, but…”
Dylan didn’t want to hear the rest of the producer’s statement. “I’ll get the songs to you. You’ll love them. It will be her best album yet.”
“I’m counting on that, Dylan. In the meantime, I’m dealing with holding Layla off on another writer.”
“She can’t do that. We have a contract.”
“But you haven’t produced any songs.”
“Just tell her they’re coming. I’ll have them for you on Sunday.”
“You don’t have any idea what I’m dealing with here. She doesn’t like to hear ‘no’. I’ve really stuck my neck out for you.”
“I know you have.” He didn’t want to get into who was doing the favor for whom.
Billy had called two months begging for fresh material for the singer. She wasn’t happy with anything he had pitched to her. She wanted something undeniably amazing.
When he agreed to write for Layla Love the songs had been flowing freely. He had lost count of how many top ten hits he had. He could cross genres. He was in demand. He never thought writing for the rock and soul queen would drain him of the wave he was riding.
He could feel it. The lyrics were there beneath the surface, but they wouldn’t come forward. He wasn’t going to explain his creative obstacles to Billy.
“Tell her she’ll have her album Sunday. Ok?”
Billy laughed. “Maybe I can convince her to go to a spa or something. She had a few days off between events.”
“Sounds like a plan.”
Dylan ended the call and shoved the phone in his pocket.
A slight growl rumbled through his chest. He closed his eyes, clenching his fists. No. He wouldn’t give into his bear. He wouldn’t let him roam the woods like an animal. He was an artist. He was a man. He didn’t give a shit what the shifter in him wanted.
He pushed open the front door and settled on the porch again, leaning over to pick up the blank notepad. He had to write something no matter how terrible it was.
you mean he doesn’t have the songs?” Layla stood facing her producer.
“He said by the weekend.” Billy tried to offer her a cup of coffee. She knew when she was being managed. “Sunday at the latest.”
“I’m supposed to start a winter tour. I have to have this album finished before I go out on the road. What am I going to promote?” She shoved the cup away. “I thought Dylan Highland was supposed to be the best,” she fumed.
“He is, Layla. He’s given you half the album.”
“I want the other half.” Her green eyes flared. “Now.”
“The man is in high demand. He’s easily written twenty songs this year, plus the six you have. He’ll come through. I know him. He won’t let you down.”
She turned her gaze on the producer. “And if he does? What then? I’ll only have half the songs.”
Billy shook his head. “Won’t happen. The man’s an artist, but he’s also a professional. He won’t default on the contract. I guarantee it.”
“All right. A few more days, but that’s it.” She walked toward the door. Her bodyguard was waiting on the other side.
“Why don’t you go that new spa in Palm Springs? I could have Anna call the jet for you and make all the reservations. Sounds like a good way to revv up for the album.”
She glared at him. “I’m not taking off with the album in the middle of production.”
“Don’t worry, Layla. You’ll have it. You’ll be back in the studio Monday ready to go with the rest of the tracks.”
She hesitated by the door. “I’m looking forward to hearing what he comes up with. Where is he by the way?”
Billy shrugged his shoulders. “I think up at his family cabin. You know he’s one of the Highlands don’t you?”
She had made the connection when she first heard Dylan’s name. Every popular artist knew his name. He had as many Grammy Awards as she had pairs of boots—and that was a lot.
“He’s Hudson Highland’s cousin, right?”
“Mmmhmm. Talented family.” The producer nodded. “We’ve been friends for years.”
“Thanks, Billy. I’ll see you Monday with the new songs?”
She closed the door behind her and smiled at her bodyguard.
“Would you like me to pull the car around, Miss Love?” he asked.
“Sure.” She twisted her full lips together. She suddenly had an idea. There might be a way to get that album faster than Billy’s timetable.
When Hal pulled up in front of the label with her SUV, she slid into the backseat. “Can you take me by my place?”
“Of course.” He merged onto the road.
She did a quick online search on her phone for the Highland family cabin. Although, there wasn’t an address online, she had a way of getting her hands on it. She called the head of her security.
Dylan Highland was about to find out how songs were made.
the cup of coffee to his lips. It was almost dark and the woods hummed with the sounds of nightfall. His ears perked at every snap of a twig or bird flapping its wings. No matter what he did, he couldn’t turn them off. He couldn’t silence his bear senses. He couldn’t dial down the hearing or the sense of smell. And lately, his bear was becoming more demanding.
He wanted to run free. He wanted his fur to feel the night air. He wanted to climb a tree, and run through the Highland woods. Dylan refused to give in to him. Every time the sensations tried to claw him from the inside out, he chained his bear, yanking hard against the impulses.
The rest of his family had embraced their animal nature. The Highland Clan was strong and powerful in this part of the country. The rest of the world thought they were an unusually talented family of artists and writers, but had no clue underneath the art they were shifters living double lives.
Dylan wanted to be different. He wanted to live as a normal man. Not some kind of beast, beckoned by primal nature. He snarled at the thought of shifting, but scolded himself as soon as he felt his bear cling to the sounds he made.
He rested the coffee mug on the railing, and looked at the words on the page. He knew it was complete shit. He’d never met Layla Love, but he knew she wasn’t about to sing this.
He ripped the page, crumpling it in his large hands until it was a wadded ball. “Damn it,” he muttered.
He was running out of time. Billy wanted six songs by the end of the weekend. And if he was really delivering what he should, he’d give the producer eight to ten. There was no doubt Layla would want to choose her own out of the batch. Six would be selling her short.
He pressed the tip of the pen against the first line on the pad. The ink seeped into the paper, making a blot that stained through to the next page.
He scribbled a few lines then picked up his guitar. It was small against his barrel of a chest. He closed his eyes, trying to picture the notes floating in front of his eyes, but his ears twitched.
He could hear the crunch of gravel and the familiar sound of an engine peeling through the winding Highland drive.
“What the hell?”
He laid the guitar down, careful not to let it hit the porch. He stood to greet the car tearing down the dirt driveway.
The car stopped short of the front steps. A man climbed from the driver side of the SUV and walked to the back. Dylan watched as a high heel touched the ground followed by another.
“Thank you, Hal.”
The driver closed the door, revealing the mysterious occupant was none other than Layla Love.
Dylan peered at her as she walked slowly toward the stairs. Her heels kept getting stuck in the rocks.
“Are you the infamous Dylan Highland?” She smiled, taking a step closer. “I know we’ve never met, but I feel like we have. I’m Layla.”
As her first pointy shoe touched the bottom step, Dylan felt the sharp intake of air almost strangle him. It ran through his limbs, gripping him from the inside, yanking at his lungs, grasping his heart, hammering against his veins.
He reached for the banister, desperate to calm his bear. Desperate to fight the reaction he was having to Layla.
He swallowed hard. “I know who you are. What are you doing out here?” It sounded like the words were strangled in the back of his throat.
“I came to get my songs.” She puckered her lips together.
She was drawing closer, and his blood was thickening under his skin. His pulse raced with an eagerness he’d never felt.
“They aren’t ready.” It was all he could manage to say. He was trying to fasten the chains to his bear. Trying to stop what was coursing through his system, but he knew it was too late.
His bear was awake. Awake like he had never been before. He was on fire, raging to touch her, to hold her, to kiss those pouty lips. He squeezed his hands by his side, forcing them to stay still.
This was fucking Layla Love. The number one rock and soul princess in the world. The woman had more fans than anyone else on the planet.
And she was his mate.