Sand & Clay (Her Stolen Rock Star) (12 page)

BOOK: Sand & Clay (Her Stolen Rock Star)
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Chapter Fifteen

 

“When are you taking your exam,
Caroline?” Her father asked her, passing a plate of sliced roast beef to her
after placing some on his dish.

“Soon. I think it's in three weeks
or something like that.” Caroline said, shrugging and helping herself to some
of the roast beef.

“Something like that? Three weeks? Caroline,
you don’t sound like you are taking this seriously at all. I did not spend
thirty thousand dollars on law school for you to be-” John began lecturing her.

“Oh, John, let’s not argue over
dinner. This is our first time meeting Turner, we don’t need to bicker in front
of him.” Elizabeth cut in, trying to stop the lecture before it even began.

“Then when am I going to be able to
talk to her about it, Beth? We spent thirty thousand dollars for her to go to
law school and we can barely get a phone call, let alone a visit out of her. She
has been supposedly studying for the exam for two years now but she doesn’t
even know when it is? And it is only three weeks away? That sounds completely
irresponsible and unprepared to me!” John argued with his wife, his voice
escalating in volume.

“Fine, fine. But let’s talk about
it after dinner, okay?” Elizabeth put her hands up in surrender, exasperated.

She grabbed the bottle of wine in
the center of the table and refilled her glass, quickly taking a hardy sip. John
nodded his head and muttered to himself and an awkward silence fell over the
table. Caroline just wanted to crawl underneath the table and disappear at this
point. She was so embarrassed that Turner was seeing this and she was so
exhausted of having this same argument with her father again and again.

“So, uhm, anyone been watching
Giants this season? Quite the impressive quarterback they’ve got, right?” Turner
cut the tension in an attempt to switch topics. Luckily, the Giants were an
easy favorite for Caroline’s father and he immediately grabbed the bait. The
rest of the meal went seamlessly as the men argued player statistics and
forecasting football games and Caroline and her mother chatted about friends
and local gossip.

~**~

After the two couples finished
dinner, Elizabeth excused herself to go to bed early complaining of a headache.
Caroline felt guilty, knowing that arguing with her father always gave her
mother a headache. This happened every time Caroline visited because for some
reason, she could never please her father or be the daughter he was expecting
her to be. At least, that is how she felt most of the time.

Turner went to go take a shower and
get changed for bed, leaving Caroline and her father alone to talk. The two
headed out to the back deck that overlooked the garden and pool. Caroline was
nursing a glass of wine and her father was on his fifth or sixth scotch but
since this was usual for him, his tolerance kept him calm and collected.

Caroline settled on a swinging
bench seat with her glass and watched the sun setting over the hill while her
father leaned against the deck railing and gazed at her.

“I like that boy, Carrie.” Her
father said. Caroline nodded her head and smiled. She knew that Turner would be
right up her father’s alley.

“Do you like him, Carrie?” He
followed up after her mute response, looking at her curiously. Caroline
furrowed her brow and looked up at her father.

“Mom asked me the same thing. Of
course, I do. Why else would I have brought him here to meet you? I knew you
guys would like him.” Caroline said, sipping some of her wine.

“You knew we would like him,” He
nodded and took another sip, “but you have never been the easy daughter who
agrees with everything we want for you, beautiful.”

Caroline smiled sheepishly and
tilted her head to the side, looking up at her father.

“I am sorry, Dad. I don’t mean to
be.” Caroline sighed, “Dad, I just really don’t want to be a lawyer.”

“What? I was talking about Turner,
not being a lawyer. You have always wanted to be a lawyer. You practically aced
law school. Carrie, what are you talking about?” Her dad said, confused and
upset.

“Dad, you know that my heart has
never been in law. You know that. What about my drawing? I can show you my
sketches sometime, I am really good, and I love it so much. Why can’t I pursue
something like that?” Caroline said.

“Caroline, drawing is not a career.
It’s barely a hobby. It’s like a past time at most. How are you going to pay
the bills with that?” He asked.

“Well, I have done some
illustrations in college for collegiate magazines and stuff like that. I think
I can get into illustrating books and make a living just fine. I know you guys
are supporting me right now, and I appreciate it, but I don’t need it. I know I
can do well on my own as an artist.” Caroline explained. Her father let out a
deep breath and sat next to her on the swinging bench seat.

“You are really serious about this,
aren’t you?” He said quietly.

“Dad, I am sorry. But yeah, I
really am. Are you disappointed in me?” She asked him. He sighed and glanced at
her.

“Beautiful, I could never be
disappointed in you.” He reached his arm around her back and pulled her up
against his side. She leaned her head on his shoulder.

“I want you to be happy. If being
an illustrator will make you happy for the rest of your life, then I support
that. But you need to take care of yourself then and learn to stand on your own
feet. It’s time I stopped pushing you and just let you do it yourself.” He
rubbed her arm, holding her tighter.

She smiled and closed her eyes. She
had so dreaded this conversation but didn’t imagine it would go so well. She
felt that father-daughter connection that she had been missing during law
school. 

“Carrie, do you remember the story
of how I met your mother?” He asked her. She shook her head no.

“It was at a dance while I was in
the Navy. We were on shore for such a brief period of time but it was Valentine's
day. So, the local chapter of naval families hosted a ball and invited every
woman in town to entertain us for the evening. Your mother didn’t want to go
but her younger sisters dragged her along. As much as I can’t stand your Aunt
Margaret and Joanne sometimes, I will always be grateful to them for bringing her
that night. I didn’t even notice her at first but she bumped into me and I
turned around, ready to mouth off to whoever it was that had just knocked into
me. But there was your mother.

We didn’t even say anything, not
even a hello. We just stared at each other, I took her hands, and we danced. We
danced all night until the dance ended. Then when the dance ended, we went to
the docks and dropped our toes into the bay. We sat there until the sun came
up, talking about everything. I was shipped out the next day but we traded
letters hundreds of times back and forth until my enlistment ended. The moment
I came home I told her I was going to marry her.” He paused and breathed
deeply. Caroline smiled listening to his story.

“That’s really beautiful, Daddy.” Caroline
told him.

“In a decade or two, when you are
telling your child about how you met their father, my only wish is that it is a
story like that. Love beyond imagination. Just think about it, baby girl.” Her
father stood up and kissed her on top of her head, then headed inside.

Caroline sat there and finished her
wine as the sky turned dark. She couldn’t stop thinking about what her father
had told her. She couldn’t help but let her thoughts drift back to Logan.
I
am such a mess,
she thought as she got up and headed inside to go to bed.

~**~

“It is not a mistake, Gina.” Logan
handed her a stack of papers. She grabbed them from him and tossed them to the
side.

 

“I’m not taking those. I am not
leaving. I have been the best thing for your career and made you into Logan
Clay, THE LOGAN CLAY. You don’t get to just toss that aside.” Gina shouted at
him, storming across the penthouse. “And I am not leaving here. This is my
house and I am not just going to give it all up because you decided to become
an entirely different person over the last few months.”

“No one is asking you to give
anything up,” Logan said, picking up the papers that she had tossed, “if you
read these papers, you would see that. You can have the penthouse and the town
car. I don’t care about those. Your contract was up anyways, the record company
just isn’t going to renew it.”

“Oh and whose fault is that? You
probably asked them not to renew it.” She crossed her arms across her chest.

“You’re right, I did. They are
offering you a different job with this new up and coming girl band. No one is
leaving you high and dry or anything like that. Only I am leaving. I told you I
was moving out when the tour was over, Gina. I told you six months ago. We
haven’t even had the smallest dose of romance between us in even longer than
that.” Logan argued with her and dropped the stack of papers on the counter.

“I will have someone come and pick
up all my things today and tomorrow. Everything will be packed up and out of
your way and then we can both move on, Gina. We need to move on.” Logan took a
few steps towards her and grabbed her arms. Gina slumped slightly and looked
miserable.

 

“What happened to us, Logan?” she
said softly, placing her hands on his chest.

“We are not those young, high
school kids anymore, Gina. We changed.” He said quietly.

“But that’s okay, we grew up. We
changed together, that’s a good thing.” Gina said putting her arms around
Logan’s neck. Logan sighed and gave her a hug, kissed her gently on the cheek
and then pulled away from her, keeping her at arm's length.

 

“We didn’t change together, Gina. We’ve
never been further apart.” Logan told her, then turned around, and left the
penthouse.

 

Chapter Sixteen

 

“Come on, George, you helped me out
before. What do I need to do?” Logan stood at the counter of the Java Jolt
coffee shop that Caroline went to every morning, attempting to pull information
out of George.

“I’m sorry, I can’t. She is in a
different place now, I don’t know if it’s right to say anything.” George
shrugged, looking guilty, then pointed behind him, “I have a line of customers,
man.”

“I know, I know. I know she is in a
different place, I went to her apartment and they said she moved out last
month. Do you know where to? Or her phone number? Anything, George? I need your
help, man.” Logan started begging George.

“Ah, hold on. Christy, come get the
counter, I need to take a quick break.” George called over another barista and
pulled off his apron, coming around the counter. Logan moved out of line to let
the customers go ahead. He looked like an eager puppy rushing up to George,
hoping for the best.

“Logan, I hate to tell you this
because I was the biggest supporter of you two. Remember that? I really was, I
was so supportive and helped you guys before, remember?” George said.

“Yes, George, I remember. So are
you going to help me now?” Logan asked.

“Well, the thing is that back then,
Caroline liked you. And Caroline has been my friend for five years, so I was
really helping her, I thought.” George shuffled his feet, feeling awkward and
trying to dodge the conversation.

“What are you trying to say,
George?” Logan stepped back and looked sideways at George, his eyes squinting.

“Caroline likes someone else now. They
are very happy together and she moved in with him. He is a very nice guy.” George
spit it out rapidly, trying to peel off the bandage quickly rather than prolong
the pain.

“She is with someone?” Logan said
quietly with a hint of confusion, as if he didn’t understand the words he was
saying or what he had just heard. George pulled his brows together and frowned,
giving Logan a look of pity. Logan staggered a step backwards, pushed his hand
through his hair.

Logan nodded at George and turned
towards the door, still looking confused and puzzled. His mind was reeling but
he was also kicking himself because how could he have expected anything
different? Caroline was beautiful and wonderful, of course men would want her.

He had been gone six whole months. For
some reason, he had held onto this fantasy that she was going to be there, that
she was going to wait for him. That kiss in the elevator was so perfect and had
stuck with him for every sleepless night during his tour.

He walked out of the coffee shop
and stopped in the middle of the sidewalk, looking up the street, trying to
figure out what he wanted to do. He was not going to give up, he knew that, he
couldn’t.

He looked down at his watch and
suddenly had an idea. He walked back to the coffee shop doors and sat down on
the sidewalk right next to the door. He crossed his legs and checked his watch
again. Caroline came by here almost every morning, if he remembered correctly,
so he would just wait.

A few minutes later, George stepped
out of the coffee shop and stood in front of Logan, his hands up in a
questioning manner. Logan looked up at him and just grinned.

“I am just going to wait for her.” Logan
told him.

“You can’t just wait for her. She
might not even come here today, she doesn’t come here every day you know. Plus
you can’t just sit on the sidewalk. I don’t know but that might be illegal or
something.” George said, pretty much devolving into whining.

“Well, call the police then.” Logan
said, crossing his arms across his chest. George stared down at him, still
looking puzzled. He put his hands on his hips and looked around. He wasn’t
really sure how to handle this but he didn’t think calling the police to remove
a rock star from his store front would work out well.  George sighed and tossed
his hands up in defeat.

“Alright, fine. Suit yourself.” George
told Logan, then headed back into the coffee shop. Logan leaned back against
the brick wall of the building and looked up and down the street, hoping to
spot Caroline.

~**~

“Babe, do you want a beer or a
glass of wine? We only have light beer, but we have a good bottle of pinot.” Turner
called to Caroline from the kitchen.

 

“Uhm, I could actually go for a
beer tonight. I think I had enough wine over the weekend at Jackie’s birthday
party.” Caroline responded from her spot on the couch, flipping through television
channels.

“Really? You never go for beer. Glass
or in the bottle?” He called back to her just as Caroline landed on a news
channel that grabbed her attention.


Yes, Steve, the speculation is
that it is some type of artistic installation, maybe a promotion for another
tour?”
The news show journalist reported to the host.


Didn’t Logan Clay’s tour just
end though?”
The host responded.


You’re right, Steve, Logan Clay
just finished up six months of international and domestic shows promoting his
latest album HAZEL EYES that is quite the turn from his normal music. This
album mixes his normal rock and roll genre with romance and almost a bit of pop
inspirations.”
The reporter continued.


Is there any word from people
on the street about what they are seeing?”

“Yeah, apparently he has been
just sitting there for about thirteen hours straight. He won’t talk to anyone
and the coffee shop behind him says that he is waiting for someone.” The
reporter finished.

“Well, viewers, you heard it
here on Channel 6, Logan Clay is officially a squatter for the day at a local
Manhattan coffee shop. Mystery surrounds exactly why he is there but
speculation is that he has a new artistic venture coming out and so this might
be a way of promoting that. Coming up next at seven o’clock is …”

“Caroline! Earth to Caroline! Glass
or bottle?” Turner was standing in front of her, looking curiously at her. Her
attention snapped back to him.

“What did you say?” Caroline asked,
blinking back surprise as her mind was going a million miles an hour.

“I said do you want your beer in a
glass or in a bottle?” he asked again.

“Uhm, you know what, actually, I
think I want to go out for a beer. I’ve been home all day, you know. Uhm,
Aralia mentioned that she wanted me to come by and catch up with her sometime
this week. Might as well go tonight, you know?” Caroline said standing up and
heading to the bedroom, looking around to find something to wear.

“Wait, I thought you wanted to just
relax today? That is why you called in sick to work this morning, you said. I
thought we were going to watch movie rentals on the couch tonight.” Turner
said, following her into their bedroom and watching her slip into a wrap dress
and smooth out her hair. She quickly put on some makeup and then left the bedroom.

“Yeah, I know, but I am feeling
antsy, you know, sitting home all day? And Aralia was texting me earlier about
these problems with this guy and I am worried about her, so I think I should go
check on her. I won’t be long, just really quick, I promise.” Caroline said
grabbing her purse and giving Turner a quick peck on the cheek before heading
out the front door.  

He stood there staring at the door closing behind her and
shook his head in confusion. He loved her but sometimes she could be quite
confusing.

~**~

Caroline’s new apartment that she shared with Turner was a
bit further away from her work than the apartment she had lived in when she
first met Logan, so it took her a little longer to get to the coffee shop that
she visited almost every morning.
Of course something like this would happen
on the one day I call out of work and don’t go to the coffee shop,
Caroline
thought to herself sarcastically. She picked up the pace and hurried down the
Manhattan blocks, finally nearing her destination.

There was a crowd of people near the coffee shop, not
directly surrounding it, but rather acting like stalkers trying to spy what was
going on. There were several photographers there snapping the occasional
picture and glancing at their watch. Everyone was clearly wondering what was
going on.

To the side of the coffee shop’s front door was a figure
sitting against the wall with his knees up and bent, his head leaning back
against the wall. He was wearing a sweatshirt with a hood pulled up over his
face, so Caroline couldn’t see if that was Logan or not. She stood at the
corner of the block, shuffling her feet and trying to figure out what she
wanted to do.

If she walked over to him, pictures would end up everywhere
and she didn’t want her face plastered everywhere- especially since she had
told Turner she was with Aralia right now. Guilt flushed through her stomach as
she thought about her lie to Turner. She took a deep breath and tried to push
those thoughts out of her mind, she didn’t know what to do but she felt this
uncontrollable force pushing her towards Logan.

She knew she had to see him, even though she was involved
with Turner, there was something between her and Logan and she had to see him. The
draw was undeniable. She took a few steps down the sidewalk and was about three
storefronts down when she finally stopped again, standing underneath a street
lamp.

Her breathing was rapid and she felt butterflies flipping
around inside of her, her nerves on high alert. She stared at the figure for a
moment more and then her breath caught as she saw the figure turn to look at
her. She couldn’t see a face through the hooded sweatshirt because of the
shadows that it cast, but she felt it was him. Caroline didn’t move, her feet
were glued to the sidewalk and every muscle in her body had decided to betray
her.

The figure stood up and pushed his hood down, revealing
Logan’s chiseled features, soft and wavy hair, and piercing blue, intoxicating
eyes fixed on her. The crowd nearby started making more noise, reacting to the
change and camera flashes went off. It was only a moment locked in each other’s
gaze but it felt to Caroline like hours staring into straight into his soul.

Suddenly, Logan began to move and move fast, heading her
direction. She still couldn’t move so she just stood there, waiting for him,
her mind completely blank as she just felt the moment and breathed in the
excitement of seeing him again. Logan jogged towards her and reached her in
only a few short seconds. He didn’t even take a moment to hesitate before
wrapping her up in his arms.

Caroline tipped backwards at the impact of his body against
hers, only to be held secure by his arms around her back. He leaned down
immediately and found her mouth with his, kissing her deeply and forcefully. She
was surprised for a moment but then fell right into it, kissing him back and
slipping her arms around his neck. The couple heard a lot of noise headed their
direction and flashing lights. Logan turned his head around quickly to see the
paparazzi coming their way.

“We have to go.” Logan said quickly, grabbing Caroline’s
hand and pulling her behind him.

She didn’t have time to object or say anything and just had
to run to keep up with him or he would pull her arm off as he ran quickly down
the block and around the corner. They ran another block and made another turn,
then turned again, ducking into a small alleyway that was at most only three
feet wide.

The two were shoved into the little nook, pressed up against
each other, facing one another. They were silent for a moment, listening to see
if they would be found but also unsure of what to do or say to each other.

“You came.” Logan said softly, touching her cheek as he
looked down into her face. She looked up at him and smiled.

“You were causing quite the commotion.” She giggled.

“Yeah, sorry about that,” Logan sighed and slumped down a
bit against the wall, his hands pulling her against him. She leaned back and
pulled away a bit, glancing out onto the street.

“I think everything is clear. Let’s get out of this hole in
the wall.” Caroline said and wiggled her way out of the tight space.

Logan followed her and pushed his hood back up over his
head, just in case. The two walked down the block a bit further until they came
upon a small park area. It was only a few feet wide and long, since New York
was so crammed for space, but there was a very nice grassy area and park bench
with some flowers and a lamp giving off a golden glow to the area in the dark
night.

Caroline walked over and sat on the bench, towards one end,
tucking her leg up underneath her. Logan joined her and sat next to her, facing
towards her and minimizing the space between them. He reached forward and
touched her cheek again, she moved her chin to rest her face in his hand for a
moment, then looked up at him.

“What are you doing, Logan?” Caroline asked.

“Staring at the beautiful face that has been in my dreams
every night for the last six months.” Logan replied, dropping his hand to rest
on her leg instead. Caroline blushed at his remark and shook her head.

“No, I mean waiting for me at the coffee shop, showing up
out of nowhere. I hear about your return on the news, not from you. And with
everything that happened before you left…” Caroline trailed off and a silence
hung between them for a moment.

“Caroline, I thought about you every moment of every day for
six months. It killed me not to be able to talk to you, hear your voice, see
your face.” Logan looked up at her, leaning back against the bench and resting
his head in his hands.

“Logan, you knew where I was. You could have contacted me if
you really wanted to.” Caroline scoffed, rolling her eyes and feeling a bit
annoyed.

“I didn’t deserve to contact you, Caroline, and you didn’t
want me to.” He told her softly, hanging his head.

BOOK: Sand & Clay (Her Stolen Rock Star)
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