Last week when we left Andy Roberts and Lewis Washington in a Nashville bar, a voluptuous brunette had caught Andy’s eye and, we were just starting to hear the story of how Andy got to Nashville. I have a feeling this is going to be juicy. Of course, Andy is lost in his thoughts and sharing very little of this with the insistent reporter.
The brunette managed to bump into me as she brushed past on her way to the ladies room. “Oh I’m so sorry,” she tittered.
I silently tipped my black Stetson and turned away.
“Pardon my French, Mr. Roberts, but what in the hell does a fifteen-year-old kid do in Nashville?”
A smile crossed my face as I remembered the lady who took me in off the streets. She was a beauty with flaming red hair and fourteen years my senior. But, she could sing. She was already a star, performing on the Grand Ol’ Opry and recording on Columbia Records. She would tell me I was the prettiest thing she’d ever seen and I’d blush.
I raised my head and stared long and hard at my reflection in the mirror behind the bar. I never thought of a man as being pretty. My eyes weren’t violet like April’s, they were more of a blue-gray and I had a head of dark wavy hair.
I was tall and slender and she loved dressing me in expensive rhinestone suits. She was as fine a lady as had ever been born. She took me with her everywhere she went and introduced me to all of the Nashville players.
And at night, when the curtains fell and we were alone, she took me to her bed. She made me a man…a real man. She taught me how to please, exactly how to touch all the right places and what made a woman lose control. By the time I turned seventeen, I opened shows for her and warmed her bed when her husband was away.
Corinna South was on top of the world. She drank heavy, fought hard, loved harder and sang with all of her heart and soul. Then a car wreck took her from me and from the world. There would never be another Corinna South and I’d never give quite as much of myself to another woman.
Despite the thoughts that flooded my mind, I managed a civil reply to the insistent man. “I was lucky. Corinna South needed an opening act and I auditioned.”
After a long moment, I stood, threw some bills on the bar and headed for the door.
Lewis shouted after me. “But, I’m not done yet, Mr. Roberts. We’re just getting started.”
I waved at him over my shoulder and dug the keys to the Jaguar out of my pocket. Without a second thought or backward glance, I turned the car onto the highway and gunned it. I didn’t let off the gas until the speedometer hit one-hundred. When it slowed to ninety, I hit the cruise control.
It didn’t matter that I had a show to do twenty-four hours from now, or that a pretty blonde waited for me at my uptown Nashville apartment. I located a half-empty bottle of whiskey under the front seat. A quick twist of the lid and the amber liquid burned its way down my throat.
The sun was starting to slip behind the mountain when I turned down the rutted lane that led to the familiar miner’s shack. My Jag hit bottom as the tires slid into deep ruts. I maneuvered it the best I could and rolled to a stop in front of what was left of our cabin.
TO BE CONTINUED………