Tuesday, February 25, 2020

The Best Medicine by Dellani Oakes – Part 14


After breakfast, Morgan rushes her out of the house, because he has a surprise. He won't tell her where they are headed as he drives out of the city.

Morgan slowed the boat and approached another small dock with care. He tied the boat off, leaped out and lifted Tanya onto the dock. As soon as both feet were beneath her, he grabbed her hand and dragged her after him once more. She could hear voices ahead, nearly drowning out the sound of the river. Shouts and curses filled the air along with the sound of power tools.
"Where on earth are we?"
"Fellowes Island," he told her simply.
"It's your island?" She stopped walking, tugging on his arm as he tried to continue.
"Not mine personally. It was named for my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather. No, another great. He discovered this river passage or something. I don't know, it doesn't matter. Someone in the family still owns it, I think it's my Uncle Scott." He started dragging her again.
They walked for several minutes, winding through the woods along a rambling track. Tanya was glad she'd worn her hiking boots and wished she hadn't left her jacket in the car. The air was damp and nippy. Just when she was about to ask Morgan if they could rest, they walked into a large clearing. Ahead of them was a raised platform painted the color of a computer graphics green screen. Band equipment was set up for a concert.
To their right was a huge crowd of people. Tanya saw Molly and Duke along with Cullen and his band. There were cameras, boom mics, trailers and lots of official looking people sitting or standing around eating and drinking.
"What do you think?" Morgan held his arms wide, spinning in a circle.
"What's going on?" She was amazed by what lay before her.
"They band has a contract and they're filming their first video! Isn't this the coolest thing ever?"
"It is incredibly cool! What song are they going to sing?"
He beamed happily, his smile nearly splitting his face in two. "Mine! They're doing the ballad we heard last night!"
"Morgan, that's wonderful! I'm so excited for all of you!"
"There you are," Cullen called when he saw them. "Come on, bro, you're going to be late! Did you tell her yet?"
Morgan grinned happily. "You tell her." He looked on proudly.
"I pulled a little artist's temper tantrum, and Morgan's going to be in the video with us, singing back up and whacking a guitar. I wanted him on drums, but our manager figures it better be Trevor, since he's official and all. But Morph had to be in it, wouldn't have been right without him." He socked his brother hard in the arm and grinned at Tanya, winking wickedly. "You want to be in it too?"
"Me? I can't even carry a tune."
"No, we'll just put you in a tight outfit and let you strut your stuff."
Tanya didn't know whether to be flattered or offended. "Thanks, I'll watch. I'm not the stuff strutting type."
Cullen shrugged, eyeing her seductively. "Too bad. You've got good stuff to strut. Offer stays open. Come on, Morph. We have to get you into costume and make up." He grabbed his brother firmly by the sleeve, but Morgan dug in his heels and stopped long enough to give Tanya a kiss.
"That's so you won't forget about me," he told her.
"Couldn't ever," she replied.
As they walked away, she heard Cullen ask his brother, "So, did you do her?"
Morgan socked his brother on the back of the head. "Mind your manners unless you want a black eye for the video."
They walked off before she heard anything else, but she knew Morgan wouldn't tell Cullen anything. He wouldn't have to, Cullen could probably tell. It didn't matter, somehow it didn't bother her that his family knew they'd been intimate. She felt comfortably at home with his odd assortment of relatives. Tanya made her way over to where Duke and Molly were standing, talking to the director. He was describing his vision for the video. Molly didn't look overly impressed, but Duke's eyes were sparkling.
"So why is the stage painted like that?" Duke was curious and the director was excited.
"Because I've got people down there filming the rapids and we're going to superimpose that footage over this one, so that it looks like they are playing in the middle of the river instead of on land. Cool, don't you think? Since the song is about being carried away by loss, and somewhere in there, there's this line about a river.... You know the one?" He sang in a weak, breathy voice.
"Yeah! Way cool!"
Molly was enjoying her son's enthusiasm. She saw Tanya and walked over to meet her.
"Hi again," she smiled in a guarded fashion. "Can we talk over here a minute?" She led Tanya aside out of the general hubbub.
"What's on your mind, Molly?" Tanya had a feeling the direction this conversation was going to go.
"I'm a direct woman, Tanya. I don't pull punches."
"Ditto, Molly. You're worried about me and Morgan, am I right?"
"Yeah. He's been hurt really bad and I don't want him hurt again. You can understand that, right?"
"I can. I don't intend to hurt him, in fact I have to admit he's one of the most amazing men I've ever met. He's funny, smart, talented.... Since you're his sister, I won't go into details about other ways he's special, but I imagine you were wondering if we'd gotten that far."
© 2020 Dellani Oakes

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