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Date Posted: 23:07:54 12/05/09 Sat
Author: Page
Subject: What? You mean #2 isn't normal? *snerk* >>>>
In reply to: Debi 's message, "Hello? *taptaptap* Anybody home?" on 11:22:34 12/05/09 Sat

So I went with #1. Keep posting those HW assignments, Debi, because I need to get busy on that second book!

Excerpt from working title Royal Orleans
©2009 by Juli Morgan
Posted for purposes of critique only, and does not constitute publication

With a flick of her thumb, Sherry started the turntable. As Geoff’s music poured through the headphones, she turned off both mikes, one with each hand, and slipped the cans from her ears, letting them hang around her neck. She couldn’t make herself look at him, and pretended to busy herself writing questions to take them through the rest of the hour.

“Notice anything different about me?” Geoff’s voice was pitched louder than normal to carry over the music.

With a sigh, Sherry turned down the volume on the speakers, and raised her eyes to give him a perfunctory once-over. “Well, you’re not sneering at me. That’s different.” Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Mike give her a startled glance before turning back to shelving records.

Geoff’s lips tightened for a moment. “I must’ve really pissed you off.”

Sherry tilted her head. “Not as much as you hurt my feelings.” Having delivered her salvo, she dropped her eyes again and resumed scribbling. Her pen formed the words Why are you such an ass?, and she grinned.

“I’m sorry.” A loose spring on the chair squeaked as
Geoff shifted position. “I didn’t mean to do that.”

Surprised at his contrite tone, Sherry looked up. “You didn’t? Well, you certainly did a good job of it.”

Geoff grimaced, the slight wrinkles around his eyes deepening. “I was drunk. I know that’s no excuse, but I was. I’m sorry I hurt you, Sherry.”

Sherry nodded. “Thank you. So.” She looked him over again. “What’s different about you?”

“Nothing.” Geoff grinned. “I just wanted to get you to look at me, so I could apologize.”

Sherry tried to look stern, but could feel the smile tugging at her lips.

“Sherry? Sherry!” Mike’s anxious voice got her attention. “Dead air!”

“Shit!” Sherry dialed down the pot for the turntable, and turned on her mike. “That was Roadside Blues by Geoff Albright, on New Orleans’ Premiere Rock Radio.” She yanked the headphones from around her neck, cutting off the squeal she could hear coming from them. “And as an extra added bonus, a little feedback for your Tuesday afternoon. In case you’re just tuning in, Geoff’s here in the studio with us today.” She turned Geoff’s mike on, and met his amused smile head on. “Good tune, Roadside Blues. Are you planning another solo album?”

“No, actually, I’m not.” Geoff’s eyes narrowed as he tried to see what Sherry was writing on her pad in large letters. “One was enough. How about playing some White Heather?”

Sherry laughed. “You want me to play something from White Heather?”

“Why not?” Geoff’s laughter joined hers. “You’re the first interviewer who hasn’t pestered the hell out of me with questions about it.”

“Oh, we’ll get to it, I promise.” Sherry rested her arms on the counter, and leaned forward. “So what song from your former band would you like to hear?”

“How about Night Sky? I’ve always liked that one.”

Sherry flicked her eyes at Mike, and he immediately turned to the wall of records. Sherry looked back at Geoff, and smiled. “So have I. Okay, I’ll play Night Sky if you promise to tell me all about your new project.”

Geoff looked like he’d just been hit over the head with a baseball bat. “What new project?”

With an evil grin, Sherry held up the pad of paper. “Come now, Geoff. Don’t be shy.”

An unwilling smile curved Geoff’s lips as he read what she’d written: You were drunk, remember? “Ah, that new project.” His eyes met hers again. “Alright, you have a deal.”

Sherry looked at Mike, and he nodded to indicate the song was cued and ready to go. With a quick nod, she turned back to Geoff. “Wonderful. How about a teaser before we rock out?”

Geoff took a long breath. “A teaser, hm? You drive a hard bargain, sweet Sherry. How about the fact that Xander will be part of the new project? Is that teasing enough?”

Her heart lurched, and she knew she’d just scored the biggest scoop of her career. “Oh, you are a tease, Geoff Albright. Just for that, you can have all the White Heather you want.” She hit the switch to start the turntable, and spoke over the intro. “Stick around for Geoff’s big announcement, right here on WROK.” She turned off the mikes, and sat back, a satisfied smile on her face.

“At least you’re not sneering at me anymore.” Geoff grinned at her. “I must tell you, however, that just playing the song that made me famous isn’t payment enough for what I just revealed.”

“Whatever.” Sherry tossed the headphones out of her lap and onto the counter, and gestured toward the tape machine. “This interview is being taped, and since you’re on my turf, that means I own the copyright. The minute we’re through, I’m shooting it out to every network out there. Geoff, honey, you’ve just made my career, even if you don’t utter another word.”

Smoke obscured Geoff’s face as he lit a cigarette, and he waved it away. “Oh, you do owe me big, don’t you? How ever will you repay me?”

The smile faded from Sherry’s face. She stood up, and leaned over the board, pinning him with a hard look. “Notice anything different about me?” Ignoring the amused quirk of his brow, she continued in a low voice. “I’m not the adoring little fangirl you insulted two weeks ago. I’m a radio personality who has just gotten you to admit something you thought was under wraps. And I’m going to use that information to land myself a sweet deal with one of the networks. So don’t try to intimidate me, because it won’t work.”

Geoff blew smoke in her face, and smirked. “Intimidate you? Never, love. But I do demand payment for providing you with such an opportunity. Don’t you think you at least owe me the pleasure of your company at dinner?”

Sherry glanced at Mike, but the intern was busy shelving and pulling albums. His ears, though, were listening so hard, Sherry could almost swear she saw them straining toward her. She sighed. “Mike, cue up something from White Heather’s last album. I don’t care what.” She shifted her gaze back to Geoff. “I don’t want to have dinner with you.”

“Too bad. You’re going to, whether you want to or not. Because if you don’t,” he added, forestalling any more protests. “I’ll take back what I just said, and there goes your glorious career.”

“You son of a bitch.”

“That’s right, love, I am. Oh, and your record’s ending.”

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[> [> Oh, this is good....;-) -- Debi, 09:53:33 12/06/09 Sun

I like the interplay between these two. There's a lot of tension, all masked with that almost invisible patina of civility. I also like the difference between the on-the-air conversation and what's going on while the rest of the world is listening to the music. I always suspected radio announcers led some sort of double life, now I know! ;-)

The comment about Mike listening so hard... LOL! I could just see his ear flicking around like a cat's!

Am I to assume that Geoff is Adrian from that sexy homework you posted many, many moons ago?

Love it!

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[> [> [> Thank you!! >>>> -- Page, 17:33:35 12/07/09 Mon

You wouldn't believe what goes on at a radio station when the mikes are off. Or, I should say, went on back when radio was live. Phone calls, fights, sex...all behind the scenes, and the listeners never knew. It was fun, and I miss it. Which is a big reason this book is set around a radio station in the early 80s.

And, yep, Geoff is Adrian. I must admit to having a hard time letting go of Jay's personality, but Geoff is really starting to assert himself. He's much more arrogant and jaded, and pretty much the son of a bitch Sherry called him. He does get better as the book goes on, but here near the beginning, he's a real snot. *G*


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[> [> [> [> Excellent! I can't wait! -- Debi, 06:38:42 12/08/09 Tue

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