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By: Clara Fox
Last Moment Series Book 1
Alexandra “Alex” Walton has the life she always wanted for herself. A stable career with plenty of advancement opportunity, Paige, her best friend of a decade as her roommate, and best of all, her amazing boyfriend of three years, attorney Ryan Stewart.
One night Alex and Paige are out having some harmless karaoke fun, when a unreal opportunity presents itself. With her best friend by her side every step of the way, Alex takes on this new experience to see if her dreams could really come true. To be the lead singer of a rock band is not a position you are offered every day. Especially a band that has entered a showcase competition, where the grand prize is the chance to open for a multi-platinum selling group of rockers that is currently on a worldwide tour. That famous band is also fronted by none other than the sinfully sexy, Noah Dreagan, who seems to be drawn to Alex, and emits an energy that could easily pull her in.
Battling nerves and insecurities, Alex digs deep inside to find a confidence she had long forgotten, and embarks on a journey that leaves her questioning whether she still believes that everything happens for a reason.
“What happens when ‘Destiny’ comes along and changes everything?
As I am stepping off the stage, a man approaches me and asks to speak with me about a singing opportunity. A bit skeptical, I invite him to sit down with Paige and me. He gives us both his card, which has his name and title:
Matthew Crench—Music Producer/Promoter
Soprano Alto Tenor Bass Records
He informs us that he’s hosting an upcoming showcase called Stella NoVA, and is looking for some local talent. He needs a vocalist to front a band that will play in the show, which is actually a contest. The prize is the opportunity to open for a band whose tour is coming into town in the near future. However, he does not disclose which band or what venue. He tells us he has been to a few other places and has seen me sing a few other times as well.
I look over at Paige and she just shrugs because that could be true. I know a place to sing karaoke every night of the week. Luckily for me, each of those places are in decent locations that Paige feels are nice enough so she doesn’t mind tagging along when I want to go, which is pretty often.
I have no idea how many times he has heard me sing or, more specifically, what he has heard me sing.
Just as I start to wonder what expectations he may or may not have of me, Matthew’s voice brings me back to the moment. “Listen, if I didn’t think there was talent here, I never would’ve come over to talk to you, Alex. By the way, is your name just Alex?”
My cheeks warm and I’m immediately annoyed with myself because I never blush over things like my name. “My name is Alexandra, but I prefer everyone just call me Alex,” I say with as much confidence in my voice as possible.
“That’s very pretty,” Matthew offers with a smile before he continues what he was saying, his gaze shifting between Paige and me. “I really think you have what it takes, Alex, to pull this group together that we’ve created and win Stella. Possibly to go even further. Only time will tell with that, but I really think you’ve got it.”
I must be smiling because as he finishes, his eyes are full of hope.
“Okay, I’m going to have a woman named Amber Wesley give you a call in the next day or so. She’s the manager of this group, so she will arrange everything for you to meet them, and then get rehearsals started right away. Stella NoVA is this coming Friday night.”
Still unable to speak, I must be looking at him like he has more than a few heads because he starts to laugh. “Hey, don’t worry, you only have to perform one song at the show. It will be just fine; I know you will be a perfect fit.” His gaze drifts to Paige as if for backup. He won’t get it from her; she’s on my side.
Paige puts her hand on my leg, giving a reassuring squeeze, and says, “Hey, I’ll be there with you every step of the way if you decide to do this.” She stresses the word ‘if’ so Matthew hears it loud and clear. I nod and exhale before finally speaking.
“Wow, that’s a pretty amazing offer. And I think I’d be crazy to turn something like this down.” His smile is wide but I square my shoulders and it soon falters a bit as he realizes I’m about to get serious. “But Matthew, please let me make this very clear. If I don’t like any part of this, I’m out. You understand?”
He starts nodding right away. “Absolutely, Alex, I wouldn’t have it any other way. If you’re uncomfortable with anything, just let either Amber or me know immediately. We’ll make it right or you can walk away. But I would hope you would at least give us the opportunity to make it right first.”
“Okay, Matthew. I’ll give this a shot,” I agree on an exhale, almost as if I had been holding my breath.
“Great, Alex! That’s fantastic news. I’m so happy you’re going to do this. Let me get your number so I can pass it along to Amber. I’ll also give you my personal cellphone number so that you can contact me directly if there’s any problems along the way, okay?” I nod, and quickly jot down my information, the pen shaky in my hand from the excitement coursing through my veins.
Matthew sits with us for another thirty minutes during which I’m called up again to sing another song. For the first time in years of singing karaoke, I actually feel nervous, even though it’s a song I’ve sang so many times before. I know it’s because of the gentleman sitting at our table watching me.
When I return, Paige does her usual cheerleading thing and such, telling me how good I am, and this time Matthew joins in the praise with her. He tells us more about Stella and the location where it will be held, and a little about what to expect.
When Matthew gets up to leave, I immediately shoot out of my chair, hand extended and goofy smile straining my cheeks. “I can’t thank you enough for offering me this opportunity. I’ll do my best not to let you down.”
“Alex, I think there’s something very special about you, and I think it’s time that everyone discovers that, too. Don’t worry, you won’t let me down. I’m sure of it,” he says, shaking my hand a moment longer than necessary and flashing us an amazing grin.
He starts to gather his things to leave and for the first time since he introduced himself, I notice Matthew Crench has teal blue eyes that set off his light brown hair which is slightly longer on the top but nice and short on the sides. Paige surely noticed his attractiveness right away, and now with all of the business over and done with, she offers to walk him out with her own signature smile. He of course agrees and we say our goodbyes.
About the Author
Clara Fox lives in the Washington, D.C. area, affectionately known as Northern Virginia (or NoVA). She’s a married to a man who loves hockey and sports as much as she does. She reads close to 3 books a week, even when writing (it’s the only way she can escape and get quiet with two young kids at home). She joins the normal full time working force during the day and plays writer on her laptop at night. Dual life…she isn’t a Gemini for nothing.
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