Saturday, May 28, 2011

Chapter 6 - Firsts

NOTE: This story has a rating of PG-13. It is intended for a mature audience, as it contains strong references to things such as woohoo, crime, language, etc. You have been warned!

Whitney woke up the next morning with a major headache and a nauseas feeling. She knew this could only be caused by a hangover.

She grumbled and climbed out of bed, feeling her head spin. What was she thinking last night? If she had to drink, she should have done it in small portions. And the kiss. How could she have kissed Riley?! She barely knew him, and that was a violation of both their contracts.

Whitney groaned again when Darcy walked in.

"I thought I heard you," she said. "You really did a number on yourself last night with those drinks. Take it easy next time."

"I don't want there to be a next time. My head feels like it's gonna split open and I feel like I'm gonna puke."

"Oh geez. The first hangover is always the worst. Here, I've got just the thing."

Darcy went into the bathroom and came back with a glass and a bottle of pink liquid. "Drink a cup of this and you'll feel better in a few hours."

"A few hours? What time is it?"


"Oh, no! Simon is taking me shopping today. How am I ever gonna explain this to him?"

"Damned if I know. But I have to go to work."

"Wait...I thought you were going home with Kirk last night. And you had to work today."

"Yeah...I have to work at 11 and I didn't think I'd be leaving Kirk's place before then. But, well, I saw that you were about to pass out and figured I should take care of you."

"You gave up a night of woo to take care of me?"

"I've seen what happens to girls that have a few too many. Trust me, giving up a night of woo is nothing compared to what could have happened to you. Besides, Kirk and I plan to meet tonight instead."

"I'm sorry about that."

"Don't worry about it. He didn't care. It's not like I ditched a date with him."

"Well, thanks, and I swear I'll pay you back."

"It's cool. But if you have to go shopping, you better get ready."

"Yeah, I should."

So Darcy left the room so Whitney could get dressed. She'd have to skip breakfast, but she didn't feel like eating anything anyway. Her stomach was already still upset, and she hoped she didn't have to throw up while shopping. That wouldn't be very appealing. But first, she drank the pink liquid. It tasted pungent but she hoped it would work.

Whitney chose one of her own outfits for this trip so Simon could see exactly how limited her wardrobe was. She realized that she truly did need some new clothes if she was ever going to be in the limelight.

Simon rang the buzzer at ten sharp, and Darcy buzzed him in. Whitney hoped she didn't look like a mess. She also hoped last night's kiss hadn't ended up in the tabloids. She wasn't famous yet, so hopefully the press stayed away.

"Good morning, Whitney," Simon said when he saw her. "I hope you're ready to go, because that outfit does nothing for you."

Whitney laughed. "Yeah, I'm ready to get some new clothes."

"Let's head out then."

"Bye Darcy!"

"Later, girl! Remember, I won't be home later tonight."


Whitney followed Simon out to his car and he drove to a very fancy-looking house. Whitney was surprised he didn't go to the consignment shop, but then again, how many celebs got clothes there?

The house belonged to a well-known stylist, and she got Whitney's measurements and wrote them down so she could make custom clothes just for Whitney. She even had some already there that needed a few adjustments, and after that, Whitney had a whole new wardrobe. It only took a few hours.

Whitney was ecstatic, and once again, Simon paid for her "upgrade", but she swore to pay him back.

After that, Simon brought up some big news.

"I've got you a possible record deal set up."


"Yeah, a good friend of mine is interested in you. She heard that recording I made, but she wants to hear you in person. So I've got you a gig set up at Waylon's Haunt for tonight so she can hear you."


"Yeah, at eight. And if she likes what she hears, which I think she will, she'll sign you into a record deal, and you can get started living your dream by releasing an album."

"That sounds awesome! Thank you, Simon!"

"Don't mention it. Why don't we celebrate by letting me take you out to lunch?"


Simon drove Whitney to Hogan's Deep-Fried Diner. Whitney once again ordered a hamburger, but she ordered a salad on the side. Simon ordered a cheesesteak.

"I have yet to see the proof that you can eat that stuff without gaining any weight," Simon said as he took a bite.

"I'll weigh myself first thing in the morning, and then again after I eat another burger, and I'll take a picture."

"Good. We want to be on the safe side."

As Whitney bit into her burger, she asked, "So who's this woman interested in me?"

"Her name's Erica Knotts, and she's a good friend of mine. We've known each other practically our whole lives and grew up together. She loves music and if she doesn't sign you, then you have no career in music."

"No pressure there."

"Don't worry, I think you've got what it takes. Also, you do know that even as a solo artist, you have to have backup musicians and singers, right?"


"Well, I've got some rounded up for you. You remember Riley I'm sure. He'll be your drummer for tonight. Hope that's okay."

"Yeah, that'll be fine. He's great on the drums."

And kissing, she added silently to herself. She didn't dare let Simon know just how fine it was that Riley would be playing with her on stage tonight.

"Who else will be playing with us?"

"I rounded up a couple of locals, no major names of course, but they're willing to do this if they get paid. They didn't make it that night at the Sports Zone."

"That's too bad."

"Yeah, but I guess you can't win 'em all."

When they finished eating, Simon took Whitney back to her apartment and told her she'd better look her best for that evening. Darcy was working, so Whitney would be on her own for her appearance. But she was determined to not rely on Darcy every time she needed to look good; she had to do that on her own. And she was ready to start. With her new wardrobe, it should be a cinch.


Simon picked Whitney up at 7:30 and drove her to Waylon's. Whitney had left a note for Darcy just in case she returned home and wanted to come see the show.

Waylon's wasn't too full yet, but Simon did introduce Whitney to Erica.

"Whitney Cross, this is my good friend Erica Knotts," he said as Whitney shook the middle-aged woman's hand. "She'll be giving you a record deal if she likes what she hears."

"From what I heard on that recording Simon gave me, I won't be disappointed," Erica said.

"Thanks, and I'm glad you could make it," Whitney replied shyly. How could she say that? Of course Erica would make it for the possible signing of her own client for a record deal.

Erica, however, just smiled and said, "I wish you luck, too. Your backup musicians should be here soon."

"One's already here," Riley's voice said from behind them.

Whitney turned and tried to contain her excitement. Riley's biceps seemed to be bulging out at her tonight. That's all she needed.

"Hey, Riley," she said in what she hoped would be a casual voice.

"Yo. I hear I get to be your drummer tonight."

"Yeah, so don't mess up."

"No way."

The rest of Riley's band showed up to wish him and Whitney good luck, and before long, it was time to begin. Whitney was going to bring her guitar, but Simon had told her that she didn't need to since Waylon's provided instruments. Whitney preferred to play on her own guitar, but she wasn't about to argue over something so trivial when her dream was on the line.

The "band" had been given copies of Whitney's music that they were to play that night, and they took their places on the stage, appearing to be practiced up. For some of them, this also meant a second chance at a contract, so they weren't about to mess up on purpose. Whitney couldn't help but notice that her band consisted of all guys.

Whitney took her place on the stage, grabbed the guitar, tuned it, and began her song.

The music came naturally to her, and she could hear the band behind her playing their hearts out on their instruments. The words to her song rang sharp and true and she never once missed a beat, nor did the guys playing behind her.

People began dancing while she played, and when the song was over, they were begging for more and cheering. Whitney tried not to let tears of happiness stream from her eyes.

She saw Simon in the crowd signaling to her to play more, so she looked to the band, told them what song to play next, and began.

She played a few more songs, more carefree with each one, before she saw Simon motioning for her to take a break and come see him and Erica. She thanked the crowd and headed toward her agent.

"Well, I was right," Erica said by way of greeting. "I wasn't disappointed. Whitney, you remind me of myself when I was young."

"Oh, you're still young," Simon teased.

"Well, not as young as I once was. But anyway, Whitney, Simon told me that you were hiding out in Riverview. You really should have come to Bridgeport sooner. Your voice is beautiful, and the way you play that guitar, without ever having a single lesson, is incredible. I'd be honored to give you a record deal if you'd accept it."

Whitney didn't even have to think twice. "Of course I accept it! This is a dream come true! Thank you so much!"

Without thinking, Whitney pounced Erica in a giant hug.

She quickly pulled back, cheeks flaring. "Sorry, I was just really excited."

Erica laughed. "No need to apologize. I do have a contract with me, if you'd like to sign it now."

"That would be great."

"I'll get us some drinks," Simon said as he hurried off.

Erica laid the contract out on the table and withdrew a pen. Whitney scanned the document before signing it. This time she truly was signing herself on for her dream. Simon returned with the drinks and she eagerly took a sip, not realizing how thirsty she'd been. She was also relieved that the press hadn't heard about her foolish behavior the night before.

Simon and Electra began discussing their new talent, so Whitney walked off and saw that Riley's band was saying how great he did, and Jordan made a few remarks about him being a "lucky bastard" to be playing with "such a hot chick".

Whitney took another sip and then she saw Darcy hurrying toward her.

"Whit!" she exclaimed. "You were awesome! Totally rockin'!"

"Thanks! I'm glad you could make it! And guess what? I just got myself a record deal."

"Sweet! Congratulations!"

Riley came up then and said, "I just overheard the news. Great job, country gal! You're doing good in the city."

"Thanks. But really, you were a big help. You play the drums so well, after all."

"Yeah, well, someday I'll hopefully get my own record deal. But if you ever need a drummer, call me. I'd rather be a drummer for someone that appreciates music like I do than have my own band that didn't give two craps."


That week brought a lot of firsts for Whitney. Her first time playing guitar in Bridgeport, her first agent, her first audition (two if you counted tonight), her first spontaneous kiss and dance, her first hangover, and now, her first record deal. Could things possibly get any better?

In a few months' time, they did.

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