Date Published: February 7, 2017
Working for a cranky, old hermit in an isolated house sounds like Ruby’s idea of heaven – but her boss isn't quite what she expects.
Tex is a fugitive from the rock and roll world – a tragedy abruptly halted his career. No one knows why he quit, no one knows where he is.
The two of them live in the same house, avoiding each other, until Tex screws up, endangering their lives and forcing them to move into close quarters. Suddenly, the idea of human contact seems more appealing, if only with each other. The sanctuary they have built is enough for Ruby -- the man she grows to love is Tex the hermit, not Tex the rock star -- but the outside world encroaches.
She thinks their fledgling love can’t shine brighter than the rock dream but can Ruby bear to let Tex go?
I sat beside him on the ramshackle porch, my feet dangling into the weeds, and ripped the top off my beer. I didn’t drink a lot but it seemed the companionable thing to do, joining him in a drink.
“I wish the pizza would get here. What’s taking them so long?” he said.
“I just got off the phone to them, they’d not have even started cooking it yet — hey, you’re trying to be funny, right? Give me some warning next time.”
Tex didn’t reply he just leaned over and bumped me, shoulder to shoulder.
Because the studio was set back lower on the block, we didn’t get the full view of the bay like we had in the house, but you could catch glimpses of it through the trees from the porch. I couldn’t see another house at all and it felt as though Tex and I were the only people alive. We sat like that for an age, just sipping our beers and watching the changing colours of the sunset. Strangely enough, being with him like that felt comfortable, even though spending time with anyone at all normally made me a bit edgy. I knew Tex didn’t expect me to chatter away or rush to fill the silence.
I almost wished he’d put his arm around me and draw me closer to him. I shook myself to get rid of those thoughts and shuffled away from him.
“Look, Ruby, the stars are coming out,” he said. “Do you wish on the first star?”
“Sometimes,” I said. I laughed. I always did when I thought of it.
“What do you wish for?”
“To be left alone, most of the time. Peace and quiet. That’s awesome.”
He gave me a searching look.
“Well, what do you wish for?”
“It won’t come true if I tell you.”
“Hey, you made me and I was stupid enough to tell you. Hell, now I’ll never get left alone again. That’s going to suck all the balls.” I punched him on the arm.
“Okay, I’ll tell you.”
I waited for some amazing insight into the mind of Tex, something about his deepest desires. Somehow, the distance between us had closed again and we touched, shoulder to shoulder.
“I wished that the pizza would get here.”
“That’s not cheating — and hey, is that the pizza guy? Yes, my wishes always come true.”
About the Author
Candy J. Starr used to be a band manager until she realised that the band she managed was so lacking in charisma that they actually sucked the charisma out of any room they played. “Screw you,” she said, leaving them to wallow in obscurity – totally forgetting that they owed her big bucks for video equipment hire.
Candy has filmed and interviewed some big names in the rock business, and a lot of small ones. She’s seen the dirty little secrets that go on in the back rooms of band venues. She’s seen the ugly side of rock and the very pretty one.
But, of course, everything she writes is fiction.