Searching for Home: Chapter 4

Searching for Home
by Chelle & Nikki

Chapter 4

Searching for HomeRating: PG
Warnings: Deals a little with death, has some drinking in it. Some curse words, violence and sex, but nothing gory or graphic.

“Brianna, just me give one good reason why you won’t…” Shelby began until she was interrupted.
“No Shelby!” Brianna said in a raised tone that let her friend know it was an idea not to be considered.

Taylor and Brianna talked casually as they drove to his friend’s house.
“Does he work for the company?” Brianna asked.
“Steve, no, he’s just a friend. He writes songs and these are his songs that are on the demos.” Taylor answered as he turned onto a street lined with brick homes.
“So, have you been in Tulsa long?” Taylor asked.
Brianna tucked her hair behind her ear.
“No. It was kinda a last minute move. I, uh, sold my house and drove here from Mississippi two days later.”
Taylor raised his eyebrows.
“Wow, quick. How come you moved?”

Brianna really didn’t want to talk about it. She wasn’t ready to start telling her life story to someone she still considered a stranger.
She hesitated, trying to think of a way to answer that wouldn’t lead to a steady stream of personal questions.

“Did I hit a sore spot?” Taylor asked, sounding concerned.
Brianna quickly answered “No, no. I just needed a new start.”
Taylor obviously took the hint and they drove in silence through the subdivision. He pulled into a driveway of a nice home.
“Wait here. I’ll be right back.” he said getting out of the car.
Brianna watched as he carried the small box up to the door and when it opened he stepped inside. After just a minute or two, Taylor walked back out and got into the car.
“All right, lunch time.” he smiled as he turned the key and backed out of the driveway.

“So do you have any brothers or sisters?” Taylor asked wiping his hands on his napkin.
Brianna shook her head while sipping her coke, then she answered “No, I’m an only child.”
Taylor took a bite of his hamburger and said, “An only child. I can’t imagine what that would be like.” They laughed. “I guess it was quiet around your house.” Taylor added.
“Yeah, sort of.” Brianna said.
She was trying to tell Taylor as little as possible without being rude but with his next question, he forced the door on her secrets open.
“What about your parents? Tell me about them.”
Brianna sighed and rubbed her temple with her index finger.
“Whoa, sorry. I guess I’m getting too personal.” Taylor said with an apologetic expression.
“No,” Brianna smiled. “I just um, don’t talk about them much. They’re both gone. Dad died two years ago and Mom’s been dead for four months next week.” Brianna sipped her coke again and glanced at Taylor. He was staring at her.
Suddenly, she felt his hand lightly touch hers as he said “I’m very sorry. I didn’t mean to bring up anything. I just wanted to know you better, and I guess it didn’t cross my mind that they could be… I’m sorry.”
Brianna smiled and said “It’s all right. You didn’t know.”
She slid her hand out from under his and sat back. She felt her head spin briefly as her palms began to sweat. She was attracted to Taylor, yes, but she didn’t want to think about it.
For the rest of their lunch, they ate and talked about music and movies they liked. When they were finished, Taylor left a tip for the waitress and gave the money to the cashier.
They walked out to the car and Taylor held open the passenger door.
“Thanks.” Brianna smiled as she climbed in.
“Back to the chaos.” Taylor said as he started the car.

“Thank you for lunch.” Brianna said as they walked to the front doors of the studio.
“You’re welcome. Thank you for not making me eat alone.” Taylor smiled as they walked to the elevators. Brianna could feel a slight blush on her face as they rode to the third floor.
Taylor walked Brianna to her office where she found a list of her next phone calls to make and what they were regarding. At the bottom of the piece of paper Jessica had written ‘Thank You’ in big letters and singed it with ‘Jess’.
Brianna sighed and Taylor said “Well, I’ll let you get back to work. If you need anything just let us know.”
Brianna smiled and sat down at her desk.

The rest of the afternoon was busy. Brianna made copies of promotion posters, she sent and received faxes, she made over 20 phone calls and found herself, for one reason or another, getting a lot of exercise walking up and down the hallways.
By five o’clock that evening, she was exhausted. She sat back in her chair and closed her eyes. The studio had gotten quiet and settled, and Brianna was thankful.

“Hey, how ya doing?” Ike asked from her door.
Brianna smiled. “I’m tired, but all right.”
Isaac said, “You did good today. Listen, you get out of here. There’s not much left to do and you can’t do any of it. So go on, and I’ll see you in the morning.”
Brianna stood up and asked “Are you sure? I can stay.”
Ike shook his head and said “Yes I’m sure. It’s a nice offer but we got the rest under control. You go on and get some rest. Tomorrow is gonna be a test of survival!”
Brianna laughed and said “All right. Thanks. I’ll see you in the morning.” Ike nodded and walked on down the hall.

Brianna picked up her purse and made sure her office was cleaned up. Then she walked out and got into the elevator. As she stepped off on the first floor, she waved at Helen, who was on the phone, and walked outside to her car.
Just as she was getting in, Taylor came running up to her.
“Brianna, here. This is the key to your office. I locked it for you. You’ll need to be sure and lock it when you leave and also if you’re going off of the floor at all during the day.”
Brianna smiled. “Oh, okay. Thank you Taylor.”
Taylor ran his hand through his hair and smiled “You’re welcome.”

He shut the door for Brianna and watched as she drove away.
His heart was racing and he felt a tightness in his stomach. What he didn’t know was that Brianna had felt that same feeling every time he was anywhere near her.

When she got back to her hotel room, Brianna called Shelby.
“Hey Bri! How did it go.” Shelby asked excitedly.
“Fine. I had lunch with Taylor.” Brianna said as she took off her shoes and fell back on the bed.
“Wow, you’re already making your move huh?” Shelby said with a giggle.
“He asked me.” Brianna replied.
Shelby got quiet. Then she asked “What room number are you in?”
Brianna answered “241. why?”
Shelby giggled again. “I’ll be there in a few.”

Before Brianna could say anything, Shelby had hung up. Well what’s gotten into her? Brianna thought as she hung up the phone.
She took a quick shower and had just pulled on a t-shirt and pair of cut off sweat pants when she heard a knock on the door. Brianna opened it and there stood a bouncing Shelby, grinning from ear to ear holding a pizza, coke and a plastic bag that contained napkins, plastic cups and paper plates.

Shelby walked in and sat down on the bed.
As she patted her hand beside her motioning for Brianna to sit down she said “All right. Start at the beginning. Tell me everything.”
Brianna laughed as she sat down and told Shelby everything about her day, including her conversation with Taylor and how she’d felt while she was with him.
“What did you tell him about Ray and Anna?” Shelby asked.
Brianna shrugged. “Not a lot. I told him they were both gone and that I didn’t talk about them much.”

The girls ate and chatted about the rest of Brianna’s day. Although, Shelby was disappointed that she wasn’t really getting any good gossip.
“Hmm, I think he’ll ask you out again.” Shelby said laying back on the bed after they were finished with dinner.
The girls were full on pizza and had begun to get tired. Shelby lay running her fingers through her long, straight brown hair. Her hazel eyes began to twinkle.
“What? What are you thinking Shel?” Brianna asked.
Shelby sat up and grinned. “I think you should go for it Bri. I mean, he seems nice and you already said he gives you butterflies. I think you need to tell him that. Get the chase started. He obviously likes you.” Brianna stood up and began to gather the trash from their dinner.
“No, uh-uh, no way.” she said.
Shelby wrinkled her forehead. “Why? I think it’d be good for you to have someone. To be in a relationship would do you a lot of good. Especially now, with you moving, starting over, and all.”
Brianna climbed onto the bed and laid down next to her friend. “No Shel. I can’t. I just… I can’t.”

Shelby sighed and laid back down as Brianna began flipping through the TV channels. Both girls were silent for a while.
“Brianna, just me give one good reason why you won’t…” Shelby began until she was interrupted.
“No Shelby!” Brianna said in a raised tone that let her friend know it was an idea not to be considered.
Shelby sighed again and after a movie, left to go back to her home.

Brianna laid awake for another hour just thinking of Taylor and how she felt. This was almost too much. She was overwhelmed and knew that Shelby was right. It would do her some good to be in a relationship, but it would also do some harm. She knew that she wasn’t emotionally ready but something kept telling her to just tell Taylor. Something made her believe that he could be the person to make everything all right.
Slowly, Brianna felt herself drift into sleep.

Isaac had not been kidding about the next day. It was the most chaotic situation Brianna had ever been in. She had gotten to the studio 07:55 that morning and things were already busy.
There were auditions being held for a new guitar player for a band, and four artist were there to record. Two of the bands the guys had worked with were performing at an outside show that next weekend, so there was a lot of planning and promotion to be done.
Brianna and Jessica both had barely been able to get one thing done until something else came up. Brianna went from office to office and talked to 30 people on the phone, making all kinds of reservations.
She was finally able to grab a coke and sandwich from the cafeteria around three but had to eat her lunch while she made copies of an information newsletter to be sent out about a new artist, and organize several appointments on her computer.

At 07:10 pm, Zac called her name from down the hall. She saw him walking toward her. He said, “Hey, you’re still alive! Tired?”
Brianna could only manage a smile. “Yes, I am tired.” Zac nodded. “You’ll get used to it. Why don’t you call it a night. We’re gonna tie up some loose ends here and then get home. Taylor is gonna have a visit with Trixie tomorrow so he’s already left. You get some rest. Come back on Monday.”
Brianna asked “Monday? We’re not working tomorrow?”
Zac glanced at her and smiled. “Well, Ike and I have to come in and finish up a demo but other than that, no.”
Brianna nodded. “All right, see you Monday.”

Zac walked back toward his office and Brianna gathered her things and took the elevator to the first floor. She walked out into the parking lot and saw Taylor putting oil in his car.
“Hi.” Brianna said softly.
Taylor turned around and smiled. “Hi. Haven’t seen you today. Things got kind of crazy huh?”
Brianna laughed a little bit. “Yeah, but Zac said I don’t have to come back in tomorrow.”
Taylor nodded as he slammed his hood shut. “Yeah, well, that makes two of us.” He smiled again and Brianna felt her knees tremble.
She nodded and said “Well, see you Monday.”

Just as she started to walk away, Taylor grabbed her arm.
“Hey, you got any plans… for tonight I mean?”
Brianna thought for a moment.
Now what? she didn’t want to say no. He made her heart race and gave her butterflies, now she could barely speak around him.
“No, not really.” she answered, giving up on trying to think of something. “You hungry?” Taylor asked.
Brianna hadn’t had anything except that sandwich and coke for lunch and four cups of coffee.
“A little.” she said, tucking her hair behind her ear as a light breeze blew.
“Okay then, let’s go. Where are you staying?” Taylor asked crossing his arms.
“At the Glenside motel.” Brianna answered.
“Well,” Taylor said pulling his keys from his pocket. “I’ll follow you there and then you and me can go eat. That way we won’t have to take two cars.”

Brianna saw the logic in his suggestion, and, although slightly uncomfortable, she agreed. Taylor followed her to the motel. Brianna parked her car and locked it. Then got into Taylor’s car and they drove to the local McDonald’s.
Taylor seemed both baffled and amused at Brianna’s choice-two large orders of fries and a large chocolate milk shake.

Over dinner, they talked about Taylor’s life on the road and them starting the record company. Brianna didn’t give Taylor much of a chance to ask about her life. Even when he would ask a question about her, she gave a short answer that didn’t answer his question at all, and would direct the conversation back to him.
They talked a little about Trixie, but mostly Taylor tried to keep the conversation directed toward Brianna and her family.

He couldn’t understand why she never talked about any of them. He was driving himself crazy trying to figure out what exactly she was hiding.
She was certainly guarded, he could tell that from the moment he’d met her, but he thought by now she’d have opened up a bit more about herself at least.
This kind of conversation would have made most guys give up. Not Taylor Hanson though. It just made him more determined to get to know her. It made him want to snatch down that guard she had up toward everybody and find out what she was running from.

After dinner, they drove back to the motel and Taylor walked Brianna to the door.
“Thanks Taylor.” Brianna said as she unlocked the door.
“You are very welcome. You’re good company.” He grinned as he ran a hand through his hair. Brianna felt her heart skip a beat as she smiled back at him.
“Thanks you too. I guess I’ll see you Monday.” Brinna felt his hand on her arm and glanced up at him.
Taylor smiled and said, “You know something? Somehow I’m going to find out about you. You can’t hide behind a wall forever. I’m going to know all of your little secrets before long. You might as well get prepared because I am not going to give up until I know everything about you.” He winked at Brianna, who was more stunned than anything.

Before she could give a response to his statement, he was in his car and driving away. Brianna watched his tail lights fade before she let out a quick short breath and stepped into her room.

Now, not only was she finding herself highly attracted to him, but she had to be careful too. He wasn’t going to let her get away with not telling him things. She was both worried and slightly flattered. She knew that Taylor cared enough not to let her have any secrets… he wanted to know things about her.
And she wanted to tell him.

*Chapter 3 / Chapter 5*
*Go Back to Chapters Index*

This fictional story is hosted
at The Gifted Ones
with permission from Chelle.

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