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Oca 11

Rhythm and the Blue Line Ch 15

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The next night, Ryan was sitting with her guitar, deep into a song when she heard Lara come in. “So, how’s it going with the boyfriend?” Ryan looked up to see her friend leaning against the wall, a gleam in her eyes. “It’s going fine, thanks.” Ryan went back to her song and hid a grin, knowing the neutral response would drive Lara crazy. “Oh, come on. There must be more than that.” Ryan pretended to think, then shook her head. “No, that’s all.” Lara made a frustrated sound and Ryan laughed. “Okay, what is it you want to know?” “I don’t know! Just . . . how is it going?” Lara walked over and sat on the couch. “You hardly say anything. Inquiring minds want to know.” “It’s . . . it’s pretty great,” Ryan admitted. “Brody’s a lot of fun, and he helps me de-stress. He also cooks a mean dinner.” “You do look more relaxed.” Lara grinned. “With most other people, I’d say it’s the sex, but with you, I’m sure it’s the food.” “Oh, thanks. How would you know?” “Because I know you.” Lara sat back. “You don’t jump into things. Even the band. As much as you’ve wanted it, and for as long as you’ve wanted it, you plan. So I’d hardly expect you to jump in the sack with Brody on the first date.” “Yeah, well.” Ryan shrugged. “I won’t lie. He’s certainly made it clear he’d like that, but he doesn’t seem upset that we haven’t.” “Good. A guy who’d be upset about that isn’t worth your time.” Ryan chuckled. “Thanks. Good to know my judgment is still intact.” “I never had a doubt. Okay, change of subject. You still coming to my mom’s for dinner tomorrow?” Lara’s mom always invited Ryan for Thanksgiving. “I was planning on it. Is it still okay with her?” “Oh, sure.” Lara nodded. “She just wanted me to check. Mitch is bursa escort coming, too, I think. His parents are out visiting Maria before she has to deploy again.” Ryan shook her head. “That sucks, having to go before Christmas. I guess it’s good they’ll see her now. Mitch didn’t want to go?” “He said he did but couldn’t get the time off from work. And he saw Maria last month when she was here on leave, so that’s something, at least.” Ryan nodded. Mitch’s sister, Captain Maria Renatti, was a doctor in the Army and about to leave on her third tour of duty in the Middle East. The whole family was proud of her, and the band was as well, by extension. Ryan hoped Maria would be okay; she was a lot of fun and had been a big supporter of her little brother and his friends when they’d started, even helping them get one of their first gigs. “We’ll have to get her address,” Ryan said. “Make sure we send care packages and stuff.” “You know, I was thinking we should add something into our Facebook page, too. I’m not sure what, but some sort of fan page for Maria and her unit. It’s not much, but Mitch mentioned it a while ago and thought it would mean a lot to her.” Lara tapped a finger against her leg as she thought about it. “Yeah, we can do something. I’ll talk to Trout and poke around and see what’s out there.” “Excellent idea.” Ryan nodded. “Let me know how I can help.” “You sure your parents don’t mind you missing dinner with them?” Lara asked. “They won’t be home.” Ryan set the guitar down, stood and stretched. “JT’s last game of the season is in North Carolina, and Dad decided he wanted to make it a big trip. I can’t get the time, and I don’t want to go anyway. Evan’s going bursa escort bayan with them. They wanted to do the traveling tomorrow. Even if I could get the time, I can’t say Thanksgiving dinner at a rest stop on I-95 sounds like a fun proposition.” “No, me neither.” Lara shook her head. “Okay, well, I think Mom’s planning dinner for about three, so don’t eat a big lunch. Is that okay?” “No problem. Can I bring anything?” “Nope, Mom says she has it all under control.” “Knowing your mom, she probably does.” Ryan smiled and sat next to Lara on the couch. “Your mom is a fantastic cook, and I don’t know how she keeps track of all the details.” “I don’t either. She wouldn’t tell me.” Lara laughed. “Says it’s a mom secret that I’ll learn some day.” “I’m not sure I buy that, and it makes her all the more impressive.” “It does. So, what’s Brody doing for the holiday?” “There’s a team dinner or something, he said. They’re playing in Nashville tonight, coming back right after.” She shrugged. “I’m going to go to the game on Saturday, when they play St. Louis.” “Well, well, well.” Lara gave Ryan a knowing look and squeezed her arm. “Going to a game. You must really like him.” “Oh, knock it off.” Ryan swatted Lara’s hand away, making her friend laugh. “It’s his 250th game. He asked if I’d come and said some people would be getting together afterwards for a few drinks or whatever. He’s been really good about the band, coming to the show and all, and so I feel like I should go. I mean, I want to, and it sounds like fun.” “You’re so cute when you’re trying to figure out a relationship. It’s adorable, really.” “Shut up.” Ryan tried to scowl but ended up laughing instead. “I’m sorry,” escort bursa Lara said over her own laughter. “Seriously, I’m glad to see it’s going well. I knew it would be good for you.” “Relationship as therapy? Oh, please.” “No, no. Not like that. You just get so wrapped up in the band that sometimes you don’t do anything else. It’s good that you’re seeing someone, because it forces you to get out and try different things.” “I’m sure Brody would love to know that he’s forcing me into the real world.” Ryan shook her head and wondered if Lara was right. Did Ryan focus on the band to the exclusion of everything else? She wanted it, though. If there was one thing she’d agreed with her father on, it was that if you wanted something, you went after it with everything you had. “That’s not what I mean, and you know it.” “You’re right. Sorry.” Ryan leaned her head back on the couch. “It is fun, but it is taking some getting used to. I guess—I know—I expected him to act like my dad, my family. But he’s not.” “Told you so.” Lara tapped her feet on the floor in a happy dance. Ryan threw a pillow at her. x-x-x-x Saturday night came around and Ryan felt a little weird as she handed her ticket over to the attendant at Verizon Center. She had, as she’d told Brody, gone to a couple games after Mark had given her tickets. More often, she’d given the tickets to Nate or Mitch, although she and Lara had had a good time at the games they’d attended. Aside from her brothers, she’d never gone to a game for anyone in particular, she thought as she made her way through the crowd. She had to admit to some ambivalence about this game. Her guard was up on the whole sports issue, but Brody had only asked once, and since he’d come to her gig, and was coming to the 9:30 Club, how could she say no? Jesus, she thought. She was going to need therapy for this relationship. Ryan followed the usher to the steps at the top of the section, then saw Hilary waving at her from the seats.

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