Sarah and Howie had arrived in Nashville Sunday night with the children and Ilse and she's spent the entire week in the studio with Jon, Richie, and the rest of the band. They were working on their new CD and they'd asked Sarah to collaborate with them as well as work on some material for her.
It was Friday now and everyone was taking the weekend off to recharge. Howie had wanted to take Sarah clubbing and then for a surprise but she'd wanted to stay in so reluctantly, he had gone without her. The penthouse, after the kids were down for the night, was quiet which Sarah had wanted.
Now, at one in the morning, Sarah found herself in the kitchenette fixing herself a blueberry bagel – toasted with butter and honey – and a glass of milk. She'd gone to bed shortly after the kids but the lyrics and notes of a song she and Richie had been working on kept her from sleeping peacefully. She was singing it now softly trying different arrangements as she fixed her snack.
Howie, Nick, Becca, and Garrett slipped into the penthouse quietly fully expecting everyone to be asleep.
"Uh….Howie, when did Sarah start singing in her sleep?" asked Nick softly.
"Why do you ask?"
"She's awake," answered Becca nodding towards the light.
About that time, Sarah walked around the corner and stopped short seeing the small group. "What are you doing here?"
"Nice to see you too," teased Becca as she set Garrett's bag down.
"I didn't mean it that way. I just thought you two were in LA."
"I know," smiled Becca giving her best friend a hug. "Howie said you were exhausted. Why aren't you asleep?"
"I can't get the song Richie and I were working on out of my head."
Howie moved to take Sarah in his arms and gave her a kiss. "Did you rest any?"
"I tried for a couple of hours."
"Yo, 'D-mister', where can we put our stuff down?" asked Nick.
"There's an extra crib in that room," Howie pointed out. "Your room is next to it."
"We'll be back in a couple of minutes."
Howie and Sarah sat down on the couch to talk while Nick and Becca were gone.
"'D', do you think Richie is still up?"
"I thought maybe he and I could work on the song."
"Actually, Richie came in with us and was headed to his room. He wanted to talk to us about a special appearance for you next week. I could call him and Steve and have them come up if you want."
"You might as well. I'm not going to sleep until I do something with this song."
Howie laughed. "My little perfectionist!"
"Learned from the best," purred Sarah as she gave him a kiss.
Howie was on the phone when Nick and Becca came back.
"Who's 'D' talking to?"
"Richie and Steve. He's gonna get them to come up."
"Branching out to other guys now?" teased Nick.
"Bite me," sneered Sarah.
"Nah, you'd enjoy it too much."
"Why ARE you here any way?"
"Your husband invited us. Are you gonna put some clothes on?"
"Nick, would you leave Sarah alone? Geez!!"
"She wouldn't know what to do if I didn't give her a hard time," laughed Nick as he hugged Becca.
"Yeah, I would and to answer your question…Why? Is it bothering you?"
"Not hardly but Richie might have trouble concentrating."
Howie hung up. "Richie will be here shortly and Steve has to get his papers together."
"Is Richie gonna be alone?" asked Becca.
Sarah covered her giggle as Nick looked at Becca disgustedly. "Why do you care?"
"Just asking," smirked Becca.
Howie smiled, "Richie said Jon was still out. 'Angel', you need to go change."
"Headed that way now, 'D'. Bec…you gonna stay up with us?"
"I guess so. I'd kinda like to hear what you've been working on. Why?"
"Would you mind ordering some munchies and drinks?"
"Not at all."
"Thanks, sis," answered Sarah as there was a knock at the door. Seeing Howie's insistent look, "I'm GOING, 'D'…just keep your pants on…" with a giggle she added, "or not."
Howie rolled his eyes as Sarah headed to the bedroom. "She's gonna be the death of me yet," he mumbled going to the door.
Becca and Nick just laughed at their friends.
At the door, Howie greeted Richie who was carrying his guitar case. "Thanks for coming up."
Richie shook his head as he came in. "I should have listened to you at the studio. I didn't realize Sarah was so……"
"Hey Richie," greeted Sarah as she bounced out of the bedroom. She went straight to him to give him a hug and a quick peck on the cheek.
"Hey gorgeous! I hear you want to work on our song some more."
"I can't get it out of my head."
"And she won't sleep until she does," said Becca.
"She was like that with a song on my CD," added Nick.
From the door, Jon said, "Must mean she's got a hit trying to get out."
"Hey, Jon!" smiled Sarah.
"You two come on in and get comfortable. Steve, our attorney will be up shortly and we can talk about the appearance," said Howie.
The two men joined the group as Sarah said, "Becca was just about to get us some food and drinks. You want anything in particular?"
"Nah, whatever you get will be fine," said Jon to Becca flashing her a smile.
Sarah and Richie exchanged smirks while Becca blushed and Nick frowned.
"Sarah, are you sure you aren't too tired to work on music?" asked Richie.
"I'm sure. Let's go out on the balcony until Steve gets here."
"Sarah, it's freezing out there," said Becca.
"And you have the piano in here," added Howie.
"But I don't want to wake the kids."
"Don't worry about that, 'Angel'. They're all use to hearing music all the time."
Jon, Richie, and Sarah moved to the piano where Sarah pulled out her notes and Richie opened his guitar case.
"So, what do you have going on?" asked Jon.
"This…." And Sarah played a bit on the piano.
Richie listened, played it on his guitar, and then got Sarah to play with him."
"Okay…now lyrics." Sarah played the bit again adding in the lyrics she had in her head.
"WOW!" said Jon.
"Thanks," blushed Sarah. "It just….hit me tonight when everything was quiet."
There was a knock at the door and Howie said, "That's probably Steve."
"We can finish this after we get the paperwork taken care of," said Jon.
Nick looked at Becca, "Where did all this come from? She blows me away with how she can pull a song together."
"In college, she use to spend hours in the music department writing," whispered Becca. "She would get so excited and she'd share it with Russell and he'd pop her bubble telling her how horrible it was…that no one would like it. She has come so far with Howie."
With Steve and his 'secretary' settled, Jon and Richie explained what they had in mind. They wanted Sarah to appear with them on a TV show the following week along with being their opening act when they went out on the road the following fall. Sarah was excited beyond belief but scared too.
"Guys, are you really sure you want ME?"
Richie laughed, "Yeah, we're sure. We wouldn't ask you if we didn't feel you weren't good enough."
"And 'Angel', this gets you out of my shadow. A known artist having you open for them will definitely put you on the charts."
Becca spoke up, "Sarah, this is your chance. Stop hearing Russell's put-downs and listen to the ones who KNOW what they're talking about, the ones who believe in you."
That convinced Sarah and she asked, "What about a band?"
"We're going to help you and Howie pick one while you're still here in Nashville," said Jon.
"Guys….THANK you sooooo much!" and Sarah hugged Richie first and then Jon.
Steve said, "Monday morning, I'll have the final contracts for your attorney to look over and when we're all in agreement, we can sign them."
With that, Jon, Richie, and Sarah went back to working on the song while Nick, Howie, and Becca listened. The sun was starting to peak over the horizon when the song was done and breakfast was ordered for the entire group.
Chapter 101 Index