Turn Over:A Secret Baby Sports Romance(7)By: Violet Paige
There was silence. “Linc!”
“Stop yelling. No, I don’t know anything about an ownership meeting. What happened?”
“Applewhite hired some kind of damage control PR expert I’m supposed to work with. Our first meeting is tomorrow at eight. I want you there.”
“You got it,” Linc responded quickly.
“Why do you sound calm about this? It’s bullshit.” I was livid. It felt like everyone was out to hang me.
“Calm the fuck down, Luke. I’m sure they’re blowing smoke. It’s a PR guy, not the league president. I’ll be at the meeting. I’ll talk to him. You have nothing to worry about.”
I stopped at a red light. “They’re threatening to cut me out of my contract.”
That got his attention. “What? Motherfuckers,” he muttered, but it came through clearly on my speakers.
“All right. You hang tight. I’ll get someone from the union on the phone. We’ll talk to legal. They can’t threaten you.”
Linc knew if I lost my spot with the Warriors he’d most likely be out of a job. Running my business interests was his only position, and I paid him over a million dollars a year to keep shit like this from happening.
I slowed the truck as I approached the gate to my driveway. I lived on the outskirts of Austin with a hundred acres surrounding me.
“Don’t call the union yet,” I instructed. “Let’s see how tomorrow plays out first.”
My older brother didn’t seem at ease. “They can’t threaten your contract. There are by-laws for this kind of thing. What are they saying you did?”
I pulled into the garage, and put the truck in park. “I didn’t do anything.”
“It’s going to come out. What are they saying?”
“They think I got some girl pregnant, but I didn’t. I’ve never seen her before.”
Linc was silent again. He was thinking. “All right. I’ll take care of this after we have the meeting. They can’t fire you for something you didn’t do.”
“Thanks, man. Look, I’ve got to get ready for some charity event. I’ll call you later tonight.”
“You, charity?” he choked.
“Another one of their damn directives, but I can’t get out of it.” I looked at my watch. I still had to shower and dig through my closet for my tux. “Call you later.”
I pressed the screen to end the call and sat for a second as the cool air escaped the cab. Linc was as invested in my career as I was. I knew I took advantage of him. I trusted him with my money. I trusted him to represent my interests. But most of all, I trusted him to stay out of my way. He never tried to manage me, and that made him the ideal manager.
“I tried to tell you…” Helena shrugged.
I raised my hand to silence her. I didn’t want to hear it. As long as I was under contract with Jake I was his puppet. I was his slave. I was his Barbie doll to dress and style how he pleased, shoving a mic and a song in my hand.
I watched as Helena started with my hair from the beginning. I knew what would happen. She’d part it down the middle, wipe the makeup from my eyes, and replace the red lipstick with a dab of light pink lip gloss. America’s Sweetheart always had to look the part.
“We could add some charcoal at the corners. It will be a little smoky and sexy.” She tried to make up for it. “With your blond hair it will really pop.”
“Don’t worry about it.” I smiled. It wasn’t her fault. “He won’t go for that either and it’s a waste of time. I appreciate it. Just keep with the peach tones. He likes those.”
“At least you get to wear the leather boots.”
I grinned. The boots were my favorite. And for some reason, they had become an acceptable part of my image. I could wear them with dresses or jeans. It didn’t matter. The brown leather was embroidered with a darker thread of brown, printing paisleys along the side of my calf.
Other than my guitar, they were the most sentimental thing I owned. I had bought them with my first royalty check. A real country singer needed real boots. I had even worn them out of the store, tossing my beaten up tennis shoes in the box before walking out.