Part of the Tarot Cafe Series
Rock superstar P.J. Kendall has it all--fame, money, women. Instead of being happy, he wonders how he can disappear and leave all his obligations--and the drinking, drugs and too many women--behind. A freak accident turns out to be the chance P.J. needs to follow a different path. He alters his appearance and now using the name James Parker, he heads for Texas.
It's lust at first sight when Teanna Caldwell sees the handsome yet oddly familiar stranger outside her family's pharmacy. Passion soon erupts between them. James is an incredible lover, and a kind and understanding man. Still Teanna cannot stop the niggling suspicion that he's hiding something from her.
With Teanna, James has found his soul mate and the life he's always wanted. But will Teanna still love him when she discovers their relationship is built on lies?
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
November 13, 2009
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from A Different Path by Lynn LaFleur
Tahoe Towers, Lake Tahoe North Shore
The cheering and applause of eight hundred people filled the room, rising to a deafening level. P.J. Kendall shot one fist into the air, his signal for the end of the concert. The din rose even higher, along with chants of "P.J.! P.J.! P.J.!"
Sweat poured down his face and neck. Adrenaline rushed through his body, as it did after every concert. No matter if he played to five hundred or fifty thousand, he still felt the audience's energy flow into his body.
No drug had ever given him such a high.
The thought of drugs made him hesitate in mid-step while leaving the stage. The routine never changed after a show. The band members would congregate in his Tahoe Towers suite for an after-concert party. There would be food, drinks and the band's pick of women for the night. It wouldn't take long for the lines of coke, X and joints to appear. Soon clothes would start to disappear. Hard cocks would fill mouths, pussies and asses. There would be one mass of bodies, impossible to tell which arms and legs belonged to which person.
It happened after every show. It would happen again tonight.
Security quickly ushered P.J. and the other band members toward a service elevator. Closing his eyes, he leaned against the back wall, the voices of his band members buzzing around him. It all sounded like gibberish.
He jerked when someone slapped him on the shoulder. He opened his eyes to see Will Bonner grinning at him.
"Hey, P.J.! Time to par-tay!"
"Yeah," he said, his voice flat. Will was a great lead guitarist and vocalist, but he was always the first one at the bar.
Will's grin faded. "What's wrong, man?"
"Well, I know how to fix that." His grin returned and he slipped an arm around P.J.'s shoulder. "A cute little honey with a nice tight cunt will bring you back to life."
P.J. managed a weak smile. "Yeah. That'll do it."
The elevator doors opened. P.J. waited for the rest of his band to exit first. They each went to their own rooms to clean up and change clothes before they wound up in P.J.'s suite. They'd be there until early morning.
P.J. saw the closed deadbolt resting against the strike plate of the door to his suite. That must mean Rusty was already here. Rusty left the door ajar so people could come and go at will without a key card. P.J. pushed the door open to find his brother pacing in front of the large plate glass windows, cell phone pressed to his ear. P.J. headed straight for the bar. Instead of his usual beer, he opened a bottle of water.
"No, that won't work," he heard Rusty say. "The band will be in Seattle then... Yeah, all over the west coast before we head east... You'll guarantee that? In writing?" Rusty smiled. "Great. Email the details to me."
Still smiling, Rusty disconnected his call and faced P.J. "Got the band bumped up to May in Atlantic City."
P.J. had tried to sound excited, but his voice had come out flat. Rusty's smile disappeared. "You okay?"
"Yeah." He drained the bottle in one long gulp. "It's been a long week. I'm glad this gig is done."
"I'm glad we were rescheduled after you lost your voice last month. Leon Blackstone was very understanding about us canceling at the last minute."
P.J. turned away from Rusty so his brother wouldn't see the guilt in his eyes. He'd pretended to lose his voice. He knew it wasn't fair to the fans who had paid for tickets, but he simply hadn't been able to take another night of the insane after-concert activities. Pretending that he couldn't sing had given him a week off...a week of solitude away from his band, away from Rusty, away from everyone.
Rusty told him Leon Blackstone, the owner of Tahoe Towers, had honored the price of the tickets for a future concert of the ticket holders' choice. That helped ease his guilt.
"You sure you're okay?" Rusty asked.
No, I'm not okay. I gotta get out of here.
"I'm not in a partying mood tonight, bro. Give me the keys to the SUV. I'm gonna take a drive."
"A drive? It snowed six inches today."
"The roads were plowed. I checked."
"They're plowed now, but it's supposed to snow again after midnight."
"I'm a big boy, Rusty. I know how to drive in snow."
"But it's dark outside. You won't see anything now."
"I just want to unwind a bit. Driving relaxes me, you know that."
Rusty didn't look convinced. If his brother didn't give him the keys to his rented SUV, P.J. would simply rent a vehicle himself.
Instead of the argument P.J. sensed coming, Rusty dug the keys out of his pocket and handed them to P.J. "You want some company?"
"No. But thanks for the offer." He squeezed Rusty's shoulder. "I'm gonna change out of these sweaty clothes before I go."
He headed for the bedroom, but stopped halfway across the living room when Rusty spoke again.
He looked at Rusty over his shoulder. "Yeah?"
"You know I'm here if you need to talk."
P.J. did know that. Rusty had always been there for him, no matter what. He smiled. "Yeah, I know. That means a lot to me."
P.J. had planned to only change clothes, but decided he wouldn't be able to stand himself closed up in that SUV unless he showered. He heard the voices and laughter as soon as he turned off the water, proof that some of the band members were already here. They must be in a hurry to get the party started. Saturday nights were always the rowdiest since the band didn't have another concert until Wednesday night. They could party until morning, then sleep off the hangovers on Sunday. P.J. knew the routine since he'd participated more times than he could count over the last nine years.
He tugged on faded jeans and a navy T-shirt. A dark red billed cap with the Tahoe Towers logo sat on the dresser, a souvenir he'd bought yesterday to add to his collection of caps. Fans would recognize him in a second by his long blond hair. He gathered it up on top of his head and covered it with the cap. He bypassed the large, dark-shaded glasses he always wore in public, choosing a pair with small clear lenses instead.
P.J. slipped the glasses case into his pocket and checked himself in the mirror. Without the long hair hanging down and shaded glasses covering his eyes, he should be able to make it through the hotel without anyone recognizing him.
Laughter and music greeted him when he opened his bedroom door. Will was already guzzling down a beer while Rusty spoke with him. A.B. Lowder hadn't wasted any time in picking up a couple of cuties. The band's drummer sat on one of the long couches, a brunette straddling his lap. Her blouse lay open and he sucked on one of her nipples while the second girl sucked on the other one. Normally P.J. would join them. Tonight, he only wanted to get away.
Rusty glanced his direction. P.J. nodded his head at his brother and headed for the door. Luckily Will's back was to him and A.B. was occupied, so they didn't see him leave.
His luck ran out when he opened the door to see Art McGill, Dane Atkins and Neil Truesdale. The rest of his band walked down the hall toward him.
"Where ya goin', P.J.?" Art asked. His voice sounded slurred, his eyes looked glassy. Apparently he'd already started partying before he got here.
"I'll be back later. You guys have fun."
"Wait a minute," Neil said. "We got some hot gals on the way." He winked and nudged P.J. in the ribs. "Found a blonde with big tits, just the way you like 'em."
Art and Dane laughed while P.J. did his best not to grimace. "You guys get her all warmed up for me, okay?"
"Will do." Neil leaned closer and spoke into P.J.'s ear. "I like blondes with big tits too."
"Hell, man," Dane said, "you just like pussy."
Still laughing, Art and Dane went into P.J.'s suite with Neil close behind them. P.J. slipped on his jacket as he walked toward the elevator. He pulled up the collar, hunched his shoulders to hide his beard and buried his hands in the pockets, trying his best to blend into the surroundings.
He passed dozens of people while he walked through the casino and lobby and out to the parking lot. No one gave him a second look, but he didn't breathe easier until he sat behind the wheel of the SUV.
P.J. took a deep breath, released it slowly and backed out of the parking space. He turned the radio to a New Age station...far different from the rock his band played. He had no set destination in mind, no place in particular to go. He wanted to escape, to distance himself from the insane mess his life had become.
If only for an evening.
The cold seeping into his bones woke P.J. He opened his eyes slowly and frowned, unsure of his surroundings. The previous evening came back to him when he saw the tall trees all around him. He'd pulled off I-80 when he began to get tired and parked beneath the trees to catch some sleep. He hadn't wanted to chance falling asleep behind the wheel. With his heavy jacket and the couple of blankets Rusty had in the SUV, P.J. had stayed warm until a few minutes ago.
A glance at his watch showed him it was almost seven-thirty. He raised his seat from reclining to upright. More snow had fallen during the night, dusting the windshield. He started the motor and turned on the wipers to clear the snow. A shiver flowed through his body. Coffee would be a really good thing right now.
P.J. made his way back to I-80 and turned east. He thought he was close to Truckee. He hoped so. That coffee was sounding better and better.
He took the first cutoff for the town and slowly drove down the street. This early on a Sunday, he might have a hard time finding a place open. Right now, he'd settle for a fast food restaurant as long as he could get caffeine.
A large wooden A-frame caught his eye. As he drove closer, he could make out the sign above the entrance--The Tarot Caf?. There were only two cars in the lot, but he could see lights inside, so it must be open.
P.J. pulled into the lot next to another SUV. He checked the mirror to be sure his hair was still under his cap. Satisfied with his disguise, he left his vehicle and headed for the front door.
A tall, slim brunette stood at a hostess stand inside the door. She looked up and smiled at him. "Good morning. Welcome to The Tarot Cafe."
P.J. gave a slight nod of his head. "Mornin'."
"Would you like a table?"
He almost said no, that he just wanted a cup of coffee to go, but the enticing aromas coming from the kitchen changed his mind. He hadn't eaten since late yesterday afternoon. "Yes, please."
He followed her to a table for two next to the stone fireplace. "Coffee?" she asked, handing him a menu.
"A gallon would be good, to start."
The brunette chuckled. "I'll make sure you get lots of refills."
He watched her walk away. She wore a maroon sweater and a long flowing skirt in shades of wine. Very feminine.
P.J.'s growling stomach drew his attention away from the hostess. He felt as if he could eat everything in sight. Slipping off his jacket, he let it fall to the chair behind him and opened his menu.
He glanced up at the sound of the front door opening. Two women stepped inside, one with honey-blonde hair and one with dark brown. The brunette was attractive, but the lovely blonde snagged his interest. He'd always had a weakness for blondes, especially if they had brown eyes.
He watched the hostess lead them to a table across the room from him. The blonde sat so she faced him, giving him the chance to study her. Her hair brushed her shoulders in soft waves. She removed her coat and scarf. P.J.'s cock twitched when he saw how her full breasts filled out the front of her red sweater. He couldn't tell the color of her eyes at this distance, but he'd bet they were brown.
She glanced in his direction, long enough for him to nod his head in greeting. She gave him a small smile before looking back at her friend.
The hostess blocked his view as she filled his coffee mug. "Your server will be right with you. Or I can take your order now if you know what you want."
P.J. had been too involved with looking at the blonde to peruse the menu. He said the first thing that came into his head. "Ham and eggs, over easy."
"White or wheat toast, or a croissant?"
"Surprise me," he said with a smile.
She smiled back. "You got it."
Once she left, P.J. looked back across the room at the blonde. She quickly lowered her head, but not before he'd caught her watching him.
Apparently she felt the same spark he did.
Spark or not, he couldn't approach her. He'd be here long enough for breakfast, then he had to head back to Tahoe Towers. Rusty would start climbing the walls in another hour if P.J. didn't check in with him.
But until he left, he'd enjoy the view.