Runaway Train
Chapter 39

Copyright© 2016 by Jay Cantrell

Romantic Sex Story: Chapter 39 - Travis Blakely had a comfortable existence. He had a decent job and good friends. He was comfortable with what the future held for him. Then he ran into a girl he remembered from high school. His life got a lot more interesting - and infinitely more complicated

Caution: This Romantic Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa   Consensual   Romantic   Heterosexual   Fiction   Celebrity   Slow  

“Wow!” I said as we pulled onto the grounds of Liz’s Nashville estate.

The house wasn’t really in Nashville. It was located in Brentwood, about 15 minutes south of the city.

The assessment of the size of the dwelling that I had formulated while Liz sat in my living room 10 days before had been well off. My house wouldn’t just fit in the pool house. I was now certain the pool house would dwarf my little home.

I spent the first hour of my visit touring the grounds (which were expansive) on a golf cart with Liz as my driver. I dropped my chin, covered my eyes and shook my head when we got to the stables.

I thought I might be sick.

“I have a lot of money,” Liz said simply when she saw my distress. “I’m not going to apologize to you for what I’ve earned over my career.”

I held up a hand.

“No, no,” I said. “It’s just ... a lot to take in. I’ve seen you on the road and ... at my house. I feel a little stupid for extolling the view from my back deck now.”

“Don’t,” Liz said as she turned and put her hand on my leg. “I like your house. I liked the view from the deck. But I like this house, too.”

“I would imagine you do,” I said, looking around at the sheer size of her property.

“Not because there is a lot of stuff here,” Liz corrected. “I like it because of the privacy. I like it because of the people here. It’s quiet and there are places that I can go and just ... relax. That’s what I like about your house – other than the fact that you’re there. I like that for a day or a week I could drop my guard. I can’t do that in New York. When I’m there, I have to be on all the time. I can’t open the curtains because I don’t know if a photographer has set up shop in the building across the street for the purpose of taking a peek inside the apartment.

“I can’t really do it on the road because it’s just so hectic. I can take a minute or maybe even an hour but there is always some ... commitment ... I have to follow. You don’t have a real understanding of things because you’ve only seen me in San Diego and Los Angeles. I pulled way back on those dates. It was something I’ve needed to do for a while but I could never let myself. The past couple of weeks, since I met you, I just walked away and let my people do their jobs. I think the fact that I didn’t oversee every facet of every event is just as responsible for the success of those shows as ... well, you.

“Everybody says things went well because I’m happy. I am happy. But I also have found something that I’d rather do than look over Stephanie’s shoulder or hassle Larry as he sets up the soundboards. The setup and tear-down in both places took half the time it normally would because I didn’t have my fingers in things I don’t really understand. You not only make my life better; you make the lives of the people around me better.”

I offered a grateful smile but it didn’t quell my unease at the stark reminder of the vast gulf in our financial circumstances.

“This?” Liz said, sweeping her arm to indicate the horses and the stables. “This is an investment. Yes, I like to ride horses. It’s a lot of fun. But I also have two prizes that I breed. The male makes a million a year in stud fees; the last foal we sold from the female got us a little less than $600,000.”

She pointed to a separate section where two white horses stood placidly.

“That’s Belle and Stardust,” she said, smiling. “Belle is my horse. I’ve had her for almost six years. Stardust is ... well, I guess he’s her husband. He’s gelded but they go places together. I guess he’s more of her gay best friend.”

“That’s Paolo,” she said, pointing to a large black horse. “He’s a nine-year-old Thoroughbred. He’s had a son win the Kentucky Derby two years ago. Sicilia is the last one over there. She’s fifteen and she’s done breeding. The horse beside her is her daughter, Sandusky. She’s going to be my new breeder once she’s old enough. These are no different than any other part of my business sector. My handbag line sells really well and the line of malt shops we opened have been a success so far. Those are the three largest income streams outside of my music.”

I let out a long breath as Liz turned the cart around and headed back toward the house – or the mansion, I guess. The house had eight bedrooms and six baths. It had a living room large enough to put down a full-size basketball court and a dining room with a table that wouldn’t fit in my house.

“This is a replica of an 1850s estate,” Liz told me as we walked through the doors to the foyer with parquet marble flooring. The porch (or veranda, as Liz referred to it) supported a large second-floor balcony on its gothic columns. The outside of the dwelling looked like it had been transported from the Civil War. “Since this a replica, we don’t have to deal with the goons from the Historical Preservation Society. If those assholes had their way, we’d still be using thunder jars.

“Buckets to pee in,” Liz clarified when my confusion became evident. History wasn’t one of my better subjects in school – and I doubted thunder jars would have been covered even if it were.

The living room had a full-sized concert piano in one corner. But the room was so large that the grand looked like a miniature in comparison.

“This is the parlor,” Liz told me. “I don’t entertain much but once a year or so I’ll invite people out for an evening. It’s mostly other performers or people from the industry. I’m going to try to host more events here in the future ... fundraisers and that sort of thing.”

I nodded vaguely as I took in the circular staircase that led to the second floor.

“Those are bedrooms up there,” Liz said. “Each wing has two bedrooms ... a larger one and a smaller one. The top floor has three bedrooms. Then the master is right over our heads. It has doors that open out to the balcony. I’ll show you the upstairs in a minute.”

“Sure,” I said. Liz led me through a door and into a large room that was empty. I thought it might make a perfectly good indoor squash court.

“In the original house, this was the ballroom,” she said, she pointed to a raised dais off to the side. “They’d put the quartet there and the guests would dance and socialize. I’ve put acoustical tiling on the walls and ceiling so this is where we jam. The recording studio is just outside that door so it makes it pretty convenient if we hit on something hot. I also use it to practice my stage shows. I can bring in the backup dancers and the choreographer and we can work here until three or four in the morning without the neighbors complaining.”

I nodded again and took in the high ceilings. I figured that Liz could probably get a hundred people to pay $50,000 each for a private show in this room if she ever got strapped for cash. Short of that, she could rent it out for volleyball games.

I gave my head a mental shake, carefully to keep my face neutral lest Liz figure out again how overwhelmed I was feeling.

She took my hand and we went through the door she had pointed to earlier. I had never been inside a recording studio before but if what I saw in front of me was typical of the setup I understood why a disc cost $25 to download.

I wondered if NASA had as much electronic equipment and as many servers as Liz Larimer’s home studio.

“Jesus Christ,” I muttered.

“Yeah,” Liz said with an embarrassed shrug. “I went a little overboard in here. I just hated dealing with the studios. When I first got started I would get the shittiest times. They’d schedule me for 10 at night – even though I was supposed to be at school the next morning. It’s back to me not paying my dues. So, I decided to hell with them. This house was one of the first things I bought after my second tour. That was the first one I headlined. I spent almost everything I’d made to that point on this house ... and, uh, a car.”

“Which one?” I asked.

“I sold it,” Liz said. “It couldn’t be driven in the United States because it didn’t meet safety standards. It sat in a garage in Germany for six years. It had less than 5,000 miles on it and, since I used to own it, I got more than what I paid for it. I’ll give you a full rundown of my wretched excess in a little while. I wanted to explain the studio. This is the only place I record now. My last four discs have been done here. Even when I move to RaveLand, I’ll still put my music together here. So I spent ... more than I should have ... to make this state-of-the-art.”

“Hey, it’s your money,” I said. “This is an investment, too.”

“Not really,” Liz said. “I don’t make anything off of it. I could if I wanted to let other people use it but ... everyone has their own people. My sound engineer has this set up the way he likes it. I don’t want to let other people fool around with his stuff.”

“That isn’t what I was saying,” I said, taking her by the hips and turning her to face me. “You’re comfortable here. That makes your music better. It lets you go back in and tweak something that sounds good but not perfect. I’d be willing to bet that those facts alone have paid for this place. Even if they didn’t, I can see that you’re proud to have it and that makes it worth it. I mean, yeah, if you were stuck eating pork and beans every night because you put this in, that’s a different story.”

“No pork and beans,” Liz said, smiling at me. “Come on, I want to show something we’re both going to enjoy.”

I bit back a comment about the bedroom being later on the tour and instead followed her out back into the former ballroom. She led me through a different door into a smaller area with a kitchen table.

“This is the normal dining room,” she explained. “I’m not a very good hostess. I use the formal area as my ... boardroom ... I guess. That’s where we convene everybody a few times each year to talk business or plan the stage show. This is where I usually eat. I’m pretty good at not eating in the other parts of the house.”

This room was more reminiscent of my house in San Diego. It looked like a typical dining room, albeit with more expensive furnishings. I felt Liz tugging on my hand and we exited the house to the rear.

“Holy shit,” I said.

The back had what I was certain to be an Olympic-sized swimming pool, complete with two diving boards, a water slide and, I’m not fucking kidding, a waterfall.

A quick estimation of the size said it had more square footage than my entire house and property.

“So, I have decided that if we’re going to spend time on the California beaches, I’ve got to start a tan,” Liz said. “It’s still a little cold now but, come summer, I figured you and I will spend a good amount of time around the pool.”

“Sure,” I said.

“If you’re really nice, I might even check with Susan to see where she got her bikini,” Liz said.

“I figured with this much privacy, you’d just go naked,” I said.

“Um, yeah,” Liz said with her face twisted in a grimace. “There isn’t complete privacy. I don’t live here alone.”

“Oh?” I asked. She had pointed out the farm her parents had once owned on our drive down.

“A house this big requires a lot of upkeep,” Liz said. “I have a housekeeper and two maids that live here. They live on the third floor. My chef and his wife live on the back side of the house. The groundskeeper and his wife live over the garage. The woman that runs the stables has a house near the chef. All told, there are 16 people living here besides me.”

I looked around and didn’t see anyone.

“I asked them to make themselves scarce today,” she admitted. “I think I knew this would be ... uncomfortable for you and I didn’t want you to see a bunch of people running around before I had a chance to walk you through the place.”

I chuckled. It was a good idea. As overwhelmed as I was, the sight of uniformed maids or a personal chef might have tipped me over the edge.

Liz sat on one of the loungers and patted the seat beside her. I immediately noticed that her patio furniture was more comfortable than my living room furnishings.

“Are you OK with this?” she asked.

“Are you going to call the Realtor and put it on the market if I say no?” I asked.

Liz blinked.

“I ... I can’t do that,” she said.

I gave a laugh.

“Then what difference does it make if I’m OK with it or not?” I asked rhetorically. “This is your place; you like it here. I can either get used to it or lump it.”

Liz frowned.

“It’s not like that,” she said. “You ... when I was out there with you, you went out of your way to make me feel like I was at home.”

“Not really,” I interrupted.

“You gave up your bed and slept on a couch and then in a place designed for a child,” Liz pointed out. “Even after we started ... sharing a bed ... you were always solicitous to my comfort. I want to do the same thing here. I want you to feel at home!”

“It’s not my home,” I said.

Liz stared at me for a moment before looking away and then looking back.

“San Diego is my home,” I added.

“It doesn’t have to be,” Liz countered. “This ... this is where I have to be. If I want to work with musicians, I have to be in Nashville. If I want to collaborate with songwriters, I have to be in Nashville. If I want to record a disc, I have to be in Nashville. I can’t live 2,000 miles away from where my business is located. I spend nine months of every year right here, writing music, recording music, working with the choreographers and the backup singers and stagehands and the sound engineers.”

She gave a vague wave of her hand.

“They live here, Travis,” she continued. “They live where all the country singers live. If you and I are going to spend time together, a lot of it ... the vast majority of it ... is going to have to be right here.”

I wasn’t actually planning to spend much time in Nashville at all. I lived in San Diego and I liked it there. I shook my head at my continued stupidity. Of course Liz would continue to live here. A portion of her job could be done from anywhere but the important parts could only happen right where I was sitting.

“I’m not saying we’ll never be in San Diego,” Liz said softly. “We’ll be there often, I’m sure. But this has to be my home base. I ... I’m not sure you really understood that. I got the impression from your friends that they think we’ll be living right down the road from them. We won’t. I can’t. I just didn’t think anyone got that part of the equation.”

“No,” I said. “But I should have. I mean, if I had pulled myself away from this dream I’ve been living for the past week or so and taken a hard look at reality, I would have seen it has to be this way. I know how much effort you put into your craft. I know, despite how easy you make it look, it’s not. I know it takes time and dedication.”

I ran a hand through my hair.

“I’m not ready to take that step, Liz,” I admitted. “I’m not ready to pack up my life and jump into this because we had a good week together.”

“I know and I’m not asking you to,” Liz said.

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