A COWBOY FALLS
A guitar player looking for redemption.
A widow needing a second chance at love.
Fall hard for the rock star and the cowgirl…
Barrel racing competitively was my dream, but my heart took me elsewhere, into the arms of a F15 pilot, forever—or so I thought. Fate had other plans, leaving me alone, raising our daughter, widowed and broken. Now, years later, back on the ranch, cranky and bored, I need more, want more. And when Ben Rice’s music reignites my fire, he’s all I can think about, all I want. But why would a rock star fall for a cowgirl like me?.
Hard work, dedication, and talent, got me where I am, climbing the Billboard music charts, following my dreams. But when Olivia Fairchild shows up in my life, my dreams, my fantasies, my desires, start to shift. I can’t give her what she wants, what she deserves, now I need to make sure this cowboy doesn't fall.
Liv raised her arms and swayed as the warm breeze of the Colorado night danced and swirled around her.
Sitting in the sixth row of the outdoor amphitheater, she closed her eyes and sang along, as the opening band played her favorite song.
She didn’t remember how she found them, or the first time she listened to their music, but this was the first time she saw them perform live.
I don’t wanna play it cool
Act like meeting you
Ain’t got me all jumbled up inside.
I don’t want to play along,
Dance with you for just one song,
Then politely step aside.
Let’s don’t let go of this
No, let’s don’t let this go.
I don’t wanna move too fast
If I let this moment pass
May never get the chance again.
Tomorrow I will either be
Tangled up in you and me
Or lost in thoughts of what could have been.
“Open your eyes,” her best friend, Paige, whispered. “He’s singing to you.”
When Liv opened her eyes, CB, the lead singer of the band CB Rice, was looking right at her. When she smiled, he nodded and smiled too.
“Oh my God,” Liv’s daughter, Renie, giggled. “Look, Blythe.” Renie nudged her best friend.
“How embarrassing,” Blythe murmured.
“Ow! Jeez, Mom. Why’d you hit me?”
“Let Liv enjoy this moment, and don’t be such a brat, Blythe.”
The people behind them leaned forward. “Shh…”
Blythe turned around. “You want us to be quiet during a rock concert? Seriously?”
Paige swatted her again.
“Ow, Mom. Stop hitting me!”
“Shh…” whispered Liv, wanting to hear nothing but CB’s voice singing her favorite song.
In my mind I’ve already let this go too far
Saying goodbye tonight
Would be just like a broken heart.
Let’s don’t let go of this
No, let’s don’t let this go.
The song ended, and Liv wished she could hit replay, like she did so often when she listened to their music. It was as though the words of every song were written just for her. She’d never forget this night, finally having the chance to see them perform live.
Since CB Rice was the opener for the opener for the headliner, their set was short. After six songs, CB thanked the bands that would come after them for inviting them on stage tonight.
“Playing Red Rocks has always been our dream,” CB told the cheering audience.
Every band she’d seen at the spectacular venue nestled into the mountains outside of Denver had expressed a similar sentiment.
The natural rock formations created an open-air amphitheater with perfect acoustics. A large, tilted, disc-shaped rock formed a multi-story backdrop behind the stage, and a huge vertical rock angled outward from the right. Several more large outcrops angled outward from the left.
From the stage, rows upon rows of wooden benches led up to a vast and open view of the starry Rocky Mountain nights.
“Ready for a beer?” Paige asked.
“Sure. Why not?” Liv smiled. She’d insisted they rush to their seats when they arrived, so she didn’t miss a single minute of CB Rice on stage.
“We’re going to look at merch,” Renie told her mother, pulling a pouting Blythe behind her.
“All the years they’ve been friends, you’d think Renie’s personality would’ve rubbed off, at least a little, on my daughter.”
“She’s fine,” Liv answered.
She hummed the last song the band played, wishing again she could hear it one more time.
“You should get a t-shirt,” Paige teased.
“Maybe I will.”
Two beers and one of every t-shirt CB Rice was selling later, Liv and Paige returned to their seats just as the second band took the stage.
Their seats were situated just outside the roped-off area, which was designated both for VIPs and for the sound equipment. When Renie came and sat beside her, Liv leaned against her daughter.
“Having fun?” Renie asked.
“Thank you for doing this,” Liv answered.
“I know how much you like Red Rocks, and with three of your favorite bands playing, it seemed like the perfect way to end our summer.”
Her daughter was a pre-med major at Dartmouth, and would be returning to school next week.
“I miss you already, sweetheart.”
The second band began to play, and soon everyone in the ten-thousand-person audience was on their feet, dancing and singing along.
“Look.” Renie pointed to Liv’s left.
She looked up at the large rock formation, expecting to see something projected on it. “What?”
“Not up there. There.” Renie pointed again to the VIP area, where CB and his band were seated.
When Liv looked over, CB was looking right at her, just like he had been while onstage. Warmth traveled up her cheeks, and she looked away. A few minutes later, she looked back. His eyes still rested on her; this time he smiled and winked.
“Hey, you.” Paige smiled when Liv scooted closer, putting Renie and Blythe between her and the ropes.
“Mom’s hiding from CB Rice.”
Paige leaned back.
“Don’t look,” Liv gasped.
“He’s been staring at her all night,” Blythe groaned.
“Shh…” the people behind them whispered again, which only made Liv and Paige giggle.
When the second band’s set ended, Liv sneaked a peek at the VIP area, disappointed that she didn’t see any members of CB Rice.
“You were ignoring him, so he went home,” Renie smirked.
Liv rolled her eyes.
Soon, the third band took the stage, and the audience went wild. Liv forgot all about CB and his band as she danced and sang along for the rest of the two-hour show.
Too soon it seemed, the band played their encore, and the audience slowly began making their way to the exits.
“Wait,” Liv heard someone yell.
When Liv turned around, CB was standing right behind her.
He smiled. “Hi.”
“What’s your name?”
Liv looked around. “Me?”
CB laughed. “Yeah, you.”
“Liv,” she answered, and then turned back around. “And this is my friend, Paige, my daughter, Renie, and Paige’s daughter, Blythe.”
He bent to see around Liv. “I’m Ben Rice. Nice to meet you.” He waved, and then rested his gaze back on her. “Thanks for coming to the show tonight, Liv.”
“You’re welcome. Um…well…nice to meet you, um…Ben” Liv pushed past Paige. “Come on, let’s go.”
“Nice to meet you.” Paige waved and followed Liv, who was already beyond the end of the row, near the exit.
“What has gotten into you?” Paige asked when they got in the car.
“You weren’t very polite to him, Mom.”
“What are you talking about?”
“He was flirting with you.”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” Liv murmured and turned up the volume on the stereo.