New Year Scene from Aquamarine

© Can Stock Photo/ ginosphotos

As the old year comes to an end Tonya and Mike are on opposite sides of the country. Mike is performing in New York while Tonya has a gig at a hotel in Beverly Hills. During a break, however, she’ll discover that she has an unexpected ally. 

Marina Martindale

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A New Year’s Scene from the contemporary romance novel Aquamarine

 

The hotel ballroom was packed with New Year’s Eve revelers. Among them were Stanley Klein and Mandy West. No doubt George had insisted they attend, and during a break Mandy approached Tonya in the ladies’ room.

“Nice show.” Mandy kept her eyes glued to the mirror while she touched up her makeup. “And your dress is stunning. Red is certainly your color, and you and Shawn have a nice chemistry together.”

Tonya remained on guard as she grabbed her lipstick. “Shawn and I are old friends. We’ve been working together for some time.”

“So, I hear.” Mandy lowered her voice. “Although you and Mike are a great couple.”

Tonya also spoke in a hushed tone. “Not anymore. You know who put a stop to it.”

“For now, but it won’t be for long if I have anything to say about it. I told our mutual friend you’d never fit in with our inner circle, and I’m going to keep reminding him until he realizes it for himself and sets you free. So, hang in there. I’m on your side.” She dropped her compact back into her purse and spoke in her normal voice.

“Happy New Year.”

Mandy quickly walked away, but it took Tonya a moment to gather her thoughts and refocus on her gig.

“Well, you certainly look happier,” said Shawn when she returned.

“Turns out I have a friend I didn’t know I had.”

“You’ll have to fill me in later. It’s going on midnight, so let’s make this next set count.” They watched the clock as they played. It was less than a minute before midnight when they finished their final song for the year. Shawn took the mic and began leading the countdown. Balloons and confetti were released at the stroke of midnight and he gave Tonya a hug.

“Happy New Year. It’s all going to work out. I have it on the highest authority.” They began playing, “Auld Lang Syne,” and the audience sang along. Afterwards, they resumed their set as a few people began leaving. An hour later they said goodnight, and as the last of the partygoers left the room, the hotel staff began clearing the remaining tables. Shawn and Tonya were packing up their gear when one of the servers brought them a take-out bag.

“Happy New Year,” he said.

“Happy New Year to you as well,” said Tonya, “and thank you for thinking of us.”

“My pleasure. By the way, I’m a part-time musician myself, and you guys are fantastic.”

Shawn and Tonya had adjoining suites on one of the upper floors. After changing into his sweats, Shawn tapped on Tonya’s door and came in with their food.

“They gave us sandwiches and salads,” he said. “One is roast beef; the other is turkey.”

You can have the roast beef.” Tonya sat down at the table and kicked off her shoes. “What a night. Great gig, but not easy when you’re wearing high heels.”

“I don’t envy you, although I’m glad to be out of the monkey suit” Shawn took out his phone as he sat down. “Jacque says Happy New Year. She had a busy night and she made a boatload of tips.”

“Wasn’t tonight her last night?”

“It was. She’s taking a few days off. Then she starts an office job with regular hours.”

“I’ll bet she’s looking forward to it.”

“She is, and we have a message from another mutual friend. It’s a short video he shot in his hotel room. Take a look.”

“Hey you guys,” said a tired looking Mike. “It’s been a long day, but I got the live performance done. So, before I crash I want to wish you both a Happy New Year, and with any luck, Ms. Rose, we’ll be together next New Year’s Eve.”

“I sure hope so,” said Tonya once the video ended.

Aquamarine is available at Amazon, Barnes&Noble.com and with other online book sellers.