Tennessee’s Whiskey by L. Loren.
Grad student, Patricia Woods finds herself on the brink of homelessness. Needing a job that pays immediately, she reluctantly sets her sights on the local redneck bar where the bikers are notorious, and the tips are flowing.
All she wants is to make a little cash to pay her way through school, but what she finds is so much more. Her dream of finally having a family to call her own is just beyond her reach.
Single father, Weston Daniels, has built a nice life for him and his five-year old son. After escaping the “family business” all he wants is the peace and quiet of the south, and an occasional romp with a nameless woman.
He has a change of heart, when a beautiful African American woman dressed in orange bombards his bar. When his past catches up with him, he is faced with choosing between her life and the happiness he desires.
My ex, Beth Ann slung her bleach blonde tresses over her shoulder calling attention to her over inflated breasts that cost me a pretty penny right after my son was born. She complained so much about how breast feeding had made her breast sag that I paid for the surgery just to shut her up. She was one of those girls who was always chasing something better. She barely made time for little Wes, so I wasn’t exactly surprised to see her show up before her weekend with our son barely got started.
“Hey, little man.”
I caught my son as he launched his body at me like a missile. He was rough and tumble and the spitting image of his old man. The only reason I got a DNA test was for the courts. I knew he was mine from birth. He had the Daniels genes for sure. My no-good ex took a seat at the bar and looked up at me expectantly. I hated her. She was a horrible girlfriend and an even worse mother. The only reason I tolerated her shit was because my boy deserved to have his mother in his life. Too bad I fucked up and chose the wrong woman for the job.
“Weston, I need you to take him. I have an audition and I can’t be late.”
“Audition? I didn’t know you had to try out for stripper poles. What do they do, measure your height and assign the pole accordingly?”
She rolled her eyes that looked like they had bat wings attached to the lids. Why the hell did women wear those fake eyelashes? They looked like they would take flight at any minute. This woman was getting on my nerves. She knew I had to work and couldn’t have little Wes in the bar. It was a violation and my liquor license could be revoked. I had told her time and again, but she never listened.
“Funny, but you need to take your son. I have shit to do.”
“Beth Ann, this is your weekend to spend time with your child. Why did you schedule an audition for tonight? You know I can’t have him here. Look around you. This is a bar!”
The bitch had the nerve to laugh before standing from her seat and shaking her ass at me. She walked away and then right before she reached the door, turned to look at me over her left shoulder while tossing that damn hair.
“Deal with it. I’ll see you next month.”
I wanted to smash every piece of glass I could get my hands on, but little Wes didn’t need to see that shit. Now what was I going to do with little man while the bar was open. His nanny was out of town and there was no one for me to call. My frustration got the best of me and I picked up a glass and flung it across the bar. I was about to fling another one when Tennessee popped up and took it from my hand. Placing it on the counter, she glared at me before turning to Wes and smiling.
“Well, who is this handsome young man?”
“My name is Wes. You’re pretty. Wanna be my girl?”
That was enough to calm the beast inside me. My boy was just like his old man, only I didn’t ask for relationships. He was too young to learn that lesson though. Curious to see her reaction, I leaned against the bar and folded my arms over my chest.
“Wow, that is the best offer I have had in a very long time. How old are you?”
“I’m this many.” My son held his hand up and counted to five for the pretty lady who was smiling at him like he was the only person in the room. Wes wasn’t used to being the center of a woman’s attention unless they were trying to get in good favor with me.
“You are very tall for five and handsome too. But to be my boyfriend you have to have a job. Do you have a job, Wes?”
My son sat looking at the woman who had captured his heart in just a moment of knowing her, and thought. His brow furrowed and then a lightbulb went off. You could see it in his eyes the moment it happened. He smiled up at Tennessee like she hung the moon. He opened his little lips and what came out next shocked even me.
“I have a job and it is important. I take care of Daddy.”
He nodded his head like it was the best answer in the world and to me it was. We had had that conversation before. I told him my job was to take care of him, but he felt left out so I told him his was to take care of me. I guess he took it to heart.
“Wow! That’s a very big job! I bet you’re good at it too.”
He looked at me for confirmation. I smiled and nodded my head, giving him the go ahead.
“Yep. So now you can be my girl.”
“Hold on! I have one more question. How much does that job pay because we can’t live off of love alone?”
My little man rubbed his hands together as his little mind worked to find a solution to his new problem. He wasn’t old enough to have an allowance yet so that was a no go. He had a piggy bank, but it wasn’t nearly full. He scratched his head and looked to me for help. I laughed and shook my head.
“Oh no, don’t look at me. I’m not paying for your girlfriends. If you want a good woman like Tennessee, here, you got to get a job. That’s the only way you can keep her. You have to take her out on dates and buy her ice cream and pretty jewelry. All of that takes money.”
“Well,” he says, “as soon as I get a job, I’ll come back and ask you again.”
Tennessee chuckled and gave him a hug. “I’ll be waiting with bated breath.”
I watched as my little boy fell hard for his first crush. If he were a cartoon character, his heart would be beating outside of his chest. It was the cutest thing I had ever seen. I definitely couldn’t blame him. She was bewitching. If I had it in me to settle down, she would be on my radar.
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