The Morrow Family Saga, Series Four, 1980, Book One: Once Around the Ride, Chapter Seven

Tom was pleased with Jimmy Carter’s Presidency. The man had been working hard to do more than most would’ve dreamed of doing. Moreover, Tom had been there to help him with it all. At the moment, he was helping the President arrange the release of the hostages in Tehran. He knew people in the country formerly known as Persia and had offered his assistance.

Matt knew nothing of this mission and Tom hoped that he never found out. He hoped that Matt never found out where he was going on his “business trips”. Matt didn’t need to get mixed up  in politics or affairs of the state.

Tom really didn’t want to be mixed up in it either, but he was one of the few who was respected, even by the Ayatollah. He smirked at the irony of a Jew being respected by the Iranian Ayatollah. Still, he was one of those men who everyone listened to when they talked. That was what counted.

Matt needed to focus on his career, not on him. Tom’s affairs was his own. Even  Susie refrained from asking him questions. She knew that what he did was classified.

He knew that it would be a long haul, as the problem had begun in November and it was now January. Matt and Belinda had been an item for three months already. God. Had it been that long?

He shook his head. He hadn’t even given them that long. He had thought that the infatuation that Belinda had felt would have already subsided. Still, it hadn’t surprised him when Matt had called him to Chaz’s office. Nor had it surprised him to find matt forcing Belinda to sign a prenup. Something had to have occurred for Matt to pull that one out of his hat of tricks.

The only thing that had him scratching his head was just how long the relationship, if you could call it that, would last. A year? Two? Three? Or would it even last that long?

There was no real way of telling. All he knew was that Belinda was unhappy with the surprise. Apparently it had not been what she had been expecting and Matt had known it would piss her off. Had he been trying to make her walk away? Or had she been the one to precipitate this event?

He had to smile. Matt had done exactly what he would’ve done had he been in the same position. He had nailed a problem to the wall and prevented a potential disaster. He had put Belinda in check. Her plans had been changed by his singular move.

Perhaps she would be forced to settle down now. He wasn’t holding his breath, but he could hope. All he knew was that she was one strange work of art. He doubted if she knew how to love at all. All she knew was money and the things it could buy. She sought out those in the spotlight to attach herself to then sucked the life out of them, destroying their families and their careers.

She was a parasite, the type of groupie all musicians were warned about, but could never tell from the rest until they were already in too deep. But Matt had not been so deep that he would lose it all. He had been too cautious for that.

He smiled. At least he wasn’t friends with that rich fucker Trump. The guy was an idiot. He had inherited daddy’s empire only to begin losing money through bad investments. Matt saw him as a buffoon with a degree. He had no use for the man.

To Matt, Trump was just another wanna-be rich asshole who thought he had a great life. He felt that the man would only become an eventual footnote in the country’s history. And usually, Matt had a good feel for things like that. He knew who was going to be something and who was going to be forgotten.

And he tended to surround himself with the movers and shakers. His band was always filled with names that became household words. Anyone who knew their music knew every bandmate Matt had played with as a part of a band.

Sal Giovanni. Tandy Lewis. Norvis Sinclair. Todd Haelstrom. Norm Lowthrup. Kinley Farley. Seamus O’Dell. Frazier Lee. Thrace Marcel. Treat Heartley. They had all played with Matt.

Sal, Tandy, Kinley, Seamus, and Thrace all made up the current band. The rest had come and gone over the decade or more that Matt had been in music. But Matt had also worked with such legends as Eric Clapton, Marc Bolan, Alex Chilton, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Flo and Eddy. He’d been in demand since he appeared in the music world.

He was still in demand. There was no end to the projects he was being asked to work on. New bands had discovered him as both a musician and a producer. He knew sound. There was good sound, bad sound, and superb sound. Matt brought out the exceptional in those he worked with. It didn’t matter whether he was playing or producing. When he was a part, it just sounded superb. Exceptional. Extraordinary.

***

Belinda was beginning to come down from her emotional high. She had decided to make the best of it all until she had an opportunity to leave. First, though, she needed an appointment with the doctor. For the past month, she had felt like her emotions were uncontrollable. She had also been suffering from bouts of nausea. Especially during the morning.

Maybe she was pregnant. Or maybe ill with something. Whatever it was, it was something she wasn’t used to. And she hated feeling this way.

She had never been sick a day in her life. Not even as a child. But she had never been pregnant either. She had been lucky enough to pick lovers who’d been conscientious about demanding some sort of contraceptive.

But Matt had not demanded any such a thing. He had not asked her to do anything. Well, not until he had insisted on her signing the prenup. He had only wanted her to love him.

She felt a little guilty, now, for how she had been acting. She was beginning to rethink everything. Whether to run off after giving him a child. Whether to take the money and run. Whether to stay and settle down.

She smiled sadly. It was too late for her to change her mind now. She only hoped he could forgive her. it was just that he wanted more than she did out of their relationship.

He wanted love. She didn’t have any to give. All she knew was the lust. The chase. The capture. The execution of the final coup.

He wanted a child. She didn’t. She hated children. Well, maybe not hate. It was more of a fear of doing to the child the same of what had been done to her. She didn’t wish that upon anyone.

He wanted forever. She couldn’t give that. She couldn’t even promise him tomorrow. She was afraid to.

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