(Previous post: Moving forward)
Hazel had never seen this house before, it appeared to be new but he couldn’t really brag about knowing things around the town. It was pretty, in any case, it looked really modern, two floors, a patio and a balcony, a lot of glass. He walked up the porch to the glass doors inhaling deeply. He was a little nervous about the whole thing, but then again who wouldn’t be, it was Nina Caliente who called after all.
Nina was a big name in the music industry, she was officially retired but during her career she had been a very famous movie music composer so she still wielded a fair amount of influence. It was Hazel’s dream to have his own music so well heard. He had been writing music since he was a teenager but as he grew older he found that the industry was more than that and he had to start from the bottom like everyone else. But today he hoped all this was about to change…
He rubbed his sweaty palms together inhaling deeply. His brother Harry had teased him mercilessly about coming here, he told him he misunderstood the whole thing, Nina was after all also known for her heartbreaking ways, she had never been married and had dated all kinds of men, lately younger than her. Harry also bragged how she had tried to kiss him at some party last year, but he turned her down, he was happily married after all. Hazel sighed, he really hoped it wasn’t that kind of invitation. He was married as well, to a wonderful, loving man, his greatest support. Nina must have known that… This had to be a business call…
The door opened and an tall thin woman with long, brightly orange hair and slick shades that hid her eyes opened the door. Nina Caliente was well into her elder years but she hadn’t looked, or dressed the part.
“Mr Hazel Brown?” She said smiling sweetly. Hazel nodded extending his hand, he found his voice had completely deserted him. Nina however didn’t seem fazed, she seemed used to people being starstruck at her very appearance. She lead him inside and Hazel couldn’t help but look around the house.
The first floor was just one big open space with a living room, dining room and a kitchen. It was all nicely furnished and decorated in style but what caught Hazel’s attention was the grand piano in the left side of the room. He yearned to trace his finger over its delicate keys, and hear the sound it made when he pressed them… He forced himself to look away and focus on the seating area right in the middle of the room. A girl was standing next to a teal couch. She was very young, early twenties if Hazel had to guess, from where he stood she looked rather plain, no makeup, long brown hair tied in two braids.
He walked over to her and she smiled.The smile lit up her face and Hazel had to say his first impression was wrong, the girl was everything but plain, with light blue eyes brighter than any he had seen. “This is Latricia, my daughter.” Nina said. “This is her house.” She added. “Do you like it Mr Brown?”
“Hazel, please call me Hazel, both of you.” Hazel said as he finally found his voice. “And yes the house is quite remarkable.” He said shifting his eyes to the piano once again.
“My daughter plays a bit.” Nina said tracking Hazel’s gaze. She took a seat and Hazel and Latricia sat down as well. “She is better with the guitar of course.” She added with a smile towards the girl. “Genetics and all that. Do you know who her father was?” She asked suddenly and Hazel felt the young girl squirm. She looked down to her legs. Hazel didn’t feel any more comfortable. He didn’t really follow gossip, and he knew she should have. Nina was associated with so many men, and this had to have been very long ago… “No? It was the late Riam Gradle you know, we had been involved for a short while…” She smiled as if remembering a fond memory and Hazel turned his eyes back to Latricia. It was so clear he wondered how come he hadn’t seen it earlier, her hair was the exact same shade of brown, and her blue eyes…
Riam Gradle had been dead for a year, and retired for much longer, but everyone in Sunset Valley knew very well how the man once looked, he was one of the greatest rock stars ever to live, and he lived here, in their small town. If Nina was right with that genetics comment the girl must have slayed on the guitar.
“That is quite a musical background.” Hazel said to Latricia and she barely looked at him.
“Sure is.” Her mother answered for her. “Latrica had spent the last few years studying at the Conservatorium. She is not only talented but musically educated as well.” Hazel nodded. It was an interesting conversation but he was at a total loss to where all this was heading and why she was here. “But to succeed in the world of music she needs more of course, you know it, and I know it.” Hazel nodded. “I got her a stylist, Luther Prentiss, maybe you know him, he does good work, he worked with my sister’s wife… Anyway, what Latricia really needs is a good manager. I might have done it myself but I am old, so is Phaena Santoro, plus she is working with the military now… But you Hazel… You have been in the business for a while now, you know your stuff, you are not that much older than my daughter… I think you could work well together. What do you say?” Both the Caliente woman’s eyes were on Hazel now and he blinked hard. What would he say? This wasn’t what he wanted, or expected. He wanted to do his own music, not manage anyone else… But then again it was a good opportunity to make a name of himself… It was Nina Caliente and her daughter after all…
He knew he had to consult with husband, and even his big brother, Harry always had something to say but he couldn’t blow it. “I agree, I feel we would work great together.” Hazel said and smiled at Latricia Caliente. This time she smiled back.