Conversation lagged for a few minutes until Maddie started humming. She’d had a song running through her head all day. The lyrics had gotten stuck, though, and she had to sing it to get past the trouble zone. She didn’t sing very loudly, but it was so quiet that her voice carried.
“Hey, hang on a second,” Gabriel said. He reached into the cab of his pickup and pulled out a guitar case. “Start over,” he coaxed after tuning his guitar. “I just learned this, so it might be a little rough.”
He played the opening strains of Sweet Home Alabama. All the guys said, “Turn it up,” at the appropriate spot. Laughing, Gabriel played louder. He joined Maddie on the verses, helping her through the trouble spot, and all of them sang the chorus. Patti clapped, Brad tapped his knees. Luis blew over the top of his bottle, the other boys beat on the sides of the truck and snapped their fingers. It sounded pretty good, so they sang another song, and another. They were having so much fun, they completely forgot about the time until Jose came out to the truck.
“You’re still here? It’s nearly midnight. You mom called, she’s worried sick.”
“Oh, sorry, Dad. We were having a good time with the music.”
“Plenty of time for that tomorrow. These kids need to sleep. Wake-up is seven.”
“Seriously?” Clayton asked. “We can’t roll that back to like eight?”
“It gets hot early here. You want to be working in the heat of the day or be able to take a siesta?” Jose asked.
“Fine, but I want it clearly noted that I do this under extreme protest,” Clayton said with a smirk.
“Duly noted,” Jose replied with a wink.
The teenagers said good night. Gabriel seemed to linger a little over long when he said goodnight to Maddie. He kissed her hand, which he didn’t do with Patti.
“Thanks for singing with me. That was fun.”
“It was. I enjoyed it.”
“See you tomorrow,” he said quietly, his eyes lingering on hers.
“Yeah. Goodnight, Gabriel.”
“Gabe’s good. Night, Madison.”
She felt a strong vibe from him, as if he wanted to kiss her. To be honest, she wanted to kiss him too. He was handsome, well built and loved the same music she did. He also hadn’t known her his entire life, which was a plus as far as she was concerned. But she’d barely kissed a boy and she wasn’t going to start with some guy she met a couple hours ago. It wouldn’t do for him to think she was that kind of girl, because she wasn’t.
When Maddie and Patti got to the girls’ room, the lights were out. There were night lights scattered about and there was some light coming in from the parking lot. They gathered their toothpaste and brushes, heading to the bathroom to get ready for bed. The boys were already in their bathroom going through their nightly routine.
© 2015 Dellani Oakes