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Garret stared at the little crowd of reporters and shit, glad as hell that they wanted to talk to the big names, and not him. There was the scary redheaded lady, and the two old sports guys, the ones he knew. Then there was a gaggle of young media types, looking to get the scoop on how to hype the event to the Nashville crowd, trying to make sure they came back next year. Make sure they got to keep looking like them purty boys in the glossy magazines.
Give him a hundred middle-aged lady fans and ten-year-old boys any day over this horseshit.
He smoothed his light blue shirt over his belly, sighing when a couple of the media babies who were getting no love from AJ and Balta looked his way. He pasted on his trademark goofy grin, knowing with his lantern jaw it made him look mostly harmless.
Lord have mercy, they were like little sharks--toothy and grinning and sorta evil. One of them had a camera as big as Johnnie's, the lens like a big ole mouth or something, the flash near blinding him.
Garret blinked. "Ain't you supposed to warn me, man?" Manners were dead.
"Sorry." It didn't sound very sincere. Of course, the guy's haircut probably cost more than Garret's first car. "Smile." The flash went off again.
A growl escaped him, and Garret moved fast, closing in on the little shit's space. Then he bared his teeth. "How's this?"
"I've seen better, but you'll do." The flash went off again and he could swear he heard the guy mutter, "fucking show off redneck assholes."
Without even thinking about it, he reached out and poked the guy in the chest. "Watch your mouth."
"Dude!" His hand was slapped good and hard. Did the guy have amanicure? "Hands off, jackass."
"Learn some damned manners and I'll keep them to myself." There was something about this one that made Garret want to sock the guy in the nose.
"Kelly Daniels, quit poking the bear." Another perfectly coiffed little boy came up, patted the guy on the shoulder. This one wasn't as pretty--didn't have the near-black eyes or the highlights or the hours-in-the-gym look--but he was cut from the same cloth.
"I didn't. I'm doing my job. Pictures of the adrenaline jockies."
Garret's hands clenched into fists, and he worked hard to keep his voice even. "Y'all freelance, or do you work for someone?"
The new boy grinned, the look patently fake. "Chris Jacks. I'm with CWM TV here in Nashville. Kelly's ... what do you call it, Green?"
"Well, shit." He stared right into those dark eyes. "Means I can't get the sponsors to fire you."
"Not a chance." Those eyes flashed, hot as a brand. "Be careful, cowboy, or I'll Photoshop your ass into a clown costume and sell you to the Enquirer. See you, Chrissy."
Posted July 9, 2010
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