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Karin Kallmaker - Unforgettable.docx
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Unforgettable

Is true love hidden in the moments we can't stop remembering… or in those we choose to forget? There is nothing like a high school reunion to bring the old times flooding back… Old Passions… Handsome singer Loretta "Rett" Jamison has built herself a successful career and a repertoire filled with romantic ballads and hot jazz. But her failing relationship with lover/manager Trisha York has left a growing emptiness in her heart. Trisha seems to have found what she needs in the arms of younger women. Can Rett find it on the lips of the classmate who gave her the first real taste of passion? Old Secret… Former Head Cheerleader Cinny Keilor is an All-American girl… with an all-consuming secret. Still blond and beautiful, leggy Cinny is looking forward to reliving those idyllic days of proms and pep rallies. But has she forgotten those steamy nights in the back seat of another girl's car? Old Pain… National Science Award winner Dr. Angelica Martinetta is being honored by the reunion committee for her victories in the war against ovarian cancer. But the former outsider had returned to face a different challenge - can she win the heart of the one woman she has pined for all these years?

1

"... has indicated that the cabin has reached cruising altitude. For your safety and comfort..."

"This is all about you being cozy and comfortable. You could get up off your ass once in a while!"

Rett shook her head against the stiff airplane seat and tried to find a way back to sleep that didn't include reliving that humiliating fight with Trish. She was so tired and wanted so much to sleep all the way from La Guardia to LAX. She hadn't slept well all week, not with every word Trish had said pinging around in her head.

"Can I get you something to snack on while lunch is being prepared?" The nasal-voiced steward was back again. Rett was unused to the solicitousness of first class. She'd been hoping the more comfortable seating would turn out to be worth every mileage point she'd cashed in for the upgrade, but that would only be the case if she got some sleep. Still, it was nice to be waited on hand and foot.

"Some water," Rett mumbled. She was behind in her daily intake and sleep seemed unlikely. She drank the bottle down in a few gulps and closed her eyes.

So tired .. .

"... on the right, you can see the thousands of lakes that cover Minnesota, as well as Lake Superior ..."

"You're so superior. So you can sing. Whoopity-fucking-doo. We're taking in less money this year than we did last year and you're running out of time for that Ms. Nice Girl act. You want to be famous, you gotta act that way. "

Thoroughly disoriented, Rett opened one eye and saw the steward delivering a freshly tossed Caesar salad to the man next to her.

"You're awake," the steward said cheerily. "Would you like the filet or Chicken Newburg?"

Rett cleared her throat. Her voice still came out a froggy squeak. "Chicken." She put her hand to her throat. "And more water."

Swallowing produced the merest nuance of pain that made her singer's reflexes wince. She'd overused her voice all week, enjoying the band she'd been appearing with, as well as the appreciative, swing- and jazz-loving audience. She sang as long as anyone would listen, not wanting to go back to the hotel to replay The Fight one more time.

She didn't want to break up with Trish, but maybe it was inevitable. Trish was right — she'd be forty in just three weeks, and she was running out of time for all sorts of things. God, it had been a gruesome fight. She'd seen Trish dismantle other people, but Trish's barbs had never been directed so relentlessly at her.

She was so tired. . .

"... the great visibility means both sides of the plane can see the Continental Divide all the way to the horizon..."

"You want to expand your horizons? Stupid little thing, people like us are stuck in Woton, Minnesota. You were nothing when you were born, and you'll never be more than nothing."

Rett woke up clutching the arms of her seat. She'd gone from Trish to her mother, good God. She knew she was tired, but what on earth was happening to her that she was coming so mentally unglued as to dream about her mother after all these years?

Afraid to go back to sleep, she picked at the hot fudge sundae the steward urged on her. She found herself blinking back tears and cursed herself for letting the tears get that far — damn it, her throat was tensing up and the resulting ache and diminished volume would last at least twelve hours. Her throat was already sore enough to require some time over the vaporizer. Trish would say vapor therapy was just

an excuse not to go out to some party or some premiere or another pointless opportunity to make "do lunch" promises to people she'd never see again. No one ever remembered Rett Jamison.

Stop that, she admonished herself. You've got enough grief to think about without dumping more self-pity on the heap.

She rested her forehead against the cool window. She was so tired...

"Stop it, please," she had pleaded. "Nothing you say is going to make me beg some producer for a callback."

Trish snarled, "Beg? Is that my job?" She kicked at a bath towel on the floor. "I work my butt off and now you act like you're above a phone call? As if you're anybody! As if you could ever get anywhere without my help!"

Trish had never been this angry with her before, but Rett didn't want to give in. "You always told me to concentrate on my craft and you'd take care of all the messy details. You get fifteen percent for it." Rett didn't want to bring up money but there it was.

"I deserve more. That audition was damned hard to set up and you won't even make a follow-up call."

"Naomi set it up, not you. And Naomi hasn't suggested that any kind of follow-up call is necessary."

Trish trembled with anger. "Don't bring that bitch up. Next you'll be telling me you made more when she was your manager and not just your agent."

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