Montana Rhapsody Pt. 03byEgmont0409©
Dinner was most entertaining and Lisa had been delighted to see both of the other women take a long look at her new and very fashionable dress. Paris had also worked enhancing Lisa's attempt at applying make-up. Lisa lacked a little in attention to detail and being a little too reserved with color.
* * *
"Batchelor Barron has been fucking Mrs Sylvie Drew since their high school graduation," Ruby confided as they rode the creaky elevator to the fifth floor of the office-warehouse.
Lisa said, "Should you be telling us that?"
"Yes," said the other two women.
"A month with you two and I'll return home a different woman," Lisa wailed and was told she should be delighted about that.
"God Paris you are more beautiful than represented by your photo on the hard cover edition dust jacket of 'A Pregnant Pause'," Mrs Drew said when Thelma made the introductions.
"Attend to that anomaly please Thelma," said Mr Barron.
Mrs Drew said, "Tell me Paris, is it true you're no counterfeit cowgirl but are the genuine article?"
While Paris stared at Mrs Drew with her mouth open, Lisa said, "I ride a horse very well Mrs Drew but I keep clear of cows. The truth is I'm a little scared of them and it took my husband almost through our first year of marriage before he learned that. Please don't think of Paris as a pseudo cowgirl. She rides like the devil, can rope and bring down steers, moves hay about like a veteran, can castrate young cattle and do most anything but her fiancée Hal refuses to allow her to cut cattle, saying it's too dangerous and he doesn't want her to risk a bad fall and disfigure herself."
Mrs Drew, seated and about to pour coffee with the old-fashion silver coffee pot, looked at Paris and asked, "What is it dear?"
Paris knew that her heroine Skye had secretly hated being around cattle because on her parent's farm in Scotland she'd grown up as a shepherd helping to attend to her father's 800 sheep. But she'd gritted and rode with the cow herd with Billy and his men and tried to impress him so he'd not find her wanting.
Paris replied, "You have just named my novel."
"Are you sure dear? I don't have a literary bone in my body. I handle business and finance while Brett handle contracts and publishing."
"You used the term counterfeit cowgirl. That would be a brilliant title for my novel."
"Well said young lady," said Brett. "I thought Babe in Montana was crap."
"It was just a working title because I couldn't think of the title I wanted. Mrs Drew please!"
"Of course dear. I would be honored."
"If you know the working title have you read my manuscript?"
"Yes dear, both of us have," Mrs Drew said handing Lisa her coffee. "Everyone is so aghast at your ending that when Thelma requested this meeting and explained why you were seeking it, Brett and I thought we would have to read the entire manuscript to be able to see everything in context."
"State your case Paris and my that's a lovely name. Please call me Sylvie and you too Lisa."
Thelma and Ruby exchanged astonished looks.
"Well," began Paris. "I grant killing off my heroine is rather unusual and in romance writing really unacceptable but in fiction generally it's not without precedent."
Others in the room sat in fascinated silence as Paris, armed with her academic knowledge that had been refreshed with some research on the Internet, cited literature where the heroine dies, including in some ancient classics.
"So you see I'm acting not without precedent."
"Well dear I'm afraid those are just words to me. You have failed to move me."
Struggling not to panic, realizing by that comment Sylvie had either made up her mind against allowing Skye to die or at the very least remaining neutral until hearing from her, Paris knew she had to clutch at something and 'something' came to her.
"Sylvie can you tell me the names of your two favorite operas?"
"Yes of course but I'm only middle of the road. They are La Boheme and Madame Butterfly."
"Ah, Madame Butterfly."
Paris paused in glee with that choice. She'd thought she could have been in with a chance.
"Ohmigod, I know what's coming: what happens to Cho Cho San?"
"Brett it's your decision. All I can say is Paris appears to know what she's about."
"The ending as submitted stays," said Brett. "You are a clever woman. You have thought sequel, haven't you."
"Yes Mr Barron. Although sequels are rarely as popular as the first in the series my sequel will still be my second-best seller. Readers, well female readers, will be left wondering how would the baby fare in that tough ranch environment and with such as tough-ass father as Billy."
Mr Barron nodded and said, "Exactly. Thelma diary the appropriate date after publication of this new book for the announcement that back at the ranch glamorous author Paris McCoy has commenced writing the sequel. For publication purposes you must retain your maiden name dear to avoid confusing readers and creating a nightmare for your publisher and people in marketing departments and even librarians."
"Thelma you had told me Paris wants the book launch in Billings, Montana. My decision is reversed, let's launch in Montana."
"Oh thank you Mr Barron. That is lovely of you."
"Call me Brett dear."
Lisa smiled sweetly. "Thelma and Ruby will doubtless wish to stay again with Paris and her husband for the launch of 'Counterfeit Cowgirl' so Sylvie and Brett, why don't you two come out at the same time and stay with me and my husband and we'll introduce you to ranch life, Montana style. All of us will meet up each day. You can never be sure about the weather in Montana but we usually have wonderful weather in the fall but the nights are chilly. We would be honored to be your hosts."
"And I'd be honored to have you at the book launch. I'm planning to organize a street parade."
"I think we should go Brett."
* * *
Paris and Hal's wedding, attended by 131 guests, was held in a Manhattan hotel. Hal had arrived three days beforehand to be reunited with his darling who was anxious that they comply with the marriage license requirements of New York State and already had secured the money order, as prescribed, for the license fee.
A registered marriage officiant conducted the service. Paris's mother had tried three churches of her choice and wedding reception venues but all were booked out. She half-heartedly agreed to have the wedding in a hotel and when Paris disclosed she was pregnant her mom declared no way would Paris be married in a church and that suited Paris just fine.
When the reception began at sunset and the lights of the city become clearly apparent those of the guests from Montana were hugely impressed.
Paris's best friend and designate chief bridesmaid had broken her thigh skiing so Ruby was overwhelmed to be promoted to fill the gap and consented. Lisa was matron of honor and her twin daughters were bridesmaids. Hal's long-term buddy Carl came from Australia to be best man and David Withers was one of the groomsmen.
It was one of those weddings to remember. The just-married couple looked lovely together, the surroundings were lavish, the speeches were short and the food and alcohol were top class.
When the speeches ended Hal sighed and Paris clutched him and said, "What's wrong darling?"
"I wish we'd had the wedding up on the mountain in spring amid the wild flowers."
"Oh darling, how romantic. I think you are in need of excitement. Let's slip out and I'll wrap some pussy around it."
They looked up surprised by the howls of laughter.
"Oh Christ," Hal said, spotting the red light in front of them. "Our microphone is still on."
* * *
Seven months after the wedding, mother of baby Ryan received further confirmation that 'Counterfeit Cowgirl' continued to be widely hailed as a best seller in both North America and Europe. Paris had already being advised it had become Barron and Drew Publishing Pty's biggest selling book in its history by far for any genre of its publications.