The early-morning light flickered through the curtains of the bedroom, and Jon watched it play upon Lucy's ivory skin where it peeked out from the blankets. They'd dozed in between kisses and touches and lovemaking, but he didn't think either of them could really have claimed to have slept. It reminded him of the nights when they'd play gigs away from home, then drive back through the night and fall asleep after the sun had come up.
Except those nights had never ended with them in the same bed together, until the very last one.
For years people had asked him—and Lucy, he knew—why they weren't together. They'd had a million excuses, but he knew in the end they all came down to the same thing. Fear.
They'd been everything to each other for so long. Friends, family, colleagues, muses… If they'd tried a relationship and failed it would have screwed everything up. Maybe that was why it had only happened between them when their long friendship was at a sort of end, anyway. When he was leaving and she was staying.
He'd wanted her to go with him, even though that wasn't what his new manager had signed him for. But the last thing Lucy had wanted, she said, was to stand on the sidelines and watch him perform without her.
He couldn't blame her for that. He couldn't have borne it either, if it had been the other way around.
But then, Jon had always been the one itching to leave Wishcliffe behind. To leave the familiar—the same streets, same views, same arguments with his parents—and find something new. Something that was just his.
Lucy had never wanted to leave at all. For her, he knew, Wishcliffe was home, and her music was part of that. She belonged here, and he had never felt like he did—until he left.
Beside him, Lucy stirred, stretching out like a cat, her skin brushing against his and waking up even the most exhausted parts of his anatomy.
"Again?" she murmured, as her hand brushed past his hip. "Really?"
He gave a low chuckle and shifted onto his side as he slid down to face her, resting a hand on the dip of her waist. "Always, for you." Words he'd never been brave enough to say to her before he left. Words he shouldn't say now, when he knew he had to leave soon.
She didn't look like she believed him anyway, if the roll of her eyes was anything to go by.
Maybe that was what made him say it. That, or sleep-deprived, sex-drunk madness. Or a combination of both.
Either way, before he could overthink it, he heard his own voice saying, "Come back with me. Come to Nashville, when I leave. Please, Luce."
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