It's just another gig, Lucy told herself sternly, as she strode out onto the stage, violin in hand, smiling at the assembled crowd to hide her nerves. The Songbirds have played hundreds of these.
And before that, she'd played hundreds more with Jon at her side, just the two of them. This wasn't anything new. It was just… It felt different now. Back then, she and Jon had been in perfect harmony, musically and personally.
Now…now it had been two years and she didn't even know who he was anymore.
But she knew he could still play, and sing. He might have completely forgotten about her when he left, but it was hard to ignore the talent of Jon Abbott when it was on display on her social media feeds, her radio and her TV every day.
Jon ducked his head as he stepped back, his guitar clutched in his hands, obviously trying not to draw too much attention to himself. Lucy almost laughed. Let's see how long that lasts.
"Hello, Wishcliffe apple lovers!" she called out to the crowd, and got a cheer in response. "We're The Songbirds, and we're here to entertain you while you enjoy the local cider, and all the other treats laid on for you here tonight. You might notice a slight change to our line up if you're regular Songbird followers—I'm afraid our handsome and charming frontman, Jason, is a little under the weather tonight—" There was a disappointed groan from Jason's small gang of groupies at the front at that, Lucy noticed with a smile. "But I promise his stand-in will give you all a great show tonight!"
He better had, anyway.
She glanced back at Jon, who gave her a nod, and then they were away, crashing into their first song like he'd never gone away. "When You Come Back Round"had been their opener for years when they'd performed as a duo, and somehow Lucy had never quite managed to give it up. From the strong guitar opening, to the soaring solo she began with before Jon lifted his voice to join her, and then the instrumental in the middle when she played her fiddle and things got really fast and manic… It was a crowd pleaser, and it always set the tone for a great gig.
Luckily, Jon hadn't forgotten how to sell it. And now with the guys backing them with drums and a second guitar, it had more impact than ever.
As the song drew to a close, she flashed a smile in Jon's direction, and he grinned back, stepping forward to join her as they sang the close harmonies of the last chorus.
Which was when the chatter started at the front of the stage. Lucy could see the people whispering before she could hear them, but as the last chord faded away, the words were clear.
"Oh, my God, is that Jon Abbott?!"
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