Reunited in Wishcliffe

\"Does it matter?

”Jason, you
e sweating buckets. ” Lucy eyed their lead singer and guitarist dubiously, then took another step backwards just to be safe. ”You need to go home. ”

”Im fine. ” Jasons teeth chattered as he spoke, and he pulled his hideous neon orange bobble hat a little lower over his ears. ”Im cold, if anything. ”

”Exactly, ” Lucy said, watching as another bead of sweat dripped down his clammy face. ”You have a fever. You need to be home in bed with a Lemsip, not here about to play to hundreds of people. ” She squinted out at the crowds gathering around the festival field. ”Maybe thousands. ”

”Im not missing this, ” Jason said, stubbornly. ”We
e not missing this. The Wishcliffe Fire Festival is the biggest gig weve landed in months. We need this, Lucy. The Songbirds need this. ”

Lucy wavered. She had to admit, the guy had a point. This gig was a huge deal for them, and to lose it now because of a stupid fever… That would hurt.

Not quite as much as when her best friend slept with her then took off to seek stardom on the other side of the ocean rather than play gigs like this with her anymore, but still. Painful.

Lucy didn want to be a rock star like Jon. But she did want to be able to play her music to people who appreciated it. Recording wasn her jam—but writing music and playing for live audiences? That was a high she never grew tired of.

The Songbirds had only been together a couple of years, but they were finally making a name for themselves locally. This gig could lead to bigger and better opportunities—some of the other local festivals, for instance.

But playing a subpar set because Jason was battling a fever and probably going to start hallucinating any moment wouldn lead anywhere good.

Lucy sighed. ”We can do it. Not with you like this. Ill tell the guys to stop setting up, then see if I can find anyone willing to play a double slot to cover for us before I go tell the boss we
e out. ” This years Fire Festival had been organised by both Victoria Blythe—the young widow of the late viscount—and her sister-in-law, Autumn, the new viscountess. Autumns arrival on the Wishcliffe scene had been somewhat unexpected. Lucy had heard rumours that she and Toby, Viscount Wishcliffe, had got married in Vegas, although she wasn sure she believed them. Whatever the story, Lucy hated letting people down.

Jason stared down at his boots as he gave a subdued nod, his shoulders slumped.

”Therell be other festivals. ” Lucy tried to sound upbeat, even if she didn feel it.

She was about to go tell the rest of the band to pack up again when she spotted someone watching her from across the way. And she knew instantly, despite the silly hat and turned-up collar, exactly who it was just from the shiver that ran up her spine at the sight of him.

Jon Abbott.

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