You may all thank Devil Doll for this conclusion of the Thurmount Holiday serial; her prodding got me off my MacDuff.
Part 20 in Thurmount Holiday (see the category “Thurmount Holiday” for the other entries). This is the conclusion. Thanks for sticking around….if you did! I know it was a long time in coming.
My Funny Valentine
Jasper and I are back in Nashville, without Will. In fact, if my life since December 30 could be described in two words, they would be those: without Will. First, Blake brought assault charges against Will, which didn’t stick, but it meant that Will spent two precious days in the Thurmount jail, one of those prized nights being New Year’s Eve. And, Blake thought that *without Will* in the picture I would suddenly lose my mind and want him back, so he pulled out all of the stops. Flowers, dinner invitations, French hand-dipped chocolates, champagne. And the media kept invading my privacy. You would think they would have something better to do than to chase after a non-pregnant pop/folk musician.
The worst thing is now that life has supposedly returned to normal, everything feels not normal. Will and I have talked, but I have only seen him once since that night. All of those magical and frightening and emotional days back in Thurmount seem like mini-dreams not grounded in any reality, certainly not the reality that Will and me as part of the Thurmount Trio have ever explored. And the more time that passes, the less real it all feels. Truly, it was like a fairytale that has run its course.
“Will texted. Said he’ll be here for rehearsal,” Jasper says.
I blink. “He texted you?”
Jasper frowns. “I just said that.”
Texted Jasper and not me. I roll my eyes. “Why didn’t he text me?”
“Let me think.” He pauses for effect. “Hell, I don’t know. I’m not Will. Ask him yourself.”
Jasper leaves to get a sweet tea and I start playing my cello, loving the feel of the strings beneath my fingers, the gentle vibrations that make it seem like the instrument and I are one. I play that old song, “My Funny Valentine” because I love how sensual the low notes sound. I’m completely lost in the music when I hear slow clapping as I hold the last note and add the slightest vibrato.
My face warms. I don’t need to turn around to see who is there, but I do, and it’s immediately at that moment that I feel the loss of my friend. This unwanted shyness creeps over me.
“Hey, you,” I say and mentally roll my eyes. Dang, Kay, get a hold of yourself.
Will stands there, leaning in the doorway. “Nice playing. Maybe we should add it to the show.”
“Oh, I don’t know.” I begin looking everywhere but at him. Maybe I should walk over. Hug him. I slide my bow between the fingers on my left hand. Who have I become and what did I do with me?
I squint at him. He removes his ball cap and holds his arms open. Everything comes flooding back. The night I realized I loved him. The night I thought I might have lost him. The night we kissed. The night I wanted to make love with him. They were no more dreams than he is standing right in front of me.
I almost throw myself into his arms. I kiss his throat and he sighs, holding me as close to his body as possible before we kiss and that kiss wants to devour us as if it were capable of making us one.
The clearing of a voice jerks us lazily to the moment. My eyes are glazed as they fasten on his. I am just about to suggest rehearsal can wait, but it’s not Jasper standing behind Will, but Jack, our manager, who is eyeing us with something close to dismay.
“Well, that’s some reunion right there,” Jack says. “Does this mean something?”
Will shrugs. “We decided that we kind of like each other.”
“And you didn’t before? Good to know everything’s all amicable now,” he says. He walks into the room, smelling of cigar smoke, his paunch threatening to overwhelm his suit pants. “We have an issue. Well, you have an issue.”
“Blake Hunter is refusing to play the Valentine’s benefit if you all are performing.”
“That’s a shame,” I say. “Blake will draw a larger crowd. We’ll bow out.”
“If you just apologize,” Jack says looking at Will.
Will shakes his head, his light blue eyes earnest. “I’ve done nothing to apologize for.”
Jack snorts. “I heard you broke his nose.”
“Yeah, and did you hear that he was slapping Will while Will was on crutches?” I ask, hearing the old Kay in my voice. Nothing like getting pissed off to feel more like yourself.
“Well, no, I didn’t hear that.”
“So, no, Jack. Will is not going to apologize or grovel or anything. Blake is a prima donna. If the charity wants us to back out, we will. But we are making no concessions to Blake Hunter. Ever.”
Bam. Bam. Bam. I feel like hitting something. Will grins and puts his arm around my shoulders. “Down there, slugger.”
I grin up at him. He lowers his lips on mine.
“Jesus, is this what I’m going to have to put up with from now on? The constant lip locks?” Jack asks.
Will’s grin grows wider. “Probably. Like I said, we kind of like each other.”
“Love,” I say.
“Yeah. That too,” he says, and then he shakes his head. “You love me.”
“I’ve heard that rumor.”
“I love you.”
“Damn, woman, it’s only taken like fourteen years.”
“I’m slow…at certain things.”
“This is cheesy. If you write songs about this, please leave out the cheese element,” Jack says before leaving, shaking his head. “I’m slow at certain things,” he says in falsetto. “Christ.”
My grin feels like it will take over my face, but then I leave that to Will’s lips, which descend on mine. And, no, this isn’t like a dream at all. It’s so very much more.