I’ve never been this nervous in my entire life. We’re about to play the original song Joshua and I wrote. The crowd loves our cover songs, and we’re high on their applause, but I can’t help but feel like the next song will let them down. No one knows this one, so they won’t be able to sing along. I wrote the lyrics, so maybe they suck, even though Joshua, Yord and Marcia have assured me a thousand times that the song is amazing. I know the tune is – Josh wrote it, after all – but I’m still nervous. So much so that I feel like throwing up.
“I love you, baby,” Joshua says softly. “You can do this.” He moves back to his side of the stage and winks at me before starting the guitar solo at the start of the song.
Okay… ten more seconds… five… four… three… two… one…
“Across the ocean, there’s a guy with golden hair,” I start singing, looking at Joshua. “He’s got my heart and missing him is more than I can bear.”
“Across the ocean, there’s a girl who has my heart,” Joshua chimes in, his smile so sweet that I melt and see nothing but him. Not the crowd, not the inside of The Palace, just him. “She’s got the smile of an angel and the tattoos on her skin are like a work of art.”
We keep singing, and I almost feel like we’re back in my apartment, making love. This is us, the song is us, and yet it speaks of feelings anyone could have, anyone who has done long-distance.
Four months. It’s been four months since he left, and this it the third time we’re seeing each other. That’s a lot, considering how far away he lives, and I’m thankful to his parents for being so rich and so sweet to pay for all our plane tickets. I can’t believe I was ever scared they wouldn’t approve of me. His mother calls me at least once a week to check in, and his father reminds me every few weeks that he’ll be happy to pay for whatever I need. I only take him up on it for plane tickets, but it’s so kind of him to offer.
Josh plays the final cords of the song, and Yord hits the drums one last time. And then it’s over. Our first original song. And fuck me, we sounded amazing.
The crowd cheers just as loudly as they did for all the cover songs. Josh moves over to kiss me. It’s not very professional, but I don’t give a shit. I love him. He flew in last night, and we made love for hours before going to Yord’s garage for the first band practice without Joshua video calling from London. And now we’re here, in The Palace, which is without a doubt the hottest club in town – Shaughna and Dshawn are very proud of that – rocking like this isn’t our first real gig.
The rest of the night we go back to playing covers, but we do sneak in the original song one more time as our grand finale, and unless I’m going crazy, there are people singing along already.
“That was epic!” Aston tells me when we’re done playing and sat down our instruments in an empty room upstairs that isn’t being used yet. “You sounded amazing, Fran!”
“She did,” Joshua agrees, wrapping an arm around me. “Eight more months,” he whispers in my ear before kissing my neck. “And I’m here for four more days.”
I turn to hug him, and we get lost in a steamy kiss. I know our friends are in the room, but I don’t care. Joshua is here, and I only get to see him once every one or two months, so I’m making the most of our time together.
“Franny!” someone shouts, and I break away from Joshua to see Shaughna rushing in, her blonde hair a complete mess and her cheeks flushed. “Oh. My. God. You guys killed it out there! I streamed the whole thing for Caroline since she couldn’t be here, being pregnant and all, and she and Nathan think you’re hot as fuck as well.” She hugs me and makes me jump around with her.
When she lets me go, I turn to Josh. “Dance for half an hour and then go back home?” I propose, already having visions of his naked body on top of mine, fucking me until I’m sore and tired.
“Deal,” he agrees, the lust in his eyes mirroring my own feelings. “Or…” He moves in so he can lower his voice. “Only the ground floor is being used… right? That means there are a lot of vacant rooms…”
Without a moment of hesitation, I pull him into the hallway, up the stairs, and into a room is still under construction. Joshua picks me up with ease, pushing me against the wall.
“Have you been working out?” I ask, squeezing his ass tightly.
“A little,” he admits. “Gotta keep my girl happy, right?”
“You have been doing that from the day we met,” I say right before kissing him.
He tastes like sweat and beer, but no matter what he tastes like, he’s still my Josh. I reach between us, trying to undo the button on his jeans and pulls down his zipper, but that’s hard with my legs wrapped around his waist. Joshua puts me down for a moment so I can hike up my skirt and step out of my panties while he pulls down his pants and boxershorts. About ten second later, my back against the wall and he’s inside of me, fucking me hard and fast while his teeth sink into my shoulder just hard enough to feel good without breaking the skin.
“Harder,” I command, trying to force him to go even deeper.
His movement become even more forceful, and it doesn’t take long before my walls spasm around him, and I cry out his name while I come.
“Hmm,” Joshua murmurs, kissing me softly. “So good.”
“Gotta give you a reason to miss me when you fly back in four days, right?” I say, my heart clenching at the thought of having to miss him again.
“I always miss you,” he says, kissing me one last time before pulling out with a grunt.
It takes us a moment to pull our clothes back on and make sure we don’t look like we just had sex. Then again, it’s not like our friends haven’t done this a million times before, so we shouldn’t even bother. When we’re sort of decent, we don’t go back down right away. Instead, we kiss some more, look into each other’s eyes, all that lovey-dovey stuff.
Four months down, eight more to go.
Fuck me, I just want him to move back here and be with me every single day. I can’t deny that he’s doing great, though. His father called me last week, just to have someone to brag to about how well his son is doing. No one in the office – aside from the high-uppers – know Josh is the son of the CEO, so he’s truly having to work his ass off and prove himself. He is the best junior account in there, and his father is proud as fuck. I loved that he called me to talk about how great Joshua is doing. I feel like his parents understand that I’m in his life for good, and they seem to like me.
“When will I see you again?” I ask Joshua, pulling my fingers through his long curly hair. He hasn’t cut it in months, and it’s falling into his eyes all the time. I love pushing it back, feeling how soft and unruly it is.
“I’m here for another couple of days, baby,” he says, kissing me softly.
“Yeah, I know, I mean after that.” I sigh. “Christmas, right? That’s two more months…”
“I know, baby, but you’re working weekends and I’ve got all those courses and cases…”
I sigh. “Two months, that’s so long, babe.”
“I know.” He pulls me against his chest. “I just can’t fly out during the week and with all your weekend shifts, it’s just not possible.”
“I could book a ticket during the week,” I suggest, knowing I won’t make it two whole months without seeing him. I know I’m being dramatic, but his father has the money, and I don’t mind spending time on a plane when it means I get to see Josh. “I know you won’t be able to see me until the end of the day, but at least we’ll be able to have dinner and fall asleep together.”
“I’d love that, but I don’t want you to wear yourself out.”
“I’ll call your dad tomorrow and book the tickets,” I decide. “I can’t wait until Christmas. Even if I have to spend sixteen hours on a plane just to see you for two night during dinner, it’ll be worth it.”
“I love you,” Joshua states simply, crushing his lips to mine again.
Eight more months. When Christmas comes around, we’ll be halfway through, six more months to go. It sucks, but we can do it.
“Ughhhh…” I slump down in the doctor’s lounge and close my eyes for a moment.
I hear footsteps, and without looking who it is, I say: “I need coffee, stat.”
“Please, bitch, get your own coffee,” Jacob says dryly.
When I open my eyes, I see he’s already standing in front of me with a mug full of steaming hot black coffee. I thank him and take a gulp, wincing because it’s still too hot.
“You look like crap,” he says. “You’ve only been working for two hours, right? And it’s not like your boyfriend is keeping you up at night, since he lives across the ocean. Why do you look like a truck waltzed over you?”
I grunt and take another sip. It tasted weird. Different. Not the way it usually does. Nothing tastes the way it used to, when I think about it. Last night I was eating nachos with Thomas and I ended up throwing up because the smell of the cheese made me nauseous. Weird. I add some sugar to the coffee, hoping that will help. I truly need the caffeine to stay awake.
“I’ve been tired for weeks now,” I say, grunting.
“Get more sleep,” Jacob suggest like I’m some moron that’s never thought of sleep helping with tiredness.
“I sleep ten hours each night,” I tell him, gulping down more coffee. “It doesn’t seem to help.”
“Hmm,” he mused. “Maybe you’ve got mono. Did you snog anyone besides your boyfriend lately?”
I roll my eyes. “Yeah, I have orgies every other day.”
Jacob grins. “I knew it, you dirty slut.” He sobers up when I yawn again. “Seriously though… maybe you should get a check-up. We’re in a hospital after all. Take a blood test or something.”
I laugh at that. “I’m just stressed because I’m working too much, and I miss Joshua, we call each other at weird times because of the time difference, and I have band practice and stuff…”
“None of those things are new,” Jacob reminds me. “Joshua moved to London eight months ago, right?”
I nod. “Almost nine.”
“So what’s different these past weeks?” Jacob asks, sounding genuinely concerned. “You’ve been looking tired for a while now, Fran. That’s not good. Are there other things that are different? Sore body parts, change in appetite, anything at all?”
“You’re not my nurse,” I remind him, rolling my eyes. “But… I guess my breasts are a little tender, and food tastes weird. I’ve been throwing up from the smell of certain things hitting me weird. I made salmon the other day, my absolute favorite dish, and I couldn’t even keep the first bite down.”
Jacob frowns at me. “Tired, sore breasts, throwing up, taste buds out of whack… Franny…” He pauses and gives me a weird look. “Are you on birth control?”
“Of course,” I reply automatically. “I’ve got an IUD.”
“Okay…” Jacob says, still looking at me with a frown on his face. “When do you need to get it replaced?”
I think back to getting it put in, which was…