6’2”, broad-shouldered, thick black hair that was long enough to run your hands through—but short enough for the board room—and a charming smile that led you all the way up to his 20,000 leagues-blue eyes. Guitar. Voice. All of it.
He was absolutely everything all of the female—and some of the male—fans of The Six had grown to love over the last two years. Indie rock star. That last bit had him smiling humbly, and me beaming with pride.
The Six hadn’t planned on having a “front man.” As our first summer tour neared its end, however, it became clear that Bo was what the fans wanted the most. He seemed to be able to capture the essence my parents and their friends had worked for decades to create, while bringing in a new batch of fans that melted at his smile and admired the risks he took with the guitar.
“They love you just as much,” Regan whispered into my ear as I spied on Bo doing his sound check for the night’s show.
“Get out of my head already!” I hissed back playfully.
Regan muffled a laugh as he dodged the weak smack I threw his way. “I’m serious. It’s like Johnny and June, co-op style.”
“You have no idea what you’re talking about.” I leaned my head on Regan as he wrapped his arm around my shoulders.
No matter how many times I’d seen it, watching Bo alone with his guitar still took my breath away. Each time I happened upon that private moment, it was the same as that May night two years ago when I first saw him play. When everything stopped in the most cliché way possible, and all I could see, hear, and feel was him.
Regan kept his voice quiet as he spoke. “You have no idea. No. You must. They go just as crazy when you join him on stage as they do when he walks out there by himself. It’s not just because he’s Hottie McGuitar. You two are blindingly in love and people are, like, watching music porn when you’re on stage together.”
“Lovely,” I mused sarcastically.
“It’s true. Not only have you kicked the shit out of your guitar skills, your vocals are above anyone I’ve heard in a long time. Including anyone in this band.” Regan moved so he was holding both of my shoulders.
I smiled as his messy hazel eyes twinkled with sincerity. “Jesus, Regan. Did you ever think we’d end up here?”
Regan dropped his hands, shaking his head as he took in the wide green space in front of the stage. “Not in a million.”
Here wasn’t just the grape-scented air of Napa. It was here. Touring together. Me, Bo, Regan, and The Six. Here was spending the last year after our first successful summer tour doing tour weekends across the Pacific Northwest and the warm and dry South West. Here was having not been back to the East Coast except for once in two whole years. Here was me as Mrs. Cavanaugh. Bo’s wife. November Cavanaugh.
Bo and Regan leaned against the bar, casually talking as they sipped beer. I tugged Georgia’s arm.
“Come dance with me,” I said into her ear.
“I don’t dance,” she mused.
“You’re full of shit. I’ve seen you at our shows.”
Georgia could be counted on, at any show she attended, to get the crowd moving.
She grinned. “This is Sean Paul. You guys have a slightly different flavor.”
“Just come!” I laughed and she followed.
I caught Willow’s eye as she stepped to the front of the controls and took over the beats for the club. She grinned and started playing a mashup I knew she’d been working on in the studio. Rap and Reggae beats blared from the speakers.
Georgia and I worked our bodies to the beats, and I was jealous of the way her curves moved with each step she made. She exuded sensuality with a simple shift of her hips. Still, I used what I knew I had and let the music move me.
“Don’t turn around,” Georgia arched her eyebrow and looked over my shoulder, “but somebody’s liking the way you move.”
Thinking she was teasing me about Bo being behind me, I quickly whipped around. Biting my lip as sexily as possible, of course. I was nearly knocked backward by the shock that awaited me.
“Beckett?” My eyes bulged as I struggled to believe what I was looking at. Who.
“November Blue.” He grinned with the sly confidence he’d embodied since he was far too young to know what to do with it.
In the tick of a second I was tossed back to high school, and my first time.
Tyler and I sat at the corner of the dining room table, and he pulled out his laptop. “That’s an insane studio you’ve got down there, Bo. Really impressive.”
“Thanks. I had it built a couple of years ago. Three, I think? I can’t remember anymore.”
I used to reference time by things that happened before my parents died, and things after. Once Rae died and Ember and I got married, though, benchmarks got fuzzier and I no longer knew if I should anchor the hourglass in the tragedies or the happy moments. I knew my therapist would tell me it wasn’t healthy to dwell on anything negative if I wanted to train my brain to focus on the positive, but that was textbook advice that didn’t seem to translate into real life functioning for me. I hadn’t connected with her since I’d moved back to Concord, though I realized I should schedule an appointment soon.
“Yeah,” Tyler sighed, “guess it’s been a long time since I’ve been here, huh?” He ran his thumb against the corner of his mouth and looked down. I don’t know if the movement was conscious, but I consciously chose to not respond to it.
By not responding to it, though, Tyler and I were thrust into this short burst of incredible silence that made both of us shift in our seats.
I cleared my throat, not wanting to dwell. “So, want to show me what you’ve got?”
Ember carried the second verse alone, as well, but Chris joined her as we all erupted into the chorus. I resisted the urge to turn on my mic, and pushed down the twinge of jealousy toward Chris that he got to sing with Ember in that moment.
No one knew how lucky they were to have the chance to sing with her until it was all over and they were left wanting more. I sure hoped he was enjoying it. The three people in the control room certainly were. Yardley’s wide—but controlled—smile was laced with satisfaction as she watched her hand-picked musicians work together.
The song was over seven minutes long, and for that entire time, we blended perfectly. To a song that isn’t your standard “jam” song, the five of us performed as a group, thanks to my wife. And those wings that gave her the courage to step out and own her true self. ----------------------------------------------------------- Playlist: