The next morning Joanne woke to find Nicklaus gone and in hise place a warm tingly feeling over her body. Heat filled Joanne's cheeks when she remembered that she had cried and then fell asleep in his arms. Dear God what would her family think if they knew? Joanne dismissed the thought immediately and got dressed.
She replaced her pyjamas with a black top with sleeves that came to the top of her elbows, and a pair of light jeans. Pulling her hair into a high pony tail, Joanne left her bedroom. Ash was the one in the kitchen when she arrived.
"Hey Joanne," Ash smiled at her. Joanne smiled back at her brother and realised it felt like forever since she had seen him. Maybe it was because so much had happened to her that no one really knew about. Except Nicklaus.
Joanne walked over to her brother and wrapped her arms around his waist and drew him close. Ash hesitated for a small second, wondering what was up with his sister, before wrapping his arms tightly around her protectively.
Ash asked, "Whats wrong Jo?" while stroking the side of her arm. When Joanne was little she used to love her brother laying in bed with her and stroking, tickling, her arm until she fell asleep. "Jo?"
"Mm?" she mumbled her voice muffled by the fabric of his shirt. "Nothings wrong, I just feel like I haven't had a hug from my brother in ages." With that she squeezed her brother tighter. The feel of her brothers hot and solid skin felt so different to Nicklaus' warm and almost transparent skin.
"Whats this hug all about, huh? And wheres mine?" Joanne heard the teasing voice of her dad behind her. She let go off her brother and walked to her dad wrapping him up in her arms. Joanne breathed in the scent of her dads aftershave and her thoughts flash backed to when she really was a daddy's girl.
Joanne mumbled, "Don't worry dad, I would never forget about you," she let go off him and stood on the tip of her toes, giving her dad a gentle kiss on the cheek. Mary-Anne and her mum entered the room next and Joanne didn't hesitate before hugging them both. Everyone looked surprised at Joannes mood, but Joanne didn't care. She was feeling happy.
"Joanne? What are you doing here alone?" Doctor Harrison's worried voice flooded Joannes ears. "Wheres your mum, brother, dad?"
Joanne stood up, swinging her back onto her shoulder, and faced Doctor Harrison. "I just wanted to talk to you by myself, that's all," she says. Joanne stood up taller and nodded towards the door. "Can we go in and talk?"
Doctor Harrison snapped out of the trance he seemed to be in and nodded, "Of course," he swept his hand to the door, "come on in."
Joanne got seated comfortably in the chair and waited for Doctor Harrison to close the door before she began. "I wanted to see you because I have seen marks on my body," Joanne explained. "And - and my hair, its been falling out."
Doctor Harrison crinkled his eyebrows and thought for a moment. "It's alright Joanne. It must be an after affect of the treatment, that's all. There's nothing wrong. And your hair," he smiled, "will be fine. It's probably just some loose hair, but it will grow back all nice and healthy. It was probably just a short delayed reaction from the last treatment. Your fine."
"Are you sure?" Joanne asked wearily. "You don't have to lie to me you know, you can tell me the truth. I need to know and I can handle it."
"I'm sure," he smiled and patted her knee. "Anything else?" Joanne shook her head no and left, asking the doctor not to tell her mum or anyone else about what was said in the appointment. Doctor Harrison agreed.