“I CAN’T BELIEVE I let you talk me into this.” I tug at the black hem of the stretchy nylon skirt my best friend squeezed me into, but unless I want to show the tops of my panties instead of the skin of my thighs, there’s nothing I can do. After casting yet another uneasy glance at the long line of people stretched behind me on the sidewalk, I shift my eyes back to the sun-warmed fabric pinched between my fingers and grumble, “The least you could’ve done was let me wear some leggings.”
Dee just laughs and bats my hands away from the material. “Stop your bitching, Ro. You’ll thank me when we’re old and gray and you look back on this night and realize that once, just once,” she shoves her pointer finger in my face to emphasize the lonely number, “you actually flaunted that hot little body of yours before it got all old and saggy.”
“I look ridiculous,” I complain, pushing her finger away and rolling my eyes for good measure. I look like Dee’s closet drank too much and threw up on me. She somehow talked me into wearing this mini-skirt—which skintight doesn’t even begin to describe—and a hot-pink top that shows more cleavage than should be legal. The front of it drapes all the way down to just above my navel, and the bottom exposes a pale sliver of skin between the hem of the shirt and the top of my skirt. The hot-pink fabric matches my killer hot-pink heels.
Literally, killer. Because I know I’m going to fall on my face and die.
I’m fiddling with the skirt again when one of the guys near us in line leans in close, a jackass smile on his lips. “I think you look hot.”
Of course he thinks I look hot—I look like a freaking prostitute!
“I have a boyfriend,” I counter, but Dee just scoffs at me.
“She means thank you,” she shoots back, chastising me with her tone until the guy flashes us another arrogant smile—he’s stuffed into an appallingly snug graphic-print tee that might as well say “douchebag” in its shiny metallic lettering, and even Dee can’t help but make a face before we both turn away.
She and I are the first ones in line for the show tonight, standing by the doors to Mayhem under the red-orange glow of a setting summer sun. She’s been looking forward to this night for weeks, but I was more excited about it before my boyfriend of three years had to back out.
“Brady is a jerk,” she says, and all I can do is sigh because I wish those two could just get along. Deandra and I have been best friends since preschool, but Brady and I have been dating since my sophomore year of high school and living together for the past two months. “He should be here to appreciate how gorgeous you look tonight, but nooo, it’s always work first with him.”
“He moved all the way here to be with me, Dee. Cut him some slack, alright?”
She grumbles her frustration until she catches me touching my eyelids for the zillionth time tonight. Yanking my fingers away, she orders, “Stop messing with it. You’ll smear.”
I stare down at my shadowy fingertips and rub them together. “Tell me the truth,” I say, flicking the clumped powder away. “Do I look like a clown?”
“You look smoking hot!” she assures me with a smile. “If I was a lesbian, you’d be in trouble!”
I laugh until Douchebag leans in again, popping our personal bubble with his enormously hooked nose. “Don’t let that stop you.”
We both glare at him so sharply that he immediately stumbles a step back, his obnoxiously red sneakers suddenly becoming the most fascinating things he’s ever seen. Dee and I turn back around, glancing at each other and trying not to laugh. She playfully elbows me in the arm, and I chuckle and nudge her right back. My smile settles back into place and I finally feel like I’m beginning to loosen up when a guy walks right past us like he’s going to cut in line. In dark shades and a baggy black knit cap that droops in the back, he flicks a cigarette to the ground, and my eyes narrow on him.
Dee and I have been waiting for way too long to let some self-entitled jerk cut in front of us, so when he knocks on the door to the club, I force myself to speak up.
“They’re not letting people in yet,” I say, hoping he takes the hint. Even with my skyscraper heels, I feel dwarfed standing next to him. He has to be at least six-foot-two, maybe taller.
He turns his head toward me and lowers his shades, smirking like something’s funny. His wrist is covered with string bracelets and rubber bracelets and a thick leather cuff, and three of his fingernails on each hand are painted black. But his eyes are what steal the words from my lips—a greenish shade of light gray. They’re stunning.
When the door opens, he turns back to it and locks hands with the bouncer.
“You’re late,” the bouncer says, and the guy in the shades laughs and slips inside. Once he disappears, Dee pushes my shoulders.
“Oh my GOD! Do you know who you were just talking to?!”
I shake my head.
“That was Adam EVEREST! He’s the lead freaking singer of the band we’re here to see!”
Oh . . . God . . . No. “You’re kidding . . .”
She shakes her head, stifling a laugh. “Did you see the way he looked at you?!”
“Like I’m an idiot!”
She pulls me in for a hug and finally lets loose the laughter she’s been holding in.
“You couldn’t have told me?!”
Dee squeezes me tight. “He was standing right there! What was I supposed to do?!” She laughs even harder. “Oh, babe, I’m sorry! That was—” Her body is still shaking with laughter when I feel her lift a hand behind my back to wipe a tear from her eye.