Page 2 of Mayhem (Mayhem 1)

I groan and finish her sentence, “The most mortifying moment of my life.”

“Come on, you’ve had worse. Much worse.” She pulls away and grins at me. “Do you remember that time at David Miller’s house when you—”

“Okay, Dee? Not making me feel better here!”

She chuckles to herself as she applies another coat of shiny pink lip gloss and then shoots her hand forward to do the same to me. “We’ll call that the first of the many epic memories we’re going to make tonight.”

“Why in God’s name would I want to remember that?” I ask after puckering my lips.

“Because you talked to Adam Everest!”

A tiny voice chimes from behind me. “Your friend is right,” the girl says, nodding to herself. “And he looked right at you. He smiled at you.”

“Isn’t he gorgeous?!” Dee asks, never one to miss an opportunity to gush over boys. She and the girl behind us start gossiping about Adam while I lose myself in my thoughts. I just talked to a rock star, a freaking rock star. Granted, I had no idea who he was, but damn, did he look the part. If I could go back, what would I have said? Probably nothing, and then I never would have seen that smile, or those eyes.

“You’re blushing,” Dee says, breaking me from the memory.

“It’s hot out here!” I lie.

“You’re practically naked, and it is not that hot.” Her lips pull into a knowing grin, which only makes my skin burn even pinker.

I’m saved when the door to Mayhem opens and I practically trip over myself to get inside. I have a boyfriend, and even though I’m sure I’ll never speak to Adam again, I really shouldn’t be replaying the moment in my mind wishing I would have done things differently.

In the dim haze of the club, a bouncer glances at our fake IDs and stamps our hands, and Dee pulls me straight to the bar. She holds up two fingers to signal the bartender and orders us two dirty girl scouts, but she hasn’t even lowered her hand yet when a random guy sidles up next to her, threatening to choke us with his cologne.

“You look a little too . . .” his eyes scan over us, making me feel like I’m wearing even less than I already am, “mature to be Girl Scouts, but I’ll believe anything a girl as pretty as you tells me.” Corniest. Pick-up line. Ever. He grins like a cheeseball. “What can I get you ladies to drink?”

Dee turns to me and mouths “Just go with it,” so I do. And, voilà, free shots. Cheeseball, who is apparently named Vinnie, pays for the first round, and some guy named . . . well, I have no idea what the hell his name is, buys the second round, and then Dee is dragging me onto the crowded dance floor. In advance of the show, the club is booming with house music, and it’s fueling her hyper mood.

I laugh as she bounces in front of me with her wrists on my shoulders. She looks incredible, as always, in a ruffled blue mini-skirt and a super low-cut white top. It’s backless, flaunting the golden tan she’s worked for all summer. Her long chocolate-brown curls are bouncing from side to side with the beat, and I finally give in and drop it low, rising back up ass-first like a freaking stripper. Dee laughs at me and twirls around with her hands in the air, and then we’re lost to the alcohol pumping through our blood and the music vibrating beneath our feet.

By the third song, my thick blonde waves are glued to the back of my neck. I flip them away as Dee bends low and rolls her ass against my thighs. We’re both laughing so hard that I’m surprised we haven’t fallen over yet. My sides cramp like I’m out of practice.

When I feel stiff jeans press up behind me, my smile vanishes. I try to inch away, pressing tighter against Dee, but the jeans follow, and then grabby hands grip my sides. The floor is so crowded that I won’t even be able to turn around without being pressed flush against whatever creeper is behind me, so I press my mouth into Dee’s hair and tell her I’m heading to the bar. When I begin pushing through the crowd, her fingers curl around mine and she follows. Together, we find our way off the floor.

“What gives?” she shouts once we break free from the overheated crowd.

“Some asshole was getting way too touchy-feely.”

“Damn. Was he hot?”

“I didn’t get a look at him.”

“Well next time, if he’s cute, send him my way.” She winks, and I laugh and brace my hands on the bar, still trying to catch my breath. Dee leans back against it, propping her elbows on top with her chest out in the most casually provocative pose she can muster. It works like a charm, because within seconds, two guys are in front of her.

“You girls looked amazing out there.”

I’m still facing away from them, not interested. When they ask us to dance, Dee reaches over and grabs my hand.

I turn around and give the guys an apologetic smile. “I have a boyfriend.”

“So?” Dee says. “Pleeease, Ro? Just one dance!”

“You go,” I insist, nudging her toward the dance floor.

“You sure?”

“Yeah, go. I’m going to hang here for a while. I need a break.”

Her perfectly shaped eyebrows pull together. “I’ll stay if you want me to . . .”

I know she would, but I shoo her from the bar anyway. “GO!”

She laughs, her brown eyes sparkling with contagious excitement. “Okay, I’ll be back soon!”

Both boys follow her like puppy dogs, and I smile to myself, knowing they’re both in trouble.

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