Page 29 of Mayhem (Mayhem 1)

At some point, Driver disappears, but I’m not sure when he left or where he went, and really, I’m not all that concerned. I take every bit of the show in, knowing that I made the right choice when I decided to come along. Dee was right about it being a “once in a lifetime” opportunity. I’ll have to make sure to play all of this down when I talk to her tomorrow so that she can’t hold how right she was over my head for the rest of my life.

When the show ends, my stomach immediately twists itself into knots. I’m about to come face-to-face with Adam after witnessing the spectacle he just put on, and . . . ugh, I’m freaking starstruck! How am I supposed to talk to him after seeing that?! There are no words! Every girl in this building wants him, but I’m the one who will be sharing his tour bus tonight.

Will I be the only one sharing his tour bus tonight . . . ? I’d never even thought about it . . .

When Adam and the guys walk out of view of the crowd, the fans start chanting, “One more song!” But it’s all part of the routine. Most of the guys stand to the side of the stage catching their breath, gulping down water, laughing and telling jokes. Adam swipes a water bottle off an instrument case and then practically skips down the stairs, spotting me standing sheepishly off to the side. He heads straight for me.

“So what did you think?” His eyes are wide with left-over excitement, and I let his energy wash over me, calming my nerves and making me smile.

“I thought you guys were awesome!”

Adam beams. “We have to do one more song, but then I’ll introduce you to everyone.”

After the last song, the entire band gathers around me—as if I didn’t feel small enough already. “This is the girl from my class,” Adam says by way of introduction, and then he points to the short blond guitarist. “That’s Cody.” Then to the mohawked guitarist. “That’s Joel.” Then to the drummer. “That’s Mike. And you’ve already met Shawn.”

I smile at Shawn and then give the rest of the guys a little wave. “Rowan. Hi.” I vaguely wonder if Adam is ever going to bother introducing me by name, but it’s really not my biggest concern right now. Looking around at all of the sweaty rock boys in front of me, I’m busy trying not to feel two inches tall. Forcing a smile, I say, “You guys were amazing out there.” I nod at the drummer, Mike. “You were freaking incredible.”

He looks absolutely stunned, glancing at the other guys and then over his shoulder, like he’s not sure if I’m talking to him. “Me?”

“Yeah, you! I’ve never seen anything like that.” By the look on his face, I’m guessing Mike doesn’t usually get first dibs on after-show compliments—not with Adam and Shawn to compete with. He steps away from the rest of the guys to wrap his arm around my shoulder, and then he starts leading me away.

“Where are we going?” I ask, confused.

“To get married. Immediately. Sorry, Adam!” I look over my shoulder, but the guys are following behind us, laughing. Adam smiles so warmly at me that I can feel my heartbeat even in the tips of my ears. Mike leads us back the way I came, but once he opens the door to the venue, a wall of fans stops us from moving forward. The night turns into a chaotic mess of autographs and pictures. Mike’s arm slips from my shoulder as he poses with fans, and then I’m just standing there, feeling out of place as hell and wishing I could melt into the floor or teleport to a less awkward layer of hell. I’m thinking about sneaking away—not that I’d actually have to sneak, since it seems no one remembers I’m still here—until another arm wraps around my shoulders. And this one gives me goose bumps, because when I look up, Adam is smiling down at me. The ends of his hair and the collar of his T-shirt are dark with sweat, and his body against mine is fire-hot from jumping around the stage all night.

He bends close to my ear so I can hear him over the crowd. “You ready to get out of here?” Even as he says it, I hear a chorus of girls calling his name.

I nod.

Adam takes my hand in his and leads me through the crowd, ignoring fans the whole way. We slip out of a guarded back door, and once we’re out, he leans against it. “So you had fun tonight?” he asks as he pulls a cigarette out of its pack and lights it.

“So much fun,” I say, and I mean it. “I’ve never experienced anything like that.”

With one foot propped against the door, Adam smirks at me. “And Mike was the best part, huh?”

I shrug and tease, “You were alright too, I guess.”

Adam chuckles and takes another drag. “I was feeling a little off tonight. I don’t usually go on stone-cold sober.”

“Oh yeah?” I remember the way he swirled the whiskey in his glass when I had been on his tour bus last time. I’d asked if he needed to get ready, and he’d told me he was getting ready. I guess pre-show drinks are a part of his normal routine.

“Yeah. It was . . . different.”

“Good different or bad different?”

“Just different.”

“Well, I thought you were great,” I assure him.

He grins at me and scratches the side of his chin with the fingers he’s not using to hold his cigarette. “So, better than just ‘alright’ then.”

Letting my smile answer him, I tuck my legs into the stair railing and sit on the middle rail, resting my chin on my hands. I look up at Adam, watching him contentedly as I enjoy the cool night breeze that’s blowing across my skin.

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