Page 30 of Mayhem (Mayhem 1)

He takes one last long drag on the cigarette and then flicks it to the ground, smashing it with his toe. He points his chin toward where the bus is parked at the back of the lot. “Alright, come on.”

When I unweave myself from the railing, he takes my hand again, and it startles me. Inside, he kind of needed to hold it just to get me out of there, but now? We’re the only two people in the parking lot . . .

Adam walks me to the bus and unlocks it. I’m not sure where Driver is, but he hasn’t gotten back yet. “Do you want a drink?” Adam asks.

“Nah, I think I’m going to go change.” I’m feeling muggy from the long car ride, and I want to change into something a little less stale and bummy.

“Okay.” He grins at me. “Your stuff is upstairs. In the room all the way at the end of the hall.”

I climb the stairs and begin walking back through the bus. It’s so weird being back here again. I remember the last time like it was yesterday and like it was a lifetime ago. I pass the bench seats, the rows of bunks—most of them looking thoroughly slept in—and then open the door to the bedroom. I walk inside and stare down at the black satin bed in front of my knees, remembering how it had felt to be stretched out on top of it with Adam pressed against me, kissing every bit of my skin that wasn’t covered.

When I hear the door close behind me, it shocks me from the memory. I spin around to find Adam’s chest right in front of my face. I gasp, inhaling his musky scent. He smells like clean sweat, day-old cologne, and cigarette smoke, which I wouldn’t have considered a pleasant combination before I associated it with this moment. Before I know it, his hands are on the sides of my neck, his thumbs under my chin, tilting my head back. His gray-green eyes are focused on my mouth, and his lips are quick to follow.

For a second, I can’t think straight and I instinctively drink him in. His tongue slips between my lips, tracing and teasing and oh my God, I had forgotten what that tongue could do. Just before a moan slips from my mouth, I find the sense in myself to push him away. “What the hell are you doing?” I force myself to ask, trying to ignore how badly my heart is pounding in my chest.

Adam caresses my jaw with his thumb, staring down at me with bedroom eyes. “Kissing you.” The desire in his voice causes a surge of heat to flood my entire body, thickening the haze in my head.

“Why are you kissing me?”

“Because . . . um . . .” He tilts his head to the side and looks at me curiously. “Okay, I think I’m confused . . .” His hands slide down my neck, over my shoulders, and then drop back to his sides. I immediately ache for them to be back on me, but that is such a bad idea. This isn’t what I came on this trip for. “Don’t you want me to?”

Dear God yes.

I mean—No!

My eyebrows furrow and I cross my arms over my chest as I stare up at him. “Why would you think I want you to?”

“Well . . . you saved me from getting kicked out of French class . . . and you made up this whole tutoring lie . . .” And that quickly, any desire I’d been feeling is blown to bits.

“Oh my GOD,” I say, in utter disbelief. “You think I did that because I want to . . . to have sex with you?!” When he just stares at me like he’s still confused as hell, any doubt I had vanishes. I’m angry, and beyond embarrassed, which makes me even angrier. “I can’t BELIEVE this!” I shout. The room is suddenly way, way, way too freaking small for the both of us, so I slip around him and open the door, stepping into the hallway. “You thought—oh my God, I can’t believe you thought that!” I whirl on him, and he’s just standing in the doorway with wide eyes, like he doesn’t know how to handle me. “And you were going to do it, too! Christ, Adam, you were going to sleep with me for French lessons? For tutoring?” When he doesn’t deny it, I take a step toward him, pointing at his chest. “Please! Get some damn self-respect.”

Loud laughter suddenly fills the lower level of the bus, and I realize that the rest of the guys have been on board for I-don’t-know-how-long. I storm away from Adam and jog down the stairs, shooting them an irritated look, but they’re all laughing so hard they barely notice me. Shawn is on his back on the gray bench seat, holding his hand over his stomach as he completely loses it. Mike is on his knees on the ground, his arms wrapped around himself as he keels over laughing. Cody is wiping his eyes with his palms as he laughs so hard he cries, and Joel is clapping him on the back, laughing so hard he sends himself into a coughing fit.

“Self-respect,” Shawn chokes out in the middle of his laughter.

Ignoring them, I push open the door to the bus and step outside. I can’t believe that this entire time—the car ride, the concert, the past thirty-six freaking hours—Adam thought I was just some groupie trying to weasel my way into his pants!

“Hey, uh . . .” His voice comes from behind me, but it only prompts me to start walking. I don’t even know where I’m going, just as long as it’s away from him. “Hold on!” he says as he jogs to keep up with me. “What the hell are you so mad about?”

I ignore him and keep walking.

“Where are you even going?”


Adam doesn’t say anything else, but he falls into step beside me. And then we’re just walking together through the dark parking lot. I have no idea where I’m going. Adam pulls shades from his back pocket and slips them on, messing up his hair and staring at the ground as we walk past a group of people who probably just left the show.