Page 34 of Mayhem (Mayhem 1)

I am crushing on him. Hard.

“I’m heading to bed,” I say, abruptly sitting up straight. Adam looks confused, and maybe a little disappointed, but he doesn’t try to stop me.

“Aw, you sure?” Driver asks.

“Yeah. I’m not used to being up this late.” I check my phone and see that it’s half past three. “I’ll see you guys tomorrow.”

I crawl off of Adam’s lap as the guys say goodbye to me, and then I walk to the bus without looking back. Adam doesn’t follow me—or say anything to me at all—which is probably for the best. I pull open the door to the bus and climb the stairs to find Mike still on the floor playing games and Shawn and Joel sitting on a bench talking as they absently watch the TV. The girls must have left at some point. Good.

“I’m hitting the hay. I’ll see you guys in the morning,” I tell them.

They shout a round of “goodnights” to me, and then I climb to the second level. I walk through the upstairs sitting area and then past Cody, who is sound asleep on a bunk. When I get to the black satin bedroom, I’m surprised to find it completely untouched. I stare down at my stuff in the corner. Should I actually sleep in here? I don’t want Adam to get any ideas . . . And he was expecting to sleep in here too, right? Is he still expecting to sleep in here?

I close the door behind me and change into my pajamas—a different baggy T-shirt and a pair of fuzzy pajama pants—and then I leave the room and crawl under the covers of an untouched bunk.

Chapter Thirteen

“HEY,” A VOICE whispers.

I groan.

“Hey.” A hand rubs my shoulder, and my eyes reluctantly peel open. Adam. “You don’t have to sleep out here, you know . . .”

“I know,” I say, my voice hoarse from sleep. “It’s okay. I’m good.”

“Okay . . .” He stares at me for a moment, his face close to mine and his hand still on my shoulder. “But if you change your mind, that bed is huge. You won’t even know I’m there.”

I giggle because I can’t help it. Sleep next to Adam Everest and not know he’s right there? Does he even realize how absurd that sounds?

His eyebrows turn in. “What?”

“Nothing.” I giggle again and bury my face in the pillow. “Nothing. I’m really tired. I’ll see you in the morning, Adam.”

He stays crouched next to me for a moment, and then he says, “See you in the morning.” After he goes into the bedroom and closes the door, I crawl out of bed to use the bathroom at the end of the hall. As I make my way back to my bunk, I notice that there are guys everywhere. There are twelve bunks, and the beds that aren’t filled with band members are filled with what I assume are roadies. I quickly crawl back under the covers, suddenly wide awake.

I lie there. And lie there. And lie there.

Every time I’m about to fall asleep, I hear someone stir or groan or kick at their covers. And then the snoring starts. And it’s not just one person. It’s at least three. And one of those three is loud.

“Ohmygoddd,” I groan when I’m on the verge of losing my mind. “Who is that?”

A voice I don’t recognize chuckles and answers me. “That’d be Joel.”

I fight the urge to strangle him in his sleep—or to perform an exorcism, since he obviously needs one—and force my eyes to close. I count backward, I count sheep, I count sheep jumping backward. I’m not sure what time I finally fall asleep, but when I wake up, the snoring is still going on and my eyes feel like the Sandman decided to be a douchebag and dump the Sahara on them.

Soft light is filtering through the white drapes, so I suck it up and crawl out of bed. I grab my bath stuff from my suitcase—which I’ve stashed in a nook near my bunk—and then I go to the bathroom downstairs to shower. It’s pretty cramped, but I make do. I towel-dry my hair and dress in the bathroom, opting for a pair of jeans and a powder-blue tank top. I pull my hair up in a ponytail and put on my glasses, staring at myself in the mirror before I take my glasses back off and put on some mascara and lip gloss. Then I stare at myself again, sigh and take the glasses off again, and try to tone down the makeup. I want to look pretty, but I don’t want my attempt to be obvious, and I definitely don’t want Adam or Shawn to remember meeting me at Mayhem.

When I exit the bathroom, everyone is still upstairs. The bus is a mess, with clothes and dishes and trash everywhere, so I busy myself with picking up. I gather all the clothes into a pile, and then I put all the liquor away. I throw away all the trash and then take all the dirty dishes into the kitchen, grabbing a sponge and some dishwashing detergent and getting to work.

I’m scrubbing a whiskey glass smudged with prostitute-pink lipstick when I hear someone stretch and yawn at the front of the bus. I look up to see Shawn at the same time he sees me. He walks to the kitchen and leans against the counter next to me, scratching his fingers through his short-cropped black hair. “Keep this up and we might never let you leave.”

I chuckle and shake my head. “I don’t think I can live through another night like last night. How can you sleep through that?”

Shawn laughs. “I guess I’m just used to it.” He grabs a dish towel and starts drying the glasses I’m washing. Gazing over at me, he says, “You know, I still swear I’ve met you somewhere before. What school did you go to?”

I answer him honestly, since the school I went to is over six hours away from the town we live in now and I know damn well that that’s not how Shawn met me.

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