Page 37 of Mayhem (Mayhem 1)

Adam’s gaze was fixed on me, and it was so intense that I loosened my hold. “If you don’t let go of my face,” he warned, “I’m going to kiss you.” I immediately dropped my hands, blushing beet-red. He chuckled and flipped to the next page, getting back to work. But after that, I was the one who couldn’t concentrate. When eleven o’clock finally rolled around, I was thankful for an excuse to get out of that room.

“Are we going to stop somewhere to eat?” I ask Adam as we walk to his topless black Camaro.

“I think so. If not, you and I can stop and just meet them there.” I throw my backpack into the back and climb into the passenger seat. Adam frowns at the backpack and then at the textbook in my lap. “You’re not going to make me study the whole way, are you?”

I shake my head. “No, I think I need a break.”

He laughs and slides behind the wheel. “Is there any hope for me?”

I stare over at him, at his gorgeous eyes, his untamed rocker hair, and that heartbreaker smile that could make a smart girl stupid. “I guess we’ll see.”

Chapter Fourteen

“WHERE ARE WE?” I ask Adam as I stretch in his front seat, using my hand to block the blinding sun. I didn’t mean to fall asleep, but I guess the sleep deprivation of last night finally caught up with me. I woke a minute ago to soft fingers rubbing gently over my arm, and I groggily opened my eyes.

“We’re stopping for lunch,” he says, nodding toward the tour bus parked at the back of the parking lot we’re in. We’re at a diner along the highway. A big red sign facing the road names it Rosy’s.

I reach for my phone, which Adam connected to his car charger earlier in the trip, and turn it on to look at the time. We’ve been on the road for almost two hours, and I have tons of missed texts and calls—from my mom, Dee, Leti, and Brady. I ignore them and tuck the phone into my purse, and then I slide out of the car and stretch my legs, rolling my neck from side to side.

I walk into the diner with a literal mob of boys. In addition to the five guys from the band, there are five roadies, including Driver. I feel kind of awkward . . . and kind of really freaking awesome. Inside, there’s no sign that tells people to wait to be seated, so everyone seats themselves. I slide into a booth seat, and Adam slides in next to me. Shawn and Joel sit across from us, and Mike, Cody, and Driver sit at a table next to us. The other four roadies sit in a booth farther down.

A middle-aged waitress comes by to take our orders, making pleasant conversation by asking about the band since she saw the tour bus out front. The weird look she gives me when she takes my order doesn’t escape my notice, but I let it slide—I can only imagine what she’s thinking, and I’d probably be wondering the same things if I were in her shoes. Still exhausted from my short nap in the car, I bury my face in my elbow while we wait for the food to arrive.

“Hey,” Shawn says, lifting my blonde pony tail and letting it plop back down. I tilt my head back far enough to stare up at him. “How did studying go?”

I groan and bury my face again, and all three guys laugh.

“I thought I did awesome!” Adam says.

I sit up and rub my eyes. “You did alright. But we really need to get some studying done in the car.”

Shawn is twisting his straw paper into knots when he asks, “Didn’t you do that on the way here?”

“No, I fell asleep.” I stare pointedly at Joel, who is busy sipping on his Coke. “Because someone kept me up all night.”

Adam chuckles, and Joel looks from side to side with the straw still in his mouth, noticing we’re all staring at him. “Who, me?”

“I think you need to see a doctor,” I say. “Seriously. I swear you died at least thirty times last night.”

Joel grins at me. “If you think I’m bad, you should hear my grandma.”

I’m imagining what hell it would be to share a room with Joel and his grandma when our waitress brings our food. I immediately snatch up my burger, taking a very unladylike bite out of it. Most girls would probably order a salad or something when surrounded by the likes of Adam, Shawn, and Joel—who are, I have to admit, all sexy as sin—but I’m too hungry to care. And it’s not like I’m trying to impress them.

Adam picks a steak fry off of my plate and replaces it with one of his onion rings. “I hate French,” he grumbles.

Joel blows on a chicken wing, and it looks so perfectly crispy, I’m kind of wishing I had gotten those instead. “So why did you take it?” he asks.

“Needed a language to graduate.”

I finish swallowing my bite of burger, watching Shawn as he trades one of his loaded potato skins for one of Joel’s mozzarella sticks. “Why are you in school, anyway?” I ask Adam. “I doubt any degree you could get would help you out with the band.”

Adam lays his pickle spear on my plate, which makes me smile since I absolutely love pickles, even though he doesn’t know that. “I enrolled right out of high school,” he says as I pick it up and take a bite, “back before we got as big as we are, and I just figured I might as well finish, I guess.”

“What are you majoring in? Music?” I’m half paying attention to Adam, half watching Joel trade one of Adam’s onion rings for a mozzarella stick. Watching the boys eat and pick off of each other’s plates is making me smile. They’re too freaking cute.

When Adam nods, I steal another one of his onion rings and give him three of my steak fries as a trade. He’s smiling down at his plate when Cody turns toward us from the next table and says, “So, Rowan, how does it feel to be the only girl in history to ever turn Adam down?”