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Havoc:Mayhem Series #4

By:Jamie Shaw

Havoc:Mayhem Series #4
Jamie Shaw

       Chapter 1

There's an elbow on my head.

My boobs are smashed against a barricade, a Converse sneaker almost just  kicked me in the face, and there's an elbow . . . on top of . . . my  head.

"ADAM!" my cousin screams over the music that's blasting out of  gargantuan speakers piled high at the sides of the stage. I pull my neck  down just in time to avoid the arm she throws over the railing, and the  elbow on my head follows me deep into my turtle shell.

"Adam!" she yells again as she jumps on an invisible trampoline in the front row. "Down here! Adam!"

The lead singer of The Last Ones to Know is crouched down at the edge of  the stage, his fingers reaching out toward the mash of girls gathered  at his feet. They're climbing over each other to try to yank him into  the crowd, and I'm just here, trying not to die.

"I fucking love you!" Danica shrieks as Adam serenades the fans front  and center. His knees poke out of the bare threads of his jeans as he  stretches his black-nailed fingers toward the crowd, and the way his  lips caress his mic . . . well, it's no wonder half of these girls have  gone rabid.

All week, I've had to listen to Danica talk about her rock star  ex-boyfriend. About how madly in love with her he was. About how he  worshipped her all throughout high school. About how his band is finally  making it big.

The only problem is, her ex-boyfriend isn't the lead singer.

At the back of the stage, in a black T-shirt that's damp with four  songs' worth of hard-earned sweat, Mike Madden beats on the drums with  arms that have been sculpted to do nothing else. He wields his  drumsticks like they're extensions of his own body, radiating power as  he sets the beat for the war song in the club. He's not lanky or dressed  in distressed clothes like the rest of the band, but there's no  mistaking it-he's a rock star.

"I thought you were here for the drummer?" I shout, but my voice is as  tiny as the rest of me, lost under the swell of the music and the  frenzied screams of the crowd. I try to hold my own as I get jostled  left and right, but I'm at the mercy of the waves upon waves of people  that slam into me from all sides.

"I WANT TO SUCK YOUR COCK!" some chick further behind me screams at Adam  as she tries to jump past the gigantic sweaty guy molded to my back,  and Adam smiles wide under the glowing blue lights without missing a  single lyric. The crowd is absolutely insane, but the band has obviously  seen it a thousand times before. Even Danica's frantic shrieking can't  get their attention.

"Shawn!" she desperately pleads when she notices the lead guitarist  glancing down from his spot at Adam's right. In a vintage tee, with  messy black hair and a thick layer of stubble, he shreds his guitar and  shouts backup lyrics into his mic. He and Adam weave a song, line over  line over line, and I almost start to enjoy it-right up until my hand  gets snatched from the railing.

"Help me get his attention!" Danica orders as she yanks my arm high over my head.

I'm fighting for control of my limbs, in serious danger of getting  sucked backward into the music-fueled chaos, when Shawn finally locks  his sights on Danica.

A crease forms in the center of his brow, reminding me of this stray cat  that used to live on my family's farm . . . It was only friendly when  it went into heat, and then suddenly its favorite thing to do became  weaving figure-eights around my dad's denim-clad legs. My dad hated  cats, particularly this one, and he used to make this face-a face almost  exactly like the one Shawn makes at Danica.

"OH MY GOD!" Danica squeals, clamping a freakishly strong hand onto my  shoulder. She spins me to face her, and I latch on to her arms to avoid  getting knocked sideways into a thrashing whirlpool of elbows and  armpits and hair. "Did you see that?! He looked right at me!"

A violent wave crashes into me when Adam hits the chorus of the song,  and I struggle to keep my head above water. Blue and purple lights cut  across my skin as I get slammed back against the metal bars in front of  me and Danica shouts her undying love to every single guy on the stage.

Adam! Shawn! Joel! Mike!

She doesn't waste her breath on the female guitarist, introduced earlier  as Kit, but I don't bother commenting-because I'm too busy ducking to  avoid getting kicked in the head by another crowd surfer. A security  guard drags the screaming fan over the barricade and ushers her away,  and at the weary expression on my face, he gives me a sympathetic look  that promises, It'll be over soon.                       


Only, it's not over soon. It doesn't end until an eternity and two  kicks-in-the-head later, when the music ends and the lights finally cut.  I inhale a deep, much-needed breath-and get pushed hard to the side.  "Let's go," Danica orders as she shoves me directly into someone's back.

"Where do you expect me to go?" I bark as she continues pushing me into the crowd.

"Just GO."

She uses me as her battering ram the entire way out of the pit, and I  almost regret not getting trampled to death while I had the chance.

"You can stop now," I snap at her as soon as I have enough room to spin around.

"Shut up for a minute."

I'm biting my tongue-literally, because it's all I can do to keep from  growling at her-when Danica rises onto her tiptoes and begins scanning  the venue. We're in a club called Mayhem, in the city we both just moved  to. I moved here to get my bachelor's and eventually doctoral degrees  in veterinary science, and Danica moved here for . . . well, who knows  why Danica does anything.

She's always been the star of the ballet. The captain of the  cheerleading squad. The Juliet in school plays. The queen of the  homecoming dance.

She's never had to want for anything, and she does whatever she wants.

"How do we get backstage?"

"Um," I say as I peel my shirt away from the sweat on my back, "I'm pretty sure we don't."

"Don't be stupid, Hailey," she scoffs. "Didn't you see the way Shawn looked at me?"

Like my dad looked at that horny barn cat? Yeah, I definitely saw that . . .

"There!" she interjects, and when she begins walking away, I gaze  longingly at a big red sign that promises exit. I wonder how much I'll  regret it later if I make my escape while I have the chance. It's not  like Danica would have trouble finding a ride home. She has the kind of  beauty only money can buy-salon-tended copper-brown hair,  trainer-sculpted curves, cosmetically whitened teeth. And aside from all  of that are pretty almond eyes and naturally flawless skin. Since  moving in with her almost two months ago, I've stopped counting the  number of guys that have stopped by our apartment to pick her up or  bring her home.

All of them have been cute. But none of them have been rock stars.

"Are you coming or what?" Danica shouts from a few steps ahead of me,  and at the impatient look on her face, I sigh and follow her.

It wasn't always this way. When we were kids, she sometimes let me be  the leader in follow the leader. In Simon says, she sometimes let me be  Simon. In house, we took turns being the mom and being the dad. And when  her family moved away when Danica and I were in elementary school, I  was actually pretty sad.

But that was before she started at her new school, where she became a  mean girl made for movies. Our families continued to get together for  holidays-Christmases, Thanksgivings, Easters-but each year, Danica  turned more and more into someone I didn't know. She grew into someone  beautiful and someone ugly, while I stayed more or less the same. I  never imagined we'd end up roommates, but at our family dinner this past  Easter, when I mentioned wanting to transfer to Mayfield University  someday since they have one of the best pre-veterinary programs in the  country, she jumped right in and volunteered her father to pay my  tuition. She said she wanted to go back to school too. She said we  should both go to Mayfield and be roommates. She said it would be so  much fun.

At a door near the back corner of the room, my fun-loving cousin marches  right up to the first security guard she sees, who also happens to be  approximately five zillion times her size, with muscles made of stone  and a face to match. "Who do I need to talk to to get backstage?"

At her bossy tone, Muscle Man lifts an eyebrow. "The Easter Bunny?"

"Excuse me?"

"No one's allowed backstage." The arms he crosses over his chest warn that he isn't messing around.

"I'm with Mike," Danica lies, and after studying her for a moment, Muscle Man laughs.

"Sure you are."

"I am!"

When Muscle Man just smiles at her like she's a petulant child, Danica  resorts to acting like one. She demands to see his boss and threatens to  get him fired. When that doesn't work, she resorts to curse words. And  when those have no effect, all hell breaks loose.