“That’s disgusting,” I laugh.
“Nope. I wouldn’t piss myself. I would probably come in my pants though!” she exclaims.
“Jesus Christ,” Chance grumbles.
I laugh and continue to look around the packed venue. Everyone around us is vibrating with the same crazy energy I’ve felt since we pulled into the parking garage. It’s hard to contain the excitement you feel when you know you’re about to see a group so huge perform. I tune out the girls, ignore an uncomfortable Chance, and just soak it all in. My earlier exhaustion is long forgotten.
The lights dim thirty minutes later, and the opening act, an all-female rock band called Carnage, is now working the stage. I’m not a huge fan, but the girls are, so while they jump and scream, I join in the fun. Honestly, I just can’t wait to see Loaded Replay.
“Holy shit! Here they come!” screams Maddi and Lyn.
As if they heard them scream, all the lights go off, and after a small pause, there is a heavy drum beat that fills the air. Just thump, thump, thump fills the space and takes the excitement in the crowd to explosive levels. It doesn’t last long as a solo beat until I hear and feel the bass line that makes my skin breakout in goose bumps. And seconds later, the electric guitar rift that lights the air around us has the girls next to me acting like they’re hormonally challenged. The second the lights stream onto the stage, lighting up the four members of LR, Lyn and Maddi have tears streaming down their faces—the freaks. Stella is bobbing her head in tune with the beats, her long, brown hair swishing around her angelic face. Lila is laughing at her sister’s and Maddi’s antics, but she keeps peeking at the stage.
Elbowing Chance, I try to get his attention to let him know I need to use the restroom, but his eyes are transfixed on the stage. Well, not the stage. He’s looking dead on at the stunning lead singer. The same lead singer who is holding his gaze with a wicked gleam in her bright eyes.
I must be the only one in the whole damn place who isn’t acting like a bitch in heat.
Whatever. I don’t want to miss more of the show than I have to, but if I don’t pee now, I’ll be pulling a Maddi and really embarrass myself. Chance doesn’t even notice that I’m leaving until I’m already through the row of screaming fans and turning to walk up the ramp. I look back and catch his pissed eyes before I give him a sassy wave and walk off. Hey, when a girl has to go, she doesn’t wait around.
Okay, so leaving the man who is supposed to be watching me for the evening wasn’t my brightest move. I’m sure I’ll have to deal with him being pissed when I get back—or worse, I’ll have to deal with my father if he tells him. I’ve always been an independent person, so having to rely on someone else to babysit me isn’t my favorite pastime.
I make it back to the seat, having only missed one song, but predictably, Chance is fuming.
“Don’t pull that shit again, Dani. I like my balls right the fuck where they are. Your father wants me here for a reason, so don’t act like a child and ignore that.”
He’s right. I know he is.
Wisely, I nod my head before turning my attention back to the show.
But I also don’t mention the weird feeling I got when I was walking alone through the arena.
FUCK ME, I HATE BEING here.
I hate every day I’m away from home and stuck in this fucking sandbox.
Every day I’m here, I feel like I lose a part of my soul.
My worry for things at home have hit an all-time high, and if it weren’t for my training, I would have been dead days ago when we hit an ambush of gunfire and bombs.
The only thing that is keeping me going is the knowledge that it might be over soon. We got word a few hours ago that, if things start to turn around, we could be home as early as two months from now. Two months is a whole hell of a lot better than the seven months this mission was projected at.
God, I can’t wait to get home.
I’ve felt this pit in my gut since Dani told me about the flowers that have been showing up at her place. This feeling I’m helpless to correct. A feeling that has been screaming at me to get my ass home as quickly as I can because something is wrong.
My girl needs me and I’m completely fucking helpless.
THE LAST THING I WANT to deal with on a Monday morning is camera crews and a manic Sway. No. That’s not right. I don’t want to deal with them any day, but today, I’m in bitch mode and I just can’t seem to shake myself out of it. Every look someone gives me, even if it’s just a smile, has me wanting to punch something. I can’t decide if I just need more sleep or if I should kill Maddi for keeping me up all night with the noises that were coming out of her room.