Soon, the guys are ushered to the stage. Unsure of what to do with myself, Verona grabs me and starts leading me down a long concrete corridor.
“Where are we going?” I ask her.
“To our seats. They’re awesome too,” she tells me with a toothy grin.
I follow her, feeling excited about actually seeing the guys play a stadium concert. To think back when I first met Conrad at that club in good ol’ Mayfair, and now here he is in San Fransisco playing to a packed stadium full of fans. It’s surreal. Verona and I stop at some large double doors which are guarded by four very large men. They obviously know who Verona is because they just smile at us and let us through. We step into an area that is really dark, but very loud. As my eyes adjust, I realise we are next to the stage. We climb a few sets of metal stairs until we are on a platform off to the side of the stage, giving us a perfect view of the guys, but just out of view of the crowd.
“Wow!” I gasp.
“I know right?” Verona laughs, “I told you our seats were awesome.”
On stage, the band opening for Un-Classic Heroes finishes their last song before leaving the stage. The stage goes black, lit only by enough light for the stage crew to switch out the instruments. The crowd starts to grow louder as the time goes near for the guys to come out.
“Hey!” I hear a voice call out to us.
We follow the sound and we see the guys standing below us.
“You two cozy up there?” Conrad asks us.
“You know it,” Verona answers him, “and don’t worry Con, I’ve got your girl.”
“Thanks Ver,” he says with a smile, “Hope you enjoy the show Syd.”
“Of course I will,” I call back down to him.
Two minutes later, the lights shine bright once more and the guys walk out on stage. The screaming that accompanies this is deafening. Butterflies swim in my stomach and I feel excited tears spring to my eyes. I knew they were rock stars, but seeing it in action is a whole new ballgame. All of these people, thousands of them, are all here to see them play. My heart feels like it’s going to burst. I become aware of Verona’s arm around my shoulders.
“It’s amazing huh?” she says to me, and all I can do is nod.
“Here, I brought a little something that might help you relax,” she says, holding a flask in front of me.
I look at her, unsure, but she smiles encouragingly.
“Seriously girl, you’re going to need it if you plan on getting through tonight. You haven’t been to a party until you’ve been to one of these parties tonight.”
I draw a deep breath and take the flask from her and unscrew the cap.
“Well, here’s to new experiences,” I proclaim before tipping it back.
By the time the concert ends, Verona and I have emptied the flask. I wouldn’t say I was drunk because there wasn’t quite enough to get us to that point, but I feel a slight buzz. Verona helps me feel at ease, and we giggle and joke around with each other. She was right, the liquor definitely helped me loosen up a bit. The guys leave the stage after their encore and Verona leads me back down the stairs and we head off in the direction the guys went, until we meet back up with them in the green room, or whatever they call it. As soon as Conrad sees us, he rushes over but stops himself from hugging me.
“I’m soaked in sweat baby, otherwise I’d hug you right now,” he tells me.
“I don’t care,” I say, closing the distance between us and wrapping my arms around him. He chuckles and kisses me enthusiastically before pulling away.
“I’d love to keep doing this, but I had better go shower before we have to take off again,” he says, and at that precise moment, someone throws a towel at him.
“Go, I got her,” Verona tells him.
Conrad smiles and rushes off, but he’s stopped by at least a dozen people before he actually makes it to the bathroom.
“Expect this to happen a lot tonight,” Verona says, “People pulling him away for this or that. Expect to be spending a great deal of time with me tonight.”
“Hey cutie, enjoy the show?” Kevin hollers, coming up behind me and spinning me around to face him.
“It was crazy!” I exclaim.
“Good. Here,” he then says, holding a bottle out to me, “it’s fruity, you’ll like it.”
“I swear you guys are trying to get me drunk,” I laugh, taking the bottle from him.
“Maybe we are,” Kevin shrugs, “and why not right? How many people get to say they got drunk with the band after the concert?”
“Way to be humble Kev,” Verona chastises him lightly.
“He’s right though,” I concur, opening the bottle and tipping it back. It’s fruity and delicious, “yum!”
Kevin pulls me towards one of the very large men that are scattered through out the room. He’s wearing all black, at least six foot five, with a shaved head, goatee and full tattoo sleeves. He’s intimidating to say the least.
“Sydney, this is Billy. He’s one of our personal body guards, if at any point in the night you have any problems or get separated from us, look for him. I’m appointing him as your personal guard tonight alright?” Kevin explains.
Billy smiles down at me and gives a nod.
“Is that necessary?” I squeak.
“Yes. It is,” Kevin says, completely serious, “Conrad knows about this, as do the rest of the guys. This is probably more necessary than you think. People can get a little out of hand at these things, and we don’t want anything to happen to you.”
I look to Verona, and she nods.
“Okay, if you say so,” I sigh, my nerves starting to stand at attention again. What the heck is going to happen tonight?
An hour or so later, Conrad is back at my side and we are herded like cattle down that concrete corridor towards the exit I presume. Near the end of the corridor, I hear cheering. There is a large group of fans waiting at the exit. Conrad’s arm tightens around me as we break through the crowd towards a line of awaiting black SUV’s. Once safely inside, we speed away. In our SUV is Conrad, Kevin, Verona and I in the back, with a driver and bodyguard up front.
“Bet you wish you had a camera,” Kevin asks me.
“Unbelievable,” I gasp.
“So, shall we break out the party favors?” Verona announces.
“Party favors?” I ask, glancing at Conrad, who frowns at Verona.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Conrad says.
“Relax old boy, it’s cool,” Kevin chortles as Verona pulls something out of her bag. She holds what looks like a cigarette up to her lips and lights it. I quickly become aware that it is not a cigarette.
“Fuck Ver, you have to?” Conrad grunts.
“Oh come on Conrad. Your girl is finally here, so you can actually join in on the fun instead of being a such a wet blanket all the time?” she retorts.
“I am having fun,” he argues.
“It’s okay Conrad,” I tell him, patting his knee.
“Conrad leans forward and takes the joint from Verona then.
“See, there you go…” she begins, until Conrad opens a window and chucks it out, “what the hell!” she protests.
“Do it when we’re not sharing the same air yeah?” Conrad says.
Kevin starts laughing and shaking his head, “I guess someone around here has to be a good influence.”
I can’t help but laugh at the whole exchange. Part of me wonders though if Conrad did that solely for my benefit, or if he always is this way about this type of thing. I don’t live in a bubble, so it’s not the first time I’ve been around people smoking weed. I actually don’t really see the big deal about it, but I’ve never actually tried it for myself. I have to admit though that I’m slightly curious.
Soon, we pull up in front of a club called Silver Tongue. There is a red carpet leading from the curb to the front doors. The SUV door opens and Kevin jumps out first, along with Verona, and then Conrad and I. I look to our right and Harrison, Jake and a few others join us. Cameras start going off, and I try to turn away from the flashing. How these guys haven’t gone blind, I don’t know. Before I know it, we are inside and surrounded by people, I swear I even spot a few celebrities. Now this is crazy! Music pounds from every corner, club lighting flashes around the room, and I spot a fully packed dance floor ahead of me. I begin to feel a mixture of excitement and nervousness again. I don’t know what else to expect at this point. As I examine what other women are wearing around me, I’m even more grateful for Verona’s help this afternoon in picking out my outfit.
“I’m stealing her!” Verona calls out to Conrad as she wraps her fingers around my arm and pulls me away from him before he or I can protest.
She leads me to middle of the dance floor, and starts to dance. I look around me.
“Come on Sydney, dance!” she encourages, placing her arms on my shoulders and dancing against me. I pause for a second before I decide not to be such a chicken, and start to move along with her to the music, it’s an eighties song I recognize and like.
“So, are you seeing any of the guys?” I ask her, wanting to know more about my new friend, “like Kevin?”
I had noticed they seemed friendly. Verona throws her head back and laughs before shaking her head.
“No, I don’t date guys, Syd,” she says, giving me an amused look.
Then it hits me what she means. My eyes go wide and she laughs again.
“I’m gay,” she confirms.
“Oh,” I answer her, not knowing what to say.
“Don’t worry though, you’re not my type,” she says, but then she leans in close, “though you are pretty hot if I might say so myself.”
She pulls back and laughs again before taking my hand and twirling me. I decide to just go with it, and laugh in response because I am having a good time. Then, two large hands slide around my waist and pull me against their owner.
“I’ve missed you,” Conrad says into my ear. I smile and continue to dance.
His hands slide down my hips and then he grasps my butt. I’m a little shocked by his public display of affection until I realize that nobody around us is paying attention and are themselves in various states of inappropriateness. Conrad’s lips find my neck, then my shoulder as his hands continue to explore. He then spins me around to face him and kisses me again, his hands once again firmly on my butt. I like it, and it makes me feel kinda sexy, knowing he can’t keep his hands off of me.
After our dance, if that’s what you want to call it, Conrad leads me to the VIP area. The rest of the guys are there, along with Lyle, the body guards, and a bunch of people I don’t recognize, at least half of them are scantily clad women, all perched on the laps of Kevin, Harrison and Jake. Conrad leads me to a couch where Kevin is sitting, and sits down, pulling me down onto his lap. We are handed glasses of champagne.
“Are you okay?” Conrad asks me and I nod.
I look around me. Harrison has two girls on his lap and is laughing. He catches me looking at him and winks at me. I turn away, pausing at Jake. There is one girl on his lap who looks to be chatting his ear off. He looks sort of bored, but nods along. I realize that I hadn’t really spoken to him much. I get up off of Conrad’s lap and he looks at me in question.
“I’m going to say hi to Jake,” I tell him, and he nods, but he still looks slightly confused.
I drop down on the couch next to Jake and he turns and smiles at me.
“Hey Jake,” I say.
“Hey Sydney. How are you doing? Ready to run yet?” He asks.
The girl on his lap stops talking, a pout taking place on her mouth. Jake turns to her.
“Yeah um…I’m just going to talk to my friend here for a bit. I’ll catch you later,” he says to her.
She frowns, but doesn’t move.
“I’m going to need my lap back,” he reiterates.
The girl huffs loudly and stands. She walks away and Jake crosses a leg over his knee.
“That was a bit rude,” I smirk at Jake, and he just shrugs.
“I don’t really give a shit. I have no clue who she is, she just came and sat down on my lap, and she wouldn’t shut up. I’m actually kind of grateful you came over. These girls Syd,” He pauses and gestures around the room, “they don’t give two shits about us. They want what we can give them, but I’ll tell you what, this is the last place I’d go looking for a girl to bring home to mom.”
I nod my understanding.
“That’s where Conrad has the right idea you see,” Jake continues, “he found you, and that was it. Every night, dozens of girls tried to throw themselves at his feet, begged him to fuck them, pardon my french, and every time he just shut them down. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.”
“Yeah, wow is right. I’m really glad you’re back Sydney. He wasn’t the same guy without you. He was here, he played his guitar and wrote the songs, but really, he was always with you.”
I’m smiling like an idiot, I know it.
“Wow Jake, that’s kind of a romantic way to put it.”
“Well, I have it in me but it hasn’t come out much lately. Violet kind of wrecked me, and I haven’t had the time or desire to go through that again. It’s hard to meet a nice girl when you don’t know what their true intentions are for being with you.”
“I get that, but it sucks if you’re unhappy just fooling around with random girls all the time.”
“I have my highs and lows about it. It won’t be like this forever so I might as well enjoy it while I can right?”
“I guess,” I shrug and glance over at Conrad who is watching us. Jake meets Conrad’s gaze and slides his arm around my shoulders.
“Relax Con, I ain’t stealing your girl,” he calls to him, and Conrad smiles sheepishly.
“Though if you don’t mind me saying, this makeover Verona gave you is killer. No wonder he’s so fucking nervous about this,” Jake says quietly near my ear, “he’s also worried you’re going to see or experience something totally messed up and run away.”
“I’m not going to run.”
“I hope not.”
Even though I know Jake would never do anything, I can’t help but watch as he and Sydney sit together and talk quietly. I want to know what they’re talking about, but I also don’t plan on asking. It’s none of my business, and I’m sure whatever it is, it’s harmless chatter. I rub my hands along my thighs nervously. So far so good I suppose. Nothing too crazy has happened yet, but the night is young. I look back at Jake and Sydney, and I notice that he hasn’t taken his arm from around her shoulders yet. Because of that, she can’t help but lean against him as he speaks quietly to her. It looks way too cozy for my liking, but I don’t want to act like a jealous asshole. I stand from the couch and wander over to the bar in the corner. I order up a shot of tequila, when I’m joined by Kevin.
“Make that two…Actually, let’s make it four,” he says to the bartender, “what’s up Conrad? Why do you look like a sullen child?”
I turn and lean against the bar, my eyes back on Sydney. Kevin follows my gaze.
“What? You worried about Jake?”
“I know I shouldn’t be,” I reply.
“Don’t be, Jake’s harmless. So let’s just do our shots and get back to the fun shall we?”
After the first two shots, Kevin ordered three more each. Against my better judgment, I do them. When I see that Sydney is still talking to Jake, I can’t take it anymore. I stride over to them and hold my hand out to her.
“Come on baby, I’m missing you over there,” I say to her, shooting Jake a look. He frowns at me and shakes his head, probably wondering what the hell my problem is. I know I’m being a dick, but she’s mine. I’ve had to watch guys mentally undress her all night. She smiles up at me and takes my hand. I lead her back to the couch and she sits down on my lap. I cup her face in my hands and pull her face to mine, eager to feel her sweet lips on mine. She kisses me back and I hear a soft moan escape her throat as I deepen the kiss. This is not my usual style, I like it better when it’s private, but I want everyone around us to know that this girl is with me.