"I was a little cold," I replied and leaned back into the comforting warmth radiating off of the bassist. It was a lie. I just didn't want him or the other band members seeing the bruises on my arm. I knew I would have to tell Ren at some point, but I didn't want to do it before the concert tonight.
"Everyong is waiting in the wings," he whispered softly, leaning down to brush his lips over my ear. Even though the relationship was still very new to me and him, it felt like we'd been together for years. He was just that comfortable to me. "Didn't you want to watch 'The Kings' on stage?" I nodded a little and his hands slid down my arms, before he clasped my hand in one of his strong ones. I followed him through the mess of the backstage area, listening to the heavy sounds of the opening band grow nearly deafeningly loud the closer we got.
Vincent was an excellent showman, that much I could tell from the way he interacted with the crowd. The audience was screaming out responses to him and singing along with all of the songs the band played. I couldn't help feeling envious of the way he could so easily walk up and touch the crowd, knowing that I'd never be that comfortable with it. I watched and listened with awe, enjoying the show. Ren had let me listen to them on his mp3 player after dinner earlier tonight before and I was rather taken with how good they were. The show just made them so much better in my opinion.
"Okay! Our time is runnin' a bit short, so before we get to our last song, I want to do things a little different tonight," Vincent said, his eyes flicking over to where we were standing in the wings. "As you all know, we'll be touring this summer and fall with 'eaven's Door'." He paused as the crowd erupted at the mention of our band name. "Well, I 'ave been wantin' to do this since I met the li'l lass earlier today. Come 'ere, Kat." I froze, staring out at the stage in horror. He couldn't possibly be calling me out on stage with him.
"Go on," Ren whispered in my ear. He didn't sound all that confident, but one quick glance at the other band members around me and I knew I had no other choice. I stepped out of the wings and had to immediately stop again as the crowd erupted. Vincent was grinning from ear to ear at me as I blushed at the audience's reaction and beckoned me to come to him. When I finally made it up to him, he handed me a sheet of paper and the band behind him started playing, albeit more softly that before.
"Y'see, I 'ave 'ad this song rumblin' 'round my noggin for awhile now," he said, talking to the audience again. "But it was needin' a pretty li'l lass's voice to make it work. Well, we got our pretty li'l lass now, don't we?" The crowd screamed and I blushed darkly.
"You want me to sing with you?" I asked, my voice being picked up by the mic and causing more raucous cheers to come from the crowd. Apparently they wanted the same thing.
"I do," he replied. I searched his face for a moment before a small smile slid over my own face.
"Okay," I said and turned my eyes to the page in my hands. The band picked up their volume and I read the lyrics as the tune played for several minutes. Once I felt comfortable with it, I nodded to Vincent and his grin grew even bigger.
i"You left me standing here, with only a simple word of goodbye You gave me no explanation, just a desire to go and try I tried to understand, how everything came to this I tried to forget you. You didn't want to be missed.
I loved you I hated you We laughed, I cried I wanted you But you wanted to fly"
I turned my eyes up to him, to find him smiling happily as I finished the first verse and chorus. I had to force myself not to run away from his touch as his hand moved down my arm. It was all for the show, I knew, but it still didn't mean I wanted to be touched by him.
i"I was never good enough, always falling just short I wanted to be the man you always wanted to court I had to leave you behind, to make a life for you I nearly died when I left, unable to say it's was all for you
I loved you I hated you We laughed, you cried I wanted you But I needed to fly"
Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed Ren and Phoenix picking up their guitars and strapping them on. I relaxed some to see the smile that was on the bassist's face as he quickly picked up on the chords of the song. Vincent turned my attention back to him as he took my hand in his, holding it up to his chest as the next part of the song came up.
i"I tried not to miss you, I tried to forget But I'd lie awake at night, feeling your fingertips You were gone somewhere far away, but your memory Was just like a ghost and you haunted me
I loved you I hated you We laughed, we cried I wanted you We lost the need to fly"
Vincent kept my eyes locked on his, the lights flashing off the grey orbs almost making it seem like there was a storm raging in them. Around us, the lights began to turn off, leaving only a spotlight on the two of us. He squeezed my hand slightly to reassure me as my body started to tense, a smile playing on his face.
i"I loved you."/I he sang softly as the music lowered and I knew we were near the end.
i"I hated you."
"I wanted you,"/i he sang softly, his other hand brushing his thumb across my cheek. I turned my head away from the touch, finding it far too personal.
i"But you had to fly,"/i I finished and took a step back from him, pulling my hand back as well. As the chords of the song ended, the lights came up and the audience exploded. Vincent turned to the crowd and even I had to look out at them all. They were so thrilled with the song even though we hadn't ever even rehearsed it together.
"Ladies and gentleman! Give it up for Katastrophe Delgado of 'Heaven's Door'!" he shouted and the roar of the crowd became defeaning in the auditorium. I blushed, even as a smile pulled at my lips and raised my hand to wave at the crowd. "And now, what you 'ave all been waitin' for.... 'Heaven's Door'!" I turned as he began to back away from the mic, watching as he and the others of his band waved to the crowd and left the stage. Grey ran up to me to set my mic stand in front of me.
"Hello, L.A.!" I shouted, feeling the electricity of the crowd moving through me. I could feel the flush on my skin from the sheer excitement of standing in front of the crowd who was cheering and screaming. "We're 'Heaven's Door', but before we get started, give it up one more time for 'The Kings of Lost Souls'!" I laughed as Vincent hopped back on stage to give a bow as the audience cheered.
I had to admit, it was fun being on stage with the others. They had the showmanship of a concert down to a science and I was just swept up in their antics most of the time. I was no where near as involved with the crowd physically as Vincent had been, but I still managed to keep them entertained. By the time we got to the end of our set, I was drenched in sweat and I could have sworn my face was going to break from having been smiling so much. We came back as the audience demanded an encore, but I had something up my sleeve to make it completely epic.
"Alright, I know you all want more," I said and glanced back at Ren and Phoenix, making a small gesture towards the wings where 'The Kings of Lost Souls' were still standing. They caught the gesture and I saw the wolfish grin slip over Ren's face before he nodded to me. "Well, I think you all deserve a special treat for being such a great audience! So what do you say we get 'The Kings of Lost Souls' back out here too, for some fun?" The crowd erupted again and I was amazed that they still had the capacity to be so loud after all the screaming that they'd done already tonight.
"I'd be a sorry bloke to deny such a lass a request like that," Vincent said as he moved his mic stand up beside mine. I grinned at him. Behind us, Seth's drum kit was pushed up beside Kei's and the two drummers launched into a heavy beat of a song that belonged to the British band. "You know this one, Kat?" he asked and I nodded, launching into the opening lyrics before he had a chance to. He laughed at me and we went back and forth, trading verses and doing the chorus together.
By the time we finished the encore, we'd gone through another six songs, three of them from 'The Kings of Lost Souls' and the other three being ours. As soon as we were off stage, Ren's arms slid around me, picking me up. I giggled and wrapped my arms and legs around him so that he couldn't drop me. He was grinning and his green eyes were sparkling with joy and it just made my heart leap that he was so happy.
"That was better than I imagined it would be," Grey said as we all collapsed onto the furniture in the green room. Phoenix handed Ren and I bottles of water when it became obvious that the bassist wasn't going to let me go any time soon.
"You blokes were right 'bout Kat bein' completely different on stage," Vincent said as he plopped onto the couch next to Ren. "'e wasn't shy at all once the crowd started yellin'." I blushed darkly and buried my face in my lover's sweaty neck.
"Aw, now look what you done, Vince!" Craig said, laughing at the way I hid. "You 'ave gone and made 'im shy again!" Everyone cracked up, even Ren as he rubbed his hands over my back. We stayed there, talking and joking for an hour after the show, everything finally settling down between the two groups. A good bit of it having to do with the fact that Vincent wasn't trying to make me uncomfortable anymore. He knew now why I was so uncomfortable around new people after the incident at dinner and he was steadfastly keeping to his promise of not telling my band mates what had almost happened.
By the time Bailey came in to break up our little party, I was exhausted. The adrenaline rush of the stage had worn off and the energy I'd used up was getting to me. Ren stood, pulling me up off the couch with him and slid his arm around me. We said our goodbyes to the other band and headed out to the limo that was waiting to take us home. We'd see them again in a couple of days for a press conference and then when we began the tour in less than two weeks. I was both excited and nervous to hit the road. It meant many more concerts like tonight, but also brought along with it the lack of security that home did. I could only hope that having eight people keeping an eye out for the creeps would be enough.