Chapter 1: Guess Who's Coming to Town
Boy bands have been around for ages. Every couple of years it seemed like there was a new one. With their dance moves, infectious songs, and over the top music videos they were unescapable. The newest one to make their presence known was Midnight Carnival, a five boy group assembled in a small town just outside Sydney, Australia. They grew their fan base overseas before traveling to America. After signing a recording contract they quickly became household names with catchy songs that were impossible not to dance to. You couldn't turn on the TV or pick up a magazine without seeing their faces. To everyone else they were Midnight Carnival to them they were still James, Lucas, Edward, Jake, and Dakota. Regular blokes who got really lucky and they were determined not to take every opportunity for granted.
Lynne Carroll groaned as she closed her laptop. She had been trying to two hours to find affordable Midnight Carnival tickets but she hadn't been successful. Running her hands through her dark brown hair she walked into the kitchen seeing her mom, Tina, cooking at the stove, the smell filling the room. "Hey, Lynne, try this." She commanded holding the spoon out for her daughter.
Lynne inwardly cringed before taking a sip. Ever since her mom founded her own catering company Lynne found herself being the regular taste tester. "Hmm..." She muttered. "Not bad, could use a little salt though."
"Can you get it out of the cabinet for me?" Tina asked turning her attention back to her pot. "What's got you so down?" She asked seeing her daughter trudging over to the spice cabinet.
"I've been sitting in front of my laptop for the past two hours trying to get Midnight Carnival tickets but found absolutely nothing."
"What's so important about some carnival at midnight?"
Lynne's hand shot up to her forehead. "Its not really a carnival mom." She mumbled handing her mother the salt. "Its this new group me, Taylor, and Michelle have been dying to see for months. They're finally gonna be in Atlanta and we can't get tickets anywhere."
Lynne was about to say something else when she heard the back door open. "Sunshine, you home?" She heard a familiar voice call.
"Kitchen Tay!" She called back.
In a few minutes a familiar blonde head walked into the room. Taylor Everage sighed as she leaned against the counter. "I've been on this phone for an hour calling anyone I know for tickets but no luck." She explained placing her Iphone back in her pocket.
"Yeah, same here. My head hurts from being on my laptop so long, but who knows maybe Michelle had better luck."
At that time they heard the front door open. "Speak of the devil." Taylor laughed as the curly haired girl made her way through the house. "Any luck?"
Michelle Vent tossed her phone onto the counter. "Nothing, nada, zippo. I bet we couldn't even find a scalper with our luck."
Lynne glanced at her mom who was giving her daughter a stern look. "Not that we would do that. Come on let's go to my room." She said quickly ushering her friends down the hallway to her bedroom. "Great, now my mom will think we're gonna buy the tickets illegally."
"I'm almost ready to," Michelle exclaimed. "There's no way we're getting into that concert now."
"I even checked eBay, the only tickets available for the Atlanta show are over three thousand dollars." Taylor explained sitting down on Lynne's full sized bed. "I don't know about y'all but I'm not that desperate to get into a concert."
She saw her friends nod. They were halfway into their senior year of high school, each had already been accepted into their desired colleges. Lynne was going off to the University of Georgia, Michelle was traveling south to the University of Miami while Taylor was staying close going to a technical college to become a nail technician. All of them were going to part soon and they wanted one moment they would always remember before they went their separate ways, but with the way their luck was going they weren't going to get it.
Finally it was the day before the concert, with still no success on the ticket front. Michelle gripped her pencil tighter hearing girls behind her gush about their seats. "Yeah, we're in the third row!" One exclaimed.
"I hope you get trampled in a mosh pit." Michelle whispered closing her notebook as the bell rang.
Walking through the halls she noticed her ex-boyfriend Mark, laughing and joking around with his baseball buddies. They had broken up four months prior but he still seemed to be into her. Sighing to herself she had to walk past him to get to her locker. Taking a deep breath she took long strides past the boys but a familiar voice caught her attention. Cringing she turned to face him. "Mark, hi," She forcibly smiled.
"Hey yourself, so are you like the other crazy fangirls going to that concert tomorrow night?" He laughed, his friends behind him snickering. "I mean all this for some crappy boy band?"
Michelle scoffed. "No, no I'm not. Now if you would excuse me, I need get going."
Without waiting for a response she turned on her heel to walk away from him. They had broken up because he was a controlling cheater. Now whenever they spoke she couldn't help but think 'Why was I ever interested in this douche?'
As she walked to her locker she saw Taylor leaving her French class. "If I hear one more girl bragging about her 'amazing seats' I'm gonna punch them." Michelle grumbled gripping her Superman backpack tighter. She didn't want to talk about Mark just yet knowing Taylor and Lynne were never his biggest fans.
"I know, I spent all of fifth period tuning girls like that out." Taylor sighed. "It feels like we're the only ones in the school without tickets."
"Maybe we should just stay home Monday, that way we don't hear about the concert and how awesome it was." Taylor nodded her head as they made their way to their lockers at the other end of the hallway.
Lynne grabbed her phone out of her purse as she made her way to her Honda Accord. As she climbed into the driver's seat she saw that she had an unread text message from her mom. 'Come straight home, need your help with something.' she cringed, the last time her mom needed help she was forced to handle raw chicken for a wedding, Lynne almost became a vegetarian due to the experience. Starting her car she made her way out of the student parking lot. A Midnight Carnival song came over the radio but she turned the volume down, just hearing their songs brought on feelings of sadness. Her mom and dad kept saying how this band was just a fad, that by next year they wouldn't even be relevant but Lynne ignored them. Nothing they said would make her feel better, she still missed her chance of seeing one of her favorite bands with her two best friends. "Leave me alone in my teenage misery," She told them.
Pulling into her family's concrete driveway Lynne parked her Honda behind her mother's van. As she walked into the kitchen she was hit by the smell of Hors d'oeuvres. "Whoa, since when are we feeding a small army?" She exclaimed throwing her bag onto the table.
She saw her mom smile. "I got good news and bad news." Tina explained. "The good news is...you're going to that Midnight Circus concert."
Lynne's eyes widened. "Midnight Carnival?" She gasped throwing her hands up but frowned. "Wait, what's the bad news?"
"The bad news is you have to help me, I'm short staffed and I'm gonna need some extra hands. I was actually wondering if Taylor and Michelle would be interested."
"Yeah, I'll ask them." Lynne muttered pulling out her phone. Even if she was gonna be working the concert she was still excited. There was a chance she would actually meet the guys instead of just being a face in the crowd.
There was really no convincing when it came to asking her friends. Right after she got the words out of her mouth Michelle and Taylor had both yelled 'Yes!'
The day of the concert all the girls were beyond excited as they approached the venue. All were dressed in a white T-shirt with Tina's company's name on the back, black pants, and they were required to have their hair back. "Ok even though this isn't how I pictured my dream outfit when attending this concert but hey, I'm not complaining." Lynne laughed tying a black apron around her waist.
Taylor nodded grabbing two aprons from the table, handing on to Michelle. "So what exactly are we supposed to be doing?"
"I have no idea, most of the time I just wait around until mom tells me to move or serve something."
"But we're gonna be backstage?" Michelle asked blowing a piece of hair out of her eyes. She had decided to straighten her usually curly hair making it easier to pull up.
"All right girls, follow me." Tina called.
The girls carried boxes full of food trying to avoid as many people as they could before they came to a stop in front of a black door. "Ok there should be a table set up in there, take all these and try to set them up as quickly as you can." Tina explained. "I'm gonna be right down the hall if you need me."
A bodyguard held the door open for the girls as they made their through the door. As they looked around they saw racks of clothes, two black couches, a big screen TV, and two empty white tables in the corner of the room. "I guess just try to set them up neatly?" Lynne sighed placing her two boxes down.
Taylor and Michelle nodded walking over to the other table. As Michelle looked around she noticed the clothes, they looked eerily familiar. She could have sworn she had seen them before."Um y'all...I think we're in the guys' dressing room!" She excitedly whispered.
Lynne and Taylor looked around seeing an Xbox 360 on the floor in front of the TV, a few discarded pairs of shoes, and a guitar laying on one of the couches. "Ok just be cool, we do have to be professional here." Lynne muttered trying to hide her own excitement.
As they started setting the dishes out they heard a door open. Their mouths dropped seeing the boys of Midnight Carnival in front of them. Quickly snapping out of it Lynne stuttered. "Um, excuse us, we're just setting up."
"Oh, its cool, we're starving actually." Lucas smiled as the boys stepped towards them.
"Uh ok, well I think we have a little bit of everything so just get what you like." Michelle explained grabbing her empty boxes.
Before the girls could reach the door they heard Dakota say. "Hey, you guys can hang out if you like. We have two hours til showtime."
The girls glanced at each other. "Let me just check with my mom, I'll be right back."
As Lynne left the room Taylor and Michelle stood awkwardly at the door for a second until they sat on one of the couches. Michelle blushed as Jake sat next to her, "Hey, I'm Jake." He smirked holding out his left hand.
"I'm Michelle and this is Taylor." Michelle smiled shaking his hand. "So, uh, how do y'all like Georgia so far?" She asked hoping she didn't sound nervous.
"Its pretty nice, its true what they say about Southern hospitality." Edward smiled taking a bite out of a sandwich.
Lynne walked down the hallway, glancing in each room until she saw her mom. "Hey, uh, do we need to do anything else?"
"Did you get the food set up?"
"Yes, and while we were doing that the band walked in and asked if we would sit for a while.I just wanted to make sure you didn't need us for anything else."
"Well if you already get everything set then I don't see why not." Her mom winked at her making Lynne smile.
"Have I mentioned you're the best mom ever?" She laughed hugging her tight.
Taylor smiled seeing Michelle talk to Jake, she knew how he was the one Michelle liked the most out of the group. Looking down at her hands she heard. "Hey mates, look at her nail, its the Power Rangers!" Dakota exclaimed pointing to Taylor's hands.
She smiled seeing her white nails but on her ring fingers was a the blue Mighty Morphin Power Rangers uniform. "Yeah," She chuckled. "I got bored while doing my nails last night."
"That's awesome!" Edward laughed. "I think we all wanted to be Power Rangers when we were little."
"Who are you kidding, I still want to be one." James laughed walking up next to Taylor.
She felt her cheeks go warm. 'Damn you, shyness.' Taylor thought seeing the boy she liked standing next to her. In her head she was fangirling but outside she just smiled and looked down at the black, carpeted floor. The room fell silent until they heard a phone ringing. "Oh excuse me mates," James said quickly walking out of the room.
"Can she have you on a shorter leash, mate?" Lucas asked, rolling his eyes.
"Girlfriend?" Michelle asked.
"Yeah, they've been dating for six months but she acts like they are already engaged." Jake explained tossing his plate in the trash.
Dakota and Edward shook their heads as James walked back into the room. "What are we talking about?"
"Nothing." The boys said together.
Hearing the door open everyone looked up to see Lynne walking through. "So what did I miss?" She asked.
For the next hour the girls loosened up. Turns out the boys of Midnight Carnival were just like the boys they went to school with, just with thick Australian accents. Lynne found herself gravitating towards Edward. Not because he was like a certain vampire in a cheesy novel, but because he was a lot like her. They were both sarcastic, liked to make others laugh, and he was just easy to talk to. James and Taylor were the quiet ones in the group, talking amongst themselves. Michelle stood from her seat, walking over to the tables. As she picked up a sandwich she noticed a black book on the floor. "What's this?" She whispered.
"Oh uh, that's my sketch book." Jake muttered from behind her.
"Can I?" She asked. When she saw him nod she opened the cover. The first picture was one she recognized. "Isn't this the design for the T-shirts?"
"Yeah, management saw it and thought it would be perfect for the shirts and posters."
Each page was a different, amazingly detailed portrait. Some were of the other boys, James sleeping, Dakota and Edward playing cards. Then she came across a picture of a younger girl, she couldn't have been older than ten. "Who's this?" Michelle asked.
"That's my little sister, Penny."
"Are you two close?"
Jake nodded his head. "Yeah, when my parents got divorced my mum had to work late a few nights a week. It was my job as an older brother to make sure no 'monsters' were in Penny's room at night."
Michelle laughed. "That's so cute. I have two older sisters, they pretended to be the monsters in my room on multiple occasions."
Taylor looked back to see Michelle and Jake laughing. "They seem to be getting along." She heard James say.
"Yeah," She smiled up at him. Before she had the chance to say anything else the dressing room door opened.
"Ok boys, we have half an hour til showtime. You need to get dressed and warmed up." An older man instructed, holding a walkie talkie in his hand.
The boys all nodded their heads before rising from their seats. "If you would excuse us ladies, we'll be right back." Lucas smirked hitting Edward's shoulder.
The girls watched them as they walked into a back room. Michelle and Lynne walked over to sit on either side of Taylor. "I think we can safely say even though we didn't have third row seats we definitely had a better experience than the girls at school." Michelle laughed.
Lynne sighed happily. "Is it weird to think I don't even see them as Midnight Carnival? I see them as just guys, guys we could probably meet at school."
"I know right? But I think its refreshing to them to actually talk to fans instead of girls just screaming in their faces." Taylor muttered.
After ten minutes the boys reemerged in different outfits. "So do y'all have any pre show rituals or anything?" Lynne asked.
"Well we have to do warm ups then we do like a group huddle right before we go onstage." Edward explained loosening his black tie.
"Do you need us to leave?" Taylor asked, knowing neither Michelle nor Lynne wanted to leave.
"No, y'all are fine. In fact, give us a song." James smirked making Taylor blush slightly.
The girls all glanced at each other before blurting. "'I Should Have Kissed You.'"
The boys nodded and stood in a circle. Michelle took out her Iphone, setting it on record as Dakota opened his mouth to sing the first verse. Lynne found herself watching Edward but immediately looked down seeing him turn his attention on her. Taylor chuckled a bit watching her friend blush madly. "I think he caught me." She whispered just so her blonde friend could hear. Taylor shook her head taking out her phone opening a new message.
'I think so too. What happened to your ninja skills?' She typed before handing it to Lynne.
'His cuteness canceled it out!' Lynne replied. 'Dem eyes, those perfect green eyes. Slap me if I start drooling.'
Taylor gave her a thumbs up before putting her phone back in her pocket. James was singing now, his eyes were closed, his voice so melodic it seemed to put her in a trance. She knew she liked him, it was impossible not to after talking to him like she did but in the back of her mind there was that nagging voice saying 'Sorry honey, he has a girlfriend.' Sighing to herself Taylor sank back on the couch, listening to the rest of the song. As Jake sang the last line Michelle quickly hid her phone, not knowing if they would mind her recording in the first place. The girls clapped their hands as the boys took a small bow. "Did you get that?" Jake joked staring at Michelle.
Michelle looked around, ducking her head. "I don't know what you're talking about."
"You could have just asked us, we would have put on a real show." Lucas winked.
As everyone laughed they heard a phone ring, but instead of the standard ringtone it was a song. "Oh sorry, I thought it was on silent." Lynne exclaimed.
"Its cool, what song is that?" Edward asked hopping onto the opposite couch.
"Uh, 'The Promise' by Framing Hanley, you've probably never heard of them. Its a band we all like, besides y'all of course." Lynne chuckled nervously.
"Let us hear some of their music then." Dakota smiled sitting on the arm of the couch.
Before she had the chance to look up a song the same gentleman from earlier walked through the door again. "Ok boys, lets get you hooked up. Ladies if you want to watch the show you're welcome to at the wings."
"All right, thank you." Michelle smiled as the girls stood up. "Good luck guys."
As they left the dressing room all of them sighed happily. "We didn't just imagine all that did we?" Taylor laughed.
"No, no we did not. And I cannot wait to go to school Monday." Michelle smiled holding her phone up.
"Hey, wait up!" They heard from behind them. Turning around they came face to face with Jake and Edward.
"Something wrong?" Lynne asked.
"No, we just wanted to make sure you guys didn't leave just yet." Edward smirked. "Come back to the dressing room after the show, deal?"
The girls smiled glancing at each other. "Deal."
Nodding their heads Edward and Jake ran back to their dressing room. Lynne felt a slap on her shoulder. "What the hell was that for?" She exclaimed causing a few stares.
"You're drooling." Taylor chuckled with Michelle laughing right beside her.
Lynne quickly wiped her chin before glaring at her friends. "Fine, but no more hitting me."
"Not unless you deserve it. Now lets go to our spots." Michelle smiled as she and Taylor walked ahead.
Lynne stood there for a second. "Hey, no hitting me period!"
Hi :) Its been a while since I wrote a story on this account but this idea popped in my head and I couldn't stop writing. Review if you liked it...I hope you liked it XD Anyway constructive criticism only, I don't pay attention to negativity.