Havoc:Mayhem Series #4

By: Jamie Shaw

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.

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