The air was heavy with the scent of lemongrass and magnolia blossoms. There was a stillness to the moment. Deacon closed his eyes and let it all in. He blocked out the conversations and the sheer size of the venue. Instead he focused on their music resonating through the amphitheater and Simon’s powerhouse vocals shredding the air.
He opened his eyes just in time to see Simon jump into the pit and past the startled security. He ran up the aisle with a whoop of delight. The gasp of surprise from the crowd turned to a murmur of response that spread through the pavilion. People on the lawn stood to see what the commotion was about.
“You like cover songs?” Simon shouted. “Okay, so you may not know our stuff, but everyone knows David Coverdale. At least you should know Whitesnake. And if you don’t? Shame on you.” Deacon shadowed his eyes against the spotlights. Christ, was all the way at the back of the house? He squinted—yep, he was climbing the railing. Son of a bitch. ”Guys…how about a little Tawny Kitaen anthem?”
“Oh, shit.” Jazz hopped off her drum riser and zipped over to the keyboard. “Here I Go Again” was their cover song for the night, but it was later in the set. The drawn out keyboard solo filled the bowl of the venue. The soundboard tech scrambled to catch up, punched the keyboard’s sound up and equalized Simon’s microphone to match it.
Nick and Gray flanked the stage, and the spot in the center where Simon belonged felt too empty. Deacon moved forward and did backup vocals like they’d rehearsed.
The guitars showcased the strengths of Gray’s classical abilities and Nick’s raw edge. Not to mention the song had a built-in guitar duel thanks to David Coverdale’s penchant for two guitarists with egos the size of their hair.
Deacon watched the people warm to Simon. Evidently the jump-in-the-crowd deal worked in the large venues just as thoroughly as Frenzy a few months ago. By the end of the song, there was an uptick in people who were standing and singing along. When the band moved into their current single, the crowd showed a little more interest.
Thank you, radio hit.
Simon crawled onto the stage and owned the next three songs. By the time their thirty minutes were up, they got the all good signal to play the full forty. With “The Becoming”, they held the crowd by the balls.
As his bass resonated through the end of the song, Deacon looked out into the crowd. People were on their feet. They were actually cheering, for fuck’s sake. He felt a small hand grip his and couldn’t stop a smile when Jazz dragged him out to the front of the stage to make their bows.
Himself, Jazz, Simon, Nick and Gray. This was what they’d gone through hell to find. His heart tried to beat its way out of his chest as he sucked in a breath. Exhaustion and adrenaline battled it out through his bloodstream.
They bowed as a unit, waved, and ran to the side stage. Deacon looked over his shoulder one last time at the crowd still cheering for them and laughed.
TARYN ELLIOTT comes from the great state of New York—upstate, thank you very much. She’s usually busy making up stories with her best friend until the wee hours of the morning, or fangirling over her favorite TV show. She falls in love with each and every one of her leading men as she writes their book, and there’s always a soundtrack to match.
She loves talking to readers, so if you’d like to reach her, please visit her website: tarynelliott.com and sign up for her newsletter, or drop her a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR CARI QUINN saves the world one Photoshop file at a time in her job as a graphic designer. At night, she writes sexy romance, drinks a lot of coffee and plays her music way too loud. When she’s not scribbling furiously, she’s watching men’s college basketball, reading excellent books and causing trouble. Sometimes simultaneously.
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