Dan smiled at Ben and Roxy, and nodded when they gave him the thumbs-up.
The crowd was screaming as the band played the opening chords of “Damned Fine”, and Dan took a deep, deep breath. Okay, Daniel. Time to show ‘em what all you got.
“Ladies and Gentlemen! Dusty Young!”
The lights blinded him for a second, swirling blue and red and yellow, but he was expecting it, his fingers moving on the guitar strings automatically. The crowd was loud enough he couldn’t hear himself play, and he could feel the swarm surge forward.
Security, dressed head-to-toe in denim, pushed them back, keeping the screaming fans from getting to the stage.
He shook his ass, leaned down into the mic and started singing, pitching his voice deep and husky, grinning as the crowd went wild. Hell, yes.
The girls up front tossed him flowers and underwear, one trying to toss herself on stage. A dark-haired security guard caught her around the waist and put her back on her feet in the midst of the crowd.
Man, if they only knew what a waste of silky panties that was. He moved across the stage, dancing with Timmy and Darla, tsking under his breath as the two of them flirted wildly with each other. Horndogs.
The show went off without a hitch, Dan feeding off the audience, getting more and more pumped the longer the show went on. That fed the audience in return and near to the end of the final set of songs, a girl got past security and onto the stage, launching herself at him. He stepped back instinctively.
The flash of metal startled him, and he put his hands up, stumbling over some cords. Someone large and denim-dressed pushed the girl out of the way before wrapping around him and pulling him toward the wings.
“Jesus fucking Christ. Did she have a gun?” He stumbled along, heart just pounding. “Where are we going?”
“Leaving the fucking building. Are you hurt anywhere, Mr. Young?” The arms around him were strong, the security guard tall, muscled, voice deep.
“Leaving the…? But I got a show to finish! The label’s going to fucking burn me.”
“Protocol is to get you out of the building until it’s cleared, Mr. Young.”
“Cleared? You don’t just—” A series of shots rang out, and he went stiff. “Jesus fucking Christ! Tell me my band’s being moved.”
Was he hurt?
Did he even know?
Mr. Muscles started running, pulling Dan along, not saying a word, just pulling him through the winding corridors of the concert hall.
Suddenly, they were out, and he was being hustled into the back of a car, his security guard coming with him.
He shook his head, trying to figure out what the hell had just happened. “My guys. I need to get my guys.”
“You suddenly bulletproof?” His protector nodded to the driver. “Get us out of here.”
The car peeled away, leaving the concert hall behind.
“What the fuck?” Dan twisted, reaching in his back pocket for his cell. He’d call Aimee, tell his manager this shit wasn’t going to work.
One big hand swallowed the phone up. “Sorry, Mr. Young. Protocol is that we get you out, and there’s no contact until we know it’s safe.”
The guy pulled out a walkie-talkie. “Archangel here, I’ve got the primary. What’s going on back there?”
“Chaos. Pure fucking chaos. Get out of there like your ass is on fire.”
The walkie-talkie was turned off and tucked away again in the denim jacket. “Location B.”
The driver nodded.
“Bullshit. Give me my fucking phone.” No fucking way was this on the up and up. He was a singer, not the goddamn president.