The stomping feet and clapping hands sounded like thunder. Rob could feel the pounding from the audience reverberating in his chest.
His stomach wouldn’t settle down. He hadn’t been able to eat anything since the day before. Every time he tried, he would run to the bathroom and throw it up.
He leaned over and vomited again into the toilet.
“You okay in there, Rob?” DeWayne’s voice drifted to him through the door.
“No,” Rob answered in a weak voice.
“I’m coming in. You’re just about out of time.” As soon as the words left D’s mouth, Rob started to retch into the toilet again. Why did everyone have to keep reminding him
that he was almost out of time? Any reminders weren’t necessary. What he needed was a drink.
“Holy Christ,” DeWayne swore as he entered the room. “Look at you. You’re a fucking mess.”
Rob lowered his head and was sick once more. “I can’t do it,” he whispered. “I’ll just make a fool out of myself.”
“And you worry about that, why?” he asked. He bent and grabbed Rob under the shoulders and lifted him to his feet. “Come on,” he said. “I know what you need.”
DeWayne flushed the toilet, put the seat down, and perched Rob on it. Assessing his situation through narrowed eyes, he reached into his pants pocket and pulled out a small bottle. He opened the
lid and shook a blue pill into Rob’s hand.
“Take this,” he ordered. “Brown thought you might work yourself into this condition.”
Instead of giving Rob a glass of water, he opened a small cupboard door, pulled out a bottle of Jack Daniels and a can of Coke. He mixed Rob a drink and handed it to him.
“Drink,” he said. Rob’s eyes widened, and he smiled gratefully up at DeWayne, popped the pill into his mouth, and downed the drink in one gulp. He handed the glass back to DeWayne.
“I’m not going to ask how you snuck that in here,” Rob chuckled. “but can I have one more?”
“Maybe a small one,” he said. “I’ll lose my job if you go on stage drunk.”
“You can’t lose your job,” Rob laughed. “I’m your boss, remember?”
“Oh, yea,” DeWayne grinned at him. “But I don’t want you pissed at me either.”
“I won’t get pissed,” Rob assured him. The whiskey and Valium were starting to work their magic. He felt his body relax. His stomach no longer wanted to heave. “You just saved my ass.”
DeWayne scratched at the whiskers he decided to grow on the tour. “I’m sure it won’t be the last time.”
Getting Rob on his feet, DeWayne led him down the long corridor to the stage. Rob still felt nervous, but at least the Valium and Jack made it more controllable. He tried not to stagger his
The lights on the stage were dazzling, blinding Rob to an audience of over twenty-thousand people. He tossed a glance over his shoulder in time to see D give him two thumbs-up.
His band members were smiling. They were hand-picked by Brown and were the best in the business.
Kate was already at her microphone, her body swaying to the music. Rob’s eyes traveled the length of her outfit. She wore a glossy sky-blue midriff top laced with sparkling sequins. Her pants
were a shimmering dark navy, with sequins running down the sides of her legs. They were skin-tight, showing every curve of her voluptuous body. On her feet, she wore stilettos that matched the
different shades of blues of her outfit. Her blonde hair she wore loose, letting it fall to just above her waist. She looked stunning.
When she saw him, she gave him a sultry wink, her full, red lips curving into a smile. He gave her one of his signature winks and smiled back at her.
He positioned himself at his microphone, slid the guitar from his back, and started to sing.
All the fear, the nervousness, the worry at that moment disappeared, and Rob could believe he was a star.