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I can't help the smile on my face as I watch them soundcheck after tuning up. I'm on the sidelines, backstage, and I listen to them play "Burn".
"I'll let it show that I'm not always hiding. Come all the way down and watch me burn," Adam sings, his beautiful voice emotional and raw. I softly sing along, entranced by their performance. And this is only soundcheck. "Now show me how before it breaks me. Did you come here to watch me, watch me burn?" It feels so fast when the song comes to its final instrumental part and finishes. Adam glances toward me and smiles. I blush and give him a wave. He comes toward me, and I can't help but stare at the way his black shirt hugs his chest. His voice snaps me out of my thoughts. "Hey there."
"Hey," I reply, and he walks past me, back toward the dressing room. As he passes, I can smell the faint scent of cigarette smoke masked by a musky yet sweet smell—which most likely isn't cologne, but just Adam. My stomach practically flips onto itself, and I feel my face heat up even more. I realize I'm staring after him, and I turn around, meeting Brad's eyes.
"He's going to get the whistle," he explains, a smile playing at the corners of his lips.
"Oh! So you're going to play "Break" next?" I ask, putting my hands on my face, trying to subtly cool them. Although judging by Brad's smirk, I'm not doing a very good job.
"I take it it's one of your favorites," Neil yells from behind the drums. At least he hasn't noticed my red face.
"There's no need to yell," Barry laughs.
"Well, she's so far away," Neil counters. "She can't." He mouths something, gesturing to his ears, motioning that he can't hear. "At." He makes a face before mouthing some more words. "Anything!" he finishes before breaking into a huge grin, clearly satisfied with himself.
"Very funny," I respond, and Brad chuckles.
"I see Neil has been anno—I mean entertaining you," Adam says wryly, coming up behind me and making me jump in surprise.
"Definitely," I laugh, the heat from my cheeks finally starting to subside. Adam chuckles as he goes back on stage.
"Do you want to come up here?"
"Really?" I ask in disbelief, and Adam raises his eyebrow.
"Sure. Come on," he says, gesturing for me to come over. He slings an arm around me, and butterflies erupt in my stomach. His scent floods my nose, and I want to live forever in this moment. "Sorry if the whistle is loud," he tells me softly before gesturing to Barry that he's ready. He strums a chord softly, drawing out the note, and Neil starts on the drums. Adam looks ahead again, and I look up at him. He glances to me, meeting my eyes before taking the whistle between his teeth. After a moment, he blows the whistle, the shrill noise echoing through the empty venue. Neil hits his drums harder, and Brad nods his head to the beat as he swiftly plays some notes.
"Tonight my head is spinning. I need something to pick me up," Adam sings, leaning into the microphone with his arm still around me. "I've tried but nothing is working. I won't stop. I won't say I've had enough." His voice is beautiful, and it's surreal to have him singing right beside me. "Tonight, I start the fire. Tonight, I break away." His Canadian accent comes through a bit with the "break away", sending shivers up my spine. He pulls the microphone off the stand, releasing me as he pulls away. He looks at me as he sings, "Break away from everybody. Break away from everything. If you can't stand the way this place is—" He points up with both hands. "Take yourself to higher places." I smile as he sings, "Oooh oooh." Barry shreds expertly, and he looks like he's having so much fun. "At night—" Adam suddenly takes my hand, pulling me to him. "I feel like a vampire," he sings softly, not missing a beat. I gasp in surprise, our faces inches apart. "It's not right." He pulls away, leaving me gaping at him. "I just can't give it up. I'll try to get myself higher." He draws out the last word, his voice deep and beautiful. "Let's go. We're going to light it up." He runs his hand through his messy hair. "Tonight we start the fire. Tonight we break away!" He throws his head back before singing, "Break away from everybody. Break away from everything. If you can't stand the way this place is, take yourself to higher places." He looks into my eyes, and it feels like we're in our own little world. Barry and Brad shred as Neil hits the drums with power, but it all seems so far away from Adam and me. Adam comes closer, touching my face gently as he sings, "If you can't stand the way this place is, take yourself to higher places." He pulls away, throwing his head down and singing, "Break away from everybody. Break away from everything. If you can't stand the way this place is, take yourself to higher places." He points up again, throwing his head back.
"Ohhh," Neil sings.
"Higher places." Adam's strong voice sends shivers up my spine.
"To higher places." He comes forward and takes my hand in his. A spark shoots though me at his touch.
"Oh ohhh."
"Higher places." He squeezes my hand before throwing his head back. "Take yourself to higher places!" He draws out the last word, looking at me as he lowers his microphone. The music stops, and I watch as Adam breathes, his chest rising and falling a bit faster than normal. He puts the microphone back on the stand before meeting my eyes again.
"That was amazing," I say softly, and he smiles, the sides of his eyes crinkling adorably. I become aware that his hand is still gripping mine, and I blush. He lifts his other hand and brushes my hair behind my ear, his fingertips grazing my cheek. He leans in, and for a second, I think he's going to kiss me.

idk lol anywayyyyyyy I rly like this chapter tbh. Like, Break is one of my faves, and the way Adam's accent comes through in the song is just so fucking hot.
Thanks for reading!! xx

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