I didn't see that I had much other choice, considering the ever-growing crowd of beer-soaked people around me didn't seem to care whether I had enough air to breathe or not. I took the boy's outstretched hand and he stealthily wormed his way through the crowd, dodging bodies skillfully, like he was used to it. I could do nothing but watch and tag along helplessly as he led me towards the larger stage in the middle, getting more and more confused as he walked back behind an area that was clearly only for VIPs or people involved with the show. Here, there was a small, grassy area that was largely hidden from the public eye due to TV trucks, stage equipment, and a small outcropping of the actual stage shielding the field from view.

"Um, are you sure we're supposed to be here?" I asked when he finally slowed down long enough for me to catch my breath.

"Don't worry about it," he said, pulling the o's in a way that made me think he was not from California, and probably not even American. Canadian, maybe.

"Look," I said. "I appreciate you saving me back there, I really do, but I have to go find my friends. They'll be looking for me."

"Who, Andrew and Patrick? They're over by the concession stands loading up on alcohol and flirting with minors. If they're not drunk out of their minds yet, I assume they will be soon. I saw you getting bombarded by fans and I recognized you from the show, so I couldn't help but step in." He sat down on a folding chair that had been set out by someone, next to a table laden with pop, water, and snacks, and gestured for me to do the same. I took a seat across from him.

"Uhh... right."

"I'm a big fan of yours, Lyra Kennedy." He smiled up at me, his features showing genuine happiness and admiration.

I tried to stop myself from looking too freaked out, and composed my features into what I hoped was a mask of confidence, but I was more than slightly alarmed. Who was this kid? 

"I'm flattered, but if you don't mind my asking... who are you?" 

He laughed, his voice becoming higher and reminding me even more of a little boy's. "Right, of course, where are my manners? You must be so freaked out right now." With that, he lowered his hood and unzipped his jacket, stretching his arms out and tilting his head to the side and back to shake out his brown curls. 

There was a full minute of awkward semi-silence, barring the noise from the concert, as I stared at him and he started back at me. Brown eyes on slightly lighter brown eyes, neither one of us apparently sure of what to do.

After I couldn't take it anymore, I attempted to figure out what was going on.

"Am I..." I cleared my throat and began again. "Am I supposed to recognize you?"

Apparently, he found this hilarious, breaking into a fit of what could only be called giggles and not stopping until there were legitimate tears streaming out of his eyes. He finally regained his composure, at which point he continued smiling almost insanely wide, and proceeded to stand up from his chair.

"Oh, I been shakin', I love it when you go crazy, you take all my inhibitions, baby there's nothin' holdin' me back!" He began to stomp on the ground and clap his hands while he sang a song that sounded vaguely familiar. His singing voice was quite different from his speaking voice (he was quite good, I wouldn't deny it) and all of a sudden, everything came together at once and things made sense. 

"Oh, my God... no fucking way," I breathed.

He must've caught on to me finally making sense of it all, because he stopped singing aprubtly and bowed down, taking my hand and kissing it lightly before confirming my suspicions.

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