Chapter 8: Trouble
Jason turned slowly, afraid to see who was behind him. To his relief, Jeremy stood there.
"Hey Jas, what’s up? Why are you hiding by my bus?"
"It’s sorta a long story."
"OK… Isn’t Chad Britt’s new bus driver?"
Jason nodded. "Have you noticed anything odd about him?"
"He seems highly irritable…"
Jeremy nodded, "So… what’s going on? Who are you waiting for?"
"I was watching Chad… I suspect he may be stalking Britt."
Jeremy’s eyes got wide, "Really? You think so?"
"He sniffed her hair earlier."
"OK… That’s definitely weird!" He paused, "I’ll help you. I’ll be more than willing to spy on him. I think Jared would like too also."
"Did someone mention my name?" Jared said, poking his head out of the bus door.
"I did," Jeremy said with a grin. "How would you like to help me spy on someone?"
After explaining everything to Jared, he was more than willing to help out.
Jason sat backstage, nervous at the thought of Britt performing. He had a bad feeling about it.
Jason turned to See Matt T. standing there. "Oh, hey Matt."
"The other Matt told me what’s been happening. So, how are you feeling about tonight?"
Jason ran his hands thru his dark hair. "Terrible! I’m respecting her wishes and not going up… but I have this terrible feeling about tonight."
"Listen, tell you what, Sam and I are going to be in the front row, so we’ll help keep an eye out."
Sarah sat on a chair, reading her Bible, while Matt rushed around the room, looking for something.
"Sarah, have you seen my shirt? The black and gray striped one?"
"The prison shirt?"
Matt grinned, but rolled his eyes, "Yes, the ‘prison shirt’."
"In the suitcase, sweetie."
Matt flipped open the suitcase and resting there on top of his shirt, was a pink snowflake outfit. Matt held it up. "What’s this doing in here? This doesn’t fit Emmy…" he trailed off, befuddled at this.
Sarah put down her Bible, and got up out of the chair. She went over to Matt and put her arms around his waist, looking up at him, her chin resting on his chest, she smiled.
Matt looked down at her and caressed her cheek.
"Matt, we’re having a baby."
Matt’s eyes got wide with surprise. "Oh, Sarah! That’s wonderful!"
Matt gave her a little twirl and they both laughed. "I love you so much."
"And I you," Sarah whispered, kissing him.
"I am completely surprised… but in a good way. Now little Emmy will have a brother or sister."
Sarah smiled, "I know. I’m so happy, Matt."
Britt paced backstage, the tour was getting ready to kick off, and she was kicking herself for not wanting Jason nearby.
"Why don’t you just tell him?"
"Tell Jason," Daniel suggested.
"I can’t. I need to do something on my own," quickly changing the subject, she asked: "How’s Aaron?"
"He’s still full of five cups of coffee, and bound and determined to play tonight. Jason was right. I shouldn’t have done that. I feel terrible about it."
"Argh!" Britt rubbed her eyes in anxiety and exasperation. "I don’t want to do this Daniel!"
"Do what? Sing? Britt you’re fine. You’re great at it, don’t sweat it."
"No, not the singing… I just don’t want to go out on stage."
"You think Jason’s right, don’t you?" Daniel asked quietly.
Britt nodded worriedly, "I have this nagging feeling that I made way too little of it."
Daniel gave her a reassuring squeeze on the shoulder. "If anything starts to happen, don’t you worry, we’ll take care of it. Jeremy’s got a whole setup worked out."
"He knows about it?"
The crowd roared and Britt gave a small smile, "It’s show time. Thanks Daniel."
"Hello everyone!" She yelled into the mic as she came onstage. "How’s Tyler, Texas tonight?!"
The crowd roared.
Jeremy turned to Jared, "O.K. You know what to do. If you see the stalker dude tell Matt, and he’ll…"
"Whoah, wait… Which Matt?"
"Thiessen. Tell him and he’ll get Jason. Got it?"
"Yeah, absolutely!" Jared paused, "Where are you going to be? And why am I the only security guard?"
"I’m going to be backstage watching. I’ve put a camera on your shirt. It’ll work quite nicely. As to the guards, I can’t be one, everyone here knows who I am, but you on the other hand, nobody knows who you are."
Jared frowned a bit, "Thanks Jeremy," he replied dryly.
Jeremy slapped his arm, "Good luck. See you later and thanks for doing this."
Jared just nodded and gulped nervously. He crossed his arms and put on his best tough face.
Matt stood in the front row, Sam right next to him. "Uh, Sam, after the show would you like to catch a late snack?"
"Sure! I love late snacks! Can we do Sonic?"
Matt grinned, "Absolutely! I hope you don’t mind if I bring Emmy along. I’m sitting for Sarah. A special occasion she said."
"Not at all! Emmy’s such a doll! I know she’ll be good."
"Great! Can’t wait!" Matt said, just as Britt walked onstage.
Sam smiled at Matt.
Staring out at the sea of faces, his mouth twisted into a sadistic smile. Tonight, in front of all these people he’d kill his most famous victim yet. Just thinking of it and all the media it would bring, gave him great pleasure.
Pulling the hood over his head, he chuckled as he took a final look at the audience. He stepped out amongst them.
Britt was half -way through ‘Holiday’ and she was starting to feel better now about the whole situation. Everything in the crowd looked normal, so she relaxed.
Jared stood in front of the crowd, watching as intently as possible, when he heard someone say, "Excuse me."
Turning to look at the person, he replied, "Yes?"
"Aren’t you Jared, a member of the band?"
He smiled, "Yes, I am, why thank you."
"I remember you from the pod cast," she said with a smile.
His smile grew wider, "Thank you, I appreciate you recognizing me."
Jeremy rolled his eyes, "I get it, Jared. People recognize you. Pay attention, please."
Jared rolled his eyes, "Stop it! I am."
The girl looked surprise, "What?"
"Oh, sorry. Ear set’s on."
"Oh, okay," she smiled, relieved that he wasn’t talking to her, "did you leave the band?"
"Oh no, I’m just up here for a bit."
"They allow you to do both?" She asked, skeptically.
Jared leaned in, "Between you and me, they don’t all know I’m up here."
"Good save," Jeremy commented, "And dude, she’s way attracted to you."
"Thanks… and to the second comment, who couldn’t be?"
"Ear set again?"
He edged towards the stage, undetected so far, and the security guard was being distracted by a woman. "Everything is falling into my plan quite nicely," he thought.
Matt and Sam were singing when he suddenly placed a hand on her arm, "Sam! Look!"
Sam looked where Matt had pointed to see a man calmly walking towards the stage, "We have to tell Jason!"
"I’ll go tell him. Keep an eye on him Sam!"
"Yo Jared, how’s it coming?" Jeremy asked.
"Excuse me," Jared said to the girl, whom since earlier, he had learned her name was Cassandra, "It’s coming along great! We’ve got a lot in common!"
"Jared! I’m shocked! You have a lot in common with the stalker? You think you know someone!"
Jared was speechless, then Jeremy burst out into chuckles.
"I’m kidding man! I knew you were talking about the girl. Seriously though, have you been keeping an eye out, man?"
"Uh…" Jared scratched his head.
"Dude?! This is Britt we’re talking about! Do you see this cloaked man anywhere?"
Jared turned to Cassandra, "Excuse me again."
"Whoah, Jared. I just thought of something… What if Cassandra’s working with him to distract you?"
Jared stopped. He hadn’t thought of that. What if Jeremy was right?
Matt T. burst through the backstage door, skidding across the newly washed floor.
"Hey! Watch it, kid!" The Janitor yelled.
"Sorry! It’s an emergency!"
Emmy started crying as he ran down the halls to Hawk’s dressing room.
"Sorry Emmy, but I have to do it," Matt T. said.
Pushing open the door, he ran in, "Jason --- Britt… he’s here!"