Tucking my feelings away, for the time being, I make it to Crowley's just in time for Bella to introduce me to Tyler, grab a beer, and scope out the club. It's your typical college bar with a couple of pool tables in the back and a small stage up front.
"It's early for a Friday, so the crowd shouldn't get too crazy until later. The acoustic set should work, but if it starts to pick up, I can have Sam jump on the drums for you," Tyler tells us and Bella smiles.
"Just like old times," Bella turns to me. "Sometimes Sam would play for me if the crowd got a little rowdy. He's the head bartender."
I nod and when Tyler tells us to break a leg and walks away I try to talk to Bella.
"We need to talk about earlier."
"Why? Nothing happened and we both understand what's going on now, right?"
Just as I'm about to answer, Tyler announces us and we head out onto the stage. Bella commands the audience like nothing I've ever seen before and laughs as every single cell phone goes up in the air.
A few people swarm the stage, but Tyler hired extra security, so we're safe for now. "I want to thank each and every one of you for being here tonight to support Chance Music and it's new singer, Edward Cullen!" There's a smattering of applause and it's obvious that Anthony's interview did more harm than we realized.
We immediately launch into "You Are the One" and it's clear that the crowd is surprised by us and me, specifically.
When you try, don't try to say you won't
Try to crawl into my head
When you cry, 'cause it's all built up inside
Your tears already said, already said
You are the one
You'll never be alone again
You're more than in my head, you're more
When we wrap up our first song and segue into the next, the applause is almost deafening. I'm not sure how many people the bar can hold, but I'd say there are easily a hundred people in here. I love it. The thrill of performing live and feeding off of the energy of the crowd. I can't imagine being in front of thousands of people.
We're only doing five songs, "Are You Gonna Be My Girl?", "Against All Odds", "Somebody That I Used to Know", and when we close with "Somewhere Only We Know" with Bella on lead vocals and me on piano, we look at each other because we know we have something special here.
The next thing I know we're taking bows and thanking the crowd and running out the back door to our separate cars, but when I get home Bella calls and we talk all night about how it went and I get nothing but encouragement from her about how ready I am.
We have to leave the next day but we stay up too late while we each pack our bags and get ourselves ready. "There's plenty of time to sleep on the bus, Edward," she tells me and I can't agree more. I don't want this night to end.
But it does and finally, we're in Phoenix for our opening night and while I'm still nervous, it flies past me and I almost can't remember it to save my life. Luckily, Rose was in the front row recording for me like she promised. I can study the footage like a football player and just get better.
When we come off stage that night after the third and final encore, Bella leaps into my arms and presses her lips to my cheek, "You were amazing! They loved you, Edward!" Her lithe body pressed against mine, even drenched in sweat is a dream come true; and my body is reacting. When she pulls back from me and realizes what is happening to me, she slowly but deliberately pries herself away from my body.
"We just have to do it 47 more times!" I laugh and release her and get a smirk from both Tanya and my sister. "I wanna take a shower before I get back on the bus. I'll see you in a few."
I am so screwed.
"You Are the One" by Shiny Toy Guns