The drive was quick, and as they parked and got out of the jeep, Bob suddenly started to feel extremely self-conscious.
He didn’t go out in public all that often, and when he did it was usually only to the grocer or to the book store a block down from Harry’s apartment...and now here he was at a rock concert, feeling as though everyone would be staring at him.
He followed Harry to the entrance of the stadium where the concert was being held, but then stopped just outside of the entrance and said, “Harry…won’t I be a bit, well, old to be at a rock concert?”
Harry laughed and shook his head.
“Hells bells, no, Bob! In fact, most people are going to be in their mid to late forties, and you don’t look a day over thirty-five, in my opinion.” He clapped his hand firmly on Bob’s shoulder and pushed him ahead of him, through the doorway. “Just relax and have some fun, Bob…enjoy yourself.”
Feeling buoyed by Harry’s good mood, he nodded and walked with the wizard into the stadium…and was nearly done in at the amount of people that were there.
“Harry, there are…there are…”
He couldn’t get the rest of the words out, and Harry smiled, having had a secret hunch that this would be Bob’s reaction.
“Yeah, Bob…a lot of people.”
He grasped Bob’s elbow and carefully maneuvered the two of them through the crowd, over to where their seats were…not that they would really be sitting during the concert. Most everyone would be standing and cheering for the man, of that Harry was certain.
He still couldn’t believe that he’d actually gotten Bob to come to the concert. He had been certain that the man would put up more of a fight than he had.
Bob still looked bewildered by the number of people surrounding them, and Harry quickly realized that he had to get the man to relax.
Beer. They needed beer.
Though he didn’t want to abandon Bob, he motioned for Bob to sit down, and Harry sat next to him, leaning in close so that Bob could hear what he was saying without having to yell over the din of the already riled up crowd.
“Hey, Bob…I’m going to get us some drinks, okay? Will you be alright right here? Promise I’ll be back as soon as possible…”
Bob nodded, not saying anything, his lips in a tight line, and Harry gave his shoulder a reassuring squeeze.
“Promise,” he repeated, and then disappeared over to the concession stand, unaware of the fact that several women’s gazes lingered appreciatively on his long lean profile.
Bob hunkered down in his seat, closing his eyes and slowly counting backward from one hundred in High German. It was the only way he could attempt to block out the mad sound of the crowd around him. Why, why had he agreed to this? What was the point to it all?
It felt like an eternity, but he soon felt someone tapping on his shoulder, and he looked up, expecting to see Harry, but instead saw a young woman in her late twenties looking down at him.
She had shoulder length brown hair and hazel eyes, and was wearing dark blue jeans and a red shirt with a silver decal of a cross on the front. She had a bag around her waist that had the same decal, as well.
“You okay?” she asked, tilting her head to one side, looking at Bob with a concerned gaze.
Not trusting himself to speak, he nodded, but she didn’t look convinced, and crouched down on the floor next to his chair and gave him an almost uncomfortable look, her eyes searching his face with an almost clinical appearance.
“You sure about that, sir?”
He was surprised by her concern and at his confused look, she smiled at him.
“My name’s Karen Quinn. I’m with the medical staff here at the concert. We make sure that nothing goes wrong with anyone around here.” Some of the tension left his body at that, and she finished explaining. “I saw you sitting over here looking as though you were in distress and I wanted to make sure that you were okay.”
At hearing the genuine worry in her tone, he nodded, smiled, and said,
“Well, thank you, Miss Quinn, but I’m quite alright.”
Suddenly, she gave him a wide smile.
“You’re English, aren’t you?” He nodded, and she laughed. “I just got back from some medical training over in London, at Oxford University, actually. You have a lovely country.”
He smiled and soon was unaware of the crowd around them and they began to talk.
Harry, on the other hand, was finally making his way back to their seats, a bottle of Guinness in each hand. He finally had their seats in sight and was surprised to see Bob talking to a rather pretty young brunette wearing a red shirt and jeans. Harry felt a stab of jealousy, but tamped it down and hastened his stride over to his mentor.
“Hey, Bob,” he said, catching the man’s attention. “Who’s this?”
Letting his fingers brush against the other man’s more than necessary, he handed Bob his beer, which it didn’t seem that he needed any more, and looked at the woman that he’d been talking to.
Bob stood up extending a hand to the young woman and she smiled as she took it and stood up as well.
“Harry, this is Karen, and she is a medic here at the concert. She saw me over here looking distressed and came to see if I was alright.” Bob saw Harry’s look of worry, and he quickly reassured him. “I’m fine, but the two of us ended up talking and it seems she is very much a fan of Johnny Steele and has been telling me about his best songs.”
He gave her a fond look and, again, Harry felt a stab of jealousy, so he placed his arm around Bob’s shoulders, something that he’d done often enough in the past that Bob didn’t think anything of it.
Karen, seeing the gesture, simply ducked her eyes slightly and a faint flush rose on her cheeks.
“Sorry, Bob…didn’t realize you were here with someone. Harry, isn’t it?” Harry nodded, and she smiled. “Right. Well, then, I should get back to doing my rounds.”
And with that, she left, leaving Bob slightly confused and Harry with a faint flush of red in his cheeks. He realized what she had assumed, but had not bothered to correct her. Why bother to correct her if it meant that she would continue to hit on Bob?
Bob looked off in the direction that she had left and then looked at Harry, who had now dropped his hand from Bob’s shoulders.
“What do you think that was about?”
Harry shook his head, not quite meeting Bob’s eyes.
“How should I know?”
Bob simply shrugged and took a sip of his beer and was pleasantly surprised at the taste.
“Not bad for American beer,” he said, but Harry corrected him.
“Not American. British. I figured you wouldn’t like what they usually serve at these places, so I splurged on something more to your tastes. Besides, I prefer it, too.”
Bob gave him a skeptical look, raising an eyebrow, but said nothing, instead taking another drink. The two of them drank for a while, listening to the crowd getting worked up, everyone eagerly waiting for Johnny Steele to appear on stage, and then they heard the emcee come on.
“Hello, Chicago!” Cheering. “Tonight is your privilege and honor to have one of the greatest rock artists of his generation to appear for his last, performance, ever!!”
More cheering erupted.
“Now, for his epic final concert, with over sixty-thousand tickets sold…I give you…Johnny Steele!!”
The crowd went wild around them, and Bob laughed as he saw Harry among the people yelling their heads off. He held his beer above his head, screaming at the top of his lungs, and Bob found it to be quite an amusing sight.
Johnny Steele appeared on stage and then the bass started up and the crowd went almost deathly silent, as though trying to remember every sound, burning it into their memory.
It was a tense build up.
Then he started to sing and Bob was able to hear a sound that he actually didn’t mind.
“Something’s gonna happen…do you feel it in the air? Could be the fear that’s everywhere….Moon don’t look friendly….there’s blood in the sky…..and the taste of sweat burning in my eye!”
It was an addictive beat and he found himself doing the same as Harry and bobbing his head along with the beat of the music.
The beat picked up and then it went into the chorus and Bob started laughing as Harry started to do air guitar with the lead guitarist, throwing himself into the song. Bob listened to it and was slightly impressed by the catchiness of the tune and found himself enjoying it, though not as much as Harry and the other people around them who were going just as crazy.
They went through the first song, and then went through three more songs, and then there was an equivalent of an intermission for the singer and his band.
Harry turned to Bob, and the necromancer bit the inside of his lip at the sight.
Sweat streaming down his forehead and neck, soaking his shirt underneath, making it cling to him in an utterly enticing manner, driving Bob to the edge of distraction.
Bob, himself, was slightly sweaty as well and knew that he probably looked a mess, but didn’t really care at that moment as looking at Harry was too pleasant of an experience, and drove away all self-conscious musings that he might have been having at that moment.
He was a sight that Bob could stare at all night, but would rather take advantage of.
Harry then leaned in and Bob bit the inside of his lip, holding in the moan that wanted to surface at the wonderful smell of Harry’s sweat-soaked skin.
“Bob, want another beer?”
Not trusting himself to speak, he simply nodded, and then watched in appreciation as Harry walked away and the phrase came into his mind, I hate to see you leave but I love to watch you go, and he suddenly understood the meaning to its true depth. Harry’s jeans were clinging to him as well and Bob was certain that he’d drilled a hole into his lip with his teeth from the sight.
He didn’t feel as self-conscious, however, as everyone else around him seemed to be just as sweaty and mussed.
With that, he felt himself relax and took the last sip that was left of his beer.
It seemed he could enjoy himself outside of his comfort zone.