They were chanting our name, over and over, like some kind of spell. It drew us all in, sent euphoria and adrenaline coursing through my veins causing my heart to drill away vigorously, like a hummingbird trapped within my chest. I turned to the others.
Zach fixed me with a cool, steady gaze. 'As always.'
'And now, people of New York City, the moment you have all been waiting for,' a male voice boomed over the speakers. 'Please, give it up for Cold Verse!'
The response was deafening as we entered the stage in Central Park. I threw my hand up in a simple gesture of appreciation, smiling warmly to everyone as I did so. Zach was after me, his guitar slung across his body. Tate was next, taking his seat behind the drums, followed closely by Miles on backing vocals and bass.
I stared out at the sea of faces, all filled with nothing but pure and utter adoration for us. They literally worshipped us and it always gave me the most intense feeling of exhilaration every single time we played.
Tate kicked off with a steady pounding rhythm, to whet the crowd's appetite and to really get them going.
After that it was easy.
* * *
'Best fucking show of my life,' Tate laughed, throwing back some water.
'Sierra you nailed it, once again,' our manager appeared in front of us. He was a short, sharp man with jet black hair and a thin beard, always hiding behind some dark shades. He slung his arm round my shoulder, guiding me away from the others. 'Those vocals during the chorus of The Fight? Mag-nif-i-cient.' He pronounced each syllable distinctly.
'Thanks,' I murmured. 'Though I'm feeling a little tired. Mind if I just take five?'
'Of course,' he was grinning from ear to ear, still feeling the rush of the show we had just performed.
I resisted the urge to roll my eyes as I headed into my hotel room. I collapsed on the huge double bed, kicking off my boots.
My phone buzzed in my pocket and I groaned.
'I know what you are,' came an unfamiliar voice.
'Uh, excuse me?'
'You can't pretend to be human forever, your number's up little fairy.' They gave a throaty chuckle and hung up.
In those moments, my heart seemed to stop, my blood ran cold and all I could think about were my sisters, the threatened exposure and the jeopardy it would land us all in. The number had come up as Private, which meant there was no way for me to trace the call.
'Oh God,' I whispered to myself. I had absolutely no idea what to do.
I wasted no time in scrolling down to her number and hitting the call button. I waited impatiently for each ring to pass before I heard her light, easy voice.
'Sierra! What's up?'
'Uh Nissa, we have a bit of a problem. I think someone knows what we are, who we are. Like, really knows. They just said to me "your number's up little fairy" and then hung up. The number was set to Private and they sounded really serious. What do we do?!' the words fell from my mouth in a panicked flurry.
'Oh dear,' Nissa muttered. 'Where are you at the minute?'
'We're in New York City, in the Hilton hotel. We've just finished a gig.'
'Where are Calia and Akasha?'
'How am I supposed to know?' I demanded in a harsh tone, regretting it instantly. 'I'm sorry Nissa I'm just a little stressed right now and I have no idea what to do.'
'Relax, it was probably just some nut. I wouldn't give it a moment's thought.'
'Really?' I asked skeptically. 'Cos they sounded pretty serious. You may not care about your role as protector but I certainly do.'
'I do care,' Nissa disagreed. 'I just don't see the threat in some randomer ringing up and telling us our number's up. It was probably one of your stalker fans.'
'Yeah? Then why would they call me a fairy if they didn't know what I was?'
'Probably just a pet name,' she laughed. 'Listen, I've gotta go now. Ring me if anything more happens but for now, just relax and have a good time.'
She hung up.
'Thanks for the help,' I muttered, the phone still clutched to my ear.
'Uh Sierra? What the hell was that all about?'
I nearly jumped out of my skin at the person stood in the doorway. To my horror, I saw Zach standing there with an expression of bewilderment and uncertainty.
He had obviously heard the whole damn thing.