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Chapter 5: Let’s Take it To the Stage
The peaceful, easy feeling inside of Dominique lasted until she got onstage at the Spotlight Club.
The lounge, where the band was set up, was a spacious affair, with a high ceiling, tables and comfortable couches instead of booths, strategic placement of mirrors made the room seem even larger and the candlelight helped to create a cozy atmosphere. None of this made Dom feel any better.
The emcee introduced the band and requested a warm welcome for their new and, undeniably fine, lead singer. When Dom got center stage, stage fright squeezed every drop of confidence out of her and Ava’s voice, which was silenced earlier, came back with a vengeance.
What am I doing up here? She thought. These people are gonna laugh me off the stage. Why did I wear this outfit? It makes me look fat. And my hair is too through. I knew I shoulda waited for J.J. to do my hair. Oh my God! I’m a mess. I’m gonna make Avant Groove look so bad, they won’t be able to get another gig!
Dom looked at Terry. He was wearing a black shirt, black pants and a black and white vest with a geometric design on it. Normally, seeing him would make her feel better, but she was entirely too distracted by fear to even lust for him. She walked up to the microphone and held onto it as if it were a life preserver.
Terry was about to signal for the group to start when he noticed the Deer-Caught-In-Headlights look on Dom’s face.
“You okay?” Terry asked her.
“No. I’m scared outta my fuckin’ mind.”
“Hey, calm down, now.” Terry started massaging her shoulders and spoke softly in her ear. “This is your first real show isn’t it?”
“Well, don’t get rattled. Singing is what you do, like no one else I’ve ever heard. These people are going to love you. Just share your gift with them and have fun.” Terry smiled. “Just imagine everyone in the audience naked.”
Dom grinned. “Does that include you?”
“If you behave yourself.” With that, he walked back to his spot next to Rob and counted off the beat. Larry started playing a mellow beat. A few measures later, Rob laid down a sinuous bass line. The rest of the band joined in and filled the room with Chante’
’s hit, ‘Love’s Taken
Dom still had a chokehold on the mic. She was more relaxed, especially after thinking about Terry naked. (Of course, other parts of her were very excited now.) The audience in front of her still rattled her. She didn’t know what to do. Her cue was coming up quick and she had to sing. The only thing Dom could think of was to close her eyes, picture Terry in front of her and sing to him, which, when her cue came, is what she did.
She started out a little shaky, but as the song progressed, her confidence grew. Dom risked opening her eyes for a moment. She expected to see the audience completely indifferent to the song she was singing. She was pleasantly surprised to see that everyone in the audience was standing on their feet, clapping their hands to the beat and just enjoying the music. This melted away any last vestiges of fear and Dom finally let go and started to truly enjoy herself. When the song ended, the band received a standing ovation.
Terry came up behind her and whispered,” Way to go, Angel.” Dom grasped his hand in a warm grip and thanked him. He went back to his spot to start the next song.
The rest of the show went by without a hitch and when the first set was over, Dom was flushed with pleasure and elated that everything went well and she didn’t screw up. The feel of Terry’s hand in hers stayed with her the entire night and set off little explosions of warmth every time she thought about him.