Chapter One

The stadium was packed full of screaming fans. Music loud enough to vibrate the chairs that had been carelessly tossed aside to make room for the mosh pit was playing from the speakers by the stage. Strobe lights flashed around the stadium lighting up bodies that were jumping, dancing, and just plain moving to the beat of the song. Security guards were stationed at every entrance to insure relative peace and the event staff of the retractable dome was nervously watching the pulsing crowd as they edged closer to the stage where the band was playing.

Twenty-four year old Cameron watched this all with a calm eye as his fingers moved mechanically up and down his guitar. His curly brown hair had been gelled into a messy style that was all the rage with new rock bands. He didn't really mind it since it was so close to his own style. Green eyes roved from the crowd to his band mates standing ten feet from him. Ryan was having a grand time playing the drums as he soaked up all the attention he could get. Kyle was concentrating whole-heartedly on the music he was making on his bass guitar while Evan was belting out the lyrics of the song that Cameron had written and playing his own guitar.

All in all it was an amazing sight. Cameron had never thought that he and the band Depression would actually be on stage in front of thousands of people and have a hit single that was slowly climbing the charts. He remembered when they were still playing around in Kyle's garage thinking up song lyrics that seemed far too cheesy to be real. Everything was different now and Cameron was still trying to decide if he liked the changes.

Another scan of the crowd and then Cameron knew it was his time to shine. At the end of the refrain, Evan stepped back from the microphone and looked towards Cameron to put the crowd's attention on him. And then, just like always, Cameron fell into his own world where nothing mattered except the music that he was playing. It was his solo that he played from the heart. The crowd began to wild as his fingers moved along the guitar in a memorized pattern that had taken weeks to learn. Subconsciously, he knew he was biting his lip and closing his eyes, but he pictured his fingers running over the strings and pressing down at the right moment.

When it was over, Evan began to sing the last refrain that would end the song, and then he would open the next. It was a routine that Cameron was finally starting to understand. Depression had only been a hot band for about the last year, but they were quickly gaining recognition as they toured around the country. They had released their first album only eight months ago, but it now seemed like years ago. Then again, everything had been moving very quickly since they started their tour, so time felt like it had sped up.

Forty-five minutes later he was standing in a white hallway with the rest of the band waiting to please the adoring fans that had managed to snag some backstage passes. Ryan was sitting on the floor beating out a random rhythm with the drumsticks that were always in his hands or pockets. The twenty-two year olds blue eyes watched nothing as he continued to tap out a beat. His blond hair was cut short and then spiked to give off a bad boy impression. It was a bit ironic since Ryan was the type of guy that would rather sit and read a book or practice his music than go out and party like everyone thought he did.

Evan was leaning against the wall next to Ryan eyeing him with a small smile. Evan, twenty-two, was the shortest member of the band at 5' 8", but he was the one that all the girls were absolutely in love with because of his shaggy brown hair and dreamy hazel eyes. His serious attitude towards everything just made him even more attractive to his adoring fans. Ryan and Evan had been friends since they were at least five and were very close. Ryan was the excitable one that came up with all the crazy schemes while Evan kept him in check and made sure he didn't do anything too stupid.

At twenty-three, Kyle had short brown hair that he just let lay flat and his blue eyes were adored by almost any girl that he actually let get close to him. It was kind of funny how much of a phobia Kyle had when it came to girls. He always boasted about his supposed "exploits" to any magazine that was interviewing him, but the band knew it was just to boost people's opinion of him.

Cameron was the tallest member of Depression at 6'4" and the least noticed because he never talked during interviews and kept to himself when meeting the fans. He was in it just for the music. The riches and the fame didn't matter. He just loved to play and it was even better since the band was so close. Cameron had known Kyle since high school when they worked together at a local fast food restaurant, and they were the ones that had really started the band. It had expanded in college when the two ended up being roommates in the same house with Ryan and Evan their junior year. Everything had worked out well…better than Cameron could have hoped.

"When do we leave for Phoenix?" Ryan asked without even bothering to look up. His drumsticks were still beating the ground to the rhythm only he knew.

"I think we're here for three weeks," Kyle responded. "Time for some much needed vacation."

"Why are we staying for so long?" Evan asked with a frown. Anything out of order always managed to upset him.

"Home for the holidays," Kyle said. Evan gave him funny look since it was the middle of July, and waited for someone to elaborate.

"Don't you know?" Ryan teased.

"Me and Kyle are originally from Denver," Cameron explained. "We used to live in the suburbs just outside of downtown."

"Yeah, weren't you listening when they told us their life story?"

Evan snorted. "What life story? They're both too damned secretive when it comes to life before high school."

"That's because we were in the mob back then," Kyle whispered mischievously. Evan laughed at that.

"I thought no one could leave the mob?" he retorted.

"They wouldn't let us leave to pursue our dreams of stardom, but then we killed the mob boss, and that money has brought us fame and fortune."

"I thought I was the one that brought you fame and fortune," a female voice said from down the hall. All four members of the band looked up to see their band manager walking down the hall in slacks and a blouse.

Natalie Jannon was a petite woman with long straight red hair. Freckles dotted her cheeks and nose making her look a lot younger than her 45 years. In her hand was clipboard and around her neck was a yellow backstage pass. Her blues eyes looked over the top of her glasses at the four young men before her.

"Are you guys ready to meet your fans?" she asked with a smile.

"Aren't we always?" Ryan flashed a white smile, picked himself up off the linoleum floor, and shoved his drumsticks in his pocket. Natalie just laughed at Ryan's antics and motioned for them to follow her.

"Do you think your parents would be willing to have four guys come visit for the next three weeks?" Kyle whispered to Cameron as they walked down the hall.

"Only if I donated money to my dad's company," he responded bitterly.

"Come on, man! Otherwise, we'll be living out of a hotel for the next three weeks, and a home cooked meal sounds so good right now."

"Why don't we stay at your house?"

"My parents moved to Florida to retire last month after I gave them the money to do it."

Cameron sighed in defeat. "Alright, I'll ask. But I'm not making any promises. You know my dad isn't too happy with me right now."

Kyle was about to argue the point, but stopped as Natalie led them into a large room where a handful of fans started screaming at the top of their lungs. Cameron stayed towards the back of the group doing his best to blend in with scenery behind him. Girls stretched out their hands trying to touch them as they walked over to a table that had been set up for photographs and autographs. They each sat down at a chair and started pulling out pens. Then Natalie led a small group of fans over at intervals of about five minutes. Most of the girls were so excited they could barely answer the questions that the guys asked merely to be polite. Kyle and Ryan loved the attention, but thought none of girls were worth their time while Evan just didn't care either way.

Cameron just smiled and tried to keep himself from getting up and walking out of the room. To him, it almost wasn't worth it.

He was signing another autograph and not looking at the girl that was standing in front of him when he noticed that she didn't seem to be trembling with excitement. She was awfully quite for a fan, which he liked better than the talkative ones, but there was the possibility that she was a stalker. He decided that he needed to be polite to make sure she wasn't going to be following him to the hotel later that night and asked, "So, who's your favorite band member?"

"You are," was the whispered answer.

Cameron rolled his eyes at the girl's attempt to flatter him, but looked up with a fake smile anyway.

He froze.

The woman standing in front of him was at least a head shorter than him with straight brown hair that fell to her shoulders. Grey-green eyes watched him with guarded curiosity while her hands were nervously clasped in front of her. Cameron knew his mouth was now hanging open, but he didn't bother to do anything about it. The woman noticed his reaction and gave him a nervous smile and a small wave.

"Hey, Superman."