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"There is no way out of here," Adam yelled, pacing back and forth.
"Would you just calm down," Leila returned heatedly, "it's not the end of the world."
"Oh really, well last I checked we're stuck in an equipment closet in a whole other building from where I'm supposed to be, your phone is dead, I don't have mine, and I'm due in the theater across the street in thirty minutes for a concert!"
"Oh sure, yell at the girl who just tried to help you not get trampled by a bunch of screaming fans. That's so mature. I should have just let them get you, then maybe the world would be minus one more jerk!"
Leila slumped down on top of a speaker and stared a hole through the floor with her arms folded in anger.
Adam slid to the floor and rested his arms on his knees, "Sorry, I didn't mean to hurt your feelings. I'm just so stressed out lately."
Leila stared at him in disbelief, "You and stressed shouldn't be in the same sentence."
"You can have everything you want when you want it. You have millions of girls throwing themselves at you. You're best friends with Alan Huckabee, one of Hollywood's finest actors. Why should you be stressed?"
"Well," Adam began staring at the floor, "Imagine, if you will, never getting a moment of privacy. I honestly don't mind too much because I love what I do and I really love my fans. However, I can't seem to wear mismatched socks without Seventeen making a big deal about it. As for having everything whenever I want it, that's not as nice as it sounds. I can't wear some of the things I like because my manager wants me to promote the sponsors; I don't even like converse. Alan and I hate each other. If you saw how much we actually fight you'd be shocked. Neither one of our agents wants it to leak out so everyone gets nice big fat pay checks for pretending otherwise. As for the girls, don't make me laugh. Way more than half of them only want fame and my money. They could care less about who I really am. As soon as a new fad comes along, I'll be ancient history to them."
Leila continued to stare at the floor.
"I bet your life must be nice. People don't use you for their own gain, and you have real friends, and go to a real school."
"Oh yeah, my life is just great. I'm the dreaded optimist who everyone runs from. At school I'm the geek who never gets a date because I love to write. My class mates turn in as little as possible while my papers are seven pages with small text. My best friend is so needy she likes a guy who publicly humiliates her and she thinks he's flirting! My twin brothers won't stop fighting and my parents never punish them because they're so busy not paying attention that they can't see past the front of their noses. The only joy I get out of my day is when I lock my door and turn on your music."
Leila nodded but didn't speak.
"At least I know I help someone," Adam smiled.
Silence shrouded the small cramped room once more.
"Why do you let them push you around," Leila asked in a softer tone looking askance somewhat cautiously.
"What do you mean?"
"Well, it seems to me your fans just want to know the real you. The way your manager is making you live, it's kind of like living a lie don't you think?"
"You tell it like it is don't you," Adam teased with a smile.
"One of my many irritating qualities, so I'm told."
"No, not at all. I find your honesty and optimism quite refreshing. It's like the world has little or no effect on you. Without thinking about the fact that tomorrow morning you're likely to have a front page story smearing your name instead of glorifying it, you helped me get away from that Glenice or whatever her name was."
"Gladice, and thank you. What kind of manager does that to their employer? I mean, you're paying him, not him you?"
"The worst kind actually, my father. You know I've never thought of it that way."
"You mean Clyde Donavan is your dad?"
"Yeah, when he wants to be anyway. Most of the time he just talks business."
"How come I never knew you two were related? You'd think that was a front page story."
"Rule number one about this business, the one who has the money, has the power. If dad pays off the right people, no one will say a word."
"Why are you telling me this? How do you know I'm not some girl just seeking the fame? How do you know I'm not going to run off to J-14 and tell them everything you just said?"
"Well firstly because my dad would be sure you're paid off, and if that doesn't work he'd sue more than likely."
Leila raised an eyebrow.
Adam smirked, "Kidding. Honestly, I don't think you're like that. You seem very down to earth. You wouldn't do that."
"You don't know anything about me."
"I know you're mad at your parents, you love to write, you're worried about your friend, and you care about your little brothers."
"I never said they were little, how could you tell?"
"The way your voice fluctuated when you spoke about them."
"So now you're a therapist?"
"Just a good listener."
"Why don't you show your fans that side? Do things to get in touch with them more. You're so distant to them. Do more things to get to know them and relate to them. "
"If I can get past the big man."
"When are you going to wake up and realize you are in control of your future, not your father?"
"You amaze me Leila Kent. You really do."
A loud bang sounded against the outside of the door causing both teens to jump. Seconds later the door burst open and Clyde Donavan stood on the other side with Adams bodyguard.