An: Okay, this story has been on my mind for awhile.

Down in Flames

Title: Down in Flames

Summary: Trent gets an opportunity to be bigger than life itself, how will stop from going down in the flames of the hell they call "The Business".

Disclaimer: I own nothing!

Pairings: Begins with Trent/Gwen, a little Trent/Lindsay later on in the story.

Warnings: Mild language, Drug References, and Semi-Depressing Themes.

fulltimereviewer: My first time working with Trent, so I hope I do a good job. Enjoy.


Two years ago I never thought I would be here, here in my very own hell. Two years ago, I was a boy a young innocent nineteen year-old boy that was filled with ambition, talent. Now, well now, I'm a washed up shell of a twenty-one year man, not a trace of ambition left in me. Talent gone too, as soon as the first needle entered my skin, as soon as I let in the first snort, as soon as I signed that contract. I wish I never met Chris McLean on that night two years ago. I wish I never left my town, my family, my girlfriend. I wish I could meet my daughter. I wish I could so much more than be the piece of shit that I am today.

So, let me tell you what happened exactly two years ago today. Let me relive what happened on that night that changed my life forever.

Let me relive the night before the drugs, the sex, the greed, the lies, and the deception.

Let me relive the night before I began to go Down in Flames.

Okay Trent, don't be too nervous. It's just your first solo set; it's also the first time you've preformed in front of more than fifteen people. Just relax; it's just a small indie club. There are barely twenty people here. I walked up to the stage, one dim light on me. I squeezed my guitar and I felt the strings digging into my skin leaving their impressions. Just relax, just relax I told myself; I was wrong to be relaxed. I should've been a warning, how tense I was, maybe it was life telling me I was about to send myself down a path that I would probably never return from. I tilted the microphone towards me. "Hey everybody, my name's Trent," the few people that were there had their eyes plastered on me," this is my first time performing. So… here we go."

I sung "Across the Universe", I never thought that that the lyrics that left my lips could be so false. "Nothing's gonna' change my world." The biggest lie I've ever told. The small crowd sounded like an amphitheatre. In fact, that was the first and last standing ovation that I ever received. There was one man sitting in the corner of the club, he was smoking a cigar; which was strange, because everyone else in this place was either smoking a blunt or a cigarette. I barely even knew what a "real" drug was two-years ago. Trust me, a little marijuana here and there was nothing compared to the heroin and experimental party drugs that I was now accustomed to.

I walked off the stage, and put my guitar, Lupe, in her case. Damn, How I loved that guitar. Had it since I was… fourteen. I even named 'er after my first summer love, Lupe Lopez. I met, fell in love with, and lost my virginity to her on my two-week vacation in Mexico. I wonder what happened to her. I grabbed the case, and began to make my way out of the smoky club. "Hey, you! Kid that sounds like a star!" I stopped short. I should have kept walking, I should have never turned around, I should have dismissed the comment as someone that was drunk, or high. But, I turned around.

I turned around to see the man, the same man that was smoking a cigar. I then noticed that he was even more out of place, he was wearing a button up shirt, and a tie; a loosened tie, but still a tie, and he had a jacket draped over his shoulder. He extended his hand out to me. Kid, runaway now; leave while you still have some of your innocence. I shook it. You just made a bond with a demon, the devil, Diablo. You can still confess and repent now. We exchanged names and, he told me I had some 'real' star talent. He told me that all I needed was a little polish; more like tarnishing, ruining, corrupting. He handed me his card, and I gave him my number. Then, he told me that he would be in contact with me in days. I thought that he was lying, but was I wrong.

I tucked his card in my pocket, without a thought. Several people had handed me cards and told me I had "Star Quality", I never thought of it has anything. I just played my guitar on the weekends and on Friday nights, and worked at the car shop during the week. I was just a regular guy, with a special talent; that's all. I strapped Lupe across me, and made sure she was tight. Then, I got on my motorcycle. Man, I loved that motorcycle. A 1969 Trackmaster, my granddad left it to me in his will. I got it when I was eighteen. I spent every minute of the summer I graduated working on it. Making sure that every scratch buffed, every buff polished, every chip repainted. I rigged up the exhaust pipe for Gwen so it would be more eco-friendly. I even had the retro helmet that went along with it. Where is all that stuff now? Probably in someone's landfill, rotting away.

I speed down the empty road, that was one of the pluses of living in a small town; no traffic after eight-thirty. I stopped at the small house that I called my home. You know how every town has that one house that's always for sale. I saved up for years for that house. And well, that's the house that I bought with my girlfriend… Or well, know my ex-girlfriend and the mother of my child that I never met. But, living the life I've been living now, I probably have at least one child in every major city in the United State; and, three provinces in my native of Canada. I opened the door to my house, everything was quiet and all was dark except for the faint blue glare coming from our bedroom, and the soft murmur of a laugh track. Gwen always was up watching old eighties and nineties sitcoms; Full House and Family Matters were her favorites. She loved them because of their quote "Unrealistic portrayal of the unattainable 'American' Dream". I miss that about her; I miss actually having deep, intelligent conversations with women instead of just laying and leaving random gold-diggers and cheap prostitutes.

I sat Lupe in the corner of the room where she always went every night especially after performances. Gwen was sprawled out on top of the covers, and she still had her glasses on. I stripped down to my boxers and slid next to her. She stirred, and turned to me and placed her face into my chest and took a breath in. "You smell like smoke." She moaned her raspy voice raspier from sleeping. I gave her a grin. I used to smile all the time when I was happy. And, I'm just not one to put on a fake smile. She placed a trail of kisses up my neck, and twisted her fingers through my long hair. That was the first thing to go, my thick dark hair. Chris made me cut it because it didn't fit with the "Adult Contemporary" image he was trying to give me. I pulled her closer to me, and ran my hand along her pale skin. I loved her milky-white skin, that's all I think about when I'm with the orange bimbos. I imagine that they're all my long-legged, pale, Canadian beauty.

She titled her head up, and molded her lips to mine. Her kisses always held a certain bite, or spunk just like her. Her tongue piercing was cold yet exciting, like her. I loved to run my hands through her short black hair that would sometimes be highlighted with colors that were out of the ordinary like: reds, blues, and purples. Gwen was a remarkable woman. She was nothing like the girls that fluttered in and out of my bed now. They would never dream of having a personality, or having anything but bleach blonde extensions in their hair; that they swore up and down were real. I miss being with a real woman and not with girls with the mentality of a twelve year old stuck in a woman's body. Gwen broke our kiss and ran her hands down my chest, I began to laugh for reason that I don't even know. Correction, for reasons I didn't know, Note to past self: You can get a slight high from inhaling around you. She smirked, "Trent, Why are you laughing so much? Are you high or something?" I laughed even harder, and then she giggled a little. That was something else she rarely did. Gwen didn't giggle she either didn't laugh or she laughed until her sides were on fire. These girls now laugh at every third word you say. I hate it, I hate them.

I shrugged, "Maybe so, those people in that club were smoking like the world was going to end tomorrow." She smiled and wrapped her legs around mine. And, we just lay there. She asked me about the set, I told her that it went fine. We talked about the man that gave me his card. She asked me if he was legit. I should've listened to her. I insisted that there was something different about his guy. He had a swagger, a charismatic impression about him that you just had to trust. Gwen just took my word for it, and she told me not to do anything stupid. That advice fell upon deaf ears. Much like all of the advice that everyone's given me since the devil came into my life and pushed it down in flames.

I wiped the grease off of my hand and onto my jeans. My "stylist", Mona-Liza, would kill me for kill me if I ever did anything like that now. But, at the point I am now, murder would be better than suicide. Sweat poured from every pore, it had to be at least a hundred degrees outside, and then being underneath a car didn't make thing any better. I grabbed my shirt and wiped my face with it, did that feel better. I opened the door to ignite the car which was having the crack in its oil line fixed. The car sputtered for a second, and then started. I repaired that car in fifteen minutes; that was a new record for me, and I was proud of myself. When was the last time I was actually proud of myself? I pulled the car around to the front, and handed the keys to the old lady who was the owner of the car. She gave me this slightly creepy wink and a twenty dollar tip. Yes! Somebody could have lunch with his girlfriend today. I don't even remember the last time a two-person meal cost fewer than two-hundred dollars. I can't even remember the last time I paid for a meal at that.

I asked the boss if I could go to lunch early, he agreed since I was such a "great worker". I ran to the diner across the street that Gwen worked at. That diner held a lot of memories for us. In fact, that's where we first met when we were kids, where I asked her on a date for a first time, where we kissed for the first time, even where we were with each other for the first time. I can't even remember where I met this 'girl' that I'm 'with' now. I slowly opened the door to the diner so the bells wouldn't ring because; I knew how much those bells annoyed her. I used to be the nicest guy, right? I sat down in one of the old and worn booths with permanent marker doodles and declarations of love written all over the table. Everyone that lived around here called it the "Lover's Table".

Gwen saw me out of the corner of her eye, and sat next to me in the booth. "You're off early from work. Did Mr. Boss-Man get tired of you fixing everything?" She joked as she pulled her hair back into a ponytail. I laughed. Something on the table caught my attention. Trent Smith and Gwen Dale 4EVER! I nudged Gwen and pointed to the writing on the table. She smiled, and then began to laugh. "Isn't that from the 10th grade?" I chuckled and nodded. I wish I could've kept that promise. Gwen I'm sorry.

Gwen grabbed some food from the back, and we ate every last bit of it. The burgers held the perfect amount of grease, the fries were just crispy enough, and the glass-bottled pops couldn't have been any cooler. I used to eat like your average guy; now my diet consists of nothing but vodka, salads, and the daily snort of cocaine. Maybe that's why I've dropped twenty pounds. I looked at the clock that had to be at least thirty years old, twelve fifty-five. I stood up, slapped the twenty bucks on the table, and began to hurriedly make my way back to the garage. "Trent! What am I supposed to do with this?" Gwen yelled from the other side of the road.

I shrugged "Get some paint!" I laughed, and made it back to the garage to punch-in with minutes to spare. I wish I was still early to things instead of being late, because I needed a quick hit of something. There weren't any cars around so. I decided to take a nap. The boss wouldn't be mad since we rarely have more than one customer a day.

I dreamed of a world clouded in smoke. Then, there would be flashes of light all over every few seconds and a white powder would rain from the sky, and then I started falling down into the pit of this earth; which was nothing but flames. Looking back at this dream, it could be interpreted as a forewarning, or an epiphany. Why didn't I take this as a sign of my impending doom? Why didn't I trust my mind? Why did I have to be so damn naïve?

I woke up to a slight vibrating in my pocket. I picked up the phone, and it was a US area code. It had to be the man from last night. You don't have to answer that call just ignore it. I answered the call. The phone call that changed my life forever. The phone call that sent my life down in flames.

That sent me Down in Flames.

An: So what do you guys think? Did I do a good job with Trent?

Give me your honest opinion.

Best Wishes,