CHAPTER ONE: TAYLOR

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"This is it, you guys," I say as we approach. "Everything we've always dreamed about. This is our Holy Grail."

Charlie, Jamie and I stand before it side by side, tears in our eyes as we admire its indescribable beauty.

"Our Disneyland," Charlie adds.

Jamie nods. "Our Graceland. I can't believe we're actually here."

We each take in a deep breath.

"Are we truly worthy of so much awesome?" I ask.

Charlie takes a brave step forward. "Yes. We are."

When we say it, it's a whisper, like the name itself is to be cherished. "SupaCon."

We take the final steps towards the building.

Crowds of cosplayers line the entrances.

I smile at those who look my way.

My geeky kindred spirits.

"For years," I say as we get closer, "we've lived vicariously through others. Stalking the SupaCon hashtag and Tumblr posts of strangers on the other side of the world. And now, here we are."

"Charlie!" A woman with curly blonde hair is speed-walking towards us, waving and smiling. "I'm Mandy! I'll be your handler this weekend."

"Oh, hi!" Charlie lights up with excitement and shakes Mandy's hand. "It's great to meet you! These are my friends, Taylor and Jamie."

"Hey," Jamie says with his stellar grin.

I nod. "Hi."

"Hey, welcome to SupaCon!" She starts rummaging through her handbag and turns to Charlie. "I've got three passes for you all, but I'm afraid I couldn't get VIP passes for your friends. They'll have to stay on the public floors while you do your publicity rounds."

Charlie's smile fades, and she glances at Jamie and I apologetically. "Mandy, isn't there anything you can do? Maybe my manager can call the studio and tell them these two are my entourage. I need them."

Mandy shakes her head slowly. "Sorry, all the VIP passes were snapped up months ago. I don't have the pull to get any more. I can get you guys inside now without lining up, but if you want to attend any panels or signings, you'll have to line up like everyone else."

My shoulders tense and my palms start to get clammy.

The thought of spending the next three days in lines with hundreds of people makes me break out into a nervous sweat. Jumping the lines was supposed to be one of the perks of tagging along with Charlie.

Sensing my quiet panic, Jamie flashes me a reassuring smile. "It's all good, Tay." He leans in, his brown eyes looking at me from behind dark lashes. "At least this way, we don't have to worry about Charlie's fangirls swarming all over us everywhere we go."

I push up my black, thick-rimmed glasses and look away, choosing to focus on his Converse sneakers instead. "Okay."

Mandy watches me curiously, her eyes darting between me and Jamie, then landing back on me. "I love your cosplay! Queen Firestone, right?"

"Yep!" I grin, smoothing out my trench coat and adjusting my tank top.

I've never cosplayed before, but I couldn't resist the chance to dress as my hero for SupaCon. I'm shaking with nerves, but now that I'm here, it's so worth it. It's even worth getting changed in the airplane bathroom so we could come straight to SupaCon instead of going to the hotel first.

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