Before there was sexy rock chick Em’rald there was homeless waif Emily Jane Darlington. Before there was devilishly handsome and brooding heavy metal guitar shredder Nikk Saffire there was battered kid Niko Saffros. And before there was glam hair metal quartet the New York Gems, Cartier rings, and megastardom there was loss, rejection, and the wild fantasies of two unwanted children. Emily and Niko meet in a Bronx women’s shelter when they’re four and five years old. Sustained by the strength of their determined mothers, they endure growing up in a stolen car, murder, and drug addiction. Along their long, dark road Emily and Niko secure the skills that will eventually take them to the top of the rock and roll heap. When Emily is discovered in Central Park by a rich photographer who becomes their benefactor, the world as they know it is changed forever. But the heavy metal highway isn’t paved in gold, and even their longstanding love isn’t guaranteed in the decadent world of 80s rock.