© 2005-2010 Julien Gregg
All Rights Reserved

Chapter 31

"I realize you're seeing someone new. I don’t believe he knows you like I do. Your temperamental moody side, the one you always try to hide from me," he sang.

"But I know when you have something on your mind. You've been trying to tell me for the longest time. And before you break my heart in two, there's something I've been trying to say to you,

"But the words get in the way. There's so much I want to say. But it's locked deep inside and if you look in my eyes, we might fall in love again. I won't even start to cry, and before we say goodbye, I tried to say I love you, but the words got in the way," he sang and then put his head back while the music played.

"Your heart has always been an open door, but baby I don't even know you any more. And despite the fact it's hurting me, I know the time has come to set you free,

"But the words get in the way. There's so much I want to say. But it’s locked deep inside and if you look in my eyes, we might fall in love again. I won't even start to cry, and before we say goodbye, I tried to say I love you, but the words got in the way,

"I'm trying to say I love you, but the words get in the way. The words get in the way," he sang, and the audience erupted with screams again.

"Skyler Thomas!" cried Will Sprick, the host of "Sydney Live" as soon as the music stopped. "He's with us for the next hour, ladies and gentlemen. We'll get to talk with him after this!"

Skyler took off his head set and walked across the small stage to join Will near his desk. He sat down on the couch and accepted the glass of water that Will handed him, draining it dry as soon as he got it to his lips. He smiled at Will as he handed the empty glass back.

"Sorry," he breathed. "My throat gets so dry here."

"Its no problem, Skyler," said Will, smiling at him.

Will was in his mid thirties with dark close cropped hair and dazzling green eyes. His skin was tanned, and there were hoops in both of his ears. Skyler had been told that Will was the talk show host in Sydney at the moment and the fact that he'd asked for Skyler to guest on the show was not only a privilege but another way for Skyler to perform before the tour.

"We're live in three, two, one . . ." said the camera man, and then the crowd started to cheer again.

"Welcome back everyone," said Will, looking at the camera. "We're live here in West Point Studios with Skyler Thomas. He's here in Sydney filming the upcoming motion picture The Eye of the World. That, of course, is the first book in Robert Jordan's 'Wheel of Time' series. Tell us, Skyler, what's it like bringing a legendary book to life on screen?"

* * *

"That was awesome!" cried Devon Sawa as he followed Skyler out of the studio to the waiting limo that would take them both back to the hotel. "I've never seen you sing live before."

Skyler and Devon were rapidly becoming friends. Devon had come to meet Skyler three days ago when Skyler had first checked into the hotel. Devon's suite was across the hall right next to Zack's. His upbeat, hyper personality reminded Skyler of Justin, and he liked him on the spot. The two had been hanging out for the last three days. Sometimes they hung around with other cast members, but most of the time it was just the two of them running all over Sydney.

Filming hadn't actually started for either of them yet, and Skyler was set to begin filming a video for one of his songs from the album in the morning. Renny assured him that it wouldn't conflict with his film schedule for the movie. Devon wanted to be on the set for the video, and Skyler assured him that he'd make sure he got a pass to sit and watch, but he also warned him that it wasn't much fun.

"Did Renny say anything about when we'll be shooting any scenes?" Devon asked as they climbed into the limo. "I saw some of the stuff the computer guys are doing, and it looks amazing, Sky."

Skyler had met Tom Banner and David Shane the first day that Renny had given him a tour of the sets for the movie. Together, Tom and David were the computer animation department. Their company, Studio X Effects, was in charge of bringing all of the creatures and special effects to life on the screen. Skyler had yet to see anything that they had ready.

"He told me that I'd have time to shoot the video as long as it didn't go on forever," replied Skyler. "He didn't exactly say when I'd be filming my first scene. Neve and Shannon have been filming, though. I think they were shooting this morning."

"He should give us a filming schedule," said Devon as the limo pulled out of the studio's parking lot. "That would make things easier."

"We're supposed to be getting one today," Skyler informed him. "We have that meeting this afternoon. Shannon told me about it this morning."

"When did you see her?" Devon asked.

"While I was standing in the hall waiting for you to get dressed this morning," chuckled Skyler.

"What time is the meeting?"

"Its supposed to be a three," replied Skyler. "Shannon said to be in the board room at three, but she doesn't think Renny will actually make it there at three."

"Renny's never on time," laughed Devon. "What are you doing for lunch?"

"Calling JC," replied Skyler.

He'd told Devon about JC by accident actually. It was the day after he'd arrived in Australia, and he was on the telephone with JC. Devon had come in while he was talking, and he'd heard him talk about Justin, Lance and Joey before he'd launched into a long discussion with JC about Chris. Then he'd heard Skyler tell JC that he loved him before he terminated the call. When he noticed that Devon was staring at him after the phone call, he'd had no choice but to tell him the truth.

It worked out, though. Devon had told him that he was gay as well. Not only that, but he told him that he was dating Leonardo DiCaprio of all people. That was one that Skyler hadn't been expecting. Devon explained that Leo wasn't gay. He was bisexual, but the two were dating exclusively. Skyler didn't say anything to his new friend, but his trust in bisexual men wasn't all that great. He had Brian to thank for that.

"Hey sexy man," said JC when Skyler called him as soon as he got to his room. "I've been wondering when I'd hear from you today."

"I just got in from shooting," replied Skyler. "What have you been up to?"

"Thinking about you mostly," chuckled JC. "Lance is getting pretty sick of hearing about how much I miss you. He's threatening to wear ear plugs until you return from Down Under."

"Give the guys a break," laughed Skyler. "I have to admit, though, I talk about you all of the time to Devon. At least I do when he isn't talking about Leo."

"I still can't get over that," said JC. "I'd have never guessed that Leo was bisexual."

"Yeah, well wonders never cease," replied Skyler. "Have you heard anything out of Chad or Cassie?"

"Nope," JC sighed. "Haven't you called them?"

"I called last night, but Dad said that Chad was in LA already," he replied. "Cassie was out with Kristy."

"She hasn't called you back?"

"Not yet," sighed Skyler. "I know its only been three days, but I miss the twins like crazy already."

"What about me?" Skyler could hear the pout in JC's voice, and he smiled.

"I missed you as soon as I got on the plane, silly man," he laughed.

* * *

"How's the video shoot going?" Renny asked when Skyler sat down with him in the dining room of the hotel after his third day of shooting the video for "Get Up".

"Like Hell," replied Skyler with a sigh. "Charles is such a perfectionist, and I hate to lip-sync."

"Oh, it can't be that bad," laughed Renny. "I would think its rather like acting."

"Yeah," laughed Skyler. "Acting stupid."

"Well I've got something that will make your day a bit brighter then," said Renny, folding his hands on the table. "Your first scene is being shot tomorrow morning. Now I know that you're supposed to be on the video set in the morning, but I've already talked to Charles and told him that the video will have to wait. I'll need you on the set at six tomorrow morning."

"Just one scene tomorrow?" Skyler asked, thinking that if he had only one scene he'd still have the rest of the day to put up with Charles.

"Three, actually," replied Renny. "Don't worry, though. I've promised Charles that you'll be free as soon as possible. He's expecting you to call him as soon as you finish the third scene."

"Great," said Skyler. "I was hoping for a day off from Charles."

"No such luck, busy one," laughed Renny, running his fingers through his long blond hair. "You're the one who decided to shoot the video here, remember?"

"Yeah, and I'm regretting it," sighed Skyler.

"Oh," said Renny, brightening up a bit. "I've read through the lyrics you gave me for the soundtrack."

"Be gentle," laughed Skyler. Actually he was quite proud of his lyrics. He thought that each of the songs he'd written for the soundtrack went well with the script for the movie. He only hoped that Renny agreed. They were supposed to start recording the soundtrack in a matter of days, and Skyler didn't want to have to scrap three perfectly good songs and start from scratch.

"Be gentle?" Renny chuckled. "Skyler, the lyrics are great. I love them. I just want to hear them with music before I let you waltz into the studio and sing them. When can that be arranged?"

"I don't think it'll be that hard," replied Skyler. "I can play the guitar and the piano, so I'm sure I can give you a rough idea."

"Sounds great," replied Renny. "Now, you should get upstairs to bed. You have an early wake up call coming in the morning, so no long phone calls to the states."

"Yes, Dad," laughed Skyler as Renny stood up to leave. "I promise."

"Goodnight, Skyler," Renny said with laughter in his eyes.

When Skyler got upstairs the last thing on his mind was the telephone. One look at the bed made it almost impossible to think of anything other than sleep. He stripped out of his clothes and almost dived into the bed, falling asleep almost as soon as his head hit the pillow. Shooting the video was really taking its toll on him. Staying up till all hours on the phone with first the twins and his family and then JC didn't help, either.

His wake up call came in a three in the morning. He cursed the telephone before he stumbled out of bed and into the bathroom to take a shower. He was on the set thirty minutes later, sitting in a chair while a woman he couldn't remember applied make up to his face and another played with the amber colored wig on his head. He was rapidly becoming Rand al'Thor.

He ate breakfast with Dean Cline as soon as he was dressed in his Rand wardrobe. They sat in the little restaurant that had been set up in the studio for actors to eat lunches and breakfasts while they filmed all day long. Dean was playing Tam al'Thor, Rand's father. The two of them were the only actors in the scene that was being shot first, but other actors were filing into the restaurant. Devon and Toby McGuire were among them. They would be in the second and third scene that they shot that morning.

Toby looked as if he wanted to be anywhere but in the studio restaurant that morning, and Devon clearly wasn't completely awake. He offered Skyler a wan smile before he sat down across from Toby and buried his face in his arms, probably messing up his Mat make up. Toby smirked at him and shook his head. Skyler laughed.

"I see we're all happy to be awake this early this morning," said Toby once Skyler stopped laughing.

"Oh its a thrill," replied Skyler. "But this is nothing. You should try a concert tour."

"I'll pass," chuckled Toby. "This is bad enough."

"Where are Neve and Shannon?" Skyler asked. "Aren't they filming today, too?"

"Yeah, but that's the third scene, and they're both still in make up," replied Toby. "Shannon isn't in a great mood. I warn you."

"Great," sighed Skyler, thinking about the day he'd arrived and how he'd listened to Shannon screaming at her agent on the telephone in the next suite. Her temper was well known in the industry, and everyone treaded lightly around her.

"I'll settle Shannon down," Dean said nearly in a whisper. The ghost of smile played over his face, and Skyler wondered what the older man was up to.

Skyler and Dean made it through their scene in only three takes. Renny declared them masters of their craft when he announced that he had what he needed for the scene. Dean stood back as Skyler, Toby and Devon got to their places amongst the extras, and Renny got them going into the second scene. This one proved to be a little more difficult. Toby forgot his lines three times, and Devon laughed twice. After seven takes, scene two was filmed. Shannon was already barking about having to wait for Toby and Devon to get their acts together.

"You boys better have it down," she hissed when she took her place in the doorway of one of the shacks that had been built on the set of the village. "I'm not wasting an entire morning on this, so no mistakes."

But there were mistakes, and Skyler had to stop himself from laughing when Shannon made the very first of what turned out to be a total of twelve mistakes that brought Renny's bark of "cut" each and every time. Of course this was closely followed by a curse from Shannon, and she directed each one at Skyler and the other two young men.

"Renny, let me have a quick work with Shannon," said Dean before walking across the set to stand in front of her.

Skyler couldn't hear what Dean was saying, but Shannon's voice was loud and clear. She blamed each mistake on Devon, Toby or Skyler even when she was the one who'd forgot a line or mixed one up. Dean's voice only rose once before he walked back over to sit beside Renny. Shannon glared at him for a few minutes before she took her place and the scene went on. This time, they reached the end of the scene with Renny telling them that it was a go.

Three hours later, Skyler was coming back to the hotel with a huge grin on his face and a grumbling stomach. He met Devon for a late lunch in the hotel dining room where he announced that the video was shot, and he was free of Charles Barr completely. All that was left was editing, and Skyler didn't much care what happened in the editing room.

"That's good," said Devon, "because we have to be back in make up and on the set by three."

"Great," replied Skyler. "I can't wait to get in there with Shannon again."

"I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by her attitude now," Devon said slowly. "She's been sweet as candy since Dean's little chat with her this morning."

"I sure would like to know what he said to her," gasped Skyler.

"I'll say," replied Devon with wide eyes. "She even apologized to us after you left. She said she'd catch you when you got back, so she's looking for you."

Words Get In The Way is a song by Gloria Estefan.

The next chapter will be posted soon.