© 2005-2010 Julien Gregg
All Rights Reserved

Chapter 32

"That was perfect, Skyler!" Dane Cleary cried from the control booth when Skyler finished singing. They'd been recording all day long, and Skyler was happy that he'd finally made it through the third and final song that he had written for the soundtrack. They'd been recording all day long, only stopping for lunch. The sun was down, and Skyler's throat was tired. He'd been about to tell Dane that he was finished for the day.

"I'm out of here," he declared, getting off the stool and pushing the microphone away. He stretched and yawned while he listened to his stomach growl.

"You coming in to listen?" Dane asked as Skyler exited the sound booth.

"No, I'm going to find food," he replied as Zack, Toby and Devon joined him.

"You sounded great, Sky," said Toby. "I had no idea what it was like for you to record, though."

They were about half way down the hall when a door opened and two dark haired guys came rushing into the hall, knocking Skyler and Toby on their asses. Skyler landed with a curse as he glared up into the bluest eyes he'd ever seen in his life. The guy standing over him looked concerned and he was sputtering apologies left and right.

"Oh my god," he gasped, grabbing Skyler's arm and pulling him up. "I swear I didn't see you!"

"Its fine, really," Skyler breathed as Toby was hoisted off the floor by the second dark haired guy.

"You're Skyler Thomas, aren't you?" Those blue eyes burned into his own.

"Guilty," he sighed, thinking that food was further away as he sensed that he would be standing her answering questions for an hour. Luckily, Brent was headed down the hall toward them.

"I love your music," gasped the young man. "We were just recording a song for your movie!"

"Really?" Skyler asked, actually interested and disgusted with himself for thinking that they'd keep him there for hours.

"Jeff Timmons," said the blue eyed man, thrusting out his hand and clasping Skyler's in a firm grip. "Great to meet you."

"The pleasure's mine," said Skyler as Brent made it to where they were gathered. "Brent, this is Jeff Timmons, and . . ."

"Nick Lachey," said the other young man, shaking Brent's hand. "We were just recording and sort of bumped in to these guys."

"I was about to ask them to join us for dinner," said Skyler, shocking Toby and Devon.

"And we were about to accept," said a smiling Jeff Timmons.

"So where are we eating tonight?" Nick asked as they made it to the studio car. "We've only been here since this morning, so we don't really have any idea where to go."

"I was going to suggest that we head back to the hotel," said Skyler.

"We're not supposed to bring too many people into the hotel, Sky," said Toby, and Devon elbowed him.

"Skyler never has visitors, Toby," he said. "This will be all right. Besides, Renny isn't even at the hotel today."

Skyler listened to Jeff and Nick trying to talk discreetly about him and his friends the entire way back to the hotel. He didn't hear exactly what they said, but it irritated him to be talked about like that. He was beginning to regret inviting them along. Talking about him wasn't a way to become his friend. They continued on, oblivious of the fact that he was watching them.

When they reached the hotel, Brent alerted the kitchen staff that Skyler, Toby and Devon had returned with guests for dinner. The boys all filed into the dining room and chose a table. The talking between Nick and Jeff had stopped, and Skyler was thankful. He didn't want to spend the entire meal being talked about. Instead, they asked about the movie and Skyler's new video.

"Its a great song," said Nick. "The video was cool, too."

"When are you planning to tour again?" Jeff asked as their food was served.

"It won't be for a while," he replied, "I have to wait for the movie to finish, and then I need to record my next album. Chad's getting antsy, but it'll probably be next year."

"You're going to tour with Chad?" Nick asked.

"That's the plan," replied Skyler. "It'll be his first tour, and I kind of want to be there for him. Besides, he loves the idea."

"That's so cool," said Jeff. "We'll definitely have to get tickets."

"Well, keep in touch, and I'll make sure you do," Skyler offered.

"You're still planning to do a show here, right?" Toby asked.

Skyler had been talking about a concert in Sydney since he'd arrived. He wanted to put on a show, but he didn't know exactly what kind of show he wanted. He'd called Clay twice, but nothing had been decided. So far all he really knew was that he wanted to have the show. Renny thought it was a great idea, too, but he wasn't Skyler's manager.

"I'm thinking about it," he replied. "I'm still waiting on Clay to call me back about it."

"That would be so cool!" Jeff gasped. "When do you think you'll do the show? Maybe we can come to see."

"Well, I don't even know that I'm going to do the show yet," said Skyler. "I can make sure that you guys know all about it if and when I do decide."

"We'd like that," said Nick. "We'll leave you with contact information, and we'll actually plan to be at the show."

"What's on your agenda now?" Devon asked.

"Renny has to decide which of the songs I just recorded will be a single, and then I have to shoot a video for it," he replied. "I suspect that a lot of the footage for the video will be scenes from the movie that we've done so far, though. That part won't be so hard."

"I think you should make the last one you sang into a single," said Toby. "I really like that one."

"Yeah, the ballad was the best of the bunch," agreed Skyler. "I just have to discuss it with Renny first."

Later that night, Skyler spent nearly an hour on the phone with JC. The two talked about how much they missed each other, and Skyler told him about his plans for a concert. JC was excited about that, and he swore that he'd be there to see it. He couldn't speak for the rest of *Nsync, but he was adamant that he'd be there. Skyler was even more sure about the concert idea after he'd talked with JC. As soon as he got off the phone, he went off in search of Renny to discuss the single and video. He also wanted to get something going for the concert that he was now determined to have.

Renny was listening to the freshly recorded tracks when Skyler found him. The older man smiled at him as he walked into the room that was being used as Renny's office. He motioned for Skyler to have a seat in one of the ladder-back chairs in front of his desk. There were movie posters on the wall behind Renny, and Skyler couldn't wait until Renny was seated in an office with a poster from the movie they were currently filming behind him on the wall.

"Skyler, these are great songs," said Renny when the music stopped. "Have you given any thought to which one you want to release as a single?"

"That's what I came to talk to you about," replied Skyler. "I wanted your input."

"Well, I think that any of the three would be great," said Renny. "The final choice is yours as I understand it. Your record company said that the decision was to be left to you."

"I do have a favorite," admitted Skyler after a moment of thought. "I like the last one, 'A Part Of Me'."

"That is my favorite as well," replied Renny. "When did you want to start filming the video?"

"Well, that's another thing I wanted to discuss with you," Skyler said slowly. "I assume that movie footage will be in the video."

"That would be correct," said Renny. "It would be a way to let people have a sneak peak at what we're filming."

"How would you like to direct the entire video?" Skyler asked, getting to the first part of what he wanted to discuss with him.

"I'd be delighted, actually," said Renny, smiling at him. "I was going to ask you about that."

"Then all that's needed is to decide what will be in the video," said Skyler. "I'll leave all of that to you. Just let me know when you're ready to start filming."

"I should think that we can get started very soon," replied Renny. "But something tells me that you have more to discuss with me."

"Yes," said Skyler, smiling. "I was thinking about a concert here in Sydney while the movie is being filmed."

"Have you discussed that with your record company?"

"Well, I've talked to Clay about it," replied Skyler. "He thinks its a great idea, but we both thought that I should discuss it with you first. There would be rehearsals and sound checks that would take place while we're still filming."

"I don't see that as a problem," said Renny. "We can work around all of that. I would like to have exclusivity on filming the concert, though."

"I can assure you that you'll get what you want," said Skyler. He was pleased that Renny was so agreeable to what he wanted.

Four days later, they began shooting the video. Skyler was pleased that there wasn't much lip-sync scenes to do. Most of the video consisted of movie footage. Skyler sat with Renny while he decided which of the scenes that had already been filmed would be used in the video, and three days after they began, Skyler sat with Toby, Devon, Neve and Shannon in the lobby of the hotel to watch the finished video. He was pleased with the video, and Renny was excited about it. It had all worked out. Skyler breathed a sigh of relief as he climbed into bed that night.

Maverick announced the concert in Sydney the first day of November, and tickets were set to go on sale very soon. Skyler reunited with all of his band members as well as Frank Cole and David White. They were both excited to be on the movie set and staying in the hotel that had been virtually taken over for the cast and crew of the movie.

Rehearsals began, and Skyler had to divide his time between filming and rehearsing for the concert. Renny geared up to film the event, and everyone got into a very busy routine. Cast members would sneak peaks at the rehearsals whenever filming permitted, and Skyler began to formulate a plan to get most of the main cast members on the stage when he sang "A Part Of Me" at the end of the show.

Things were very tight once rehearsals began, but Skyler still found time to talk to JC, the twins and Jason on the telephone almost every night. The twins and Jason were excited about the show, and JC promised that all of *Nsync would be there to see it. Skyler told him about meeting Jeff Timmons and Nick Lachey and inviting their group to the concert as well.

When the finished video for "A Part Of Me" was released, it quickly became the most requested video on MTV. Skyler was very happy about that. Renny was thrilled, and he announced that filming would be suspended on the twenty-fifth and resume on the twenty-eighth to let Skyler get ready for and perform his concert. It also allowed the entire cast and crew of the film to watch the final rehearsals and the show itself. Skyler was pleased to know that there wouldn't be so much to do in the end stage of preparing for the concert.

He began to anxiously await the arrival of his family along with *Nsync. The entire group was arriving on the sixteenth. Skyler had sent for them to celebrate Jason's fourteenth birthday. Jason had been excited by the prospect of celebrating his birthday in Australia, and Skyler was happy when Renny decided to host the party at the hotel. He spent the hours before their arrival with Zack, going over all of the details of the next two weeks. Even though filming would be suspended soon, there was still a lot to do.

The next chapter will be posted soon.