© 2005-2010 Julien Gregg
All Rights Reserved
"Who the fuck do you think you are calling Skyler and telling him I'm acting like an idiot?" Chad screamed at Jason when he came into the living room of the suite he shared with his brother and father.
"I called Sky because you're so angry all the time," replied Jason. "I thought he could calm you down."
"I don't need calmed down," snapped Chad. "I don't need my daddy or my big brother to scold me either. How could you?"
"You're being evil to everyone Chad," said Jason. "You told Dad to go ahead and leave the tour last night. Then you told Laura to butt out. She's your agent!"
"What I say to my agent or my dancers is none of your business Jason," cried Chad. "From now on you'll do as you're told and keep your fucking mouth shut!"
"Fuck you Chad," Jason said as their father came into the suite. "You don't have the right to talk to any of us like that. So it's your tour. Big deal! You're acting like a stupid kid and I'm not going to let you talk to me like that. I'm not setting foot on that stage with you anymore. I'm going home!"
"You can't quit," snapped Chad. "You have a contract."
"I don't care," replied Jason, getting up to head to his room to pack his suitcases. "I'm leaving. Sue me if you want."
"You know what, fine!" screamed Chad. "Go home. Better yet why don't you fly to Australia and put your head up Skyler's ass? That's what you all want anyway."
"Chad Thomas," Ben said so loud that both of his sons flinched. They hadn't even noticed his arrival. "You stop right there. Now I've listened to about all of you I'm going to put up with. You invited us on this tour Chad. Then you scream at us the whole time. I don't know what your problem is but I do know that I'm not going to stick around and watch a spoiled brat scream and throw fits until he gets his way."
"I'm not going to be talked to like I'm a child either," Chad replied through clenched teeth. "Jason calling Skyler was completely out of line."
"His calling Skyler may or may not have been out of line but what I'm listening to is completely not called for," said Ben. "You've been barking at everyone since this tour began. That stunt you pulled leaving the dancers in the center of the stage while you ran off to do your own thing has them all ready to quit. Mara refuses to hold dance rehearsals because of it. She's ready to board a plane for Seattle and forget she ever signed a contract with you."
"Well all of you can go as far as I care," he said coldly. "I won't forget any of it though. You can bet on the fact that I remember the contracts that each of you signed."
Ben stared at him for a moment wondering what in the world had happened to his son. This was not the Chad that he knew. He'd tried to talk to him and find out exactly what it was that had him so upset countless times to no avail. Now he'd walked into the suite because he could hear his two sons screaming at each other from the elevator. He'd never heard Jason so upset in the kid's life and it was all because of Chad. He wasn't going to stand for this any longer.
"Jason go and pack," he said finally. "I'll call Laura and make sure there are tickets waiting for us at the airport."
"Tucking tail and leaving?" Chad asked with a sickening grin on his face.
"I don't think you want to talk to me right now Chad," Ben replied, refusing to look at his son. "Maybe after you've settled down a little we'll talk. Until then I don't want anything to do with you."
"That's right," Chad said with a sarcastic tone. "Run to Skyler where you're happiest."
Ben just walked into his room and slammed the door behind him. He couldn't believe Chad's attitude. It had quickly gotten worse after Mississippi and Ben had decided that he wouldn't put up with it any longer. He opened his closet and pulled the suitcases off the top shelf, cursing under his breath. He quickly threw his clothes inside the suitcases and sat on the bed to think once they were closed. He didn't know what was going on with Chad but he knew that there was no way in hell he'd let his own son talk to him the way he had. He picked up the phone with a shaking hand and dialed Laura's cell phone.
"Hey Ben," she said when she answered. She must have seen the room number on her caller ID. "They've nearly got the sets together. Chad and Jason should come down and take a look."
"That's not what I called about," he said quickly. "I want you to call the airport and have tickets waiting there for me and Jason to take us back to Orlando."
"What's wrong?" she asked in a worried tone. "Has something happened?"
"We're leaving the tour Laura," he said. "Call the airport."
Without waiting for her to say more he hung up the phone. Jason was coming out of his room as Ben opened the door to his own. They looked at each other before looking for Chad. Chad wasn't in the living room though. Ben hoped the boy was in his room. He didn't want another confrontation with him. He just wanted to get Jason and get the hell out of there.
"Are we really leaving?" Jason asked as they stood in front of each other in the living room.
"Yes," he replied. "I told Laura to have tickets waiting for us at the airport. Let's go down."
They left the room in silence and headed for the elevator. When the doors opened Laura was on the other side. She looked frantic but Ben wasn't going to be talked out of leaving. He and Jason got on the elevator and Ben sighed as the doors slid closed.
"So you're really leaving?" she asked, breaking the silence.
"Did you call the airport?" he asked in reply.
"No," she said. "I want you to change your mind."
"Laura we are not going to stay with the tour and be treated the way that Chad treats us any longer," he said, turning to look at her. "If you don't call the airport I'll call the press."
They looked at each other for a moment before she sighed and opened her phone. He listened as she reserved two seats on the first flight out of Japan. When she got off the telephone they were silent again. The doors opened on the first floor and they were greeted by Bruce Beckham and Frank Cole. Both men looked angry.
"You're leaving too?" Bruce asked as they stepped off the elevator. Frank held the doors.
"What are you talking about?" Laura asked. "You two aren't leaving . . ."
"Oh yes we are," said Frank behind her. "Chad's a rabid animal and we're not putting up with it. I'll call Sky once I'm back in New York."
"What has he said to the two of you?" she asked, looking ready to faint.
"He's still screaming at the dancers," replied Bruce. "We walked out and he told us not to come back."
"I'll settle this . . ."
"It's already settled," Frank said, cutting her off. "He wants us gone and we're happy to oblige him."
"We'll wait in the SUV," Ben said to Bruce. "You can ride to the airport with us. Laura I think you're going to need to call the airport again."
"The contracts . . ."
"Bruce and Frank are being paid by Skyler," he said, cutting her off quickly. "Chad can sue me and Jason. I don't care. Now call the airport."
He didn't wait for a reply from any of them. He and Jason just walked through the lobby and out the front entrance to the waiting SUV. They climbed inside without a single word. Ben's blood was boiling as he sat waiting for Bruce and Frank. Skyler was going to get an earful all right. He was sure that Bruce would be the first to call him. He'd just have to be unhappy though. There was no way any of them were going to return to the tour for any reason. Ben made up his mind right then to never tour with Chad again. He wasn't going to allow Jason to tour with him either. After this incident all of that was over.
Thankfully it didn't take Frank or Bruce long. What made Ben sick to his stomach was the fact that the rest of the dancers were standing at the entrance watching Frank and Bruce walk to the SUV. There was no way that this wouldn't be headline news in the entertainment magazines. Ben knew that. He just hoped that it didn't become a news sensation. He also hoped that Chad would learn from this and calm down. He didn't think that was likely to happen soon but he had to have hope that his son would see what he was doing and come to his senses before anything else happened.
"Let's go," said Bruce once the doors were closed. "Laura's calling the airport now."
* * *
"What do you mean they left?" Skyler gasped as he held the phone to his ear and glanced at his sleeping son to make sure he hadn't woken him.
"They left yesterday," Laura said. "They haven't had time to reach their destinations and I wouldn't have called so early but you know the time differences."
"It's fine that you called Laura," he said with a sigh. "I just can't believe they left the tour like that."
"Your father said he's going to call you and tell you what happened," she replied. "Frank said he would call you as soon as he reached New York."
"When Jason called the day before yesterday he didn't say anything about being ready to leave the tour," Skyler told her. "He just said that Chad was being an ass. I called Chad to find out what was going on."
"Chad has told everyone connected to the tour that if they call you for any reason they're fired," she informed. "He's barking his head off at everyone every chance he gets. Cory's a nervous wreck."
"I'm leaving to head back to Australia tonight," Skyler said. "I can't take care of this."
"I'm not asking you to take care of anything Sky," she said quickly. "I'm the agent here. Clay is on a flight headed this way as well. We'll handle Chad. I just wanted to let you know what happened."
"Thanks Laura," he sighed. "I'll call you back when my plane lands."
"All right," she said. "Please don't be angry with your father and brother. After what Mara told me I can't blame them for leaving."
"Oh if my father was the one to make the decision that he and Jason would just leave the tour rather than deal with Chad I know that something bad had to happen," Skyler said. "My father wouldn't just walk away for no good reason."
"I'm sorry for calling you this early but I thought you should be warned," she said.
"Thank you for calling me," he said. "I'm going to get off here and get in the shower. It looks like it's going to be a long day for me."
"I'm sorry Sky," she said quickly.
"Laura none of this is your fault," he replied. "I'll call you."
He was closing his cell phone when Jeff shuffled into the room in his boxers. He was scrubbing at his eyes with both fists and his mouth was stretched open in a tired yawn. Skyler's heart warmed at the sight of him. He got up and made his way over to his unsuspecting lover and wrapped the man in his arms.
"Why are we up?" Jeff asked as he took his fists away from his eyes and wrapped his arms around Skyler's neck. His body sagged as he leaned against Skyler and put his head on his shoulder. "It's only four."
"I know," sighed Skyler. "Laura called to tell me that my dad and Jason left Chad's tour along with Bruce Beckham and Frank Cole."
"What?" Jeff asked, pulling back from Skyler to look him in the eye.
"Apparently Chad's being a real bitch," replied Skyler. "After I called him last night he apparently jumped all over Jason and Dad."
"That sucks," said Jeff.
"Yes and Laura is having fits because Chad is screaming at the dancers and has Cory all upset," he informed.
"Do you need to leave?" Jeff asked with wide eyes. He was awake now.
"No," Skyler replied, pulling him closer and kissing him. "Dad will call once he, Jason and Bruce reach Orlando. Frank will call when he reaches New York."
"I wanted this to be a good day," said Jeff. "You're leaving tonight."
"I know baby," he said. "I'm going to get in the shower. There's no reason for you to be awake though. You have a show tonight."
"I don't care," replied Jeff. "If you're awake then I'm staying up."
"All right," said Skyler. "Care to join me in the shower?"
"Did you think I was letting you get in the shower alone?" laughed Jeff as they walked back into the bedroom.
They got into the shower and washed each other slowly. Neither wanted to start anything sexual. Preston was sleeping in the living room of the suite and they didn't want to wake him or Helen who was sleeping in the suite's second bedroom. They did do a fare bit of kissing however and both of them were aroused by the time they stepped out of the shower.
Jeff called room service while Skyler took the extra time to dry his hair. There was so much more of it with the extensions and Jeff had decided that he liked the subtle red tinge that had been added for the character Skyler was playing. It made him look different but he was still the same sexy man he'd fallen in love with.
When he got off the phone he walked up behind Skyler and kissed him on the back of the neck. Skyler stopped moving and allowed his lover to kiss him. Then he turned around and took Jeff into his arms, kissing the side of his neck as he brought their naked bodies together. This did nothing to ease either man's arousal and Skyler let go of Jeff with a sigh.
"We'd better at least be in robes by the time room service arrives," he said, backing away from Jeff's reaching hands.
"Oh all right," said Jeff, dropping his hands. "But you're mine before sound check."
"Deal," replied Skyler as he pulled on his robe.
When the food arrived they sat at the small dining table being careful not to disturb Preston or make enough noise to wake Helen. As they ate Skyler explained to Jeff what had been happening with Chad and the tour. Jeff listened silently as Skyler told him about the screaming fits that Chad had been throwing and how he'd been completely nasty to the dancers and finally Jason and their father had decided they'd had enough. He didn't know exactly why Bruce had left the tour but he was sure it would be easy enough to find out when he talked to the guy.
Jeff told Skyler that from what he figured after hearing all of it Chad was just flat out jealous of both Skyler and Cory. He agreed that Chad was acting like a spoiled brat but he could see where he was coming from on the jealousy issue. Jeff didn't say anything about it to Skyler but he'd at times been jealous of how successful Skyler was. He wasn't jealous enough to fight or argue about it. He didn't even feel it was worth talking about. Jealousy was a normal thing for celebrity couples when one was more successful than the other.
Jeff thought that jealousy was a petty thing and had always tried to bury his own when it came to Skyler. If he hadn't it would eat at their relationship and ultimately destroy it. He loved Skyler far too much to let something as stupid as jealousy come between them. There were far more important things than jealousy between them. They were the things that welded them together so solidly. He loved the fact that they were together and wouldn't do anything to jeopardize the relationship. They were putting their breakfast dishes back on the cart when Skyler's phone beeped at him. He quickly answered it and sighed as his father began to apologize for leaving Chad's tour.
"It's all right Dad," he said. "I've talked to Laura. Chad is way out of line."
"Well be expecting a call from Bruce and Frank," said Ben. "They've both told me all about what Chad said to the dancers before they walked out."
"Dad, Bruce isn't a dancer," said Skyler. "What was he doing with the dancers instead of the construction crew?"
"He was talking to Frank when Chad got downstairs and started screaming at everyone," explained Ben. "He had plenty to say to Bruce as well. I'll let Bruce tell you about it though."
"All right," sighed Skyler. "If he doesn't stop barking at them I'll call my dancers off the tour."
"You'll probably have to," agreed Ben. "They're all ready to walk as it is."
* * *
"You're two dancers short is what you are," said Mara as she and Chad sat at the table in her hotel room the next day. "You ran your father and brother off first. Then you go after the dancers again after you were the one to screw up the show and you lost Frank."
"The show went fine last night without them," he said.
"The shows did not go fine last night," she snapped. "Those dancers are wound tight worrying about what you're going to blow up about next. Your own agent won't even talk directly to you now. You're becoming a spoiled brat and impossible to work with."
"So you're going to quit too?" he asked, looking at her hard.
"No I'm not going to quit," she snapped. "You are going to quit being an ass to everyone. I want those dancers left alone."
"Fine I'll leave the dancers alone," he said. "If they screw up you can deal with them!"
"What the hell happened to you?" she demanded. "You were a sweet kid when rehearsals started. After Mississippi you turned into a bastard."
"I'm just sick of people comparing me to Skyler," he said hotly. "This is my music and my tour. Skyler isn't here. Why doesn't everybody just shut the fuck up about Skyler?"
"So this is just plain jealousy?" she asked, giving him a hard look. "Surely you're not jealous of Cory. You talk to him like he's dirt."
"I don't like Cory," snapped Chad. "I didn't want an opening act to begin with."
"Well I don't pretend to know much about anything other than dance," she said. "I do know one thing though. You're not big enough to travel without an opening act."
"Well thank you for bringing that to my attention Mara," he said sarcastically.
"Kid you need to be knocked down a peg or three," she said. "I'm done with this little chat though. Get outa my room."
She watched him walk out of her room and sighed. He'd been such a sweet boy when they'd started rehearsals. The meetings she'd had with him to talk about what he wanted for the dance moves for particular songs told her that he was smart and full of promise. She'd thought he was going to be a pleasure to work with. After all the talk of how sweet and charming his older brother was she'd thought he'd be a chip off the same block. What she'd found was a spoiled sniveling brat that was having fits and driving people away. His own father was driven away because the kid couldn't keep his mouth shut.
Still the money was good. Sky High paid very well but was it enough to put up with the boy's antics? She supposed it was. She'd worked with worse in the past for less money. If he stepped too far out of line she'd have another chat with him. There was no way in hell she was going to give up the kind of money that came with this contract. No sir. She wasn't stupid. She'd suffer the little fool if it meant keeping that money.
The next chapter will be posted soon.